Tips for Keeping Dust and Dander to a Minimum in Your Home

Allergies and asthma are fairly common afflictions. That’s because we’re surrounded by dust, dander, and pollen both indoors and out. Fortunately, there are medications that can help, but the best way to keep your symptoms at bay is to eliminate them from your home as much as possible.

Here are a few tips for keeping dust and dander to a minimum in your home so your entire family can breathe easier day and night.

HEPA Filters

Dust and dander can only affect our health when they are breathed in. It makes sense that keeping these particles out of the air in the first place can drastically reduce allergy and asthma symptoms. The best way to do that is by using HEPA filters.

Start with the filter in your HVAC system. Choose a high-quality filter that will eliminate large quantities of dust and dander. Then, change the filter often so it’s always working effectively.

The vacuum you choose can make a big difference too. Use a vacuum that utilizes a HEPA filter to clean dust and dander out of carpets, furniture, and drapes.

Air purifiers are also helpful, especially when placed in areas that are frequented, like the living room and bedroom.

Bare Surfaces

Decorating your home can be a lot of fun, but if you aren’t careful, you could be sabotaging your family’s health. That’s because some surfaces trap dust, dander, and pollen much better than others.

If you want to reduce allergy and asthma symptoms, you should take a bare surfaces approach. That means:

* Remove carpeting and rugs. Hardwood floors and linoleum won’t trap airborne particles.

* Opt for shades or blinds instead of curtains. If you want to keep your curtains, wash them frequently.

* Decorate with furniture made out of wood, vinyl, plastic, and leather. Avoid heavily upholstered items.

Avoid furniture items that collect dust like excess shelves, hanging photos and frames, and books. Keep all clothing, towels, and other items tucked away in drawers.


Many allergy and asthma symptoms are exacerbated at night, and it’s easy to see why when you consider the fact that we spend at least a third of our lives in the bedroom.

Dust mites are the biggest culprit of allergy and asthma symptoms. Fortunately, they’re fairly easy to take care of.

Use allergen-proof mattress and pillow covers to keep dust mites from colonizing the bedding. Wash all bedding at least once a week and keep the humidity levels low by using a dehumidifier. Levels should be at around 50 percent.

There’s no doubt that controlling dust and dander in your home takes a little extra work, but it’s well worth it. If you can control airborne particles in the first place, you may be able to avoid or reduce how often you have to take medicine.

These tips can also turn your home into a haven. By reducing dust and dander, your family will always have a comfortable place to escape to at the end of the day.

Friday Favorites Linky Party – Week 391

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You can show your love for this week’s favorites by going over and commenting on the posts and by pinning or sharing!

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Is Fat Healthy for Your Family?

Did you know that fat is healthy for you and your family? The media has demonized fat as the nutrient responsible for the development of heart disease and other physical health issues. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.

Why Carbs Are Bad for You

Refined carbohydrates such as sugar and flour create inflammation in the intestinal wall of the GI tract. This inflammation prevents the trillions of gut biomes living in your gut from doing their task of assimilating the nutrition from the food you eat. With assimilation impaired, metabolism slows, and immune function declines.

This inflammation will spread from your digestive system into the nervous and lymphatic systems as well, leading to foggy thoughts and impaired cognitive function. Carbohydrates also spike insulin, and frequent consumption of sugar and refined carbs can cause blood sugar disorders such as diabetes and health issues such as obesity.

The Health Benefits of High-Fat Diets

#1 Prevent Diabetes

With a high-fat diet that is low in carbohydrates and free of refined carbs will keep your blood sugar at baseline levels. When blood sugar is elevated, insulin peaks and therefore; if you avoid carbs and increase fats, you will decrease your fasted blood sugar reading. In some cases, eating a carb-free, a high-fat diet can eliminate type 2 diabetes in people suffering from the disease.

#2 Prevent Obesity

Refined carbohydrates contain a significant amount of calories with no nutritional value. A large soda can carry as many calories as your total daily allowance while offering no nutritional value other than a massive spike in insulin and an energy crash a few hours later. With this kind of mal-nutrition available of every street corner in the western world, it’s no surprise that obesity has become a major health issue in the United States.

By eliminating the carbs and replacing them with healthy fat sources, you will avoid the blood sugar spike and crash. Fats will provide you with a slow-releasing energy source that is rich in nutrients and anti-oxidants.

#3 Heart Health

A diet that is high in refined carbohydrates is detrimental to your cardiovascular health. Eating refined carbs increases total cholesterol in the blood and raises the ratio of bad cholesterol to good

cholesterol. By replacing the carbs with healthy fats, reverses this disorder, bad cholesterol drops while good cholesterol rises and total cholesterol in the blood drops to safe levels.

#4 Eliminate ADHD

Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder is a challenging mental disorder to live with, especially for a child that’s full of energy. However, did you ever stop to think that maybe the diet has something to do with it? Eliminating refined carbs and replacing them with healthy fats can have an amazing effect on people living with ADHD.

#5 Increased Immune Function

Less inflammation means stronger metabolism and a healthy immune system that can fight off disease and infection.

