HOW TO MAKE YOUR BEDROOM COOL AND MODERN

When you’re thinking of redesigning your home, it often seems that the bedroom comes last, if at all. This is possibly so because you always think of investing in those visible parts of your home where the family gathers and you entertain your friends, so the bedroom somehow gets neglected.

There’s no reason this should be so as your bedroom should be the place where you escape the craziness of the day and find peace and serenity. Choosing the right design for it may seem daunting at first but if you’re looking to revamp it into something cool and modern, this is the way to go!

CHANGE THE LAYOUT

Changing the layout of your bedroom is a very cost-effective way to completely change its look. It also consumes very little of your time and effort but the results can be amazing! Draw up a sketch of your room and consider how you can move your furniture so the room still remains functional and what you can eliminate completely. If you only change the direction of your bed, you can make all the difference in the orientation of your room.

CHOOSE A NEUTRAL PALETTE AND SUBTLE ACCENT HUES

Neutrals, such as fresh pink, baby blue and mint green as well as nude and off-whites are all a fantastic choice for a trendy bedroom. However, you don’t have to stick to just neutrals to get a modern look. You can add accent colours but do it carefully in the form of impactful details. Think in terms of subtle accessories, such as rugs, plants, covers and throw cushions. These are a perfect way to infuse a little controlled colour but do get creative with materials – opt for rich textures to keep the luxury vibe alive.

INVEST IN NEW BEDDING AND PILLOWS

With the bed as the focal point in every bedroom, switching up the throw pillows and your covers can be a very effective change. While at it, consider selecting new bedding such as a marble patterned microfiber comforter with matching pillows that will add a touch of class and elegance to the overall look. Besides the aesthetic aspect, high-quality bedding will improve your sleep as well giving you more energy throughout the day.  

MAXIMIZE THE LIGHT

If you have lots of natural light flowing into your bedroom, maximize it as much as you can – get rid of the heavy window dressings and go for simpler and more elegant fabrics that won’t block the sunlight during the day, but add soft drapes on the sides so you can make it dark at night.

Don’t forget other forms of lighting in your bedroom. They are also important for creating an inviting and relaxing atmosphere. This mostly refers to bedside lamps, floor lamps and wall-mounted sconces. The combination of multiple light sources will create layers of light and make the atmosphere warmer and cosier.

DRESS THE FLOOR

Your bedroom floor is another great place to add more impact. Plus, it’s always great to feel softness under your feet. Consider adding a thick shag or a dramatic vintage rug. These can help you pull a room together and by layering a few, you can give the space a tranquil and relaxed feel.

DON’T FORGET THE WALLS

Don’t neglect your walls! A new coat of paint, wallpapers, artwork or a feature wall can all have a strong and instant effect on the look of your bedroom. Choose art pieces that reflect your personal interests and tastes, and display them uniquely.

Make a gallery wall that you can continuously enhance. Pick frames in a consistent style but do range them from simple black to ornate silver and gold vintage. Put them up on floating ledges that are both minimalistic and very modern.

You can finally stop beating yourself up for neglecting your bedroom and with the help of these easy design tips, you can give it a much needed stylish makeover. There are so many things you can change and update, just make sure you prioritize the steps and choose things that are modern and cool but also match your personality!

Guest Contributor: Diana Smith

SMART KITCHEN APPLIANCES YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT

Are you trying to make your kitchen smart? If that’s the case, it’s good to know that almost every inch of your kitchen can be smart. As technology continues to advance, there are fewer things that you actually need to do yourself in the smart kitchen. Many of the smart appliances in your kitchen today are voice-activated, which means that you don’t even need to be at home to preheat your oven!

If you’re interested in discovering all the different smart appliances that you’d need to make your kitchen smart, you’re in the right spot. Let’s dive in!

1.    SMART COFFEE MACHINES

Let’s start with a smart appliance that will make your every morning a good morning – a smart coffee machine. A perfect day starts with a cup of your favorite coffee. It’s only logical that your kitchen should be equipped with a gadget such as this.

Smart coffee machines come in different modern and sleek designs. They are simple to use and allow you to choose between many different modes such as filter or grinder modes. 

Additionally, many smart coffee machines today come with apps for your phone. With this app, you can personalize your coffee by choosing how well you want your coffee to be ground, the strength of the coffee or you can simply set filter mode if you prefer filter coffee. With the app, you can also program the exact time you want your cup of coffee to be made.

Smart coffee machines can be also connected to your home hub and thanks to this you can use voice commands to tell your machine to make coffee. And just like that, you can have a perfect cup of coffee without moving a finger.

2.    SMART FOOD PROCESSOR

At the first glance, a food processor isn’t much different than a blender. It can grind, grate, chop and slice food, make fresh juice, and even kneed the dough. The main difference is that with a food processor you don’t need to add water or any liquids to do the chopping, mincing, grinding, and other similar tasks. 

Smart food processors come with a couple of programed auto menus and each has a different sequence, for example, mincing, chopping, draining, or paste making, to name a few. With a processor, you will get many versatile accessories – different types of detachable blades, jars and in many cases, you’ll also get a storage case for all these accessories.

3.    SMART OVEN

A smart oven is usually a stand-alone oven, similar to a toast oven but with many more functionalities. An oven of this kind can steam cook, air fry, dehydrate and do the regular baking and convection cooking.

Smart ovens are called smart thanks to their ability to send data over Wi-Fi to your home hub allowing you to turn on the oven, preheat it, control the temperature, or set timer alerts. You can also do all this through a phone app.

In case you have problems with your oven or you need oven repair you can always call professionals. Don’t think that just because you have a smart oven, no one will be able to repair it. You don’t need to immediately change your oven if something is wrong with it, instead call experts in smart oven repairs and save quite a bit of money. Smart appliances can be repaired as well!

