Showing posts with label Brite-Ideas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Brite-Ideas. Show all posts

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Life is Short, Make it Sweet

The Heart of Country Music - More Songs
With all that's going on in this world, it's important to focus on the simple things that make life beautiful.

As the song says, 'life is short, make it sweet'. The lyrics of this tune by Old Dominion remind us to spend time with those we love. Sunsets, fun and sharing time with each other, it doesn't get any simpler than that.

(Lyrics)
"I never gotta wonder where my honey be
I ain't savin' all my sugar for a Saturday Night
Seven days a week I got an appetite
The sunsets like a tangerine
Let's find a road we've never seen
Don't waste another mile or a minute not kissin' me
Life is short, make it sweet"

Make it Sweet is a Cheerful Song 

When you need a musical boost, blast this one on repeat. With life's twists and turns, it's not easy being 'seen'. Lolz. The good news is, when you take control of your thoughts and your environment, being seen is something you can control from within. I know, it all sounds cliché but I speak from experience and I've personally done the work.

For over four years now I've made a conscious effort and practiced that other old cliché, 'control your thoughts control your life'. Sure I'll slip up from time to time and unwittingly let someone rent space in my head, but not very often.

As soon as I feel my mental strength begin to diminish, I work to take back that control. It requires a conscious effort, until it becomes subconscious. The key is practice. It's no different than exercising the body: Takes time, takes repetition.

A quick tool I use to pull my mind away from unproductive tangents is word repetition.

Choose your word. Mine is 'Hope'. When the brain decides it wants to run my life, I take back my control by repeating my word over and over inside my head as many times as it takes until that noggin' of mine has forgotten the tangent it was on.

You'll slip up many times and in the middle of it forget you were using word repetition. No biggie. Just pull yourself back on track and start again. After years of doing this, bad thoughts and energy just begin to avoid you - they'll realize you're like Fort Knox, no getting in.



Music is One Road to Inner Peace

Make it Sweet by Old Dominion is the ideal, bring it back to the basics song. As soon as my husband and I heard it, we both smiled and agreed that the message was calming. The lightness of the tune helped to unweight the heaviness of the day.

Another Relaxation Option - The Zen Channel - Stingray Ambiance

If you have this channel, be sure to use it as a way to control the energy you allow in your home.

We mostly read our news now and our TV sets on the main level have Stingray Ambience on all day. They feature gorgeous scenes from all over the world with light music in the background. In fact we rarely watch regular TV now. We only tune into shows that interest us from time to time. We're not blocking out the world, we keep up-to-date online. We're just actively controlling our home's environment. Makes a big difference. It heals the soul.

Between aromatherapy, the Zen Channel and Make it Sweet, we're creating our own peace.

Here's to your happiness :)




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Sunday, March 10, 2019

Two Durable Plants that Have Survived for Over Twenty Years

After reading this article on Houzz about a plant that's hard to kill, I realized, heck that's the plant I have! It all makes sense now.

The photos on this page feature the two plants we've had in our family room for over twenty years.

I haven't been the best plant caretaker. Nobody in the house has.

These plants have even withstood a move from our previous home to this one. Yep, they're durable and as the article on Houzz says, hard to kill.

The Houzz article only references the Pothos plant. That's the leafy green plant positioned to the left in the photos. The plant on the TV stand is our spider plant. We've owned it for so long that I had to confirm it was indeed a spider plant.

Plants for the Forgetful and Neglectful

The Spider Plant and the Pothos Plant have both survived my flawed gardening thumb. But they're still my babies. Over the years I've learned to adopt a kinder loving nature towards them. I no longer ignore or forget them. They've taught me to be a better gardener.

As we get older I believe we become drawn to things that grow. Maybe it's when the kids are all grown-up that we itch to help another living thing grow again. I have to say that's kinda what happened to me.
These plants were patient, they knew I would eventually come around.
What I Did Right

These are the few basic things I did do correctly without knowledge or effort:
The flowers in the Pothos Plant aren't Real
The Spider Plant is Beside the TV

  1. I tried several locations in the home until I found the spot that gave them the right amount of light. They're by a window that gets the morning sun.
  2.  My mom once told me to never over water your plants. So I only water them about once a week. They almost dry out completely before their next watering. I have no idea if that's what these plants need, that's just how I roll.
  3.  Do plants like being close to each other? I dunno. But if they could talk I think they'd say they're family. So yah, for that crazy reason, they're positioned fairly close to each other.
  4.  Once in a while I clean up dead dry leaves.
  5.  I ask them how they're doing from time to time. Hubby cracks up.
What I Did Wrong

These are the few things I've done wrong.
  1.  I used to forget to water them for weeks. My poor baby plants. I no longer do that!
  2.  I never fertilize them. Yah I know, I should.
  3.  I've never transplanted them. 
  4.  I should probably freshen up their soil, so yah, I've never done that.
  5.  I used to keep them in a place where they didn't get enough light. However, that was just a guess on my part. They seem happy by the morning sun window.
A Few Things I Love About These Plants
  1.  The Pathos and the Spider plant clean the air
  2.  The Spider Plant is said to be an EMF (electric magnetic field) cleaner. I have it positioned near the tv for that reason as well.
So don't hesitate to become the mother or father of either the Spider or Pothos plants. In my book, they're durable and easy.

