6 Tips to Keep Warm in Winter


I don’t know about you, but I’ve already started my holiday shopping!  When you have 2 boys who both need winter clothes, you HAVE to shop ahead!

This year, I’m actually hoping to get a little bit of clothes for the husband and me as well.  If you are in the market for a new coat or other warm clothes this winter, check out Chums.

Winter really is a season you can’t help but prepare for!  We have to keep our house warm, dress warm, and even eat warm foods.  Check out these 6 tips to keep warm in winter.

Fire Places and Space Heaters

If you aren’t lucky enough to have a fireplace in your home, I suggest getting a couple of space heaters or fireplaces.  We bought an electric fireplace, entertainment center a couple of Christmas seasons ago and we LOVE it!  Not only does it help keep our living room warm, but we love the ambiance!  We also have an electric fire place in an add-on room in our room, and we keep a small space heater in our bathroom.

Wear Sweaters

I actually love the cooler weather, because I get to wear sweaters!  I LOVE sweaters…pullovers, cardigans, crew neck, v-neck, cowl neck, ribbed, cable knit….you get the point!  Sweaters and are so warm and cozy, and because they come in so many style choices, colors, and patterns, I think it is easy to find something for everyone.  And I personally love them because they are so versatile.  I can wear most of my sweaters with a pair of jeans and look great, or I can dress it up a bit with khakis or other colored pants, or dress it up even more with a pair of black dress pants.

Serve Hot Drinks

One of my favorite things about the fall and winter season is that I get to drink hot chocolate!  Whether I’m doing a homemade hot chocolate recipe or just heating up milk and adding a little Swiss Miss, it is a great way to start off a cold morning!

 

Throw Blankets

We keep throw blankets in our living room year round.  I use them as part of our decor and drape them on the back of our couch and chairs and then we cover up with them as needed.

Windows and Window Treatments

If you live in an older house like we do, you likely have windows that let in a LOT of cold in the winter, and it may be worth it to replace these.  If you cannot afford such an expense, you could look in to purchasing window insulation kits.  We also use black out, insulating curtains in our living room and all of our bedrooms.

 

Choose Warm Accessories

In the fall and winter, I can’t go anywhere without seeing a lady in boots.  Not only can you make a fashion statement, but it gives gives you an extra layer of warmth against the wind (especially if your jeans or leggings or a little on the thin side).  You can also add a lovely scarf of shawl scarf for a splash of color.  And of course, don’t forget your coat!

How will you keep warm this winter? I’d love to hear your tips!

Fall Cleaning in My Kitchen

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

Since the baby was born last fall, I’ve struggled to catch up and keep up with everything, especially the housekeeping, but the fall season always tends to jumpstart my cleaning habits.  The last couple of months I’ve really been focusing on fall cleaning in my kitchen.  Here are a few areas and items I like to focus on when I’m doing a deep clean in my kitchen.

Decluttering and Organizing Your Cabinets.

My cabinets were getting a little out of hand.  I managed to throw away a few items and rearrange some things.  Now they are looking a lot better and my stuff is way more accessible.  (And I don’t have pots and pans falling out when I open the door!)

Items to consider decluttering – Lids without containers, containers without lids.  Gadgets, appliances, and dishes you never use. [Read more…]

Irish Cottage and Farmhouse Decor Ideas

I love farmhouse decor and I’m so excited about its current popularity. I was raised in a home full of antiques, so anytime I see farmhouse or cottage decor, it is like coming home for me.  A lot of farmhouse and country elements we see today originated in European countries like Ireland.  Let’s look at some of those elements.

Photo Credit

In a lot of Irish inspired homes, we see the farmhouse sink like the one above.  We also often see a lot of natural elements: wood, iron, stone, brick, and plant life.

Wood is obviously present in most all home, but in the case of the Irish cottage or farmhouse, we see very heavy and thick wood and wood with a very rustic or even old look. For example, in the above photo, we have the butcher block counter top.

Photo Credit

Wood elements are also seen quite often elsewhere in the home.  Wooden ceiling beams are a popular feature, especially in kitchens and living areas.  Other rustic wood elements to consider include shelving, a mantle, and kitchen table.

Stone is another example of a natural element that is seen quite a lot in Irish cottages.  This looks very rustic, sturdy, and classic looking.  You’ll often see the stone and brick around a fire place or an iron woodburning stove, as shown here.

