Mud Room Must Haves

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We all know the purpose of mud rooms, however we may not know exactly what is needed for this space. Find out some useful tips on what to keep in here and how to decorate it.

This is the perfect spot in the home to remove wet clothing and muddy shoes. Make sure to have plenty of hanging storage for coats. Simply hang decorative hooks up or install a decorative hanger that has plenty of hooks. If you hang the hooks yourself you will have more space to hang more things.

Keep an outdoor rug right at the door step. The rug needs to be durable and easily cleaned. This will help catch the dirt and mud from shoes and keep it from being tracked inside the house. Natural grass rugs that can be easily hosed down are a good choice for this area.

Place a decorative umbrella stand by the door. Make sure it is big enough to hold several umbrellas, especially if you live in a rainy climate.

There should be some sort of shoe storage. You can buy shoe benches that can hold several pairs of shoes. Typically these holders or racks have different levels, in order to house more shoes.

Storage is also a necessity here. Mud rooms can become a “catch all” space by design. Provide the room with storage bins or baskets. Go through these bins regularly so you can toss out items or relocate them to a more appropriate place. This is done so that clutter doesn’t build up. This area should be clutter free, since it is a high traffic area as well as an entrance. It should not have items encroaching into the traffic pattern or inhibit anyone from being able to exit the home safely in an emergency.

Keep in mind that whatever you decide to place in this area, it should all be easy to wipe down and durable. Mudrooms are often put to the test by being the first area of the home that is exposed to the outdoor elements that we track indoors.

Spring Cleaning Continued

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Get a head start on spring cleaning by starting early on the inside of your home!

Refresh carpet and area rugs by doing a more thorough cleaning regime. Vacuum the normal traffic paths more slowly than usual, giving the vacuum a chance to work a bit harder.  Use the attachments on the vacuum to remove dust from baseboards and to reach the edges of the carpet and locations that are harder to reach.  Move furniture to clean underneath and remove built up dust from high surfaces.  Think of the tops of bookcases, curtain rods (and the tops of curtains), the tops of cupboards and tall appliances. Make an appointment to have your carpets professionally cleaned.  This helps to extend the life and beauty of your carpet.  Ask us if you have any questions!

Clean under the stove burners by mixing ½ cup of baking soda with several drops of water. The ideal consistency desired is a paste. Next ball up some aluminum foil, add some baking soda paste and rub your metal discs clean. The aluminum foil is good for really rubbing off stuck on stains. The baking soda is an excellent cleaning agent to use, without being exposing yourself to harsh chemicals.

Clean smudges off walls and doors with any type brand of magic erasers. I buy the off brand because it works just as well as the name brand. You can find these tough little cleaning tools in the cleaning section of any grocery store. Lightly dampen the eraser with water and start out by lightly scrubbing the wall or door with the eraser. Smudges will rub off with ease. Just be careful not to rub too hard because the eraser can rub some of the finish off.

Use a vacuum hose with the brush attachment to clean off air returns. Because the air is being sucked into the air return vents, dust and dirt accumulate. These can especially become dirty if they are placed close to the floor, where pets walk by them daily. 

Amazingly Useful and Versatile Beauty Tricks We Love

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

Ready to transform yourself from plain to pretty? If so, you will love this list. Every point of advice relies on things you likely already have lying around the house. Even if you don’t, all of the remedy ingredients are very inexpensive. Enjoy!

Vaseline

  • Eye makeup remover
  • Eyelash conditioner
  • Lipgloss
  • Tame split ends
  • Mix with lipstick to create a quick cream blush
  • Lightly gloss onto to teeth to prevent lipstick from sticking to them
  • Rub on pulse points, underneath perfume to make it last longer
  • Soften knees and elbows

Apple Cider Vinegar

  • Run it through hair once a month to get rid of product build up
  • Use as a facial toner after cleansing
  • Hair detangler, especially for coarse hair
  • Removes warts and skin tags, use with a band aid for a week
  • Lighten dark spots, sun spots, and age spots

Coconut Oil

  • A super silky leg shaving aid
  • Body deodorizer, it has antibacterial properties
  • Strengthen and soften cuticles and fingernails
  • Lip gloss

Double duty premium makeup – using the good stuff in multiple ways

  • Mascara
    • as eyeliner, just use a fine tipped brush
    • to cover grey roots if you have dark hair and can’t get in to the salon
    • Blush
      • use it as eye shadow as well
      • Light color, shimmery eye shadow as a lip highlighter on top of your lipstick

