Simple Ways to Drastically Improve Your Home’s Appearance

Your home is where you live, where you make memories and share stories. So it should look good, right? You and your guests want to spend time in an appealing house. Or maybe you’re planning to sell your home, and it needs a little lift. Hiring an interior designer, landscaper, or even painters is expensive and time-consuming. Luckily, you don’t need to hire anyone to improve your home’s appeal!

A few simple, quick, and relatively inexpensive projects can totally change your house. The best part? You can do them yourself!

Kitchen Cabinets

Replacing kitchen cabinet doors can have revitalizing effects on the look and feel of a kitchen. Painting your cabinets and replacing handles can also completely change the appearance of your kitchen. You can choose a plain, neutral color, or a fun, bright color for a unique look. This whole project is reasonably priced and is easily completed in a day or two. You could completely replace the cabinet doors while keeping the rest of the cabinet if you want a different material or wood type. This project is a little more expensive, but if you’re looking for something closer to a total remodel, this could be a good option.

Exterior Appearance

The outside of your house, lawn, porch, flower beds, etc., is the first thing both you and your guests see. So it makes sense that you would want it to look nice. Landscaping your whole lawn is expensive and time-consuming, but keeping your front yard looking nice doesn’t have to include all that. Fixing up your home’s exterior can be as simple as some potted plants on the porch, or putting in some new window boxes. Hanging plants can be a fun addition, or painting your front door a newer, brighter color can completely change the appeal of your exterior.

A Fresh Coat of Paint

Repainting is the most inexpensive way to completely change the whole room. A dark blue can make a room feel more elegant, and a pale yellow could add more light and sunshine to a darker room with few windows. Neutral colors are a good choice if you are planning on selling your home, and even though they may not be as fun or exciting, a fresh coat of eggshell white will make the whole room seem cleaner and newer.

Good Lighting

If a room is too dark, the whole place seems less inviting. Adding a floor or table lamp is the cheapest and easiest option, but if you have some knowledge of wiring, you could install a new ceiling light fixture to brighten up the room. Adding more light makes everything seem more inviting, and lamps are available in every style imaginable, so you’re sure to find something to match your house.

Plants

Plants are scientifically proven to improve your mood. Potted flowers brighten, green leafy plants add serenity. A few houseplants will add some life to an otherwise bland house. Use multiple plants with different colors and heights for depth. Add brightly colored flowers for a pop, or some dark green leaves for a more natural look. Make sure to research how much water and sunlight your plants need so that they stay alive and happy.

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Fun Ways to Keep the Kids Entertained At Home

The kids are home all day with nothing to do outside of their school work. Once that’s done, they become antsy, irritable, and bored, as they try to figure out how to pass the time. Their boredom eventually impacts other members of the family as they begin to roam around aimlessly, get into things they shouldn’t, start petty arguments, and throw tantrums to demand attention. 

Remaining quarantined at home for as long as we have, is unnerving to anyone. As you continue to follow government guidelines and shelter in place, there are some things you can do to keep the kids entertained. 

Arts and Crafts

Arts and crafts are a fun pastime for children of any age. They can creatively express their emotions and personal style. From making cards for father’s day to building popsicle stick cabins, there are a ton of fun and affordable projects to keep the kids entertained at home. Just be sure to find a safe area in your home for arts and crafts as they can get pretty messy. Putting down a plastic tarp and providing the kids with smocks can help to reduce the mess. 

Board Games

By now, you’ve likely noticed that your kids spend way to much time in front of a screen. If they’re not on the computer doing homework, playing video games, or browsing the internet, they’re watching television, or glued to their smartphones. While this is fine for entertaining the kids at home on occasion, too much screen time is bad for their growth and development. To keep them entertained, pull out the board games. Whether they prefer being the first to the finished line or trivia games, they’ll have a blast using key skills and tactics to be the winner. 