Photo Credit

Another natural element is plants.  Whether you use fresh cut flowers and house plants or faux plants, a lot of green green throughout the home breathes life in to the home and makes it more homey with a country appeal.

To continue the Irish cottage look in your bedroom, you can start with a metal bed.  Brass and iron beds are very sturdy and have a modern rustic appeal.  To continue the Irish Cottage theme, add a heavy throw or homemade quilt.  Homemade quilts are very shabby chic.  A lot of old quilts are setting around in people’s attics just crying out to be used, but you can also find a lot of brand new store bought quilts with the same classic appeal.

For other home decor, visit your local antique shop or flea market.  Add classic but simple elements like glass bottles and jars, antique oil lamps and whiskey jugs, and old iron, porcelain, or enamel wear pieces.

The folks at Chill specialize in home insurance and they have an ebook on Ultimate Irish Homes. Check it out for more great ideas.

Mama’s New Helper: DEEBOT OZMO 610 – Robot Vacuum Review

Disclosure:  I received a free DEEBOT OZMO 610 for review.  Affiliate links may be contained herein.  The opinions are my own.

Over the years I’ve had the chance to review a LOT of great products, including cleaning products and tools, but I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited about a product review than I am about the ECOVACS DEEBOT OZMO610 2-in-1 Multi-Surface Vacuuming and Mopping Robot.  This is robot vacuum has become a LIFE SAVER at my house!

A few months ago, I wrote a post about cleaning the floor, and I specifically talked about how having a baby, especially one who is now crawling around, multiplies your need to clean the floor a hundred times over.  (And yet, when you have a baby, your time for cleaning seems to be cut in half, or worse!)  But with the DEEBOT OZMO 610, I am able to clean the floor every day!

Here are a few features I love:

  • Remote control or automatic control.
  • Quiet when running.
  • Easy set up via your cell phone or mobile device.
  • Schedule your robot to clean on specific days and time.
  • Works on any hard surface or carpet.
  • Features a place to put liquid cleaner for mopping.
  • Easy to open.
  • Smart navigation and returns home.

The ability to schedule your cleaning is key for us.  Between 5pm and 6pm, I am always giving the baby his dinner, and so I’ve got the vacuum set up to run at 6pm.  It starts off in the kitchen; meanwhile I pick up Thaxton’s toys in the living room, so that it can clean in there and our hallway next.  (By the way, Thaxton loves the vacuum too.  He’s scared of other vacuums and appliances that make noise, but he loves to sit in his Pack n Play or his Jumperoo and watch the vacuum do its thing!)

I usually have the other rooms closed off, but once or twice a week, I make sure there’s no clutter in the floor of those rooms so that it may run in there as well, and I also try to use the mopping function about once a week.  It just takes a minute to put a little cleaner in DEEBOT, and I love being able to smell the fresh cleaner as he mops in our kitchen.

DEEBOT is also have easy to empty.  We have messy pets and people in our home, so I empty DEEBOT after each use, and I am always amazed at how much trash has been picked up.  When I see how much trash there is (especially if we let DEEBOT skip a day or two), it actually freaks me out a little bit, and I can’t believe we used to vacuum only once a week!

This is an amazing product!  I am so pleased with how much cleaner my floors are, and I am thrilled that it’s able to happen without me having to do a bunch of work or take a lot of time of my day!

This product is available at Target and other retailers, and I definitely recommend it!

 

 

 

Fall Decor on a Dime

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

I absolutely love the fall season! And I love decorating for fall almost as much as I love decorating for Christmas.  As I shop I see so many cute finds at great prices.  There’s so many great deals out there that there’s really no good reason not to decorate for the season.  Today I’m going to show off some of my fall decor and tell you some of my favorite places to find fall decor on a dime!

I’ve had my scarecrows for several years, and I love setting up this porch so these guys can greet our guests.  Just add some faux leaves, pumpkins, and a few other pieces, and you’ve got a great scene for family photos.

My mom bought me this wreath.  It came from Home Depot.  I think if you don’t do any other decorating this fall, you should at least have a nice wreath in place.  (I LOVE wreaths!)

I also love wall signs.  I got this one at Target for a whopping $3.  I also saw a ton of awesome fall signs at Hobby Lobby.  (I only wish I had a place to hang more signs!)