If you're looking for a little more guidance on plants and gardening, a fellow reviewer Olivia suggests the Old Farmer's Almanac, there's even a farmer's almanac calendar. Pretty cool.




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Sunday, March 3, 2019

An Essential Oil Diffuser Lives Up to All the Hype - Don't Hesitate to Get One

An Essential Oil Diffuser Lives Up to all the Hype
I've been waiting to review this Christmas gift. It's March now and since the holidays I've used it daily.

I'm ready to blurt out an all caps YES to this product.

Here on ReviewThis the essential oil queen is Lou16, so today's review of the HoMedics Diffuser is strictly from the non-expert, user only, perspective.

AND I LOVE IT.

Lou16 has written quite a bit about essential oils and I've paid attention.

Thanks to my kind Step Daughter's Christmas gift, I've not only tried it, but feel the need to use it every day! The operative words here are 'feel the need', because it's the first thing I do when I enter the family room now.

What I Love About It

The general consensus of essential oils is that they help with stress. In fact, you can read further detail about the benefits in Lou16's article, 'How Aromatherapy Can Enhance Your Life'.

I'm sure I'm using too much oil. I believe the box says to put 5 or 10 drops into the water. Honestly, I forget what it says. The aromas are so relaxing that I put as many drops as needed to fill the room with the gorgeous relaxing chosen scent.

Essential Oils DO NOT Smell Like Chemicals or Sprays

This was the main reason I avoided buying a diffuser - thinking the scent would be similar to an air freshener.

Was I wrong.

The essential oil drops go in a water compartment inside the diffuser. There's absolutely nothing chemical smelling about it. The aroma is magnificent.

My Favorite Essential Oils
My HoMedics Diffuser Beside the TV


Peppermint, Lemon, Orange and Eucalyptus. More than likely I won't try anything with a flowery aroma .. that's not up my alley.

AND yikes, I've used five bottles since Christmas. Yah I'm over doing it. Whatever, can't help it, love it.

The Most Aromatic Essential Oil Winner

Is …. drumroll ...Peppermint.

I use quite a few drops, maybe 15 or more. When people come into our house I usually hear "wow, what smells so amazing". Yep, it's the peppermint oil in the diffuser.

Get this, I hate peppermint, to eat it that is.

Apparently I was a colicky baby and mom used to put peppermint on my soother to calm me. Well thanks to that little solution, I grew up hating the taste of peppermint. Spearmint and wintergreen are fine, love to eat those, but still can't stand peppermint.

The subconscious mind is truly powerful, because strangely enough, the one thing peppermint I now love is it's aroma from essential oil. I don't even like peppermint tea (although I drink it from time to time), or to smell peppermint candies. However, in essential oil, I find it soothing, calming and I swear it makes my head feel clearer.

Guess what, I'm out of peppermint essential oil and am currently using 'orange'. It's really nice too, but for me, peppermint is king. I love lemon everything, and had anticipated loving lemon the best, but nope, it's my second fave.

What Kind of Diffuser Do I Have

The brand given to me was HoMedics. It's easy to use. The rotating colored lights gives the room a lovely ambience as well. The picture above shows it positioned next to our TV. That way, I not only smell it, I see the lovely lights when watching the tube.

Featured below are a few HoMedics Diffusers & Essential Oils

Scroll to see them all. The first diffuser featured is closest to the one I own.




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Sunday, February 24, 2019

Suggested Pieces for a Farmhouse Decor Theme

Décor Pieces for a Farmhouse Theme
Here are some suggestions for the Kitchen
If you're a fan of rustic or farmhouse home décor, you'll be happy to know it's not too difficult to pull that style together. Let's review several ideas.

Like all things rustic, think in terms of a variety of textures and you'll be on the right track. A mixture of wood, cloth, plants, whimsy, ceramic, and terracotta are a few examples of texture variety.

Below are several ideas, divided into four sections, to consider for your rustic themed room:

1. Wall Planks - Shiplap

If you're not into doing an entire wall with wood, use a wall graphic with a faux shiplap or plank look to it. If putting up a wall mural is still more work than you planned for, put up canvas art featuring a faux wood plank background. Check out some of the products featured here.

2. You NEED a Cow Ottoman. Period.

Another way to get funky with your rustic décor is to add humorous pieces. This cow ottoman is sure to cause a smirk or a belly laugh. You can put it anywhere. Add it to a living room, an office a cow themed baby's room or even the master bedroom, where there should always be a bit of humor!


3. Terracotta Pots and Wire Baskets

Sounds too simple. These two décor items fit nicely into a farmhouse theme. Use wire baskets for storage and decoration and use terracotta pots for the same. Feature them on the counter, on the wall, as a centerpiece or, if large enough, as a stand alone item. You can view a broad selection of terracotta pots and wire baskets here.

4. Whimsical Rooster Area Rugs

Rooster rugs are popular! Yep. They're not only made for rustic farmhouse décor themes, they also hold a special meaning. Did you know that including roosters in your décor is suppose to bring you good luck? Roosters symbolize courage and a readiness to face the day. Maybe that's why they make such a racket every morning. You can find a selection of rooster rugs here.

Remember, you don't have to do a complete redo, you can add accessories to create a theme.

Have fun!