4.    SMART INDUCTION STOVETOPS

If you’re not a fan of cooking ranges, you can buy a standalone oven, we mentioned above, and a smart induction stovetop. These stovetops use induction to heat your pots and pans but leave the stovetop cool to the touch. So, compared to regular electric cooktops, these induction ones take no time to heat up and cook food more quickly. Additionally, they are easy to clean and much safer than electric and gas ones.

They are easily programmable and feature a built-in touchscreen that allows you to search the internet for your favorite recipes. With certain stovetops, you can get an app that allows you to control it with your phone – turn it on, control the temperature, and similar commands.

5.    SMART FRIDGES

Everything is smart in a smart kitchen, even your fridge. So, what can a smart fridge do that a regular one can’t, you may wonder? Just like with other smart appliances, you can control your fridge with your phone or give it voice commands.

A smart fridge, unlike the regular one, can recognize the type of items you store in it and keep track of their expiration dates. These modern fridges are also more energy efficient as they can save electricity by monitoring issues and adjusting temperatures. 

A smart fridge is so smart that it can play music and movies on its screen!

6.    SMART DISHWASHERS

If we can have a smart fridge, why not also have a smart dishwasher. Everyone loves seeing clean and shiny dishes and cutlery on their table, don’t they? Your old dishwasher was pretty good, but this smart one is even better. 

Now, you’ll still have to load and unload it yourself – that hasn’t changed, yet. What has changed with these new generation dishwashers is the ability to connect them to your home hub.

Just like with most smart appliances, you have the opportunity to connect your new dishwasher to your phone as well, with an app. This app allows you to select the program depending on what you’re washing and also the volume. Additionally, the dishwasher will send you a notification when the washing is done. This is precisely what makes it so energy-efficient.

7.    SMART SLOW COOKER

People love slow cookers because they make cooking easy. They love how the slow cooker can bring out flavors in foods and how convenient it is for the fast-paced lives we’re living.

What you are going to love even more is a smart slow cooker. With a smart slow cooker, you won’t have to worry about not having food for tomorrow because now you can leave your cooker on overnight too.

Smart slow cookers can now connect to your smartphone and with an appropriate app you can control the cooker remotely – turn it on and off, monitor cooking time, and change cooking settings. And there you have it, cooking has never been easier!

These and many more smart appliances can make your kitchen look like something out of a science fiction movie. The best part is that they are very convenient and easy to use. They’ll make cooking an amazing experience for you.

So, don’t wait any longer, transform your regular kitchen into a smart one!

Guest Contributor: Ron Wolf

5 TIPS FOR CREATING A SOLAR-POWERED HOME OFFICE

Have you thought about using solar power in your home? If not, you could be missing out. Want to know why? Well, you can save some good money from your electricity bills. 

Solar power reduces dependence on the national supply. No more blackouts or shutdowns when the electricity company is doing maintenance.  

When shopping, go for the best-looking solar panels. And no, it is not about vanity. Do you know solar panels can increase the value of your home if you ever decide to sell? And, you will be doing your part in saving the environment. Solar energy is renewable and sustainable.  

Maybe you are not quite ready to rig up your whole home to solar power just yet. But, since you have embraced remote working, your energy bills have gone up quite a bit.

If you are looking for a solution, please read on. We will share some tips for creating a solar-powered home office. 

  1. WORK WITH PROFESSIONALS

Powering your house using solar energy requires some expert advice. Yes, there are tons of resources, both online and offline,  you can use to educate yourself. YouTube is full of DIY solar panel installation tips. So, can you rig your home office yourself? Absolutely.  

But, look at it this way. A good solar installation kit is not exactly cheap. You will also void any warranty if you mess up the job. And remember, there are factors you may not know when shopping for solar panels.  

Yes, we did say above that you should buy the best-looking solar panels. But there is a lot more that goes into the process. It helps to know quality brands that will give you long-term usage. The experts will also advise on things like battery storage and positioning.  

And that’s not all. Try shopping for solar kits and the process can be overwhelming. There are so many brands coming in at different price points. It is a good idea to let someone with the knowledge guide you.  

Take your time to do your due diligence when looking for solar installers. Ensure the company has relevant certification, licensing, and proof of professionalism.  

Read customer reviews and talk to some happy customers. A reputable company should not have an issue availing references. Also, ask questions about maintenance and warranty for the solar equipment.  

  1. LEARN THE BASICS OF SOLAR POWER INSTALLATION 

Take the time to learn the basics of solar power installation. It will make more sense for you when the experts talk about specific components or processes. Do you, for instance, know that wrong wiring can lead to fires or electric shocks? 

Familiarize yourself with the different components. These include solar panels, mounting brackets, charge controllers, batteries, and inverters. Do not be shy about asking the consulting company questions. A little knowledge never hurt anybody.  

  1. DETERMINE YOUR ENERGY NEEDS

It helps to know how much energy you will need to run your home office. Start by listing down any appliances that need power. You may have laptops, printers, a scanner, a fridge, and a coffee maker. Also consider other factors like lighting, heating, and air conditioning.  

The requirements will depend on the type of work you do. Take the example of running a printing press. It will need more power than the basic office equipment we have listed above. The more energy you will need, the more panels you will buy.  

The experts will calculate your power needs by taking into consideration all the appliances you will use in your home office. 

  1. SOLAR PANEL PLACEMENT

Some factors will determine the solar panel placement. Let’s say your home office is in a building separate from the main house. You must consider the following. 