In Closing

Combining a healthy diet with exercise is the best way to live a fulfilling life at your maximum human potential. For some workout tips, visit our site and try out our program. With a little dedication and commitment, you could get results within a month and be on the way to good health.

Orange Shortcake Parfait

Do you have kids who always seem to be hungry for an after school snack?  Or do YOU always find yourself rummaging through the kitchen for something to snack on?  If you’ve answered, “Yes!” to either of these questions, then today’s post is for you!  When it comes to afternoon snacking, you don’t have to settle for the same boring and bland foods.  You’ll actually find it’s amazing what you can do with just a few simple ingredients on hand.  You just have to get a little creative!  Today I’m sharing a recipe for a quick Orange Shortcake Parfait.  You can make these for your hungry little ones in about 5 minutes, or make an entire round of parfaits for your next party!

The other day, I made a couple of pound cakes!  I LOVE pound cakes!  They are so simple, yet so good!  And while I love the plain pound cake, it’s also a versatile dessert that you can change up with a little frosting, glaze, or fruit.  If you’ve got leftover pound cake on the counter and a little fruit on hand, you can easily make a shortcake parfait in a about five minutes.  In our post today, I’ve used a simple fruit cup of mandarin oranges and a little whipped topping to make an Orange Shortcake Parfait.

Of course, you could very easy substitute in another fruit cup like pineapple, or use fresh fruit like strawberries or bananas to make any kind of shortcake you like.  No whipped topping on hand?  No worries!  Just substitute in another ingredient, such as vanilla pudding.  And if you don’t have happen to have any cake on hand, look for other items in your kitchen that could be the base of your buffet:  crumbled up cookies, snack cakes (ie – Twinkies), other leftover cakes and breads, cinnamon rolls, and even leftover biscuits.

And if you’d like to go beyond a quick 5 minute snack for you or your kids,  consider using a whole pound cake to make parfaits for an entire room full of people!  Party guests will love this dessert, and you’ll love how quick and easy it is to make.  Not to mention, it is a very cost effective dessert that looks great on your party buffet!

Orange Shortcake Parfait

Orange Shortcake Parfait


1 slice of pound cake

4 ounces mandarin oranges, drained

a few dollops of whipped topping


Cut a pound cake slice in to one inch pieces. Drain the juice off of a 4 ounce mandarin orange cup.

In a small place or jar, layer the mandarin orange pieces, pound cake pieces, and dollops of whipped topping till you make a complete parfait.

*Use a whole pound cake, a tub of whipped topping, and canned mandarin oranges to make several parfaits for a party.

Do you ever use leftovers or odds & ends to make the perfect snack or dessert?  I’d love for you to share your ideas with me!  You can share your ideas in the comments, link up your recipe at our Friday Favorites party, or tag Simply Sweet Home in your social media post!


Friday Favorites Linky Party – Week 390

Please support and follow our lovely blog party hostesses:

Jerri at Simply Sweet HomeTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

Maisy at Becoming AliceFB | G+ | Pin

Sheree at Stage PresentsTwitter | FB | Pin | Inst | Inst

Lisa at Condo BluesTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

Amy at A Day of Small ThingsPin

Penny at Penny’s PassionTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

Kelly at Under a Texas SkyTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst | BL

If you are featured this week, be sure and grab a featured button for your blog!

You can show your love for this week’s favorites by going over and commenting on the posts and by pinning or sharing!

And if you love all of this week’s favorites, please pin, share, and invite your friends to this week’s linky party! [Read more…]

Our Forest Friends Nursery Reveal

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. The opinions are my own.

In the past few years, we have done several home makeover and DIY projects.  We’ve done a little painting outside, put up new light fixtures, painted furniture, gotten new appliances, and bought all new furniture in our living room, but I don’t think anything has been quite as exciting or as fun as putting together our new baby nursery!  After deliberating over a few themes and color schemes, I finally decided on the Forest Friends theme from Sweet Jojo Designs.

I LOVE this brand.  I first attracted to the overall look and colors of this set, and when I saw all the different types of accessories that were available, I was SOLD!  I’ve seen plenty of bedding sets with just your basic sheet, comforter, mobile, and diaper stacker.  If I wanted any other pieces, I’d just have to look around for something that sort of matches, but all of the Sweet Jojo Designs collections have EVERYTHING you could possibly need to decorate your nursery, including matching wall art and wall decals.

Apart from the great designs, the collection is also very high quality, and each nursery collection has a matching toddler and child bedding set, so when baby Thaxon gets big enough for his toddler bed, I’ll just have to get a new bedding set, and we can continue using the rest of his decor! [Read more…]

Crockpot Ranch Chicken

I absolutely LOVE crockpot meals.  In most cases, you just throw your ingredients in to the crockpot and wait for everything to cook up!  It’s easy, and it’s such a time saver!  It’s also great, because I can throw everything together early in the day when I’m less busy, and I can be at ease, knowing that dinner will be on the table, without me having to scramble around in the evening.