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Sunday, February 17, 2019

A Country Song About Homelessness - A Moving Reflection in Words

A moving empathic country song about homeless
Somebody's Daughter by Tenille Townes - A Song Review

I love the rasp and uplifting ache in Tenille Townes voice as she sings this song. The story and lyrics paint a clear picture of a person whose life wasn't easy. It reminds us that, except for our circumstances, we're all the same.

This country song is about homelessness. It's about those moments we pass by someone at an intersection holding up a cardboard sign asking for money, for help.
"Oh I don't know the reasons why I'm the one whose driving by and she's the one on the corner of 18th street...bet she was somebody's best friend, back when she was somebody's sister counting change at the lemonade stand"
This mid tempo song will touch your soul.


I remember first hearing it on the radio in my kitchen, and because I wasn't listening very closely to the lyrics, the song passed me by without a notice. For me, ninety-nine percent of the time, it's the story first the music second.

The next time I heard the song I happened to be driving. It's then I took the time to listen to the story behind the words.

The Inspiration Behind Tenille Townes Writing This Song

The tune was inspired during a drive Tenille Townes took with her mom while in Nashville, Tennessee. They saw a homeless person standing with a sign and began wondering out loud about this person's life story. Personally I've wondered the same myself. I suspect that's the reason this song touched me so deeply.
The song reminds us that "she was somebody's best friend, somebody's first kiss, somebody's daughter".
What do We Do When We See Someone Standing With a Cardboard Sign Asking for Help?

Many times I've handed out a bit of money. People have said to me, "oh that's a con, they're lazy, they're not deserving". Well I'm sorry, but the onus is not on me to prove their truth. The recipient has to deal with the truth of the situation. I'm not prepared to conclude that every single soul who does this isn't being honest. I believe most are truly suffering. I would rather be kind than be judgemental about that situation, but that's me. I just give, you never know who you've helped.

Who is Tenille Townes

Tenille Townes is a rising Canadian Country Music Artist from Grand Prairie, Alberta, Canada. In 2011 she was nominated at 17 years old for Canadian Country Music Female Artist of the Year. Her career is off and running. In 2018 she opened for Miranda Lambert and Little Big Town on The Bandwagon Tour. 

Her Grand Ole Opry Debut

She's also recently enjoyed the honor of performing at the Grand Ole Opry. That was a big deal for her family and friends! Watch and listen to Tenille Townes in her own words describe her amazing experience. She's a class act.



Big Hearts for Big Kids - Her Cause
In over nine years, she's raised $1.5+ million dollars for Sunrise House, a shelter for homeless youth in Alberta Canada. A cause she generously dedicates her time and name to.

Here's a brief video on her 2018 Fundraiser, Big Hearts for Big Kids:



Homelessness - The Stats and Where to Learn More 

It's roughly estimated that between 150,000 and 300,000 people in Canada are homeless at some given time. In 2017 approximately 5 million people in Canada lived in poverty. Canadians can learn more about homelessness and what can be done here at The Homeless Hub.

According to the Voa.org, in the United States in 2017 approximately 553,000 Americans were homeless on a given night, 40 million struggled with hunger and 40.6 million officially lived in poverty. The US population is approximately 325 million. To learn more about poverty in the USA and how you can help, visit the Voa.org/homeless-people.

"I believe those who suffer the most teach us the most" - by me
The Heart of Country Music








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Sunday, February 10, 2019

The Basic Rules for Choosing Colors to Decorate Your Space

How to Choose Colors for Your Space: 1. Mood, 2. Temperature, 3. Harmonies
Looking at a room and making choices can be overwhelming. No need to fret, just keep these three basics in mind as you tackle your project: Mood, Temperature, Harmonies

1. Mood

In a previous home decor article we discussed how choosing the mood for your room was the first essential step to starting a decorating project.

Once you've established the mood, be it light and airy or warm and cozy, you need to then determine the color scheme for your space.

2. Temperature

Warm Color Choices for Home Décor

Red, yellow and orange, and variations of them, are considered warm colors.

If your goal is to create a space that feels like being wrapped in a blanket, safeness and security, then dominate your space with warm colors.

Where we live also determines our approach to decorating. Standard logic applies: Colder climates lean towards warmer decorating themes and warmer climates attract cooler décor themes. However, don't be guided by that, do what you like.

Cool Color Choices for Home Décor

Blue, greens and light purples fall into the cool color category. Cool colors remind us of water and the sky. Depending upon how you mix and match colors they can also reflect the feeling of ice and snow.

Think about nautical themes where multiple shades of blue are used, and you'll get a good idea of what cool energy is suppose to feel like.

3. Harmonies - Use the 60-30-10 Rule

Decorate using the 60-30-10 rule. It's an easy to understand basic rule outlining percentage of color use.

60 Percent: The main color occupies 60 percent of the space. Use this color for larger areas such as furniture, walls and flooring.

30 Percent: The secondary color choice would consume 30 percent of the décor in the space. Logically you would use the next obvious items to feature this color. Items to consider in this shade would be drapes, smaller furniture pieces, bedding and even an accent wall.

10 Percent: The third color choice would be used for smaller accessories such as throw blankets, pillows, lamps and wall art.

How to Put it All Together - Choosing the Actual Colors

1. You've selected the mood. Check.
2. You've decided upon the temperature. Check.
3. Now you need your 60-30-10 color scheme

BUT...