  • The direction of the roof – the more the orientation of the roof to the sun, the better. 
  • Shade from trees around the home office. Consider the different seasons, in winter the sun stays pretty low in the sky. The result is longer shadows which will block the sun from hitting the panels. The type of trees also matter. Take the Example of Evergreens that keep their leaves all year round. 
  • Surrounding infrastructure that could cast shadows on the roof. 
  • Roof angles and protrusions could interfere with the placement of panels.

The type of solar panels you buy matters. Some reduce output in low sunlight conditions. Others will go off. But the basic principle is the more direct sunlight, the higher efficiency you achieve in energy production. 

Also, if you are planning any roof renovations, do them before installing the solar panels.  

  1. COMPONENT PLACEMENT

Components placement is also critical. The experts may recommend putting the AC/DC inverter right next to the electric meter. The electricity in the panels is direct current (DC). It will need to convert to alternating current (AC) so that you can use it to power your office and appliances. The consulting company will ask for a site visit to determine the best placement.  

A good solar kit should also come with a backup battery. It allows you to store energy during peak sunshine hours for use when you need it. You can save a lot by switching to the stored power in the evening or at night. 

The solar installation professionals must adhere to building codes when placing the batteries. Some places do not allow for the mounting or installation of batteries in interior spaces. You may need to upgrade the structure first to accommodate them. 

Do not ignore the permit requirements. It would be unfortunate to rig up your home office, only to have to bring it down due to noncompliance.  

FINAL THOUGHTS

Solar power will save you money and is very dependable. You can run your home office without having to worry about blackouts or other power disruptions. The best piece of advice we can give is to let professionals handle the installation. 

They have the expertise and in-depth knowledge to do the work. You also get advice on the best quality from the tons of options available.  

But, this is not to say that you should not take an active part in the process. Do your due diligence before hiring professional solar installers. Check licensing, customer reviews and talk to a few references. 

Also, educate yourself on the basics of solar power. There are tons of resources available online. The professionals should also be comfortable answering any questions you have. 

Guest Contributor: Daniel Martin

WHY DOES MY TOILET KEEP CLOGGING? (PROBLEMS & SOLUTIONS)

You never want to have a clogged toilet. Who does? But when you do, it’s always frustrating because no one wants to clean up that mess! It’s icky and gross. So, you maybe think, why does toilet keep clogging?? Many different things can cause toilets to always clogging, but the most common reason is using too much paper, older model toilets, flush non-flushable items, toilet trap is blocked, toilet vent blocked, main sewer line problems, or insufficient water in the bowl. Read about how to stop your toilet from clogging and what causes this problem in the first place!

 WHY YOUR TOILET KEEPS CLOGGING? PROBLEMS & SOLUTIONS

There are six main rezones when the toilet keeps getting clogged. Below we give you why toilet clogging and how to solve it. 

  • Older model toilet or low flow toilet
  • Too much toilet paper use
  • Flush Non-Flushable Items
  • The Toilet Trap Is Blocked
  • The Toilet Vent Blocked
  • Main Sewer Line Problems

1. OLDER MODEL TOILET OR LOW FLOW TOILET

OLDER TOILETS MAY BE MORE LIKELY TO CLOG, WHICH CAN LEAD TO COSTLY REPAIRS. AVOID THESE ISSUES; IT IS BEST TO GET AN OLDER MODEL TOILET REPLACED WITH A NEWER STYLE TOILET WITH LESS CHANCE OF GETTING CLOGGED.  BEFORE BUYING TOILETS MAKE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A SINGLE OR DUAL FLUSH TOILET.

HOW TO SOLVE

Toilet upgrades are also necessary when the current toilet does not flush or has an adequate water supply for flushing purposes. A plumber should be contacted if there is any doubt about whether or not the toilet needs replacing. 

2. TOO MUCH TOILET PAPER USE

Many people don’t realize the amount of toilet paper they use. In fact, Americans use and throw away an average of 27 pounds of toilet paper per person every year. So, almost 325 million Americans, that’s roughly 19 billion pounds of toilet paper going into our landfills. 

 HOW TO SOLVE

We have been conditioned to think that we need fresh sheets every time we sit on the throne, but in reality, you only need one sheet for each sitting. That’s right: experts recommend using just one square per sheet for your own hygiene and environmental health! So, don’t flush too much toilet paper. 

3. FLUSH NON-FLUSHABLE ITEMS

Do you know the difference between a flushable and non-flushable item? For something to be flushed down your toilet, it must meet two criteria: firstly, it cannot contain any solid material such as plastic or metal; secondly, it must have a low density. That means water can cause an object to break apart and pass through the pipes without clogging them.

HOW TO SOLVE

Non-flushable items with high densities like paper towels or sanitary pads will clog up or even block your plumbing. We recommend throwing out these types of things in trash bins instead of flushing them down toilets.

4. THE TOILET TRAP IS BLOCKED

Where does the waste go if your toilet trap is blocked? Your toilet has s shape toilet trap, which can be clogged easily.

HOW TO SOLVE

A blocked toilet is an unpleasant event that can be difficult to fix. If you have a plunger, pour some dish soap down the drain and follow with hot water to create suction. You may also need to use a plumber’s snake or auger if this doesn’t work. 

If you don’t have one of these tools on hand, try pouring boiling water down the drain and adding two cups of white vinegar followed by more boiling water. This should clear up any clogs so your bathroom can go back to normal!

5. THE TOILET VENT BLOCKED

Blocked toilet vents are a common problem for bathroom owners, and there are many causes. Blocked vents can be caused by improper installation, clogs or other debris in the drainpipe, overuse of cleaners that cause buildup on the vent cover. 

