Archive for September, 2015

3 Ways To Make Children Feel Included During a Wedding Reception

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Family

Children love feeling important and special. Rather than just relegate them to a boring room away from the festivities, incorporate them in things throughout the night. They will not only enjoy the experience a great deal, they will also be better behaved which is a huge bonus!

  1. Create a plan with the DJ to play kid friendly songs at intervals throughout the evening. Each time it’s dance time for the kids have the DJ make an announcement. To ensure this is a success, determine which movies are currently a hit with kids. Such as the big hit cartoon that’s currently a smash success at the box office. Or, if you know any young children, ask them what’s popular and what they’d enjoy dancing to at the wedding.
  2. If you want to allow the children a little bit of “crazy time” in order to expend some of their extra energy, include a piñata in the party. Buy one that is wedding themed of course, and go for a large one that is difficult to crack open. Let the kiddos have at it for awhile, and then amuse them by blindfolding the bride and groom and letting them try to hit the piñata. Repeat with everyone taking turns until someone finally cracks it open. Have a cool prize on hand for the winner.
  3. If only a few children are attending the wedding and they are over the age of eight give them an important job that is also fun. Purchase a few Polaroid cameras and plenty of film. Give one to each kiddo and ask them to document the wedding or reception. Prop a large cork board somewhere in the midst of the festivities and ask the children to pin they’re photos to it throughout the night. To ensure they take quality photos have a contest. Give prizes for things like Best Photo of the Bride, Funniest Photo of People Dancing, etc. If you’re feeling extra generous you can even let the kids keep the Polaroid cameras as a wedding favor.

3 Ways To Keep Children Entertained At a Wedding

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tips and Advice

Children are a wonderful presence at a wedding because they bring with them an aura of youth and an appreciation for things that are festive and imaginative. And, who doesn’t love the timeless tradition of the ring bearer and the flower girl? Adorable! However, children can also be a tough crowd to please. Many of the ceremonial aspects of a wedding will be a big bore to them. To ensure that everyone is happy (the kids are having fun and the adults aren’t stressed by their presence,) offer lots of enjoyable activities to keep the children busy.

  1. Love Glow station – If you’re hosting an evening wedding, create a neon glow stick station. Set it up on a table short enough that the little kids can reach. Fill glass jars with un-activated glow sticks. You can find these at a party supply store of through a wholesale party supplier. Include a jar of the fasteners used to hook them together. Place a chalkboard on the table that read “Let Love Glow” in neon chalk colors.
  2. Order custom made puzzles with your engagement photo on them. When there is a time during your wedding day that the kids need to be especially quiet and well behaved, give them the puzzles to complete. Give out prizes to whoever does the puzzle the quietest, finishes first, etc.
  3. Rely on “old reliables.” When it’s not appropriate for the children to be freely roaming the festivities escort them to a game station. The station includes an assortment of classic board games, and tables and chairs. Make sure the tables and chairs are low and small enough for the kids to be able to comfortably play the games. 

4 Cheese Man ‘N’ Cheese

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Family

Sometimes the traditional dishes are the best ones and macaroni and cheese is no exception. What better way to please everyone then with this tried and true classic? The great thing about macaroni and cheese is there are so many ways to mix it up and make it your own. We threw in four cheeses to this particular dish because who doesn’t love cheese? But you could certainly mix up what you use if you would like a less sharp cheese in your dish. Or you could throw in some pepper or cayenne to the sauce to add a pop of spice. Whatever your preferences, this particular recipe is guaranteed to be a hit!

 

Ingredients:

16 oz. of elbow macaroni

1/2 cup of butter

1/2 cup of flour

2 cups of shredded sharp white cheddar cheese

1 1/2 cup of shredded fontina cheese

6 oz. of brie cheese (be sure to remove rind and chop into manageable pieces)

