Friday Favorites Linky Party – Week 506

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

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

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…]

8 Tips for Holiday Home Décor

One of the best ways to make Christmas more special is to decorate your home. Whether you are inviting guests over or you are having an intimate dinner with the family, learn from the tips we’ll share below. Let’s explore some ways to make your home holiday-ready with the right décor.

Before we talk about the basics of decorating your home, check out this guide from Shutterfly if you need help with your Christmas list.

1. Go Natural For rustic holiday home décor, it is best to go natural. Stay away from fake Christmas trees. Instead, buy an authentic tree. If you are putting up garlands or wreaths, it is also best to use natural ones. To make them stand-out, add real pinecone, poinsettia, and succulents.

2. Make It Sparkle

Nothing spells Christmas better than things that shines and glitters. Whether it is mercury glass votive, glittered cards, or crystal balls, consider decors that will add sparkle in your home. This is sure to make the mood more festive.

3. Decorate with Candles

Use candles to make the home ready for Christmas. Choose white, red, green, and gold candles. These colors are perfect for the season. Pick candles with scents that will be reminiscent of Christmas, such as pine and cinnamon. If you are looking for holiday candles to display at your place, check out the selections available at Shutterfly.

4. Set the Table An excellent way to decorate your home for Christmas is through holiday table setting. From red ribbons to fir branches, there are plenty of accents that can add a festive mood to the dining table. Scented candles will also make excellent centerpieces. As for the colors, choose those that are associated with Christmas, especially red and green.

5. Hang a Wreath

Welcome your visitors with a wreath hanging at the door. Like the Christmas tree, go for something fresh and natural. The unique scent will surely make the visitors feel the holiday spirit as soon as they step in your home.

6. Display the Gifts

If you have already started shopping for Christmas, use your presents as holiday decors. Wrap them in colorful and shiny wrappers. Stack the gifts under the tree. If there are kids at home, hang stockings and stuff it with small gifts.

7. Add a Glow

Things look better with a little glow, which is possible by adding lights. Wrap your tree, wreath, or garland with a string of lights. Complete your holiday dinner table décor with Christmas-inspired candles for a more elegant set-up.

8. Fake a Fireplace

If your house does not have a fireplace, this Christmas season is the perfect time to build a fake one. You can use candles or string lights in jars. This will make any room look cozy even if it does not generate heat like a real fireplace.

Take your home to the next level this holiday season! Consider our suggestions above to make your house ready for Christmas!

Businesses You Can Run from Home

Running a successful business from home has never been easier. With that said, hard work and grit are required for business success regardless of the environment or setting. What’s more, you need a good business idea, particularly one that works well when operated from home.

Here are several great business ideas that are suitable for home-based operations:

Real Estate

Buying, renovating, and selling properties is a great business idea. Since the majority of the work is being done on-site, you don’t need a dedicated business location. This is especially true considering how Lantzman Lending and other lenders specializing in property investment loans allow borrowers to apply and be approved entirely online. A spare room to make your office, a place to store your equipment, and a truck or other heavy-duty vehicle are all you need to get started in the fix-and-flip real estate business.

Baking

Are you a whiz in the kitchen? If so, consider turning your knack for baking into a business run from home. While you might need to invest in some upgrades to appliances and other equipment, a home kitchen capable of handling the duties of feeding a family is enough to manage the demands of a smallscale bakery. Just make sure to check if any local or federal regulations may apply to food businesses such as your own. What’s more, develop a business plan that minimizes waste to ensure the biggest return on your investment.

E-Commerce

Most people interested in getting into e-commerce think they can’t compete with Amazon. The truth is that, as long as you can offer free and/or fast shipping and make it cost-effective on your end, running a small e-commerce enterprise is within your reach. This is especially true considering the growing number of fulfillment centers specializing in smaller e-commerce businesses. Just make sure to have an easy-to-navigate website for online shoppers to use and invest in appropriate marketing strategies.