Dance Parties

Keeping the kids active is imperative to their health. Since they’re likely not getting as much physical activity during the quarantine, it’s important to find ways for them to get up and get moving. They may not be too interested in lifting weights or following along to an exercise video, but an impromptu dance party is something no kid can resist. Download a playlist for your bluetooth stereo and rock out for a few minutes to some of your favorite jams. If you’d love to kill two birds with one stone,  you can turn on the music and dance around as you and the kids straighten up the house. 

Science Projects

Science can be a lot of fun for kids. Their inquisitive minds love to figure out how the world and everything in it works. Whether it’s blending chemicals, blowing something up, or learning about elements of nature, there are plenty of easy to complete science projects that you and the kids can enjoy together. It’s not only fun, but educational and can keep them busy for hours. 

Cooking Lessons

What better way to make use of your time during the coronavirus pandemic than to teach your kids some basic life skills? Your kids would be thrilled to get their hands dirty in the kitchen to prepare meals for the family. Simply choose a recipe that’s kid-friendly, set up the workstations, and invite the kids in for some fun. What’s great about cooking lessons is they not only learn how to cook staple meals but with the measurements and problem-solving involved in completing a recipe, they can become better at math.

Outdoor Play

You may not want to venture out to a nearby park or beach with your kids just yet, but some time outdoors will do their mind and body some good. So, head to your front porch or backyard for some outdoor play. You can play catch, baseball, basketball, rollerskate, skateboard, hopscotch, jump rope, try outdoor challenges, or just run around and have a good time. Not only does this keep the kids entertained, but it’s a lifesaver for knocking them out for a decent nap or just before bed. 

It’s rough on everyone having to be stuck in the house as the coronavirus continues to spread across the country. This is especially hard on your children. To help them deal with all these changes and to pass the time, try incorporating some of these fun activities into your day. 

Self Care For Moms

This has been a complicated few months for us all. We have all become stay-at-home moms, sometimes while remaining full-time employees at the same time. Many of us are being forced to use every bit of creativity we have in order to teach our children, keep them entertained, keep them engaged, and keep them connected. Just thinking about it all can cause a lot of stress. Many of us have faced moments when we are sitting on the floor and physically crying because it has all become a bit too much for us. If you are finding yourself in one of those moments right now, take a deep breath, know that you are still being an amazing parent, and think about what you can do to set yourself up for greatness.

We all need to carve out space for ourselves. This might look like taking an unused room or corner and creating a cozy haven. If you want to create a space for energy and creativity you might choose bright bold colors for an accent pillow. If you want to create a cozy space to rest you might choose neutrals and a comfy blanket. You might also pick out especially cozy items such as a smooth back bra, pajama pants, or a sweater to help demarcate this is your space alone. It does not matter what the space looks like as long as family members know when you are in this space you are not to be disturbed. It may feel strange to carve out these spaces when you have a mental to-do list a mile long but if you don’t you will never get around to tackling your list. 

We also need to carve out time for ourselves. No one can be on 24/7. No one is a superhero. No one can do this all alone. This is especially important to remember as we all are physically distancing from others. What this looks like will depend on yourself and your family dynamics. For most parents, some type of schedule is key and will allow their children and themselves to feel in control of an out of control situation. If there is another parent in the house it might take the form of them watching the kids while you take a nice long bubble bath and get creative with your style. If you are not able to physically be with someone who can watch your kids you can still tap into friends and family. These individuals can video chat with kids, allowing your children to express themselves, while you take a few minutes just for yourself. 

Finally, we need to take time to create small healthy rituals for ourselves. This might be in the form of enjoying a cup of tea or coffee each morning. This might be in the form of journaling or keeping a gratitude list. This might even take the form of listening to your favorite music or taking the time to watch one episode of your favorite show each evening. It does not matter what form these rituals take as long as we make time for them each and every day.