Lemons and acidic fruits

  • Rub lemon on dark, hyper-pigmented elbows
  • Use as a facial toner after cleansing
  • Lighten dark spots, sun spots, and age spots
  • Subtly highlight hair by combining lemon juice with water in a spray bottle and misting
  • Slice of pineapple as loofah in the shower
  • Slice an apple and gently rub on face, the pectin helps to prevent acne
  • Create a mixture of strawberries and baking soda and use it to whiten your teeth

Eggs

  • Separate the whites and dab under eyes, let dry to reduce puffiness
  • Combat excessive oil with an egg white mask
  • A couple of whole eggs as a reparative hair mask

Health Benefits of Drinking Tea

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Ancient civilizations have been drinking teas for thousands of years. Enjoying a hot cup of tea is not just a tradition, but also has many health benefits. If you are not a tea drinker, you are missing out on a wonderful beverage. Find out why you should be drinking tea as part of your diet!

Many types of teas are loaded with anti-oxidants, which are perfect for fighting off sicknesses and keeping disease development at bay. Green tea is a great way to provide these healthy antioxidants. This type of tea increases energy with low amounts of caffeine, stimulates brain function and helps maintain concentration. Some black and white teas provide a healthy amount of antioxidants as well.

Certain teas (green, black and white) can help reduce inflammation; which is caused by dangerous diseases that attack the body, like diabetes and cancer. The above teas can also help by lowering stress hormones.

If degenerative diseases run in your family, like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s then you should be drinking green tea. There is a healthy compound, EGCG, found in Green tea. This helps by protecting regions of the brain that processes and recalls information.

Despite family history, there are so many benefits to drinking green teas and other types of herbal teas. Substituting an herbal tea with a low to no amounts of added sugar is beneficial to staying fuller longer, promoting better digestion and staying trim. Soda has a ridiculous amount of added sugar, which tends to cause an accumulation of belly fat. Tea on the other hand helps maintain a healthy amount of insulin that regulates the body’s blood sugar levels. Tea has zero grams of sugar, zero calories and no carbs. Aside from water, no other beverage can say that.

Herbal teas truly help maintain a balanced and healthier diet. Start your love affair with tea by drinking at least one cup a day. As you become fonder of it, add a cup of tea with meals. Even substitute your afternoon pick me up drink, with a warm cup of herbal tea. There are sleepy time teas that help the body relax before going to bed at night. This helps with getting a better night’s sleep!

Crafty Ways to Work From Home

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If you’re a stay home who would like to make some extra money, a profitable way to do so is to transform your crafting talents into sellable items. Thanks to the internet it’s now quite easy to do so. In the past this typically required building relationships with store owners, or hosting small parties in your home. Now, you just need to collaborate with an online retail opportunity and watch the cash flow in! Here are two great ways to do it!

Knitting Cents

Like to knit? If so try out a website called Ravelry. It’s a community where knitters and chrocheters dish about their passion. A company called Leethalknits hires people to try out projects and provide feedback. They contact you when a new project is up for distribution. They provide the weight and amount of yarn, size of the knitting needles, embellishments, and the pattern. Testers (that’s you) then leave feedback on a Google document. Projects must be completed by a deadline. If feedback, corrections, and pattern instructions are submitted on time, the knitter receives a copy of the finished pattern as well as approximately $20 credit to spend in a virtual knitting store. If projects are big or require you to finish on tight deadline you’ll potentially be paid more. Although the payout isn’t actually money, an avid knitter who spends a lot on supplies can definitely have a positive impact on the household budget by eliminating that cost!

Etsy Betsy

Make the most of Etsy. Etsy is a well know website these days but for those of you who aren’t yet in the know, Etsy is an online ecommerce website where talented crafters sell their wares. The initial basic premise was anything handmade when the site first launched. This has expanded to things like creating collections. For example, some people will create kits by compiling theme based scrapbook layout components and then sell all of the items together for a base price. Let’s say you just returned from a trip to New York and you made the world’s coolest two-page scrapbook layout. Simply buy multiples of the items you used, make them into a kit, package them smartly, and sell them!  Or, if you’re actually crafty with your hands, create an Etsy store and sell neat things such as embellished shoes or snazzy headbands. Sure, you can keep selling these things at farmer’s markets and craft fairs, but your sales will likely spike when you add Etsy to the equation. It’s a big money opportunity!