HOW TO SOLVE

Toilet vent covers periodically be cleaned with vinegar to prevent this from happening. The Toilet vent becomes blocked due to an object down the toilet, such as clothing or paper towels. If you have a clog in your pipes, it will need to be cleared before unblocking your vent; otherwise, you may not get any airflow through your system at all! You can use a plunger, chemical drain cleaner, or dish soap, and baking soda.  

6. MAIN SEWER LINE PROBLEMS

Do you know that when a toilet gets clogged, there is a chance it can cause problems with the main sewer line? This is because water can’t flow down the pipe properly. When this happens, instead of rushing into the drainpipe, it pools up in your toilet bowl and begins to fill your bathroom.

HOW TO SOLVE

It’s common for homeowners to have problems with their main sewer line. These issues can be challenging to solve; the only way to know for sure is by having your lines inspected. Sewer problems can make bad smell, expensive and time-consuming if they are not taken care of as soon as possible. For help with solving all of your sewer line problems, contact your nearby plumbing company today!

FAQS:

WILL A TOILET UNCLOG ITSELF?

If you’ve ever been in a position where your toilet is clogged, have you wondered if it will unclog itself? Well, the answer to that question is YES and NO. For example, suppose you leave the water running for an extended period while also flushing repeatedly. In that case, there’s a chance that eventually, the toilet will overflow or, worse yet, back up into your bathroom, causing significant damage. So before you try anything else, call a professional who can get this resolved.

CONCLUSIONS:

  If your toilet is constantly getting blocked and it seems like there’s no way around it, here are some of the most common causes for why your toilet might keep clogging. The main reason for clogs is if too much toilet paper is used; another possible cause could be non-flushable items being flushed down the drain. The best solution? Use less bathroom tissue! Don’t flush non-flushable items; use a powerful flushing toilet, and you can check your plumber system once a year. We hope you can find you why does your toilet keeps clogging and how to solve it. 

Guest Contributor: Sohel Moheb

BLUE COLLAR EATS – BLISSFUL BANANA CAFE IN ORLAND PARK

Looking for a delicious mom and pop shop to go visit? This is the perfect place located at 15447 South 94th Avenue Orland Park, IL 60462. This place is seriously so good! They do also have gluten free options, such as their chicken is free range and the eggs are organic! They offer Metropolis Coffee, home-made baked goods, and their very own Banana Bliss!

Lets see what others are saying about this place!

“This joint is yet another vegan-friendly option in Orland Park. I love the cauliflower tacos, but TBH, they don’t need the sliced almonds.
They usually have a good vegan special, and the banana dessert is just frozen banana, and it’s delicious.
They carry Palo Alto hot sauce and their in-house sauce, and it’s a good one!
Patio is nice in the summer! Stop in and grab a great meal! Good joint to go to if you have vegan friends or if you are the vegan friend.”
-Eric K via Yelp.com

“Went there for breakfast yesterday morning. The 4 of had the SECS breakfast sandwich, breakfast tacos, cinnamon bun pancakes (special) and soft scramble sandwich. All were wonderful, especially the cinnamon bun pancakes, and HUGE portions. Service was fast and friendly. A great way to start your day. Can’t wait to go back!!” -Steve O. via Yelp.com

“If you’re looking for a good clean family owned restaurant with a great atmosphere and freshly made food then look no further! Damn good food and they always create new dishes. Live entertainment every now and again on the weekends from what I’ve seen. Last but not least, the staff is always friendly and the owner really cares about his establishment. Highly recommended!” -Dave C. via Yelp.com

Here are some things that are highly recommended:

  • Breakfast Tacos
  • SECS
  • Chicken on a Pita
  • Cauliflower Tacos
  • Began Greek Orzo Salad
  • Parmesan Garlic Mac n’ Cheese

The hours of operations are:

Monday 8:00 am – 3:00 pm

Tuesday 8:00 am – 3:00 pm

Wednesday 8:00 am – 3:00 pm

Thursday 8:00 am – 3:00 pm

Friday 8:00 am – 3:00pm

Saturday 8:00 am – 3:00 pm

Sunday 8:00 am – 3:00 pm

following that, they serve breakfast Monday-Thursday until 11am and Friday-Sunday until 1pm.

Guest Contributor: Tiffany Powell

BUDGET-FRIENDLY HOME RENOVATION IDEAS

Many people think “too expensive” when they hear “home renovation.” However, updating your home does not have to cost an arm and a leg. We’ve compiled a list of quick and easy budget upgrades to help you get started on your next home improvement project. Here are a few suggestions for cost-effective upgrades to update your home.

BEGIN WITH SIMPLE FIXES

There are numerous inexpensive ideas to update your home decor without spending large sums of money. Here are four innovative ideas:

●      Redecorate a room in a modern color with a fresh coat of paint. It is a low-cost way to remodel a room for maximum impact.

●      Wooden floors look great but are expensive to have sand and varnish, so consider using a less expensive option like durable floor paint to spruce up the floor.

●      To give a room a boost, replace old or outdated light fixtures with modern lighting.

●      Installing wider profile skirting and architraves will look more luxurious than thin skirtings and architraves.

FOCUS ON THE KITCHEN AND BATHROOM

Concentrate on increasing the value of the kitchen and bathroom, as these are the rooms in your house that will increase the value of your property when the time comes to sell. Even on a low budget, you can make changes to a kitchen and bathroom that will have a significant impact. Consider updating cabinet handles, repairing chipped tiles, or replacing outdated faucets with more modern options. Adding a splashback and drawer organizers or extra shelves will give the space a different feel without costing a fortune.

If your kitchen or bathroom has dark laminated cabinets, the interior will appear dreary and outdated. Apply an undercoat and paint right over the top to give them a fresh, new look using laminate paints. Another suggestion is to replace old fixtures and fittings with new ones that seem high-end but aren’t too expensive.