You're not sure how to choose the actual colors for the 60-30-10 rule.

Last week we discussed Pantone's color of the year for 2019. In that article three color schemes were outlined, however there are several more to consider.

Here's a brief summary of color harmonies:

1. Triadic Color Scheme - Three colors evenly spaced on the color wheel
2. Square Color Scheme - Four colors evenly spaced on the color wheel
3. Complementary Colors - Colors directly opposite each other on the color wheel
4. Analogous Color Scheme - Colors that are adjacent to each other on the color wheel
5. Monochromatic Color Scheme - Involves all the shades in one particular color
6. Achromatic Color Scheme - Unsaturated or near neutral colors such black, browns, greys or any hue or lightness

Here's a sample of a color wheel so you can see quadrants and opposites at a glance. 




A Personal Choice Video from Wayfair that Explains 60-30-10 and Color Schemes

If you learn best by watching videos, this one is easy to understand. Before tackling your next decorating project, start by watching this:


Here's to your decorating freedom, have fun :)


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Sunday, February 3, 2019

What is Pantone's Color of the Year for 2019?

What is Pantone's Color of the Year for 2019?
A Review of How Pantone Nails it Again with Their Choice for 2019's Color of the Year

Each year Pantone chooses the color based on what hue best represents what's needed most in society.

The 2019 color choice was based on friendly, joyous, and cheerful human connection. With the overwhelming influence of digital technology consuming our lives, 2019's color represents a step back into human, earthly connection.

The 2019 Color of the Year is Living Coral 16-1546

Living Coral as explained by Pantone represents nature and connection.
"Living Coral emits the desired, familiar, and energizing aspects of color found in nature. In its glorious, yet unfortunately more elusive, display beneath the sea, this vivifying and effervescent color mesmerizes the eye and mind. Lying at the center of our naturally vivid and chromatic ecosystem, PANTONE Living Coral is evocative of how coral reefs provide shelter to a diverse kaleidoscope of color" - by Pantone.com
Why Does Pantone's Color of the Year Matter?

If you don't care, it doesn't matter. However color surrounds us from cradle to grave and most of what we do involves color.

BUT remember, color represents feelings. Our feelings often dictate our life. Those wiser than us know how to harness it.

Every color evokes emotion. Color means something, says something and is used by companies to sell you stuff. So even if you don't care, color is affecting you, sometimes subliminally.

Color of the Year Drives Trends from Fashion to Home Décor

You're not going to choose the design for a room based on the color of the year are you? Actually if you love the 2019 color of the year and want to recreate it's energy for a space, then yes you will.

This particular shade of coral encompasses several percentages of multiple colors:
  • 98.82% red
  • 46.27% green
  • 41.47% blue
How to Choose Colors to Match Living Coral in Your Room's Design

Without getting overly technical, using the diagram below, I've outlined a few fundamentals about color.

Choosing Colors for a Room Design Featuring Living Coral
You aren't tied to these specific shades, but to help you make choices, the above colors are the ones chosen for the harmonies below.

TRIAD Color Harmony for Your Room:
When you're using a triadic color scheme you choose three colors evenly spaced around the color wheel. Notice on the above photo that two colors are labelled 'Triad'. Both of those colors, plus the 'Living Coral' are evenly spaced on the color wheel. If you're comfortable with these shades, the color choices are done for you. Go ahead and pick accessories such as rugs, drapes and wall color based on these three colors.

SQUARE Color Harmony for Your Room:
A square color scheme are four colors equally spaced around the color wheel. Again, to make it easier for you, match 'Living Color' with the three boxes above labelled 'Square'.

COMPLEMENTARY Color Harmony for Your Room:
Complementary colors are opposite each other on the color wheel. When you want to have a particular item or items stand out in the space, use a complementary color. However, keep them to a minimum to avoid your room being too stark.

INVERTED Colors:
The inverted color featured above is the 'inversion' or inside out version of 'Living Color'. Use it for accessories or other items you want to stand out or pop in the space. One example could be pillows and throw blankets.

The above is just a brief outline of color combinations for 'Living Coral'. There are many other hues and combinations that work.

Here are a Couple of Bedroom Accessories to Inspire You:




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Sunday, January 27, 2019

Review of the Meaning Behind Different Colored Roses

The Meaning Behind Different Colored Roses
Did You Know that Each Rose Color Has a Unique Meaning?

With Valentine's Day around the corner, there's nothing carved in stone that says you have to give Red Roses.

If you want to send a different message, check out the meaning of each colored rose as described below. Once you determine what you really want to say, send a dozen roses of that color instead.

Red Roses

This one you know. It generally means "I love you". Sending red roses tells the person in no uncertain terms that you love them. It also speaks to beauty and lets the person know, that in your eyes, they're perfect just the way they are.

Yellow Roses

If you want to send someone a flower that expresses thanks for the friendship you share, yellow roses are a good choice. Yellow roses tell the person that they make you happy and you're thankful to have them in your life.

Lavender (Purple) Roses

If you've just met someone and you've got that love-at-first-sight thing going on between the two of you, then sending them purple roses says you're eager to continue and grow this unexpected relationship. Purple is also associated with Royalty, so if you happen to fall in love with a Prince or a Princess at first sight, send them purple roses.