1 1/2 cup shredded Gouda cheese

2 teaspoons salt

4 cups of milk

1 1/2 sleeves of Ritz crackers 

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cook the macaroni as directed.
  3. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a pot over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, remove from heat and stir in the flour and salt until smooth. Return to medium/high heat. 
  4. Gradually stir in milk in increments of one cup at a time, and stir until smooth. Once one cup has been stirred in until smooth continue until all four cups have been stirred in. Be sure to continually stir so that the flour doesn’t burn on the bottom of the pan. Stir until the mixture is thick. 
  5. Stir in all cheese gradually until melted and smooth. 
  6. In a large baking dish spray with a nonstick spray and put macaroni in the dish. Add the cheese sauce over the macaroni and mix until it is evenly distributed. Sprinkle any leftover cheese over the the top of the dish.
  7. Place the Ritz crackers inside of the sandwich bag and crush Ritz (do not crush it into a dust). 
  8. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a bowl in the microwave and then add Ritz crackers after the butter has been melted and mix well. If you like garlic you can even throw in a chopped clove of garlic and mix that into the cracker topping as well. 
  9. Evenly sprinkle the Ritz topping over the macaroni and cheese in the baking dish and then place the dish into the oven. 
  10. Bake for 45 minutes or until the cheese on top is golden brown.
  11. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes and serve.

Affordable Home Remodel Ideas: 3 Ways To Make Extra Money As a Stay-at-Home Mom

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Hints, Tips and Advice

Are you a stay at home Mom with a burning desire to re-imagine and redesign your home? If so, there’s a good chance your might also be a woman who is smart about budgeting. This allows you to continue to raise your children on a single income. While it may seem like you have to sacrifice goals such as a new bathroom or remodeled kitchen, it’s actually possible to do a few extra things to bring in some money from home!

Here are three of our favorite suggestions for making it happen:

  • Hook up with Amazon by way of a program called Amazon Mechanical Turk. It typically requires little more than a laptop computer and the ability to jump on opportunities as soon as they’re posted. This would be easy if you set aside a few hours of down time each day, maybe while the kids are napping, and wait for offers to pop up. The assignments are simple, basic tasks that aren’t likely to zap the energy you need to run your household.
  • If straight forward money isn’t necessary and you’re willing to work for gift cards try out free gift card promotions. There are companies that will send you gift cards just for signing up. The only limitation usually requires that you make a purchase with them within a predetermined time frame such as 60 days. Ebates is a popular company for this opportunity. What could be better than the equivalent of feeling like it’s your birthday all the time?!
  • The Airbnb concept that recently took off like wildfire has created a profitable dynamic between travelers and home owners. If you own instead of rent, that’s you! With space to rent out there is an opportunity for you to add significant income to your budget, because people are participating in this in droves. Homeowners are making a pretty penny by renting out either a room or their whole house, and travelers are loving the hominess and comfort of staying in an actual dwelling as opposed to a hotel. One point of caution: There’s a smart way to go about it and fail prone way to go about it. Make sure to do your research on how to best handle an Airbnb arrangement. 


The Perfect Carpet

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Carpet

Finding the perfect carpet can be a daunting task. There are so many textures and colors and patters and materials out there, it’s enough to make anyone feel overwhelmed. But you have all of the knowledge you need to make the best decision already, based on your needs and your preferences. Just read on for some guidance and before you know it you will know what is best for you and your home!

 

A great first place to start is to think about what kind of needs you will have over time. If your family is larger and you foresee tipped juice cups and lots of running around causing wear and tear you will want to start with your first decision which is what type of rug would be best. Perhaps instead, you are single and want a carpet that might not hold up to wear and tear like other carpets, but doesn’t need to because of your lifestyle…you might have more options available.

 

Once you know what type of carpet you are looking for you can get to the fun part—what colors you will use in your new space! There are several things to keep in mind when choosing your colors. As with painting your walls, lighter colors will open up your room and create the optical illusion of more space. This is a great choice if you want to keep the tone of the design airy or if you are laying down your new carpet a room that is on the smaller side. Conversely, if you want to create a more intimate setting to your room or want a more cozy feel to your design, then you might choose from darker carpeting that will tie it all together. 

 

Finally, keep in mind that when your carpet is installed in your home, it will look different than it did when you purchased it in the store.  This is because the light in the store will not match the lighting in your home. It is a good idea to ask if you can bring a sample home to observe this change.  You can also take advantage of our Shop At Home program.

 

These are situations that the consultants at Dolphin Carpet & Tile are ready to help you overcome.  Armed with this knowledge, come on in to our store and we will help you find the carpet that’s right for you!

Chief Household Officer Report: How Moms Can Build a Practical Autumn Wardrobe For the Kids

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Family

Fall is a busy time of year for clothing stores; back to school means that the kids need new clothes. This can also be a challenging time of year to continue working on home improvement projects because funds get funneled to your child’s needs. To keep the dream of a remodel project alive, try these suggestions for filling their closet without draining the bank.