A lot is going on and we are all trying our best to be amazing parents. In these moments it can be easy to forget the wisdom to “put our own air masks on first”. We are all doing a great job considering everything which is going on and we have to make time to take care of ourselves. This time is not selfish but a necessity if we continue to want to put forth our best selves. Take space and time for yourself because you and your children will be glad that you did.

How to Throw the Perfect Virtual Housewarming Party

Though many states across the country are in the beginning stages of reopening, social distancing to reduce the spread of the coronavirus is still necessary. This essentially means that gatherings should still be kept to a minimum. If you’d planned on throwing a housewarming party to celebrate your new digs, you may be wondering how to pull this off while keeping everyone safe. Perhaps a virtual housewarming would be best. 

That’s right! Simply take your celebration to the internet to share with friends and family. A virtual housewarming gives everyone the opportunity to view your new home, send you gifts, and connect without having to leave their own homes. Though it may seem pretty complicated to pull off, here are some suggestions to throw the perfect event. 

Choose the Best Platform for Streaming Video

The first step would be to find the ideal platform to stream live video for your guests to view. You can utilize social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram. There is also the option to use telecommunication applications like Skype or Facetime. You want to choose a platform you’re familiar with that is also easy for your guests to use. 

Create a Registry

Your friends and family are likely going to want to get you something for your new place. To make the selection of gifts a lot easier, you can create an online registry that includes a list of things you’re in need of or desire. Whether you want elegant decor like antique porcelain vases for your living room and dining room, some fine china, a set of towels and washcloths for your bathroom, or cute home decor items to liven up your space, you can add these things to your registry. 

Send Out Invites

To save yourself a trip to the post office and quite a bit of money on postage, paper, and ink,  you can send out digital invitations. This can be done through social media, with an email blast, or through sites that offer templates for digital invitations. Be sure to include important information such as the date and time of your event, the places you’ve registered for gifts, and any other important details such as how to install and live stream the party. 

Plan Virtual Tours

At some point, your guests are going to want a tour of your home or apartment. Since they can’t physically be there, you’ll want to create a virtual tour just like a museum! Decide how you’ll guide them through your place. Consider which room you’ll start in, how you’ll describe the inspiration for the decor in each room, and whether or not you’ll appear on camera or off-camera while showing everyone around. You can prerecord your tour and upload it to social media on the day of your housewarming party or opt to record it live once all of your guests have arrived. 

Plan Some Entertainment

Chances are you haven’t seen some of your friends and family in a while. Your housewarming party is the perfect time to catch up and connect. There are plenty of activities you can engage in to remain entertained throughout the duration of your party. You can buy a case of champagne in bulk and send them to your guests to toast to your home online. You guys can have a virtual lunch or dinner together, you can dance to music, and even play fun games together to pass the time. 

Clean Up and Decorate

Before your virtual housewarming, you’ll want to clean up your place and decorate it for your guests. Though no one will physically be there, they will see the condition of your home during the tour. Clear out all the clutter, decide on the design and layout of each room, put up any home decor items and furniture you have already to bring the space to life. 

With everything that’s going on with the coronavirus, you managed to have something great happen to you – you got a new home. Though social distancing and the need to keep everyone safe is still a top priority, that doesn’t have to stop you from celebrating your good news with loved ones. The above-mentioned tips are sure to help you put together an awesome virtual housewarming party that everyone can attend while continuing to shelter in place. 

 

Simple Additions and Subtractions for Healthier Living

Despite having a better healthcare system, grown-ups today are at a higher risk of suffering from lifestyle-related diseases. Parents don’t cook because it takes too long. We avoid exercise because we’re too tired. Most of us know better, but we do it anyway. 

Healthier living for busy moms and dads comes down to basic arithmetic. If you want to make your life better, add and subtract the following things from your life:

Additions

More Exercise

The best thing you can give your body is exercise. When you work out, you breathe in and out more often. As a result, the supply of oxygen in your body increases, and your heart beats more efficiently. Constant breathing also helps to improve lung health. Daily exercise also gives you the energy to go beyond your limits. You’ll do more without getting exhausted.