And most crockpot meals go a long way.  I can cook and have a couple of days of leftovers, or I can freeze the leftovers to use for another day.  Today I’m sharing a recipe for Crockpot Ranch Chicken!  I love anything flavored with ranch, and this particular recipe also uses my favorite vegetables: carrots and potatoes.   [Read more…]

From Outdoor To Office

If you work from home or find yourself looking for a space to work in peace a lot of the time, it can be hard to make sure that you’re working to your full potential. With the distractions most homes bring, it can be hard to get a lot of work done when you’re working from one. Of course, using a room as a dedicated office is a nice idea, but a lot of people don’t have the resources to pull something like this off. Of course, though, if you don’t have a room; you can always make one. To help out with this, this post will be going through some ways to turn your outdoor space into a brand new office.

To start, you first have to identify the space you’re going to be using for your work. In most cases, it’s best to have this in a rear garden, as this is more likely to have fences or hedges to protect it. Along with this, your space also needs to be big enough for a shed which can fit your desk and other work essentials into it. Finally, and most importantly, though, you have to make sure space is safe to be built on. In some cases, it could be best to have a professional surveyor come to make sure the ground in your area is strong enough.

With a plot of land figured out, you can move onto thinking about the building you’re going to be using. Sheds come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes, from options made from wood to examples which are made from metal or stone. For most people, a budget will be the biggest driving factor here, and you’ll want to find a shed which not only offers what you want but also the security you need. The best options are ones which are designed to be used in this way. So, it’s worth doing plenty of research before you buy your shed.

In a lot of cases, you’ll be able to start building your shed by yourself, and will only need the help of a couple of friends to get it built. A lot of shed companies will offer building services. So, if you need some help, you can pay a little extra to get it done. A shed won’t make much of an office without the right components, though. To start, you will need the help of a residential electrician to wire up the place and get it powered. Along with this, though, you may also want to have some install water and gas to provide you with heating and a way to have a sink.


Hopefully, this post will inspire you to start working on a new home office. You don’t need huge amounts of space to improve your working life like this. Instead, a little bit of work and clever building should be enough to secure yourself a place to work. Of course, though, you could also look into some other options like shared office spaces.

5 Ways to Kill Fleas on Your Dog or Cat

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. The opinions are my own.

As you know I am a very proud cat and dog mommy.  I love my furbabies and would do anything for them.  A year ago we adopted Mina.  In the past year, she has gone from a scared and basically feral kitten to the most loving cat in the house.  Unfortunately when we got Mina, she brought a few friends along with her: fleas.

My plan was to keep Mina separate from the other animals until she could be seen by a vet, but that plan fell by the wayside, and unfortunately Mina shared her flea friends with her new cat and dog siblings.  As a result, we have worked very hard to get rid of the fleas on the animals and the house.  It is a very difficult process, because even as you kill fleas on your animals, you also have to work to kill them in the house, so that new fleas don’t just jump back on your pet after you’ve killed others.

Today we are going to talk about the first part of this equation:  killing fleas on your cats and dogs.  I’ve used several methods and products, and today I will tell you what we’ve tried, what works best, and what specific products we like. [Read more…]

4 Budget Friendly ways to Purchase a Boiler

Replacing household appliances can be a big drag as they are often expensive and not something you had been planning for. It always seems that a boiler, water heater, or air conditioning unit chooses to stop working at the most inopportune times. If you are in need of a new boiler and you are experiencing a money shortage, this article will provide some tips as to how you can get a new boiler while staying within your budgetary constraints.

  1. Look for cash back options after installation. Some companies offer promotional offers to entice you to purchase from them. These offers can be compelling and can save you a great deal of money. When looking for a boiler company to go with, make sure you ask about hidden fees as well as promotions. You may find that a company is offering a cash back option after installation. This would mean that after the boiler is installed in your home, that you would receive a credit as cash back.
  2. Consider paying monthly. Let’s face it. Not everyone has thousands of dollars laying around in case something were to go wrong with a household appliance. Look for companies that provide payment plans. If approved, you could pay monthly for a new boiler at a low interest rate. Depending on your credit rating, you may even be able to get a 0% financing offer which could really take the stress off of the entire ordeal. Paying monthly will not drain your savings and will allow you to make the payments that you can afford over time.
  3. Seek a company that offers no hidden fees. The cost of getting a new boiler can be expensive and while a company may show a price up front, be sure to inquire about additional fees such as setup charges or arrangement fees, installation fees, or labor of employees. It is important to ask about these additional fees because they can add up quickly. You may see a boiler price for cheap but then when you add in all the fees, the cost is actually comparable to what others are charging. Be aware of a deeply discounted price as it is likely that you are either not getting a good quality boiler or there are hidden fees.
  4. Hire a company that offers free installation. A great way to save money is to hire a company that offers free estimates and does not charge an installation fee. It is also a great savings if there is no delivery charge. When comparing companies to work with, look for money saving offers in every aspect of the transaction. From purchasing the unit to delivery and installation, there are always ways to save.

With patience and attention to promotional offers, you will surely find a good deal on a boiler. If you are in a position where you have to finance your new appliance, don’t fret as in a way you are saving yourself from having to stress out about coming up with one lump sum all at once.