Arts & Crafts

Artistic ability and creative savvy are potential goldmines for aspiring entrepreneurs. The internet has made reaching potential customers a relative breeze compared to decades past. Whether it’s painting custom pet portraits, designing original jewelry, or screen printing wickedly awesome graphic tees, there’s no shortage of possibility. All these and more artistic enterprises can be easily done from home.

Beauty

Most people overestimate how much effort and ingredients go into the production of beauty products. With naturally-sourced cosmetics and skincare products becoming increasingly in demand, home-based beauty brands can make an impact on a seemingly saturated market. Consumers are actively seeking out alternatives to the big-name brands, creating an opportunity for cottage industry cosmetics and smallscale skincare companies to sell to customers worldwide and create brand loyalty in the process.

Consultancy

Have you worked in a particular industry for a decade or longer? Has your experience given you tremendous insight into how the systems and operations function? If so, consider becoming a consultant for hire. Offer your expert insights to companies in need of assistance. It’s a freelance-type position that gives you tremendous freedom, including the ability to manage most of your responsibilities from home.

Owning and operating a home-based business has become a more feasible option for individuals. This is mostly thanks to the proliferation of internet access and web-enabled devices. But it’s also reflective of a growing preference among consumers to support small businesses and find boutique alternatives to big box stores.

5 Winter Pests That You Should Look Out For

Pests are the biggest enemies of homeowners and they can literally disrupt your life. They can cause disease and damage the property as well. Though you may think that the threat of infestation is confined to summer months, you are mistaken. Winter is an equally risky time from this perspective because overwintering pests can hide in your living space during these months, just to come back as a major infestation once the days get warmer. So you should keep an eye on overwintering pests and take steps to get rid of them at the earliest sign. Here are some common winter pests that you should look out for.

Termites

Termites are perhaps the biggest threat for homeowners because they can literally eat away the wood faster than you imagine. The worst part is that they can be as dangerous during the winter as in summer because they do not hibernate. Any signs of chew damage on the railings, wallpapers and wood products indicate that you could have these lurking enemies. Check the basement and attic as well because there are the areas that may be most infested.

Mice and rats

Rodents such as mice and rats are some other unwanted visitors that you may have visiting this winter. If you have them hiding in your living space this winter, you may probably see some indications. Their droppings may be visible in the nooks and corners behind the furniture or in the back of cabinets and drawers. You can even find chew marks on the cardboard food boxes in your kitchen.

Bed bugs

Since bed bugs travel from one place to another, they are most likely to come with you when you are back from a holiday during this time of the year. Most of the time, they make their way into your luggage from hotel rooms and settle down in your bedroom. Overlooking the earliest symptoms is the worst mistake you can make. Rather, you should be vigilant and get Residential Pest Control as early as you can. Look out for signs such as dried bloodstains on your sheets and black sticky fecal residue under the mattress and box springs.

Carpenter ants

Another common overwintering pest is carpenter ants, which are capable of surviving the harsh winters by burrowing their colonies deep below the frost line. They can even burrow one in the wall voids of your living space. Even worse, they may be burrowing through the wood in your home all winter. If you see piles of dust and exit holes here and there, you probably have a colony of carpenter ants in your living space.

Wasps

The stinging wasps that are commonly seen in summers may make their home inside the attic spaces in your home when the cold weather comes. The best way to detect their presence is by cleaning the attic crawl spaces regularly. If you find a wasp nest there, have it removed by a professional. Don’t even try doing it on your own because they will sting if you poke in their home.

Timely detection and clearing away of overwintering insects is the best thing to do if you don’t want to start the summer with an infestation. So you must be vigilant for these signs and act at once if you notice any of them.

Simply Earth Essential Oil Recipe Box Review: December – Christmas Gift Box

Disclosure: I received free products to facilitate this post.  Affiliate links are contained herein. The opinions are my own.

December’s here!  And it’s time for a new Simply Earth Essential Oil Recipe Box!  I’ve been doing these unboxings for the past few months, and it is always super fun to see what’s inside each box!