White Roses

If you're looking to send flowers to someone you just met, white roses are the ideal choice. They're used in weddings to symbolize new beginnings but you don't have to be getting married to experience a new beginning. Don't hesitate to send them in the case of anything new; new job, new baby, new friendship, new love.

Pink Roses

Is there someone in your life that you admire? If so, send them pink roses. Perhaps it's a person who has accomplished a great deal, been an awesome friend or set an unparalleled example with their life. Sending your mother pink roses speaks to your admiration for her. Pink also represents gracefulness. For the person with high integrity and who behaves in a classy manner, pink is their flower.

Orange Roses

Orange roses speak to your excitement about being with a person. You're anxious to take on new adventures with them and your relationship is all about enthusiasm and, where applicable, desire. Give orange roses to the person you want to take on the world with. It doesn't have to be a love interest. In fact, if it's a good friend, give them a combination bouquet of yellow, orange and white roses.

Peach Roses

Do you want to send someone a 'Thank you'? If so, then peach roses deliver that message. If you're grateful for someone and what they've done for you, or for just being in your life, peach roses say it without words. When you want to show someone how much you appreciate them, add peach roses to your bouquet.

Now that you understand the general meaning of each rose, consider the message you want to convey and either mix and match them or give a dozen of one color.

If real flowers aren't doable, here's a collection of faux bouquets to send to that special someone:




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Sunday, January 20, 2019

5 Hacks to Make Your Bedroom Look Expensive Without Spending a Fortune

5 Hacks to Make Your Bedroom Look Expensive
Getting Our Homes to Look Anything like the Designs we See on TV or Pinterest Can be Frustrating!

Don't sweat it. Your home should reflect your taste. For most of us it not only reflects our taste, but unfortunately our budget as well.

For us average souls, the budget usually prevents us from spending obscene amounts of money on our décor.

The thing is, with a little creative thinking you can dress up your bedroom without spending oodles of cash. 

Here are 5 Basic Suggestions to Help You Achieve an Expensive Look in Your Bedroom Without Spending a Fortune

1.  Floor to Ceiling Drapes

Even if your bedroom has small windows, bring the curtain rod to one inch below the ceiling and feature long drapes that go to the floor. With floor to ceiling drapes, when your drapes are closed your room will appear large and elegant.

You can also put up drapes wider than the window. In fact, you can put them wall to wall no matter the size of the window.

2. Place a Chair in the Room

Don't use a chair from a table set. Place a chair in the room that has a bit of substance. Something that adds elegant bulk to the space, and something with cloth material. A few examples are featured below. Scroll to view all of them.


3. Add A Thick Luxurious Blanket or Comforter Folded at the End of the Bed

This is a trick I do in my home. Adding a decorative blanket at the end of a bed gives you the opportunity to increase the room's texture, color and style. Depending upon the design of your room, use the blanket to make a statement based on what the space needs.
  1. Does it need more bulk? If so, add a thick soft comforter folded at the end of the bed to give the room that warm lush look.
  2. Does it need more color? If so, add a blanket with a pop of color at the end of the bed.
  3. Does it need a slimmer leaner look? Then add a thin blanket at the end of the bed
The secret to adding blankets to the end of the bed is to have them reach over the sides of the bed by about a foot or so on each side. Don't let it go to the floor though. If you place a blanket that doesn't drape over the side, it looks like an after thought.

Also, make sure it's folded nicely. A blanket in a messy heap loses it's impact and intent. Pull it tight to get all the wrinkles out.

Before you go out and purchase a new 'end-of-the-bed blanket', check your linen closet. You might have something stored away that will work.

4. Upgrade Your Lamp Shades

Plain old lamp shades can drag down a room. Take a look around your space and if the room lacks color, texture or patterns, then lamp shades are the ideal place to add these elements.

However, to keep the room classy don't go for lamp shades that have tassels or pompoms. Keep them conservative in style but interesting in design or texture.

Below are some example lamp shades to help spurn your creativity. Scroll through to view them all.
5. Change the Hardware on Your Dressers

If your furniture needs a pick-me-up, change the hardware.

Add elegant interesting handles on your end tables and dressers. With aged and tired furniture, let the hardware do the talking. Draw the eye to the new fixtures by using a metal that pops rather than blends.

If these five tips are not option, check out this article on how to decorate a bedroom without any money....


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Sunday, January 13, 2019

Add Love in Your Home Decor for Valentine's Day

Love Themed Home Décor Items
Love Décor for the Entire Year

Most of us rarely think about adding home décor that relates to a love theme. It's a beautiful way to honor our families and each other.

Here are some ideas for you:

1. Add a Heart Themed Rug to a Room

The nice thing about a heart themed rug is that it works no matter what time of year it is. If you have someone celebrating a birthday in February, it makes a terrific original gift. You'll notice there are many styles and colors in heart rugs to choose from. One of my personal faves is the pompom heart rug for a child's room. Be sure to check them out, you can find them here.

2. Add a Love Themed Wall Decal to a Room

There are countless wall decals that speak about family and love. A famous quote we've heard over and over is "All Because Two People Fell in Love". Add this quote to any room in the home, including a child's room. In fact, if someone you know is having a baby, this wall decal makes an excellent gift. You can find several featured here.