Healthy Supplements

The human body requires certain supplements to function at its best. For example, your body needs Vitamin D to process calcium and promote good bone health. Vitamin D can also help to prevent muscular problems. The recommended daily dosage is 800 IU. You can get this from the Vitamin D supplements. Another supplement that you should have is psyllium husk. The benefits of whole psyllium husk include better digestion and cardiovascular health.

Nutritious Foods

Supplements and healthy foods are complementary. You can’t take one and leave the other. Include some kales, broccoli, spinach, and Brussels sprouts to complement the psyllium husks. Both have a very high fiber content to help prevent constipation. Find alternatives to snacks loaded with sugar and fat. You should also add lean protein to your diet. Unlike other meat, lean protein has fewer calories. You should also eat more fruits and fish to improve your vitamin and Omega-3 intake.

Subtractions

Stress

Never let life become too stressful. That’s because stress can increase your blood pressure and expose you to cardiovascular problems. Stress happens because you feel overwhelmed by responsibilities. You’re scared that you may not achieve all that’s required of you. Avoid thinking that way. You don’t have to do everything on that day or achieve perfect scores. Create a plan that will help you complete all your tasks and responsibilities and play it safe. Find out what your insurance covers like seeing a physical therapist or a chiropractor to take care of your physical health too. 

Smoking and Drinking Alcohol

Unfortunately, some people can’t cope with stress without smoking a cigarette or drinking a shot of vodka. If you want to live a better life, remove these things from your life. When you stop smoking cigarettes, your breathing gets better and your lungs slowly heal themselves. As a result, you reduce the risk of dying from lung cancer. When you stop drinking too much alcohol, your relationships will improve. Being intoxicated leads to bad behaviors, which can push people away from you.

Junk Food

Everywhere you look, there’s a fast-food restaurant. It’s hard not to get tempted. However, if you cook healthy foods at home, you won’t feel the need to buy junk food. When you remove junk food from your diet, you improve your cardiovascular health. Fast foods use a lot of oil, which can lead to blockage of the arteries. Fast foods also drain your energy. When you stop eating junk food, your skin will look better.

You have the power to make your life better. The foods you eat and the way you handle challenges will determine your health. If you want to be happy, you should exercise more often to increase your endurance and energy levels. Eat nutritious foods and dietary supplements to improve digestion and reduce the risk of obesity. Avoid junk food for better heart and skin health. Control your emotions by taking deep breaths. Don’t be overwhelmed by stress. Finally, avoid smoking and drinking too much alcohol for better organ health.

How to Get Prescription Drug Coverage

Healthcare costs in the USA are among the highest on the planet. In fact, Americans spend almost $4 trillion on healthcare every year. That equates to thousands and thousands of dollars per person, with the high costs showing no signs of slowing down. 

One of the biggest contributors to this high cost for many people is prescription drugs. In total, there are well over 100 million Americans who use prescription drugs.

People take prescription drugs for a wide range of things from treating diseases, regulating bodily functions and dozens of other things. These drugs often help people stay healthy and maintain a decent quality of life. Unfortunately, most of these drugs come with a significant price tag that many people have no choice but to pay.

Thankfully, having quality health insurance with drug coverage can help to lower this pricing significantly in many cases. But how do you go about getting this prescription drug coverage? Whether you want a Medicare prescription drug plan or plan to get your prescriptions covered privately, this article is going to go over how to get prescription drug coverage.

Know Your Needs

The first thing to do is be aware of your needs. There are tens of thousands of different prescription drugs out there, and there is a good chance you won’t need more than a couple of them. Not every plan will cover every kind of prescription drug, so you need to begin by finding out the drugs you and your family need.

The last thing you want to do is sign up for drug coverage, only to find you are paying for coverage you don’t need. Also, don’t forget to consider your needs for the future. If you foresee anyone in your family needing certain prescription drugs in the near future, it is a good idea to make sure that you have coverage for them as well.