The bird and flower stay on this shelf year round, but I originally bought them during the fall season.  Those, along with the pumpkin, in this photo came from Family Dollar, and the Hello Fall sign was another $3 Target find!  This wall shelf also came from Target.

I had no intention of decorating this bookshelf.  Most of the items shown here are there year round, including the birds which were another fall find at Family Dollar.  I believe the pumpkins on each side came from there as well.  The fall star in the back came from Oriental Trading, and the Happy Fall pumpkin is from the Dollar Tree!

I’m most excited about my new floating shelf.  I used to have a China cabinet and an entertainment center.  Both of these had shelves that I could put my decor on, and I miss that!  Finally I broke down and bought this shelf.

My favorite things on this shelf are the plaid pumpkins.  They came from Target.  The little black and white pumpkins and the subway art came from their as well.

The wooden pumpkins that say things like “grateful” and “give thanks” came from the Dollar Tree.  And most of the other decor came from Family Dollar.

This Thankful & Blessed sign also came from Dollar Tree.  (And it’s actually wooden! No flimsy plastic/poster material here!)

Where do you shop for fall decor?  Do you have a favorite decor item or trend?

Resolving The ‘Mental Clutter’ Of A Household


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Households are more than just a convenient method of taking shelter from the outside environment and storing all of your cool belongings. Our homes tell stories, both to us and others about our history and the history that has lived there. This is what people mean when they suggest that a home has a sense of ‘character’ and ‘place.’

Your home is more than just a place you retire to at the end of the day. It is absolutely an extension of your personality, and as such should be cared for. Consider how your surroundings speak to you. They can help you celebrate and remember cherished memories, they can influence your sense of personal organization and responsibility, or even bolster your appreciation for the arts. This is why a home with no decoration or personality is often quite a sad thing. Even hotels try to aim for a sense of tasteful decoration and comforting layout, as this helps a room gain character.

Resolving the clutter of a household can help you with your ‘mental clutter’ in more ways than one. Consider our handy tips in this article to help you optimize your home by these parameters:

Correct Storage

Storing your home items correctly can be important to help reduce the actual clutter of your space. You might choose to hide certain items, you might not. Consider using wall hanging baskets or hidden cupboards under the bed or perhaps opening a subsection of the wardrobe for items you may not need to keep on show. If you do not use an item in three months and it has little ornamental or decorative value, it might be worth submitting that for your own review, to either keep for another three months, or to replace and sell. Lessening the ‘stuff’ of your room can help your room otherwise feel open, comfortable and well taken care of, allowing you to think clearly.

Shapes & Lines

Believe it or not, the shapes and lines that your room is decorated with can have a big impact on the way that you think in a room. We are influenced by our surroundings more than we know. This is the difference between knowing ‘how much do roman blinds cost?’ and installing them, lessening the chaotic shapes often made by a draping curtain. It’s the difference between lining up your picture frames to be parallel, and ensuring your television is angled as your television stand is. These shapes all have a seeming impact on how you cognitively render your room when you walk in, so consider using a gentle balance of chaos reigned in with straight and organizational shapes. Even if you have little stock for feng shui, you can feel the benefits quite clearly via this effort. When implementing this in the form of furniture and the navigability of your floor space, you will find just how open and spacious you can design a room to feel, despite changing nothing of its actual dimensions.

The mental clutter of a household can grow too much to bear sometimes. With these simple lessons you can direct this to a more favorable outcome.

The Crucial Ingredients For A Perfect Barbecue

As June begins to flower in earnest we’re well on our way for a summer to remember. While many of us will already be planning family vacations and buying tents in anticipation of a family camping trip somewhere picturesque like White Mountain or Assateague Island, a lot of us have our sights squarely set on the home this summer. Since most of us have already engaged in the time honored institution that is spring cleaning, now’s the time to open up the house to guests. All through spring we’ve put in the hard work, deep cleaned each and every room, rid the home of distracting clutter, brightened up paint work that was starting to look a little forlorn and added a few pieces of statement wall art that are sure to be great talking points so now that summer is upon us it’s time to reap the social benefits.

While house parties, dinner parties and cocktail parties are all great ways to celebrate the newly clement weather and give our social calendars a much needed bump, nothing says All American summer like a good old fashioned barbecue. Over the coming months, many will be inviting friends, family and neighbors alike to enjoy our homes and gardens as we cook a cornucopia of flame grilled delights for their delectation. But there’s a universe of difference between a few beers and burgers with friends and a social gathering that the neighborhood will use as a yardstick by which all future engagements are measured. Here are some tips that will add your garden n grill soiree that little extra magic that will ensure that the event goes with a pop and leaves guests thinking and talking about it for weeks to come.