3.  Redecorate a Room with a Love Themed Bedding Set

With spring coming up, you may be feeling the itch to redecorate. If so, why not create a room that's all about love.

It can be a child's room, a guest room, or the master bedroom. Love themed bedding will stand the test of time. If you're not into changing your existing comforter, put a new duvet over it. That way when you tire of the love themed bedding, you can remove the duvet and get your room back to it's original state.

A guest room or child's room is an ideal place to go to town with a love theme. In fact you can incorporate the rug and wall decal suggestions featured here to complete the look. Check out a few lovely bedding sets here.

4. Put a Kindred Hearts Light Box in a Room

These are great! They serve a double purpose, ambient lighting and inspiration.

It's a decorative box that lights up. However, the best part is you can collect pre-made quotes and art to insert inside the box.

Collect a bunch of them and change them up for every holiday or special occasion. There are countless inserts to collect: birthdays, holidays, inspirational quotes, valentines day, Easter, Christmas, fun, jokes, patriotic holidays and more.

The inserts make an excellent small gift to bring to someone who you know has the light box already. Keep adding to their collection. Place one of these light boxes in your love themed bedroom and feature a quote about love.




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Sunday, January 6, 2019

Maximizing Space in a Small Living Room

The New Year normally brings about the urge to tidy up and get organized.

3 Ways to Maximize Space in a Small Living Room
If you're working with a small space or have recently downsized, utilizing every nook and cranny is the secret to effective space management.

Going vertical is a smart and common way to use every bit of space in a tiny room. However, choosing furniture with a dual purpose is often the forgotten alternative.

With small space living becoming more popular, you may be surprised that just about every piece of furniture in a home can double as something else.

Below are three examples where you can choose pieces for your room that aren't just pretty, but are also storage and sleeping solutions.

Furniture Pieces that Maximize Space in a Living Room

1. Chairs that Convert to a Bed

You've heard of the pull-out-couch, but have you heard of the pull-out-chair? They come in multiple styles and colors. A chair that converts to a bed is exactly that, it unfolds and becomes an extra place to sleep. If a sofa bed isn't something you want to include in your small living room, but still require an extra place for guests to sleep, then consider including one or more sleeper chairs. You won't be disappointed when you look at the variety of designs available. The styles range from funky and modern to traditional. Be sure to check them out.

2. End Tables that Double as Storage or Filing Cabinets

Trunk end tables are very attractive. Perhaps you've seen some or have one in your home. They come in multiple designs, sizes and color choices.  The boxy industrial appeal to this look make it ideal in a room where substance in accessories is needed. These pieces tend to be solid and heavier in appearance. Place them on the ends of a sofa, or in a corner as a stand alone piece.

You can also get end tables that double as a filing cabinet. If you're furnishing a small apartment, these end tables are perfect as a place to store your most important and used files. Since they don't take up a lot of space, you can put them anywhere in the home or apartment. Like storage trunk end tables, they can be used in pairs or as stand alone furniture pieces.

3. Coffee Tables that Double as a Desk and Storage

Did you know that a coffee table doesn't just have to be a coffee table? Coffee tables that double as a work surface are called lift tables. The tops lift up and you're able to bring them closer to you and use the surface as a work area for your laptop or papers. Best of all, these tables offer storage as well. Each lift table is unique in design and color and the amount of storage available. Choose the one that best fits your space.

In summary, picture a living room featuring all of the above items. You've accounted for extra sleeping space, extra storage space, a place for files, a desk with storage, and all of it discretely blends into one room.


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Sunday, December 30, 2018

How to Clean Silver & Other Metals

An unexpected product that cleaned our silver
like nothing ever has!
For the past thirty-five years I've cleaned our silver using an electrolytic cleaning plate. I bought the plate in 1980's. It's a common and popular way to clean silver.

An electrolytic cleaning plate works with hot water and a water softener, Calgon. I've never used another water softener with it, only Calgon.

I wanted to clean the silver today and was out of Calgon, so thanks to google I tried baking soda and Borax with the cleaning plate. Neither worked very well. 

My husband, the car cleaning fanatic saw me struggle trying to clean the silver and jumped in and said, "I have a product that will clean that". When he demonstrated it, I was shocked at how amazing it worked!

Get this, he used Mothers Mag and Aluminum Polish for All Metals. He uses it to clean many items, including the rims on the car wheels. He swears by it.

The best way to explain this product is to show you via the photos featured below:

Our Silver Tea Set was Severely Tarnished
(The photo is blurry because it's cropped from a larger photo)

Unfortunately I hadn't cleaned our silver tea set all year. By the time the holidays rolled around, the tea set was a mess. As mentioned above, I used the electrolytic cleaning plate but it didn't work well because I was out of water softener. However, the electrolytic cleaning plate has NEVER cleaned the silver like this.

Here's Our Tea Set after Hubby Used 
Mother's Mag and Aluminum Polish on it!

This is not an exaggeration, our set has never looked this clean! It looks almost new now. Hubby didn't just do this quickly though, he was thorough. Check out the photos below for the steps to follow.
He Used a Toothbrush to Clean the Pieces
Where Intricate Areas Need Detailed Attention

I had already attempted to clean the above piece using the electrolytic cleaning plate, but it just didn't come clean without Calgon. So again, hubby used Mother's Mag and Aluminum Polish on it. He detailed it using a toothbrush.