Do Your Research and Select a Provider

Once you know your needs, you need to find a plan that fits them. There are many different options, so this can be a long process at times. You need to consider a number of things. Of course, the prescription drug coverage you go with should cover the drugs your family needs. 

However, you also need to be sure that it is affordable for your budget, through a reputable provider, and fits your lifestyle. Be sure to get to know the plan you want to go with in and out. You should go over all aspects of the plan like it’s type, the deductible, co-pay amounts, premiums, networks and a variety of other things. If you are confused about your chosen plan, or are still struggling to even find one, consider working with a broker or another expert in the space.

Frequently Check the Information on Your Plan

Once you have done your research and selected a provider, you are ready to get your plan. If you did your homework, the plan should be one that meets your needs and fits within your price range. However, it is important to know that plans can change, and not all of the information, costs, and coverage will remain the same year-after-year. 

So before you simply re-up with the same plan for years and years in a row, take some time to check. A plan can change the drugs that are included in their formulary, so be sure to check the drug list of your current provider. If you re-enroll without taking this important step, you could be in for a surprise when your prescriptions are no longer covered. 

Most plans will have a list of the drugs that they cover online or may have provided you with an information sheet. If not, or you want clarification, don’t hesitate to reach out directly.

Hopefully this article has been able to help you learn how to go about getting prescription drug coverage. It can be a confusing time to get prescription drug coverage, but in general, it only takes you a few steps in order to get the coverage you need.

5 Simple Ways to Get a Better Home Décor

Home interior design can be super stressful. Before you get to the difficult job of decorating, you need to get your materials ready and plan out the work, as well as make time to do it.

Here in this quick guide, we are going to look at five simple home décor hacks that can help ease the stress of interior design, and leave you with a home décor that you can relax in and be proud of.

Research and Plan Thoroughly – Get Inspiration and Information Online

If you want to take your home décor to a higher level, it is going to take some research, planning, and preparation to get right.

You may have some simple ideas about color or design, but if you are going to get the most from your interior design, you need to consider materials and styles too. You should consider the furniture you have, and how that will look in your new room.

Think About Form and Function – How Will You Use the Space?

Too many people make the mistake of designing their spaces, without considering how the space will be used day-to-day. Plan how you will use your space and think about storage. In any home, storage space can be hard to come by, so make plans that include space for your things. Think about where your bookcases or bookshelves will be if you are a bookworm. What materials will you use? How will their colors work with the rest of the space?

Use Theming to Separate Spaces and Set the Tone in Rooms

Giving spaces themes can be a great way to create unofficial boundaries between certain living spaces.

Use materials and color tones to make a clear distinction between eating spaces and living spaces, for example. This will help stop the kids from getting food stains on your sofas without you even telling them!

Consider Hiring Interior Designing Consultants for a Professional Touch

If you want to make your home interior design super simple, think about using interior designing consultants to take control and let them do the hard work when it comes to your home décor.

At Heritage Design Interiors, you can find a one-stop service that can give you all the support and advice you need to get the home décor you want and can help make the changes run more smoothly. Their interior designing consultants have decades of experience and lots of clever design ideas that can help you get more from your home décor.

Let the Light Be Your Guide – Plan Your Lighting as a Part of Your Design

Whatever style, color, or material you use, light is going to have a huge impact on your choices. When you make your plans, think about what level of natural light you will have, and at what time of day, and plan your lighting schemes.

Overhead lights can be very distracting and make a space stark and too bright for comfortable living. Plan for some lamps or wall lights and think about how they will impact your design throughout the day.

Follow just a few of these steps, and you can get a better home décor without the stress and difficulty of home renovation. With the right amount of planning and preparation, any home décor design chance is possible.

8 Most FAQs about Smile Makeover

Q1. How Long Would the Smile Makeover Procedure Take?