Failing to prepare is preparing to fail

Impromptu parties can be a lot of fun, but if this is to be a party for the ages, you must plan in advance. Issue invitations and try to get as many RSVPs back as you can prior to the event so that you don’t end up buying too much. Make sure that you buy a little more than you need so that nobody has to go without, and be sure that you have plenty of soft and alcoholic drinks as well as the ingredients to make the summer cocktails that will go down perfectly in the sunny garden setting. Many like to impose a theme which will determine the decor, the food and drink and (if you’re feeling extra adventurous) the fancy dress code.

Prep the night before

If you’re putting this much effort into throwing the perfect social event it’s only fair that you’re actually able to experience it rather than slaving away in the kitchen or over the grill. Thus, it’s essential that you prepare everything the night before so that cooking your prepared food is quick and easy, allowing you more time to mingle with your guests.

Transform your garden

Sure, your home will be a talking point, but if your guests will be spending most of their time in the garden, this is the perfect opportunity to transform your soothing and serene garden into an adventurous wonderland. Often a sense of theatricality and adventure can be the difference between a good barbecue and a great one. You’d be amazed at the difference some LED fairy lights, rope lights, curtain lights, lawn ornaments and candles can make to your garden. If you’ve chosen a theme for your event, the way in which you decorate your garden will really make it pop!

Create opportunities to cool off

Your guests will likely really appreciate the opportunity to sun themselves in your garden, but they might reach a point where the sun has gotten a little too much for them (especially if they didn’t remember to pack sunscreen). Since you may not relish the idea of your guests roaming around your home as you slave over a hot grill, it’s a good idea to dedicate a space as a “cooling off area” in which guests can enjoy a cool drink in the shade or beneath some large outdoor ceiling fans if you have a porch or sunroom that will accommodate them. Ensure that your cool room is well stocked with both alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks. If people are going to have access to alcohol all day they will need to stay well hydrated.

Don’t forget the veggies!

In today’s increasingly environmentally conscious world, at least some of your guests are likely to abstain from meat, dairy and other animal products for health or ethical reasons. Thus, it’s vital that you have plenty of vegetarian and vegan options (plus, let’s face it, they’ll probably go down a treat with omnivores, too). Fortunately, it doesn’t take a whole lot of imagination or preparation to bring mouth watering vegan food to your grill (just be sure to cook far enough away from your burgers, sausages and ribs that they won’t get splashed with meat juices). From cauliflower steaks and barbecued eggplant to veggie kabobs and barbecued tofu, who says that meat eaters should have all the fun at your barbecue?

Side note

While the delicious meats and veggies being prepared on the grill will undoubtedly be the stars of the show, don’t forget to spare a thought for the side dishes. You could be forgiven for underestimating the importance of sides but these can really help you to keep the costs of your barbecue manageable. If your guests load their plates with plenty of sides they’ll be less likely to return to the grill time after time, meaning that you’re less likely to run out of the good (and expensive) stuff. Plus, they’re great for guests to snack on long after the flames have died down on the barbecue itself.

With a little imagination and a whole lot of forward planning, your barbecue will be the stuff of legend and a gauntlet that you throw down to the rest of the neighborhood. You’ll enjoy months of pleasurable dining in their gardens as they try (and fail) to emulate your superlative soiree.

Cleaning Up with Rejuvenate® Click n Clean™ Multi-Surface Spray Mop System

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Rejuvenate Products.

As a new mom I’ve found that keeping a clean home is more important than ever, but it is also more challenging.  Yes, there are more items to clean and a whole new person to clean up after, but what is even more difficult is finding the time to actually clean. Think about it: Who wants to wash dishes and clean floors when there is a baby to play with?  Nevertheless, the housekeeping show must go on!  Our son is now 6 months old, which means it is almost crawling time, and that means we MUST have a clean floor for him!  This is why I am excited today to talk about the Rejuvenate® Click n Clean™ Multi-Surface Spray Mop System.