This month we have an especially fun box to show, because the them is Christmas Gifts!  This means the materials and recipe cards included will show you how you can use your essential oils to make homemade gifts!  I LOVE homemade gifts!

If you haven’t read my previous posts on the Essential Oil Recipe Box, here are the details:

  • Cost is just $39 / month.
  • Each box has 4 bottles of essential oil, recipe cards to help you use your oils in fun and unique ways, plus other materials you need to make the recipes.
  • Each box is specially curated with a unique theme in mind.
  • Each box is a $150 value!
  • When you subscribe you get a cool BONUS box for FREE!
  • You also get a $40 gift card for FREE when you use my referral link and coupon code:  SSHOMEFREE!

[Read more…]

Friday Favorites Linky Party Week 505

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

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

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…]

Supporting a Loved One with Dementia

When someone close to you, whether it be a family member of a friend gets diagnosed with dementia, it can be hard. As well as watching them accept the fact that slowly, their life will change and they will, at some point lose a lot of their memories. It can be tricky to know exactly how to approach this as someone who wants to help.

Regardless of where they are in when it comes to their diagnosis, there will be challenges as not only will their behaviour change but also they will too. But that doesn’t mean you can’t help them or give them assistance. Nor does it mean it has to be all bad. There are many different ways you can help someone with dementia, even if you think you don’t know how to.

Activities.

Just because someone has dementia it doesn’t mean they have to stop doing what they enjoy. Or even finding new things they enjoy to do as the disease progresses. You can find plenty of ideas for activities for seniors with dementia online or via various support groups specialising in helping those who care for people with dementia.

Brain games, crossword puzzles, card games are all good activities to help keep the brain working for as long as possible and can be a great way to spend time together. 

Keeping active is also a great idea. Dancing can be a favourite amongst some seniors with dementia as is gardening or just walking around some of their favourite places or attractions.

Support.

Caring for someone with dementia is hard. There are going to be ups and downs and honesty, trying to do it on your own can be exhausting both mentally and physically. 

So making sure you get the right support for both the person you are caring for and yourself is essential. Reach out to charitable organisations who specialise with conditions such as dementia or Alzheimers and find out what support there is for both of you. Drawing on others’ experiences and being able to confide in others who have or are going through the same situation can be a great stress release. This will also give you somewhere you can go to when you need extra help with changes or symptoms.

Care and Assistance

As the disease progresses you will notice your loved one starts to lose the ability to remember things, do things and even speak. Sometimes what they are doing or saying may not make sense and that can be frustrating for everyone.

Be patient and try to read between the lines when it comes to communication. Be willing to assist with small day to day jobs just as personal hygiene and changing clothes along with chores around the house if need be. Offer support and assistance to help them do what they need to do.

As frustrating as it can be, try to stay calm and avoid asking them if they remember. this will only invoke more emotions as they struggle to understand or even remember what you are asking them.

Orangeheat Review

Disclosure: I received samples to facilitate this post. The opinions are my own.

If you’re looking for unique kid’s clothing ideas for this Christmas, I invite you to check out Orangeheat.  The clothing company offers cute shirts of all sizes, starting at 3-6 months onesies and going all the way up to adult sizes.  The shirt designs are vintage inspired, featuring artwork reminiscent of kid’s drawings.

I personally like the variety of designs available.  The have something for everyone!  My son loves trucks and construction vehicles, so I was really excited when they sent him shirts featuring a firetruck, a Volkswagon, and an excavator.  Thaxton was excited when he saw the shirts too.  When they came in the mail, he said, “Trucks!” [Read more…]

Must Haves For The Master Bedrooms of Your Dreams

In terms of where in the home to invest the largest portion of your decorating budget, I have always been a fan of spending big in the bedroom. Of course you want the home to look great in the communal spaces so that you can impress your neighbors , family and friends, but based on pure pragmatism you are going to spend far more hours in your bedroom than they will spend in your hallway and living room, which is why I’ll always go bigger in the master bedroom. There are some must-haves that you should focus on here which will help you to create the bedroom of your dreams.