A1. Generally, the amount of time it takes for the smile makeover procedure depends on the needs of the patient and which treatment they have selected. If a patient chooses just one or two types of treatments, the makeover would be complete within one to two visits. However, you should keep in mind that some procedures like dental implants tend to take a bit longer since it takes tame for the implant to fuse with the jawbone.

Q2. What Benefits Does a Smile Makeover Offer?

A2. When it comes to a smile makeover, each treatment is unique and has its own advantages. The smile makeover has a ton of benefits as a whole. The treatment would be tailored just for you. It will focus on the structure of the teeth. For instance, if you wish to undergo teeth whitening, the trays will be exclusively designed for only your teeth. You can expect the following benefits from the treatment.

● Improvement in oral health and overall health.

● Improvement in wellbeing and self-confidence.

● The desire to smile more often.

Q3. What Is the Difference Between Cosmetic Procedures and Restorative Procedures?

A3. Cosmetic dentistry mainly focuses on the shape, size, alignment, and position of your gum and teeth. On the other hand, a restorative dental procedure would focus on repairing and replacing the damaged teeth and amending the functioning of the teeth.

Cosmetic Procedures

● Restoration of chipped teeth.

● Removal of stained fracture lines from the tooth enamel.

● Replacement of missing teeth using bridge implants.

● Resin or porcelain inlays.

● Offers fillings that are tooth-colored instead of silver fillings to provide a much more aesthetic look.

● Resin or porcelain veneers that shape and enhance the alignment of the teeth.

● Deal with mis-spaced or crowded teeth.

● Recontouring of the teeth.

● Use of orthodontic treatment like Invisalign for straightening crooked teeth.

● Whitening of teeth to provide a much more natural shade.

● Replacement of dis-colored fillings.

Restorative Procedures

● Implant placements or restorations

● Crowns

● Dentures

● Onlays and inlays

● Bridgework

● Dental crowns

Q4. Are There Treatments Which Are Considered Both Cosmetic and Restorative?

A4. There are some procedures which are designed to go hand-in-hand to offer aesthetics and reparation like porcelain crowns and teeth whitening, porcelain veneers and dental implants.

Q5. Is A Smile Makeover Costly?

A5. It is difficult to consider a smile makeover as expensive or affordable since it all depends on which treatments you choose. If you choose a more complex treatment that requires more visits, it would cost you more as compared to a straightforward walk-in where you get the procedure done within the same day. To get a better idea of how much a smile makeover would cost you, it is always a good idea to arrange a consultation.

Q6. How Is the Smile Makeover Plan Customized And What Should You Expect?

A6. The doctor will work with you to create a plan based on the smile design you choose. The first consultation will involve gaining a better understanding of your cosmetic dental goals and resolving any underlying dental issues. The timeline would be prepared to help ensure that the number of appointments is minimized so that you will have the perfect smile before the special social function such as graduation, wedding anniversary, or engagement. The dental diseases tend to be first treated

during the dental hygiene visit. You are encouraged to show a picture of your favorite smile such as an actor’s or actresses’ smile that you find beautiful. The arrangement of your teeth will be discussed using the LVI smile catalogue. Finally, the plan will be in place.

Q7. What Are Some Popular Treatments?

● Placement of teeth in the smile zone if the teeth are missing. It would include the use of a porcelain crown implant and porcelain bridge.

● A combination of porcelain crowns and porcelain veneers if the teeth are weak so that they can be treated.

● To make the complete smile design, multiple implants might be needed to fill the missing anterior teeth.

● A gum lift to reduce the unevenness of gum tissue.

Q8. Who Should Get a Smile Makeover?

An individual that wants to achieve any of the following should get a smile makeover.

● A younger look to take away years from your appearance.

● More confidence when smiling.

● Improved dental health.

● For a more appealing look.

Friday Favorites Linky Party – Week 535

Please support and follow our lovely blog party hostesses:

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

Jennifer at Busy Being JenniferTwitter | FB | Pin | Inst

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…]