This mopping system is a mom’s dream.  The Click n Clean is the only mop that cleans surface-to-surface and delivers professional results for under $35.  It is very easy and clean to use: no mixing up chemicals, no wringing out a mop by hand, and no heavy lifting or getting out multiple cleaning appliances.  With this system, you can literally clean every surface in your home from hardwood and laminate to tile, grout and even carpet.  The Click n Clean mop system allows you to click, clean and go ― no matter the job size. Check it out!

 

The Click n Clean comes with a microfiber bad that is especially for dust mopping (dry mopping your home).  As a pet owner I can tell you this really comes in handy for daily cleaning up of animal hair and other particles.  There’s also a scrub pad for wet mopping with the Rejuvenate cleaner of your choice and a super scrub pad for those hard to remove spots. Additionally, one thing that sets this system apart is that it comes with a grout brush attachment.  We have tile floors in our bathroom, and this brush is great for that!

Another thing that sets this system apart from other mopping systems is that Rejuvenate has a line of liquid cleaners for every surface in your home:

  • No Bucket Floor Cleaner (for wood, laminate, and other surfaces)
  • Luxury Vinyl Floor Cleaner
  • Marble, Granite & Stone Floor Cleaner
  • Tile & Grout Everyday Cleaner
  • Grout Deep Cleaner

The cleaners easily attach to your mop with a bottle adapter (3 are included), and they also come with spray nozzles for easy and convenient spot cleaning.

The cleaning pads are very easy to attach to the mop’s swivel head and are very durable and machine washable.

Once the cleaning pad or grout brush are attached, all you have to do is place a bottle adapter on top of the cleaning bottle of your choice. Then turn the bottle over, and it easily slides on to the mop.

 

After the cleaner is placed in the mop, simply click a button and the cleaner will be released on your surface.  Then just mop up!

Our vinyl floor can be a challenge to clean with all the cooking and grilling (and spilling) we do. (And did I mention we also have kids and pets!)  So I am especially excited about using the Click n Clean in this room.  Here’s a before and after picture of my results (dirty spots and all).

The results were great!  We also tried this in other rooms in our home.  The grout brush definitely worked wonders on our tile when combined the Click n Clean mop on the floor.  And most of all, I LOVED using this on our hardwood.  Most liquid cleaners and mops are not safe to use on hard floors, so the Click n Clean is a life saver for that!

Check out this demo video:

Rejuvenate® Click n Clean™ Multi-Surface Spray Mop System is available at The Home Depot for $34.97.  If you are looking for a way to clean your floors quickly and effectively, you should definitely give it a try!

5 Tips to Keeping Your Home in Tip-Top Shape for Your Family (and Your Cat)

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FreeandCleanLiving #CollectiveBias

Having a clean home is both a luxury and a necessity, and having a family makes this statement even more true.  We all want for our homes to be a safe and clean environment for our family, but this requires constant, never ending work.  Having pets in your home adds even more challenges to your housekeeping routine, but if you are like me, you love your cats and there is no challenge you won’t tackle for them!  Lucky for us, Purina® New TIDY CATS® Free & Clean™ Unscented Clumping Litter is here to see us through!  Today I’ve got 5 Tips to Keeping Your Home in Tip-Top Shape for Your Family (and Your Cat), plus information on the newest product from TIDY CATS.

Use a High Quality Cat Litter Product

Ever since I adopted Rebel 10 years ago, I have a been a TIDY CATS user.  I currently have 3 cats in my home, and they prefer TIDY CATS.. (That is to say, they’ve never avoided or gone outside the litter box while using their products.)  And I’ve been satisfied with how their products block odors when you scoop regularly.

Their latest and greatest product is TIDY CATS® Free & Clean™ Unscented Clumping Litter.  This new product features Unscented Odor Control with the Power of Activated Charcoal.  Obviously controlling odors is my number one goal, and I love that Free & Clean offers you the odor-absorbing power of activated charcoal plus TidyLock® Protection to lock away odors.  (It gives you the clean you need without the extra perfumes, fragrances, and dyes).

The product is also 99.% dust free.  This is also extremely important to me; I hate pouring litter in the box and seeing a cloud of dust!  Plus, my cat Mina has allergies and other upper respiratory issues, so she needs a product that is dust free.

The product also features strong clumps for easy cleanup. As the person who usually scoops the litter box, this is definitely a plus.  Not only does it make clean up easier, but it also means we don’t have to replace the litter with new product quite as often.

