What to Do Before Putting Your Home on the Market

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

You’ve loved your home for years and taken care of the house as much as it has taken care of your family.  Sometimes we find ourselves needing to relocate or find a larger or smaller home.  If you’ve taken care of the larger details getting ready to sell your home, such as replacing worn floors and applying fresh paint, what are the best things to do first to make it look more presentable? Find out what those things are and find a buyer quickly!

Have a yard sale. This will help you get rid of the clutter that can bring a house down. Buyers do not like to see clutter. They more or less like to see a blank slate. Having a yard sale is a great way to get rid of things you no longer need, as well as bring in some extra cash!

Hire a professional to maintain the yard. Curb appeal is very important to buyers. Having a professional maintain the lawn and shrubbery will help your home’s exterior look it’s very best!

Put extra furniture that is not needed in storage. This helps to achieve the “blank canvas” look that buyers are drawn to. This doesn’t mean place the dining room table in storage; we mean extra end tables and cumbersome pieces can be relocated. This will make the house feel more spacious. The more items in a room, actually makes it look smaller.

Clean out closets. Buyers love storage and actually want to see what storage options your house has to offer. If closets are jam packed, it is hard to take note of shelving and other storage organization the space has. A tidy closet is a benefit to any buyer.

Before showing your home, leave the doors open, lights on and have the place smelling nice. If the doors are closed the home will feel closed off. Having the doors open from room to room, makes the flow feel more open and natural. People want to be able to easily see that they are looking on; so keep the lights on and drapery pulled back. Make sure to have a subtle fresh scent throughout the home. You can use air fresheners or room spray. Just make sure the scent you choose is not a strong, overpowering scent. 

Bad Eating Habits to Kick

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It is no secret that eating better provides you with a healthier body and life. There are many mistakes that most people tend to make. Kicking these bad habits is easy if you remain aware of what you are putting into your body.

We as Americans tend to consume more salt than is necessary. Start by cutting back how much you season your food a little at a time. This will satisfy your flavor need and if done consistently, will continue to cut more salt out of your diet each day. The key to this tool is cutting back slowly. Gradually cut back on the amount of salt you put into meals and cut back the amount of salt you sprinkle on your plate. Other ways to flavor savory food is to use lemon juice. Lemon juice is especially good for flavoring veggies like squash and spinach as well as flavoring fish and seafood.

Cut back on meals containing red meat. Limit your red meat intake to two meals a week. Instead eat more white meat like chicken and fish. Be careful not to eat too much fish, however. Try and limit your fish meals to two a week and the rest can be chicken and vegetable based. Instead of making lasagna with red meat, use ground turkey or veggies that can replace the meat, such as eggplant.

Cut back on your sugar intake as well. Sugar is not needed in your body. However, there is sugar in most of the processed foods you consume. Cut back on sugar that is used to flavor drinks and food, the same way as previously stated for cutting back on salt, slowly and gradually. When you feel your sweet tooth taking over, keep a piece of fruit on hand. The sugar in natural fruit is much better for your body than cane sugar or sweeteners.

Read the labels on food you are considering purchasing at the grocery store. Especially look at how many grams of sugar are in one serving size and how many milligrams of salt are in a serving size.

Starting with small changes in your diet, you can make a big change in your overall health!

Burn More Calories During the Day

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There are some easy things you can do to burn more calories throughout the day. No matter if you are a stay at home mom, work from home or in an office, there are ways to increase your calorie burn throughout day to day life.

Dance while getting chores done. Play music in the back ground instead of TV. Listening to music will help you be more productive. It is easy to have the TV on in the background, but it usually means getting distracted. Listening to music also makes you want to move your body. Go with it and dance while you clean the kitchen or do laundry.

Do squats while you cook or stand at your desk. You can do this at the office and at home. Standing has been proven to increase productivity. Add doing squats and you will really get energized.

Lunge as you walk around. This is another exercise you can do daily at home, or in the work place (depending how easily you embarrass). Lunges burn calories and tone your lower body.

Take a brisk walk every day. After lunchtime is ideal. Generally this is the time of day where we feel sluggish. A five to ten minute brisk walk will burn calories, keep your metabolism going and make you more alert. If the weather doesn’t permit a walk, do jumping jacks instead.

Drink eight glasses of water a day. Water keeps your body running smoothly and helps maintain metabolism. The more water you drink, the less calorie packed drinks are consumed. Once you get used to drinking water, nothing else will be able to quench your thirst in the same way.

Drink green tea during the afternoon. It is thought that drinking three cups of green tea a day will help increase loss of belly fat. 

Introducing a New Pet to Existing Pets

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Introducing a new pet to existing pets should be done with great care. It is a bad idea to simply throw an animal into the mix. Animals need time to adjust to new smells of a new place and animals surrounding them. This information is based on introducing cats to your home, but dogs should be introduced with caution as well. Animals get to know one another through scent. This how to is based on keeping the new pet confined to a room for a couple of days.

Put the new pet into a room that is secluded where it can feel safe for the first couple of days. While in this space the pet can gather confidence and smell new smells of other animals in the home from under the door.

Cats need several days confined into their own room. A dog may only take a day or so to get acclimated. Make sure you’re visiting the pet in the other room several times a day and make sure the other animals in the house can hear you having a fun, positive time with the new pet.

After the first day or so confine existing pets into a kennel or secluded room. This way the new pet can have some time roaming the house throughout the day, leaving their scent around for existing animals to smell.

Make sure there’s an adequate amount of toys for each pet to play with. Once you feel the new pet is ready to have free reign of the house, make sure you monitor all pets to ensure all animal’s safety. It is important to introduce new pets with care to ensure a safety for all. Pay attention once all pets are intermingled and look for red flag behaviors from pets to know when to intervene.  

At Dolphin Carpet, we know how much your pets mean to you.  We have many options when you are looking for pet-friendly floor options, so feel free to ask any questions you may have!

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

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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!


  • 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


  • 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

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

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.