SEARCH FOR GOOD DEALS

When it comes to decorating a house on a budget, online auctions and dealers are your best friends. While it may take a little longer to find what you need, buying rebranded goods or second-hand materials can save you hundreds of dollars. However, not everyone is comfortable with purchasing a previously owned item. In this case, you can save or invest to afford to buy brand-new items that cost more. Have a look at the best investment apps for beginners online, and consider trying your hand at investing as an option to generate the funds for your renovation.

INCLUDE AN AREA FOR OUTDOOR ENTERTAINING

An area for outdoor entertaining is high on many buyers’ wish lists most times, and it may make or break a home’s sale. If you already have a patio, you can quickly transform it into an outside entertainment space by adding inexpensive furniture, lighting, and a grilling area. If you do not have a patio, consider building a deck off the lounge to create an indoor-outdoor flow. If the project is small enough, it doesn’t have to be expensive or require official permits.

DIY WHERE POSSIBLE

Do these jobs yourself to save money if you’re handy with a paintbrush or complete a simple tiling job. When it comes to electrical, plumbing, and structural work, always hire professionals, get at least three quotes, and check recommendations. Doing your homework can save you a great deal of money on labor. While not hiring a contractor can help you save money on your home renovation project, make sure you have the necessary skills and tools to complete your entire to-do list. If you need to hire a contractor for some work, bear in mind the cost of the contractor’s fees and materials.

Completing renovation projects yourself can help you save money in a variety of ways. It’s also a good idea to enlist the help of family and friends for gardening tasks such as weeding, painting fences, and planting trees. They shouldn’t mind too much, especially if you order pizza and have cold drinks waiting for them!

Don’t be afraid to look into sustainable alternatives when renovating! You’re not only helping the environment, but you’re also saving money in the long run.

MODIFY A FIREPLACE

A fireplace is a focal point to any room, and it can be a challenging task to renovate one. However, it does not have to be as daunting as it appears, and you do not need to spend a lot of money!

You may be able to modify the fireplace on a shoestring budget, or you may need to replace the existing furnace. In any case, you should be aware of today’s modern furnaces and which alternative will best meet your needs and keep your family warm in winter.

In the same vein, the most common type of heating system installed in homes across the country is a gas furnace. This type of furnace operates through central air ducts and requires a connection to a municipal gas line. The gas heats the air, which then travels through the ductwork to different rooms in your house. Gas heating is the most cost-effective furnace type, and natural gas is generally less expensive than oil and electricity.

FURNITURE REARRANGEMENT AND REFURBISHMENT

Rearranging furniture can completely transform a room’s look and feel, and it’s a crucial part of completing a home remodel on a budget. Choose a focal point in a room and arrange your furniture around it. You can also spruce up old furniture by refinishing the wood or reupholstering couches and chairs for a fresh look.

INNOVATIVE LIGHTING

Overhead fixtures and portable lamps are only a matter of perspective when it comes to lighting. You can use pops of illumination to give your home a warm glow—and a personalized touch—in addition to providing functional task lighting on a friendly budget. Hang a pendant light bedside your bed in place of using a traditional lamp or highlight a bookshelf with mini lights that showcase artwork or other display pieces. You can also uplight a plant by placing a small spotlight next to a large container and angling it up toward the foliage at about a 45-degree angle.

 

CONCLUSION

The key to renovating or redecorating your home beautifully while staying within your budget is to set a goal for yourself, paint an entire picture of what you want, and then renovate each part of your home one by one, as described above.

Guest Contributor: Ellie Lott

THE CUTEST DIY GIFTS FOR YOUR LOVED ONES HOLIDAY DIY GIFT IDEAS

The holidays are here with us, and with them comes our need to spread some cheer. There are so many ways to do it! You could go to the best online dating sites and get your introverted best friend a blind date or go to your favorite store and buy them a lavish gift. There’s no limit to your imagination.

But here’s the truth for all of us: this year has been a particularly hard one. So chances are you are on a budget, and you still want to get all your loved ones something unique to cherish. And something like a DIY gift bag will surely help you pass the message across!

The thought, time, and effort it takes to make something for your loved one give DIY gifts that extra kick. And they can be as cost-effective as you wish them to be.

So whether you’re an amateur or an expert, here are some DIY gift ideas that will surely inspire you this year!

DIY GIFTS TO EXPRESS YOUR LOVE

Family Art Illustrations

What an excellent reminder that family is forever no matter where you or the other person is. These are the perfect DIY holiday gifts for the people in your life to show them your affection and care. Such DIY gifts are thoughtful but will require you to channel your inner Sherlock Holmes.

You can design family art illustration DIY gifts to display ancestry branches as far back as you discover them. Be careful to fill in specific details such as dates of birth, maiden names, marriages, or even deaths. If you can’t find some details, ask older family members or try your luck on Ancestry.

Tie And Dye Party Kit

You can get many DIY gits from a single tie and dye party kit. Everyone knows tie and dye are back in style, and whoever you give this DIY gift box will appreciate it even more. If you have a fashionista in your life, they may be looking to get other people DIY homemade gifts, so party kit gift ideas are a great way to show them how thoughtful you are.

Flower String Art

Flower string art DIY gifts are a huge hit with nature lovers. Whether you choose to make string art lilies, daffodils, roses, or sunflowers, the choice is yours, and all you need is a day of fervent concentration to complete one. Making these DIY gifts isn’t hard at all. However, you will need to be careful when pushing the nails onto the wood or cardboard.

Washi Tape Mirror

Everyone needs an extra mirror in their house. These are great DIY gifts for mom if she’s been complaining about adding a little ‘zhuzh’ to her bathroom. You can use washi tape to give an ordinary bathroom mirror some personality.