TIDY CATS® Free & Clean™ Unscented Clumping Litter is available for purchase at Target.  Target is my favorite place to shop, because they carry all my favorite brands, and it is always easy to find what I’m looking for.  The pet products and housekeeping supplies I need are also conveniently located right in the front of the store, which means I can get in and out of the store quickly.

Target also frequently has TIDY CATS on sale.  Before making my Target run, I always check the Target app for their weekly ad and I look through Cartwheel is to see if there are deals on anything I am planning to buy.  The other day I used my Cartwheel account to get 20% off the 35 pound container of litter.

Proper Litter Box Maintenance and Placement

Most cat experts recommend daily scooping of the litter box; however, we usually scoop ours every other day.  We may scoop more often if company is coming over or if there just happens to be a special need.  You should also be prepared to top your litter box with additional litter as needed and completely empty out your litter box, clean it and replace your litter with all new product.  (I usually top ours off a couple of times a week, and we completely change out the litter and clean the box about every 6 weeks or as needed.)

To clean the litterbox when putting in all new litter, we start by taking the box outside for emptying, and we give it a good rinse with the water hose.  I then use dishwashing liquid to give it an initial cleaning, and then I pour in a little vinegar and a few drops of essential oil like lemon or peppermint to get things smelling nicely.  Then after it dries I usually sprinkle in a small layer of baking soda on the bottom of the box before adding all new litter.

Litterbox placement is also important. Your litter box should be placed in an area of your home that is easily accessible to your cat, and it should not be placed in a high traffic or noisy area of your home or any place your cat may be anxious about using.  If possible place the litterbox in an extra bedroom or small room not in use.  Alternatively, it can placed in a laundry room, small bathroom, or mud room.  Do NOT place the litterbox near food and water bowls.

Quantity. Experts also say you should have one litterbox for each cat, plus an additional litterbox.  As for us, we have just one very large litterbox.  It is actually an under-the-bed storage bin that we’ve repurposed as a a litterbox, and our cats are fine with sharing.  (But if your cats fight or have other issues, you should get more litterboxes.)

Floor Cleaning

Another way to keep your home looking and smelling fresh is with regular floor cleaning.  I like to sweep up and clean up the room where we keep the litterbox about once a week.  (This room is carpeted, but I keep a large vinyl mat in the room for easy cleaning.  It just needs a little vacuuming and a little mopping or spot cleaning with a little all purpose cleaner and rag.)

It is also very necessary to clean the floors in the rest of home quite often (otherwise we’d be overrun with pet hair and litter rocks).  I like to vacuum our carpets and all hard floors once a week.  We also mop all the hard floors; this makes them look shiny and bright, and it also leaves a nice refreshing scent.

I also keep carpet cleaning spray on hand for the occasional pet stain on the carpet and I spinkle the carpet with baking soda or fabric refreshing before vacuuming when I want things to smell really great.

Deodorizing Your Home

In additional to proper litter box cleaning and maintenance, you should find other ways to deodorize your home.  One way is with a good essential oil diffuser.  There are a lot of oils that are specifically for getting rid of odors and refreshing your home.  I like peppermint or anything from the citrus family, but you have to be careful as some oils can be irritating to your pet or other people in your home with allergies.  We also use scented oil plug-ins when we want things to smell really great.

Additionally I sprinkle baking soda on our carpets, rugs and upholstery before vacuuming to absorb odors, and I occasionally spray these areas with fabric refresher.

Pet bedding can also be the source of odors, so you should wash your pet’s blankets and other bedding on a regular basis, as well as keep toys clean and replace toys and bedding as needed with something new.

Surface Cleaning and Other Household Maintenance

You should also remember that pets are not the only ones who can make a mess or make odors in your home.  Take garbage out regularly and immediately take garage outside that maybe contain leftover foods, packaging from raw meats, and anything else that may smell bad.

Also, avoid leaving dirty dishes in the sink, as well as food containers or dishes on your countertops and stove top, and wipe down all counters and surfaces daily.

If you any tips to help refresh your home and especially your pet area, I’d love to hear them!  Please join the conversation by commenting on this post.

And if you are looking for a new way to refresh your cat’s room try new Tidy Cats Free & Clean Unscented litter at Target!