Quick Guide: How to Wear Slip-On Sneakers

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Slip-on sneakers are often over looked because we associate them with childhood. It’s natural to file them away in our minds as shoes we left behind with skateboarding and skipping rope at school. These days, though, they are part of a lot of women’s basic go-to wardrobe. The most obvious reason is that they are about as easy and comfortable as it gets. They’ve also come into popularity because the canvas can be printed in just as many colors and patterns as a high heel. The fact that they’re slip-on makes it possible to make them look chic, whereas a sneaker with laces wouldn’t necessarily translate quite as well. Ready to sport absurdly easy and stylish footwear? Try these ideas for outfits! 

  1. Leopard print slip-on sneakers, jet black distressed skinny jeans, basic black v-neck t-shirt, off-white military style blazer.
  2. Black slip-on sneakers, black/white/grey short sleeved sweater dress, black bag.
  3. Black slip-on sneakers, short black skirt, white basic sweatshirt, multi-colored flannel shirt tied around waist, black leather bag.
  4. Leopard print slip-on sneakers, dressy black shorts, red t-shirt, casual black blazer.
  5. Zebra print slip-on sneakers, black skinny jeans, white button up shirt with shirt tails showing from underneath a basic grey sweatshirt, classic denim jacket, black/red/blue/white knit scarf.
  6. Leopard print slip-on sneakers, black leggings, with dark red, oversized, slouchy, lightweight long sleeved shirt.
  7. Light blue slip on sneakers, extra dark denim leggings, white graphic t-shirt, blue scarf, blue and white striped blazer, brown leather bag.
  8. Red/blue plaid slip on sneakers, long blue chambray denim shirt dress with sleeves rolled just below the elbows, chunky necklace, watch, bracelet, Panama hat.
  9.  Black leather slip on sneakers, jet black a-lie short skirt, cream colored sweatshirt with black graphic print, black watch.
  10. Leopard print slip on sneakers, high waisted skirt with zipper detail, basic scoop neck tank top, embellished black leather bag. 

Smart Makeup Tips for Mature Women

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

Beauty is a timeless and subjective thing. It’s only partially a matter of how you look on the inside. It’s also the result of the type of person you are on the inside and how much light and joy you choose to share with the world. For these reasons we should actually celebrate getting a little older each year, and embrace the current version of ourselves, no matter our age. 

That said, most of us also want to feel we’re presenting our personal best to the world each day. In order to source that confidence we can’t ignore the value of feeling like we look great! The way to accomplish outer beauty changes as we mature and old beauty tricks might not be very effective anymore. Check out these beautiful suggestions for women age fifty and older!

  1. Toss the powder based makeup. It creates a slight bit of visual texture and mature skin already has natural texture. It also tends to settle into creases. Time to enjoy the benefits of cream based cosmetics.
  2. Dial back the hue and boldness of your lipstick. It doesn’t have to be boring by any means, but if you choose something even a little closer to a neutral it will look more attractive. Truly bright lipstick can actually add age rather than detract from it.
  3. Pay some time and attention to your eyebrows. They have likely thinned and become faint. Eyebrows, however, are a very important part of a complete face. Use a pencil or angle brush and power to fill them in. Don’t go to the extreme though! 
  4. Dial back on the eye shadow and avoid anything with shimmer. When you do wear eye shadow use soft neutral colors and nothing too dark. Stay out of the crease as well. A little definition there is fine, but any more and it will make your eyes look more recessed than they are.
  5. Skip the BB cream and tinted moisturizers. As we age, our face benefits a great deal from an application of true foundation. Be sure it absorbs into the skin like a veil, and does not hover on top of it and look unnatural and forced. Also, match the color perfectly!

Three Ways To Decorate For Free With Household Items – Part 3

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

In our final installment we share with you one of the most entertaining ways to accomplish the goal of cost-free home improvement. This is just plain fun! 

Leftover paint

It’s common to keep the paint that is leftover after a home décor project. It’s usually for purposes of touch-up when someone dings the wall accidentally. But touch-ups require a miniscule amount of the leftover paint. Rather than waste the rest, use it to create a new color. You’ll feel like you’re back in kindergarten! Gather the paint leftovers from around the house, and grab a few stir sticks and a hammer.