If you want it to look festive, get a few colors and layer them in a colorful pattern around the target mirror. Think of it as sprinkling a little of your personality to your loved one’s home. Other than that, this is also among some perfect DIY birthday gifts or DIY gifts for a bridal shower.

Roasted Cinnamon Almonds

Some of the best DIY gifts for your boyfriend, girlfriend, family; anyone really, are those that are made with love and care, and what better way to show it than making some delicious sweets? One such yummy treat is roasted cinnamon almonds. This treat is pretty easy to make, and in fact, will just take you a couple of steps. Bake roasted almonds scrubbed in cinnamon if you’re looking for sweet DIY gifts to present to your new neighbors or thank your hosts for such a lovely evening.

Dog Treat Jar

Do you know what are the best DIY gifts for dog owners? A dog treat jar! It will not only make the canine companion excited, but the owner as well, as they love their pets, and want to see them happy. So, you can get a sizeable mason jar and etch the dog’s name on it. And then just fill the jar with all sorts of treats the dog would love.

Other than that, this is among the best DIY gifts ideas for your dog, and you can just make this gift for them. After all, we adore our pets, and they deserve treats and small gifts just like humans do!

Custom Cheese Board

Custom cheese boards are the perfect DIY gifts for best friend in your life who loves to cook, whether it’s your mom, dad, grandma – anyone. So help your friend showcase their culinary skills with a personalized cheese board that speaks to their art.

You can also make a custom cheese board if there’s a loved one in your life who loves to host parties. Let them know that someone appreciates their effort in the kitchen, make them a present, and they’ll cherish this gift forever. 

Customized Quote Pillow

How about soft and cuddly DIY birthday gifts for your siblings? You can customize a pillow by adding art or quotes the person you’re presenting it to will appreciate. A personalized pillow is an excellent way of telling someone you care for them, and they’ll add an uplifting aura to the space they love to be in.

Macrame Making Kit

Macrame DIY gifts are a great choice if big projects aren’t your thing. These DIY gifts are excellent stock stuffers that won’t take much time or space to make. You can make plenty of simple things with macrame kits, so keep your mind open to different possibilities.

Bath Bomb Mold Set

These DIY gifts are an excellent reminder to your loved ones to take some time off and relax. With these DIY gifts, they can quickly turn their bathrooms into a personal spa complete with sweet-smelling essential oils. You can package these DIY gifts in different dyes so they can turn their bath experience into a rainbow explosion.

  A Book About Them

If you’re looking for DIY gifts that will express to your significant other or loved one exactly how you feel about them, this could be the perfect one.

An ideal title for book DIY gifts would be, This is How I Feel About You. Remember that this is one of the most intimate DIY gifts, so focus on situations you’ve been in together, how this person makes you feel or the kind of future you envision with them. 

Knitted Blanket

If you don’t know how knitting may not be the easiest way to do DIY gifts. However, some beginner-friendly patterns will make the process much easier for you. Knitted blanket DIY gifts are the perfect choice for the couch potatoes in your life or movie night with your family.

Plus, there are many colors, and patterns to choose from! So ask your loved one what their favorite color is and gift them a blanket.

Conclusion

And that’s all the DIT gift ideas that we wanted to share! All and all, the holidays are the perfect time to practice your DIY skills, and whichever gift idea you choose, think of the ones your loved ones are sure to love. We have no doubt that you will have a fun time coming up with a gift, and the recipient will adore it!

So, what do you think are your best DIY gifts from our list? Or perhaps you even have your own idea?  Let us know in the comments below!

Author bio:

Aria Green is a family photographer, relationship psychology writer. A wife and a mother of two adorable kids who won’t get bored even for a minute. As for a writing passion, she loves personality psychology, helping people with advice on the relationship between a man and a woman

BUDGET-FRIENDLY HOME RENOVATION IDEAS

Many people think “too expensive” when they hear “home renovation.” However, updating your home does not have to cost an arm and a leg. We’ve compiled a list of quick and easy budget upgrades to help you get started on your next home improvement project. Here are a few suggestions for cost-effective upgrades to update your home.

BEGIN WITH SIMPLE FIXES

There are numerous inexpensive ideas to update your home decor without spending large sums of money. Here are four innovative ideas:

●      Redecorate a room in a modern color with a fresh coat of paint. It is a low-cost way to remodel a room for maximum impact.

●      Wooden floors look great but are expensive to have sand and varnish, so consider using a less expensive option like durable floor paint to spruce up the floor.

●      To give a room a boost, replace old or outdated light fixtures with modern lighting.

●      Installing wider profile skirting and architraves will look more luxurious than thin skirtings and architraves.

FOCUS ON THE KITCHEN AND BATHROOM

Concentrate on increasing the value of the kitchen and bathroom, as these are the rooms in your house that will increase the value of your property when the time comes to sell. Even on a low budget, you can make changes to a kitchen and bathroom that will have a significant impact. Consider updating cabinet handles, repairing chipped tiles, or replacing outdated faucets with more modern options. Adding a splashback and drawer organizers or extra shelves will give the space a different feel without costing a fortune.

If your kitchen or bathroom has dark laminated cabinets, the interior will appear dreary and outdated. Apply an undercoat and paint right over the top to give them a fresh, new look using laminate paints. Another suggestion is to replace old fixtures and fittings with new ones that seem high-end but aren’t too expensive.

