Essential Products for Eco-Friendly Home Building

Whether you have purchased a plot of land to build your eco-friendly home from the ground up or you
are looking to tackle some upgrades on your existing structure (but reduce your carbon footprint in the
process), there are an amazing number of products on the market to help you meet all of your goals.
Okay, I know what you’re thinking; you’re going to end up with a concrete hobbit-hole of a home or
else it will look like it was cobbled together, shanty style, from whatever particle board castoffs you can
find in the “recycled” section of the lumber yard. Oh, and you’ll spend considerably more for this ill-
designed domicile. Right? Well, decades ago you may have been correct in these assumptions. But
thanks to the increased consumer demand for all things green, plenty of building manufacturers have
seen fit to offer products and services that are not only eco-friendly, but also attractive and affordable.
Here are a few that you may want to check out.

If you’re taking a ground-up approach, the obvious place to start is at ground level. While most people
are familiar with concrete foundations, few have heard about insulated concrete forms (ICFs), which
can be used in place of a wooden framework. They are strong and durable and they have insulating
properties, which make them a great option for areas that suffer severe weather (hot or cold). They are
also resistant to many environmental dangers that can adversely affect wooden structures, such as fire,
flood, mold, and termites. They are also fairly affordable and so much greener than deforestation.

And when it comes to fleshing out the walls of your home, consider structural [Read more…]

Small Home Improvements that Add Resale Value to Your Home

Times continue to be tough, and the housing market can be scary. If you’re thinking of selling your
home someday, you probably want to begin figuring out ways to improve the resale value of your
property without breaking the bank. Think about these tips that will help you save money as well as
bring your house into a more inviting condition.

The exterior. Consider the curb appeal of your home, which simply means looking at your from a more
objective viewpoint, usually that of a potential buyer. The first thing anyone will see of your home is
the outside, including your yard. This is one place that doesn’t take a lot effort to keep up. Make the
sure lawn stays mowed and watered. Pull any unsightly weeds. If you feel that you are lacking in the
landscape department, add a tree, a hedge, or some flowers (window boxes are attractive). Fix anything
that is broken or ugly. Add a coat of paint to windowsills or trims.

The bathroom. Along with the kitchen, this is one of the most important rooms in your house, and one
that buyers are going to want to investigate before they make any decisions. Replace the toilet seat or
even the sink, or simply add new handles. If the floor has seen better days, you can apply new tiles or
sheet vinyl directly over the old one.

The kitchen. Rather than hire someone to do it for you, practice your own kitchen remodeling
skills. Visit a home improvement store and [Read more…]

Decorating Your Home to Minimize the Time You Spend Cleaning

Home décor is not just a way to fill your space; it is a method of making your house into a home by
instilling the aesthetic you prefer. But every piece you add to the rooms in your house, from furnishings
and electronics to accessories like photos, lamps, pillows, and rugs, is one more item you have to clean
(or clean around). However, you don’t want your home to look like a monastery just so you can cut back
on housekeeping. So here are a few ways to decorate your space in order to make it both beautiful and
easy to clean.

1. Put furniture on sliders. You may not need to clean under and around furniture every time
you pull out the vacuum or mop, but you should do it once in a while, if for no other reason
than preserving your health. And if your furnishings are too bulky and heavy to move easily,
you’re probably not going to exert the effort very often. So think about putting them on sliders
or wheels (depending on the surface they’re on). This will make even large pieces easy to
maneuver for cleaning purposes and keep your hard flooring surfaces from becoming damaged
during cleaning.

2. Avoid unnecessary knick-knacks. The more stuff you have, the more time it will take you
to clean; that’s just common sense. Things in your home will not only need to be cleaned
themselves, but you’ll also have to clean around them. So if you find that the time needed to
clean your space keeps getting longer, perhaps you should think about ways to minimize the
clutter.

3. Keep collectibles enclosed. You may [Read more…]

Create a Labeling System to Get Your Home Organized

All of us would like to live in a house like Donna Reed’s, a spic-and-span domicile with nary a spec of
dirt or a couch cushion out of place. But the reality of most modern homes is that both parents work
(or there is only one parent in attendance) and between jobs, kids, pets, and everything else that life
throws at you, keeping your home clean and organized is the least of your worries. So you let things go
until suddenly you start to wonder if your house could be featured on an episode of Hoarders! Okay, it’s
probably not that bad, but if you’re facing some serious clutter and you’re not sure how to get it under
control, one of the best ways to organize your space is to create a system of labeling that ensures every
last thing has a place to go.

You’ll want to start, of course, with a massive decluttering. Sift through “stuff” in the living room,
dining room, bedrooms, bathrooms, home office, and even cupboards and closets. Clear out everything
that you don’t need and won’t use. Donate usable items to charity thrift stores (they often pick up),
including extra furnishings that are just taking up space, and toss anything that is broken, worn, or no
longer functional. Now that you’ve figured out what you’re going to keep, it’s time to decide where it’s
going to go; and storage space can be a problem.

If it quickly becomes clear that you really don’t have adequate storage to accommodate all of your stuff,
you need to see what you can do to expand your storage solutions. Cabinets and shelves can both be
helpful as long as they are appropriately sized for your space. Modular [Read more…]

W!N Big Red Tulip Boutique! Enter Here! 50.00 G!veaway @RedTulipBoutiqu

Red Tulip– everything for a city girl or a cowgirl! Your one-stop shop for all things home, accessory, shoes, jewelry, and decor!