Set up a secure workspace where a paint spill won’t be a problem. Use small plastic cups to mix small amounts of each color in varying proportions. Avoid large cups because they will require you to mix a lot of paint while you’re experimenting and you don’t want to waste it all during your mix experiment. Start small and add or subtract as necessary.

If you love the idea of this project, but feel rather uncertain about the science of color, plan ahead by doing a bit of internet research on color. You can also pick up a color wheel at the local craft store and reference it to see how color combinations typically turn out.

If, after some effort, you create a new color you love, it’s time to mix the big batch. Pour the ingredients into one of the large paints cans and mix vigorously with the stir stick. Determine if you need to make any slight adjustments. If not, hammer the lid down and give the can a massive shake. Voila! A whole new paint color. Use it on walls if you need to cover a small space like a recessed cut out. Better yet, use it for accessories like picture frames or wooden boxes. 

Three Ways To Decorate For Free With Household Items – Part 2

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

Next we are going to discuss innovative ways to spruce up your home décor using magazines. They are full of commercial artwork and photography, and high quality publications usually have exciting, stunning or impressive imagery. Reach for all those issues you’ve been relegating to a stack on the table and make something unique.

Magazines

One option is to display them on hangers. Opt for the ones you bring home from the drycleaner. The wire is small and subtle so it won’t distract from the magazine cover, and it can be spray painted to match the room. Hang one magazine on each hanger, about half way through the magazine so it hangs evenly. Use a nail or tack in the wall and hang the hanger on it.

You can hang just one as a focal point near a place where you might reach for it, such as a crafting magazine in your craft room. You can also hang several of them (each on their own hanger) in an interesting configuration on a wall. Choose a theme or design guideline when selecting which magazine covers to display. For instances, if you’re fashion lover, group your fashion magazines together. Avoid mixing random, unrelated magazine genres, or your collection will look disparate and the overall effect will be less interesting.

Another great way to display magazines is by hanging them on the horizontal towel racks in the bathroom. Many people now roll up clean towels and store them in a cabinet or basket. Rather than leave the towel racks empty, lay the magazines over them, and center them evenly so they don’t fall down.

Last, but not least, create something beautiful in your home for free by tearing pages out of the magazine. If you have old images in frames that you’re tired of looking at, replace them with one of the pages you tore out. Or, look around the house for extra photo frames that aren’t being used. If you don’t have either of these around and you want to accomplish the goal for free, find excess poster boards or paper bags around the house and lay them behind the torn out pages to give the appearance of a frame.

Next read Part 3 – Three ways to decorate for free with household items – Leftover Paint

Three Ways To Decorate For Free With Household Items – Part 1

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Empty Bottles and Jars

If you’re in the mood to do a fabulous new home decorating project but you don’t want to break the bank, try one of these three projects. They all use items that are typically lying around the house. They are fun to do and make for a great lazy afternoon distraction from life’s hectic pace.   

Although glass is not a rarity or luxury, it is used much less frequently than in past. Have you ever picked up something under the impression that it is made of plastic, only to be surprised by the weight of it because it’s actually glass? It’s a pleasant surprise to discover that jars and bottles are still made of glass.

There are several types and all shapes and size. Liquor bottles are often unique and well designed. Some are even display-worthy without any additional treatment. Wine bottles are classically beautiful as well. Both wine and liquor bottles make for interesting holders for taper candles. Display in a group of five and use varying heights and shapes. Or, put one single long-stem flower in each of them.

Jars also provide a creative way to make the most of glass containers. The possibilities with jars are numerous, but one lovely option is to use them for small, fresh bouquets of flowers. Tie a ribbon or twine around the neck of the jar to pull the piece together. 

They’re also great for storing dry goods, using additional free items from around the house to personalize them. Find extra pieces of fabric that are leftover from sewing or textile projects and cut them to size. Lay one over the top of the jar and secure it with a rubber band. If you have several, buy a two tier-rack and line it with 6-8 jars full various items.

With each of these suggestions we recommend removing the labels of the bottles and jars so they look clean and simple. To do so, use nail polish remover. You can also use lighter fluid, but not on items you’re going to use for candles! Once the labels are removed you essentially have a clean canvas. Unless the label is interesting or pretty – then, leave it as is and let it be part of the end result.

Next read Part 2 – Three ways to decorate for free with household items – Leftover Paint