Turning Your Garden Into A Soothing Sanctuary

When you’re trying to make your home look its best, either so you can enjoy it more, or you are trying to increase the value of the property, the garden is the most important area to overhaul. Creating a garden that is relaxing, colorful, but also appealing to the eye is a considerable challenge, but when it comes to the relaxation aspect of things, it’s important that you turn your garden into a sanctuary of sorts. If you live in an overcrowded neighborhood, you want your garden to be somewhere that you can retreat to, without having noisy neighbors look over your fence. So what are the best ways to turn your garden into a sanctuary?

Create relaxing focal points

The impacts of relaxing focal points will continue to bring your mind back to the idea of relaxation. The best way to do this is to make sure your garden has specific areas that contain relaxing features. This is down to your preference, but a few suggestions would be water features, colorful flowers, or lighting. In picking lighting, be sure not to go for harsh floodlights, but instead go for the smaller, dainty versions, such as tea lights, or hanging christmas tree lights if you are on a budget. In the middle of a summer night, these little, multi-colored sources of light make your garden take on a magical quality.

Choose your furniture

Your furniture speaks volumes about your style, and while most people go for garden furniture, picking your decor that matches the furniture is a combination that you cannot underestimate. There are many fantastic decorations and styles that are suited to organic materials, such as wicker, and you can purchase wicker furniture that suits your ambience now. There’s no need to go for one shade of wicker, there are so many, especially if you are keen on laying some decking. The furniture says a lot about your ambience, but it also needs to help you into relaxation. Choosing uncomfortable and rigid chairs isn’t going to ease you into relaxation in the slightest. Sun loungers are a great choice, but they only seem to work really well with swimming pools, but if you don’t have the space for a swimming pool, consider a koi carp pond. The fish traversing the length and breadth of the pond is hypnotizing, and thoroughly relaxing.

Segregate yourself from the world

We want our garden to be a haven from the world. Choosing how you segregate yourself is down to your own specific tastes. Some of us like to have a view of the neighbors, while others want to be enveloped in their own garden space. For those who live in a home attached to someone else’s, the idea of total privacy can feel difficult to accomplish. But there are little things you can do. Having hanging baskets from the sides of your house is a great way to fence yourself off. But also, having a high enough fence gives you a little bit more privacy. Fences aren’t always the most attractive of implements in the garden, but there are simple ways to decorate them. Companies like Atlanta Post Caps provides styles and shapes to adorn the top of fences, so they don’t look as rough and ready, but also can stay in keeping with your overall garden aesthetic. Having a sense of privacy is vital in your garden, but so is a sense of style. It’s certainly a difficult balance to maintain. And when you are looking for a way to make your garden as private as possible, while you can fence yourself in, there are ways to block out the sound of the outside world. You can do this by adding to your fences, but you can also be clever with how you landscape. By planting trees and shrubs in places where the majority of noise comes from, they can help to absorb the sound. Brick is another material that is great at absorbing sound, but don’t go for the cheapest material, because it will not go with the aesthetic, and you will be replacing the bricks sooner rather than later! Instead, make the most of the various materials out there, and it does mean going a little bit above your budgetary requirements on occasion, but it will add so much more value to your space. And if you have the electrical requirements, you could always set up a little sound system to play relaxing music, which doesn’t necessarily block out the noise on the outside, but proves to be a handy distraction.

Decide on shapes

Picking the best shapes for the garden is something that you might have not considered, or completely underestimated. If you’re trying to ease yourself into a relaxing frame of mind, round and oval features are the best ways to create a sense of relaxation in any garden. The benefits of these shapes are that they blend seamlessly with other organic materials. So, by implementing this idea to your areas, whether you want to build a sunken garden, or even a staircase, a circular design will add so much more than a harsh rectangle or square shape.

Choose your colors

When it comes to your flowers, the more vibrant colors, the better. But when you are trying to match a certain aesthetic with specific colors, vibrancy isn’t always the best option. While it’s important for you to choose colors that are attractive to the eye, and in keeping with your own style, if you go for all the colors of the rainbow, this might not prove to be the best way to relax your brain. Instead, choose a handful of colors, maybe 3 or 4, and organize the garden into certain patches of color. This gives your mind a journey around the garden, rather than overloading your senses.

Turning your garden into a sanctuary can be a considerable task, but if you’re looking to increase the value of your home, or if you are generally looking for somewhere to switch off, the garden is a place that needs to have a positive impact on your ability to chill out. It can be a lot of work, but it’s a beautiful addition to your home when you get it just right.