I have a best friend who loves all things western. She is all about riding horses as well- and the girl does spend a lot of time on them! Since Red Tulip Boutique has gifts for both the Country Girl and City Girl- or the suburban girl, as the case may be!- it’s a great place to shop this year. I let my girlfriend pick out a purse from this site, since I knew she would go bananas for it- but when it got here I was SOOOOO jealous!

This is the Amanda Buckle Hobo in Black faux leather with a Tooled look- super cute. It’s fully lined, single handle, top zipper, inside pockets, back zippered pocket, and rests on four feet.
Speaking of cute- how cute is this???

The All Girls Rodeo Burnout Tee by Original Cowgirl Clothing Company- and if I had seen this shirt, my girlfriend may not have gotten the purse, LOL. OK- she would have still- but I LOVE [Read more…]

WAHM Home Office Design Tips

This is for all the work-at-home moms out there that are spreading their work hither and yon
throughout the household as they follow their kids around all day long: stop using your home as an
office! Okay, so if you’re working from home you might not think you have much choice, but the truth is
that you walk a fine line when you commingle your work with your family. And ultimately, you risk failing
at both pursuits if you don’t learn to divide them into two separate spheres. Your work suffers when
you’re distracted by kids, errands, and a house that needs cleaning, and your kids suffer when your
attention is split between them and your job. So do yourself a favor and set up a home office (with set,
but flexible hours). Here are a few design tips that will help you make the most of your work space.

1. Pick your paint. Believe it or not, the paint color you choose for your office could make a big
difference in how much work you get done in there. Even if you’re not into feng shui, you
probably like certain colors better than others because of the way they make you feel. So there
are two ways you can go. If your world is in chaos most of the time, you might want to go with
soft neutral shades or pastel colors (blues are especially nice) to calm you so that you can focus
on your work. But if you need some energy and inspiration, choose a bold and saturated color
that speaks to you. Warm tones like reds, oranges, and pinks will brighten your space and get
your creative juices flowing.

2. Furnish accordingly. Most people use the smallest room in the house for the office, which
means you will necessarily have to choose smaller furnishings. By going with modern, modular
pieces you can ensure that everything fits (and fits together). As [Read more…]

How to Know if You Have Bedbugs in Your Home

For quite a while, it was assumed that bedbugs had gone the way of the dodo, at least in places like
America where it seemed they had been eradicated by chemical pesticides. Unfortunately, they weren’t
even close to being completely exterminated throughout the world, and considering their penchant
for travel (and the fact that they can survive for up to a year without feeding), it’s no surprise that the
increase in global travel has allowed them to piggyback to places where they were previously thought to
be banished for good. But how can you tell if they’ve made their way into your home? Here are just a
few tips and tricks to help you identify bedbugs so that you can get them out for good.

First you need to learn what signs to look for, and contrary to popular belief, bedbugs are not hard to
spot. They are often confused with their microscopic cousins, mites. But in truth, an adult bedbug can
grow up to five millimeters in length (a little under a fourth of an inch). So if you’re looking for them,
you’ll find them. But how do you know where to look? And how will you know when you should start
looking?

The first thing you need to know about bedbugs is that it is exceedingly rare to find them on a person
or pet. They like to come out at night and feed (on your blood, unfortunately) and then return to their
hiding spots during the day. They prefer to nest in plush materials, which is why beds are an ideal home
for these critters. You may also find them in carpeting, furnishings, and even clothing. Pretty much
any surface in your home that isn’t hard could provide [Read more…]

Beautiful Sterling Anabella Palm Beach curtains- Perfect for your Little One’s room

I had a really, really hard time finding curtains for my son’s room.  As you know, we re-did it a few months ago, when he got his “Big Boy Bed”, and the only 2 things that I didn’t finish, were the curtains, and the toy box.  While I still have not found just the right toy box, I HAVE found great curtains, at Baby Bedding Zone.

These Sterling Anabella Palm Beach curtains are great- theyare heavy-duty to block out the sun in the early morning, which as any parent knows is a MUST HAVE for children’s or baby’s window treatments.  They are also very thick, and are lined, which keeps the drafts out in the winter, and the air conditioning IN in the summer. 

They would work well for windows of many sizes, since they are very long.  I had to hem these a bit, but there was no problem doing so, and they still look good in my little guy’s room. 
I was not originally going to go with white for his curtains- but since the rest of his room is so colorful, it really worked nicely, I think.  The green sash and boarder works with the rest of the room’s theme and colors, as well.  All in all, I think these would be a solid addition to any nursery, and would grow nicely with the child into their big kid rooms.

Here is a little more information about Sterling Anabella Palm Beach curtains-

“Never before has it been so easy to create the perfect room for your child. Each luxurious, soft-to-the-touch cotton drapery ensemble by Sterling Anabella has been designed to complement your sophisticated sense of style.
Set of 2 white pique drapery panels with scalloped edge trim in blue. Includes double sided tie back in white pique with blue accent color on reverse. Rod pocket top and white lining. 96″ long.
Made from 100% Egyptian cotton.”

Baby Bedding Zone is a great place for all your bedding needs!  Some of the cutest cribs in my opinion are the pirate crib beddingfrog crib bedding, and of course- jungle crib bedding!  Check them out for your decorating needs  🙂 

Disclosure- I received the above mentioned product for review.  All opinions are my own, yours may differ. 
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