SEARCH FOR GOOD DEALS

When it comes to decorating a house on a budget, online auctions and dealers are your best friends. While it may take a little longer to find what you need, buying rebranded goods or second-hand materials can save you hundreds of dollars. However, not everyone is comfortable with purchasing a previously owned item. In this case, you can save or invest to afford to buy brand-new items that cost more. Have a look at the best investment apps for beginners online, and consider trying your hand at investing as an option to generate the funds for your renovation.

INCLUDE AN AREA FOR OUTDOOR ENTERTAINING

An area for outdoor entertaining is high on many buyers’ wish lists most times, and it may make or break a home’s sale. If you already have a patio, you can quickly transform it into an outside entertainment space by adding inexpensive furniture, lighting, and a grilling area. If you do not have a patio, consider building a deck off the lounge to create an indoor-outdoor flow. If the project is small enough, it doesn’t have to be expensive or require official permits.

DIY WHERE POSSIBLE

Do these jobs yourself to save money if you’re handy with a paintbrush or complete a simple tiling job. When it comes to electrical, plumbing, and structural work, always hire professionals, get at least three quotes, and check recommendations. Doing your homework can save you a great deal of money on labor. While not hiring a contractor can help you save money on your home renovation project, make sure you have the necessary skills and tools to complete your entire to-do list. If you need to hire a contractor for some work, bear in mind the cost of the contractor’s fees and materials.

Completing renovation projects yourself can help you save money in a variety of ways. It’s also a good idea to enlist the help of family and friends for gardening tasks such as weeding, painting fences, and planting trees. They shouldn’t mind too much, especially if you order pizza and have cold drinks waiting for them!

Don’t be afraid to look into sustainable alternatives when renovating! You’re not only helping the environment, but you’re also saving money in the long run.

MODIFY A FIREPLACE

A fireplace is a focal point to any room, and it can be a challenging task to renovate one. However, it does not have to be as daunting as it appears, and you do not need to spend a lot of money!

You may be able to modify the fireplace on a shoestring budget, or you may need to replace the existing furnace. In any case, you should be aware of today’s modern furnaces and which alternative will best meet your needs and keep your family warm in winter.

In the same vein, the most common type of heating system installed in homes across the country is a gas furnace. This type of furnace operates through central air ducts and requires a connection to a municipal gas line. The gas heats the air, which then travels through the ductwork to different rooms in your house. Gas heating is the most cost-effective furnace type, and natural gas is generally less expensive than oil and electricity.

FURNITURE REARRANGEMENT AND REFURBISHMENT

Rearranging furniture can completely transform a room’s look and feel, and it’s a crucial part of completing a home remodel on a budget. Choose a focal point in a room and arrange your furniture around it. You can also spruce up old furniture by refinishing the wood or reupholstering couches and chairs for a fresh look.

INNOVATIVE LIGHTING

Overhead fixtures and portable lamps are only a matter of perspective when it comes to lighting. You can use pops of illumination to give your home a warm glow—and a personalized touch—in addition to providing functional task lighting on a friendly budget. Hang a pendant light bedside your bed in place of using a traditional lamp or highlight a bookshelf with mini lights that showcase artwork or other display pieces. You can also uplight a plant by placing a small spotlight next to a large container and angling it up toward the foliage at about a 45-degree angle.

 

CONCLUSION

The key to renovating or redecorating your home beautifully while staying within your budget is to set a goal for yourself, paint an entire picture of what you want, and then renovate each part of your home one by one, as described above.

Guest Contributor: Ellie Lott

WHY DOES MY TOILET KEEP CLOGGING? (PROBLEMS & SOLUTIONS)

You never want to have a clogged toilet. Who does? But when you do, it’s always frustrating because no one wants to clean up that mess! It’s icky and gross. So, you maybe think, why does toilet keep clogging?? Many different things can cause toilets to always clogging, but the most common reason is using too much paper, older model toilets, flush non-flushable items, toilet trap is blocked, toilet vent blocked, main sewer line problems, or insufficient water in the bowl. Read about how to stop your toilet from clogging and what causes this problem in the first place!

 WHY YOUR TOILET KEEPS CLOGGING? PROBLEMS & SOLUTIONS

There are six main rezones when the toilet keeps getting clogged. Below we give you why toilet clogging and how to solve it. 

  • Older model toilet or low flow toilet
  • Too much toilet paper use
  • Flush Non-Flushable Items
  • The Toilet Trap Is Blocked
  • The Toilet Vent Blocked
  • Main Sewer Line Problems

1. OLDER MODEL TOILET OR LOW FLOW TOILET

OLDER TOILETS MAY BE MORE LIKELY TO CLOG, WHICH CAN LEAD TO COSTLY REPAIRS. AVOID THESE ISSUES; IT IS BEST TO GET AN OLDER MODEL TOILET REPLACED WITH A NEWER STYLE TOILET WITH LESS CHANCE OF GETTING CLOGGED.  BEFORE BUYING TOILETS MAKE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A SINGLE OR DUAL FLUSH TOILET.

HOW TO SOLVE

Toilet upgrades are also necessary when the current toilet does not flush or has an adequate water supply for flushing purposes. A plumber should be contacted if there is any doubt about whether or not the toilet needs replacing. 

2. TOO MUCH TOILET PAPER USE

Many people don’t realize the amount of toilet paper they use. In fact, Americans use and throw away an average of 27 pounds of toilet paper per person every year. So, almost 325 million Americans, that’s roughly 19 billion pounds of toilet paper going into our landfills. 

 HOW TO SOLVE

We have been conditioned to think that we need fresh sheets every time we sit on the throne, but in reality, you only need one sheet for each sitting. That’s right: experts recommend using just one square per sheet for your own hygiene and environmental health! So, don’t flush too much toilet paper. 