Here's the finished result! 

I'm shocked at how amazing the Mag and Aluminum Polish works! Our silver hasn't looked this clean for years.

Here's a Close-up of our Polish
Step by Step How-to Instructions:
  1. Apply polish on the surface with a microfiber cloth
  2. For detailed hard to clean areas use a toothbrush
  3. With the toothbrush work the polish into all the crevices and tight spots
  4. You can put a cloth over the toothbrush to help get into the tight spots
  5. Let it dry for three or four minutes
  6. Then remove the polish with a microfiber cloth, keep using multiple cloths if they get too dirty
  7. Repeat until the product is cleaned
  8. When done, give it a final polish with the microfiber cloth
  9. The final step is to clean the silver with a little bit of dish soap and water. Give it a quick wipe down, then dry it. You don't need to submerge the pieces in water. Just dip the cloth in water, wipe the silver piece, then dry it thoroughly.
Note, my husband cleaned our silver tea set and five other pieces in just over two hours.

If I had to choose between an Electrolytic Cleaning Plate and the Mother's Mag and Aluminum Polish, it's the Mag and Aluminum Polish all the way!



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Sunday, December 23, 2018

DIY Battery Gift Storage Hack

When You Have to Add Batteries to a Gift but Don't Want to Put Them Inside the Item, Try This Hack

During the holiday's or for special occasions, it's safe to say once in a while we purchase gifts that require batteries.

Purchasing batteries in bulk is convenient and affordable. However, when you have to include four or more batteries in a gift, batteries purchased in bulk means there's no package to put them in.

It's not recommended to put batteries inside the item you've purchased as the batteries can begin to lose their charge from that point. Also, if you're buying a gift months before you plan to gift it, it's always best to keep the batteries separate.

Of course you could individually tape each battery onto the inside of the box, however that's not always convenient.

There's another easy hack you can use to store batteries inside a gift. Check out this hack I used to include batteries for a remote control car purchased for a grandchild:


Gift Card Holders - A DIY Hack to Store Batteries for Gifts
At the dollar store, purchase a package of gift card holders. You'll normally be able to find them for multiple occasions throughout the year. In this case, the batteries are for a Christmas Gift.

This Gift Card Box Holds Six Batteries
This remote control car needed six batteries. I lucked out in that one gift card box holds six batteries. If you want to give extra batteries for future use, simply fill another gift card box with six more batteries.

Tape the Gift Card Box filled with Batteries to the Inside of the Item's Box
Depending on the gift you're giving, find a place to tape the gift card box filled with batteries inside the actual gift item's box. Tape the gift card box to the item's box to prevent it from flying around inside.

So go ahead and get batteries in bulk and add them to gifts whenever your heart desires. Get your gifts early, add the batteries, wrap them and keep them until that special occasion comes along.


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Sunday, December 16, 2018

How to Create a Zodiac Sign Themed Party

If you're planning a zodiac themed party, below you'll find ideas to help get you started.

Your astrology party is all about the décor, the games, the prizes and the food. Anything you do that incorporates astrology will work. Incorporate one or all of these suggestions:

1. The Decorations and Accessories
  • Use wine glasses that feature each zodiac sign. Depending on the size of your party, and budget permitting, determine how many wine glass duplicates you'll need. In other words, if you have more than one person per zodiac sign, you'll need multiple wine glasses in that sign.
  • If purchasing wine glasses for multiple signs to cover all the zodiac signs is too expensive, then opt for astrology wine charms. Get multiple sets so that each person can grab their astrology sign wine charm and attach it to their wine glass.
  • Use zodiac astrology table cloths and napkins. Of course you can purchase the table cloths, however, to save money, you can also DIY this part of your décor. Get plain white tablecloths from the dollar store, and use a permanent marker to write a sign or multiple signs directly onto it. If you're having a large party and happen to have twelve tables, give each table a sign name. If you only have a few tables, or one table, write multiple sign names on each. You could split up the groupings according to the zodiac elements, Earth, Fire, Water, and Air.
  • Use the symbols for each sign as wall décor. As an example, Leo the Lion, Taurus the Bull, and so on. That gives you twelve posters to feature around the room.
  • Use crystal balls as table center pieces.
2. The Games and Entertainment
  • Budget permitting, hire a Psychic for the party! If nothing else, it will get everyone talking!
  • On twelve large sheets of paper, write 5 personality traits that typically represent each sign. Put the sheets on the wall where everyone can see and read them. Then, on a piece of paper, have people write which sign matches each of the 12 traits. The top three winners each get a prize.
  • Print out the constellations for each sign, or buy the posters of each, and have people match the astrology sign name with the constellation. Again, they'd write their answers down and hand them in to be graded for the winning prize.
  • Play scrabble, but add a rule that all words have to be astrology, astronomy, or space related.
  • Create a music playlist that features songs that are mystical or space related
3. Prize Ideas for Your Astrology Party
  • Astrology fridge magnets that give the traits of the person. Here's an example.
  • Astrology T-shirts
  • Lottery Tickets
  • Crystals that represent each sign
  • A Moon Lamp
  • Books about Astrology
  • A Trip to Mars (They'll have to settle for a book about it)
4. Food Ideas for Your Astrology Party
  • Cupcakes with each Zodiac sign spelled out in Icing on top
  • Have a speciality cake made that highlights all 12 of the zodiac signs on it
  • Homemade or store bought moon pies
  • Cheese balls (the moon), 
  • Vegetables trays in the shape of each zodiac sign
  • Foods related to each zodiac sign
  • Use each element to categorize foods: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. Choose foods related to each one. Use fruits, veggies, meats for Earth - Air chilled meats and popcorn for Air - Spicy foods for Fire, and Seafood for Water.