The Main Event

The main centerpiece of your bedroom is the bed and I’d advise you to spend a lot of time researching and choosing the perfect bed, and spending as much as you can on getting it right. If you are designing a French provincial bedroom then investing in a glorious four poster bed is going to be the cherry on the cake and give you a room to be proud of. If you are opting for modern then floating beds look incredible, if you are going for a sanctuary style bedroom then a chunky sleigh bed can really set things off. This should be your first priority, get the bed right, invest in a mattress you love, and enjoy the pleasure of lying in paradise each night.

Lighting

The master bedroom has many uses, all of which call for different levels of lighting. You want a sombre feel as you read unwind to go to sleep, a bright light as you get up and start your day and perhaps even separate spotlights if you want to read a book before bed, but your partner does not. Explore lighting options such as dimmer switches for the main lights and always seek out smaller spotlights for each side of the bed.

End of Bed Seat

I must confess that I always looked at those chaise-longue style seats at the bottom of people’s beds and thought that it was a preposterous idea and something which

really wasn’t necessary. As we decorated our bedroom however my wife really had her heart set on it and given that I got the bed which I had been after, I compromised and we bought a long seat for the foot of the bed. I have been proved completely wrong with this and to be honest it is one of my favorite features in the room, behind the bed of course. I use this when I put my shoes on and take them off, to sit down and read, as a perfect place to sit and get my head together for the day ahead and I love the additional option which it gives us beyond sitting on the bed. With this we know use the bed to sleep, and the long chair to sit down and relax.

Get your bed sorted, make sure the lighting is beautiful and go get one of those seats which you can place at the foot of your bed, an absolute game changer!

AC Troubleshooting – Why is My Air Conditioner Not Cooling?

It is one of those unfortunate and highly annoying moments that can happen, the summer days begin, night draws in, it’s hot and sticky so you reach for the AC, expect it is not blowing out the old air you so desperately need. There are many reasons why your AC is not cooling and whilst there is no good time to discover this, unless you happen to flick it on during winter, there are very often simple explanations to what is going on with your AC. Here are some things to check before you call the repair team in a panic.

Clogged Air Filter

When I lived on the Gold Coast we had an instance like this and I immediately hit Google and searched ‘repair air conditioning Gold Coast’ in the hope that someone would be around at 3am, they sadly weren’t. I took matters into my own hands and discovered that the air filter was thick with dust and grime. This was blocking the cold air coming out, so I simply changed the filter and everything was back up and running again.

Dirty Coils

The coils inside the AC unit are what helps to cool the air which it is taking in before it is pumped back out into the room. If however these coils get dirty or have debris stuck to them then they will not be able to efficiently cool the air. Check the condenser coils in your AC unit and if required give them a wipe clean and see if that helps to remedy the issue.

Faulty Thermostat

The thermostat has a sensor on it which detects the temperature in the room and then activates or switches off the cooling system. If however your thermostat is faulty it will not be able to detect he rise in temperature which is why the cold air may not be coming out.

Faulty Parts

Whilst there could be a quick fix to your AC woes, there is also the very real possibility that some of the parts in side the unit are faulty and need to be replaced. Generally parts will break down after a period of inactivity which is why you may find that on the first day of summer is the time when you realize that the AC unit isn’t doing its job. Everything has a shelf life including parts for an air conditioning unit.

Faulty Remote

Another personal experience of mine was that the AC unit wasn’t working, I checked the filters, the coils, the coolant and everything I could think of before giving up in a bad mood. I called out someone to take a look at I was most embarrassed to discover that the issue preventing me from cooling down was in fact the remote control, rather than the unit. This is a possibility so be sure to test out another control if you have it, or replace the one you have.

Don’t panic, check out these possible issues and you’ll be cool in no time.