3. FLUSH NON-FLUSHABLE ITEMS

Do you know the difference between a flushable and non-flushable item? For something to be flushed down your toilet, it must meet two criteria: firstly, it cannot contain any solid material such as plastic or metal; secondly, it must have a low density. That means water can cause an object to break apart and pass through the pipes without clogging them.

HOW TO SOLVE

Non-flushable items with high densities like paper towels or sanitary pads will clog up or even block your plumbing. We recommend throwing out these types of things in trash bins instead of flushing them down toilets.

4. THE TOILET TRAP IS BLOCKED

Where does the waste go if your toilet trap is blocked? Your toilet has s shape toilet trap, which can be clogged easily.

HOW TO SOLVE

A blocked toilet is an unpleasant event that can be difficult to fix. If you have a plunger, pour some dish soap down the drain and follow with hot water to create suction. You may also need to use a plumber’s snake or auger if this doesn’t work. 

If you don’t have one of these tools on hand, try pouring boiling water down the drain and adding two cups of white vinegar followed by more boiling water. This should clear up any clogs so your bathroom can go back to normal!

5. THE TOILET VENT BLOCKED

Blocked toilet vents are a common problem for bathroom owners, and there are many causes. Blocked vents can be caused by improper installation, clogs or other debris in the drainpipe, overuse of cleaners that cause buildup on the vent cover. 

HOW TO SOLVE

Toilet vent covers periodically be cleaned with vinegar to prevent this from happening. The Toilet vent becomes blocked due to an object down the toilet, such as clothing or paper towels. If you have a clog in your pipes, it will need to be cleared before unblocking your vent; otherwise, you may not get any airflow through your system at all! You can use a plunger, chemical drain cleaner, or dish soap, and baking soda.  

6. MAIN SEWER LINE PROBLEMS

Do you know that when a toilet gets clogged, there is a chance it can cause problems with the main sewer line? This is because water can’t flow down the pipe properly. When this happens, instead of rushing into the drainpipe, it pools up in your toilet bowl and begins to fill your bathroom.

HOW TO SOLVE

It’s common for homeowners to have problems with their main sewer line. These issues can be challenging to solve; the only way to know for sure is by having your lines inspected. Sewer problems can make bad smell, expensive and time-consuming if they are not taken care of as soon as possible. For help with solving all of your sewer line problems, contact your nearby plumbing company today!

FAQS:

WILL A TOILET UNCLOG ITSELF?

If you’ve ever been in a position where your toilet is clogged, have you wondered if it will unclog itself? Well, the answer to that question is YES and NO. For example, suppose you leave the water running for an extended period while also flushing repeatedly. In that case, there’s a chance that eventually, the toilet will overflow or, worse yet, back up into your bathroom, causing significant damage. So before you try anything else, call a professional who can get this resolved.

CONCLUSIONS:

  If your toilet is constantly getting blocked and it seems like there’s no way around it, here are some of the most common causes for why your toilet might keep clogging. The main reason for clogs is if too much toilet paper is used; another possible cause could be non-flushable items being flushed down the drain. The best solution? Use less bathroom tissue! Don’t flush non-flushable items; use a powerful flushing toilet, and you can check your plumber system once a year. We hope you can find you why does your toilet keeps clogging and how to solve it. 

Guest Contributor: Sohel Moheb

HALLOWEEN DIY DECORATIONS

Are you looking to spruce up your house, inside and outside, but can’t afford to spend much money on decorations? Luckily for you, fall and Halloween decorations don’t have to cost much if you’re creative! There are so many ways you can take leftovers from previous projects you’ve done or things lying around the house and make good use out of them for super cute decorations around your house.

Look at this super cute jack o’lantern with mums sprouting out of the top. This is a super cute decoration that can be done easily by going to a local dollar store and buying the trick or treat baskets and planting your own mums or buying some locally at a farm, pumpkin patch, grocery store, or anywhere else that sells mums!

Another cheap but cute little project! Take any bottle that you have laying around your house, could be filled or empty, and buy little googly eyes. Those can also be purchased at a local dollar store and usually come in many different shapes and sizes. This would be a good DIY to make when you’re having friends over, and confuse them when you go to drink out of it!

Fan of The Nightmare Before Christmas? Jack Skellington is super popular around this time of the year into the end of the year, it’s a classic! You can find this specific light again, at a dollar store and you can take a permanent black marker and draw his face on the light yourself! You can buy a couple and make him have multiple facial expressions!

This DIY is easy for everybody to do since it includes everyday necessities. Do not throw away all of your toilet paper or napkins to get to the roll (those things were once scarce because of covid!), instead just wait until it goes empty. You might be able to make a couple of these little cute rolls out of one napkin roll since they’re longer.

This is the perfect DIY if you have pool noodles from owning a pool! Most noodles get gross over the winter, so what better way to make use out of them before tossing! Don’t worry, you can still find these at a dollar store if you don’t own a pool.

Such a cute decoration that can be placed inside or outside! Easy to do, and can be substituted with other materials to make this project work. All you need is some paint and patience to make this cute halloween craft!

Have left over materials from other projects you’ve done? These creepy cool hands can be made out of almost any materials. Wood, cardboard, plastic. If you use wood or cardboard, remember to weather-proof it!

This is so adorable!! This one can be done with fresh sunflowers or fake ones, but just remember the real ones can’t be reused, so fake is probably the best bet! You can find the skulls and fake flowers at a dollar store, and can use hot glue to glue the faces into the center! Perfect for those who love skulls and sunflowers, and can even be used year round.

Halloween is one of the best times of the year, and decorating your house with spooky decorations can make the spooky spirit even better. Most things can be found at your local dollar store, and if not there are always alternatives to materials. Get creative and stay spooky!!!

Guest Contributor: Tiffany Powell