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Sunday, December 9, 2018

10 Easy Ways to Personalize a Birthday Party

If you're planning a birthday party but want it to be personalized, here's a list of affordable ways you can accomplish your goal:

1. Make A Personalized Card:

Make the card from scratch on your own, or have the kids do it. There are numerous places online where you can design your own. Zazzle.com is a popular place to create custom cards. If you're sending out invitations, you can personalize them to reflect the chosen theme of the party.

2. Write a Personal Message Inside Your Birthday Card:

Writing personal messages is probably one of the most valuable gifts you can give. Get inspired from some of the personal messages here. Use them as is, or modify them to fit what you really want to say.

Place a giant card on the wall, or at a table where everyone can write their own personal message inside of it. When a card fills up, bring out another one.

3. Personalize a Birthday Cake, Say More than Just Happy Birthday:

Who says a birthday cake has to say, 'happy birthday'. Have a funny quote, loving message, or other pertinent saying displayed on the cake. If you need some ideas on what to write, you can find a list of suggestions here. Have the balloons behind the cake with the words 'happy birthday' on them. That way you still have 'happy birthday' expressed with the cake.

4. Create a Birthday Playlist:

Music makes the party. Put together a playlist of birthday themed songs, or songs that express messages about growing up, aging and celebrating milestones. If you need some help finding the songs to include, here's a place with unique and lovely birthday song ideas.

5. Decorate a Birthday Tree:

Pick a tree that works best for the space your party is in. Decorate the tree with photos of the birthday person, items important to them, birthday ornaments, personal messages written on cards, plus anything else pertaining to the birthday person's life. Use tree lights that include their favorite color. 

6. Party Favor Bags Made with Retro Candy from the Birthday Person's Generation:

You can find retro candy from many places online. Amazon usually has every decade covered in this department. Who doesn't like the candy from their childhood! It's a personal and thoughtful party bag favor to create.

7. For Large Parties, Name the Tables after Major Events or Famous People from the Birthday Person's Generation:

Name each table based on the birthday person's interests. If they love current events, give each table a name pertaining to a news event of that time. Or, if they love the movies use movie names or actors. If they're big fans of music, name the tables after famous singers of that day.

8. Personalize Napkins for the Party:

You can personalize just about anything these days. Decorate each table setting with personalized napkins. Choose napkins in their favorite color and have their name or favorite quotes featured on them. Position one on every plate to add to the décor.

9. Use Tablecloths that Reflect their Year of Birth:

Again, there are multiple angles you can use here. News events, décor themes, tv shows, music or games. If you search online you're sure to find tablecloths that tie into what you're looking for.

10. Have Guests Dress Up in Clothes that Reflect the Year the Person was Born or the Year they were a Teenager:

By doing this, you've turned the event into a costume party. If full costumes are too much, have people show up wearing one piece of clothing that reflects the era you want to the party centered around. Clothing ideas are: Wigs, scarfs, hats, shirts, pants, ties or bow ties, skirts, dresses, shoes and belts.



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Sunday, December 2, 2018

Purple Home Decor - One Stop Shopping for Purple Items

Find Purple Home Décor Items Here
Last week I featured one stop shopping for blue home décor, this week's color is purple.

Shopping online can be a time consuming effort.

People shop in many different ways. What I've personally found is that shopping for home décor by color can be quite difficult.

Sure, there are a ton of purple decorating items to choose from on the internet, but that in itself, is the problem.

Products are everywhere. Too many choices with too much cross referencing.

No wonder Amazon locked up the shopping market! They put multiple sellers under one umbrella.

Most of us shop at the same fairly well known stores; Kohls, Target, Amazon, Macys, Wayfair, Zulily and several other standard favorites.

How to 'Shop-by-Purple' From Multiple Popular Stores all in One Place

1. Go here to start shopping for purple home décor. Scroll down to the 9 category photos.

2. Inside each category are personally selected purple décor items from multiple popular stores.  

3. Click on the category photo for a drop down of purple home décor items right there on the page. 

4. You'll see pricing and the store the item is available from, directly on page. 

5. To get further information on the item just click the product photo or link and you'll be taken to that department store. Easy peasy.

As on the blue home décor page, you'll notice 9 home decorating categories to find your purple pieces:
  • Purple Bedding Sets
  • Purple Couches
  • Purple Nursery Décor
  • Purple Area Rugs
  • Purple Chairs
  • Purple Drapes
  • Purple Side Tables
  • Purple Artwork
  • Purple Lamps
Items in each category are frequently updated. Be sure to check back to look at new suggestions.

Also, Don't Miss Funkthishouse on Pinterest

Follow Funkthishouse on Pinterest. There you'll find a vast number of boards related to home decorating.

Here's a sample of what you'll find on the Purple Home Décor Pinterest Board:
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