First, go through everything they have in their closet. Wash the clothes that they are planning on keeping, fold and store away summer clothes, and get rid of run down or ill-fitting ones. You can donate the gently worn stuff, and sell the items that are still in good condition. With the money you make, you can in turn buy new clothes.

 

While going through the closet make a list of all the things they need so when you go to the store it’s quick and easy to find the necessities. Time is money! Be sure to solicit your child’s opinion on the type of new clothes they’d like. If not, money can easily be wasted on garments your child won’t wear. Another benefit of making a list ahead of time is the resulting opportunity to get the best prices by shopping the sales. If you plan ahead you can even wait until certain sales start, and in the end you’ll get the most amount of clothing for your money. Correlate the list you made while cleaning out their closet with stores and split up your shopping days.

 

It’s also smart to think about balancing good judgment with trends. For example, if your teenager wants to buy a shirt because it is in style but it is unflattering on their body or won’t be popular two months later, him or her to buy something else. Don’t forget to consider the value of layering. Garments that can only be worn in sub-zero temperature don’t offer as much value as those that can accomplish the same goal by simply wearing a few of them at a time. A little ingenuity goes a long way when budgeting, and if you play it right, you’ll still have money left over to push forward with your home design project!

Energy Saving Lightbulbs

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Lighting

In this day and age there are so many ways to save energy. The easiest way to start saving energy in the home is by changing your lightbulbs. Incandescent bulbs provide a nice warm light, but they also use a lot of energy, burn hot and have a short life span. They are very fragile and break easily.

Fluorescent bulbs are very durable. They do not break easily and they can last up to seven years, unlike its predecessor, the incandescent bulb. People are drawn to the type of warm light incandescent bulbs provide. The color ranges for fluorescent is constantly expanding. You can get them in a wide range of colors. They are being made in all different sizes and shapes. These bulbs are available to fit many different types of fixtures. You can replace incandescent bulbs all over your house. Fluorescent bulbs are ideal for providing general light to a space.

LED bulbs come in an array of colors. For interior lighting LED lighting is generally a bright white. It is amazing how much light these little bulbs give off. The fact that the bulb hardly heats up is also a plus. LEDs are also being made to fit all types of lighting fixtures. This type of bulb is best for shinning a direct light. Use this type of bulb for task lighting. For example select an LED lamp for your desk or workspace. Where ever you need direct light to see the task at hand.

A combination of fluorescent and LED lighting can add dimension to a space. If you like efficiency then get on board with these energy saving light sources! They can be bright or dim and shine different shades of light. Incandescent lighting is becoming obsolete as these energy saving alternatives are becoming more versatile each day!

Creating a Neutral Nursery

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tips and Advice

It has become popular to find out the sex of your baby at the time of delivery. This really is the best surprise in a parent’s life. Not finding out the sex of your baby can make it a little more difficult to prepare for baby’s arrival. Alleviate some of that difficulty by making a gender neutral nursery.

Start by selecting a theme. Nature themes are great. You can choose a theme straight from the outdoors. For example, forest or jungle themes are exciting. Beach or ocean themed nurseries are calming. Space and celestial themes spark imagination.

Non-traditional themes can be appealing and educational. For example a travel themed nursery can incorporate maps on the wall. Alphabet themes use different sizes and fonts of lettering around the room. Showcase the child’s name in an alphabetical theme. If you prefer you can go the geometric route. Use interesting patterns and textures, while basing the nursery around your chosen color pallet. Theme-based rooms tend to be very colorful.

 For a more simplistic nursery, concentrate on the colors rather than a theme. Select gender neutral colors like grey or beige paired with white. You can add pops of color later after the baby is born.

For a bolder look, select a navy blue and beige, and then add the gender-neutral color later. Navy and pink is exciting for a girl. Navy and green or navy and yellow are very suitable for a boy. Looking for a bright color palette, consider using turquoise, blue or green as the main color. All of these colors are gender neutral. Be careful using yellows and oranges. These two colors can be overwhelming, use them sparingly. Yellows and oranges are great as accent colors, but avoid painting the walls with too much of either.

Don’t forget to add exciting textures to your nursery. Texture provide sensory stimulation to your little one. Corduroy is great for upholstery. Soft carpeting and a shaggy rug add warmth and comfort to the floor.

Whatever you decide, we here at Dolphin Carpet wish you many good times with your new family member!