Top 10 Home Improvements to Make When You Don’t Plan to Move for a While

Remodel your bathroom for better quality of life in your home and a better resale value.If you are planning to live in your home for quite a while, the home improvements you choose to make can embrace your own sense of style. If you don’t plan to move anytime soon, you can make various home improvements to enhance your quality of life in your home while also increasing the future resale value of your house and property.

When you want to make improvements to your home, think about the most important elements to you and your family. Decide if you would like to make improvements to the inside or the outside of your home. Consider these top 10 home improvements to make when you don’t plan to move for a while.

1.    Introduce new landscaping – New plants, shrubs, flowers, and trees are great for curb appeal. If you work on your landscaping over a couple years living in your house, you will be able to create a beautiful backdrop for your home.

Consider installing hardwood floors in your home while you still plan to live there and enjoy them.2.    Redo your front walkway – A new front walkway, especially one with pavers, can instantly change the look of a home while adding curb appeal.

3.    Install hardwood floors – Hardwood floors are a bonus for many people, whether in older homes or new construction. They’re also nice to enjoy while you live there.

4.    Upgrade your kitchen – An upgraded kitchen can seriously increase the resale value of your home while also improving your cooking and eating experiences.

5.    Enhance your bathroom with luxury
– A luxurious bathroom remodeling can also greatly enhance your home’s resale price while making your daily life more enjoyable. Consider a soaking tub, ceramic tile or real stone, or even heated floors.

6.    Put in a patio – A patio can be a great addition for entertaining and enjoying a meal outside, but it also enhances the atmosphere of your home and property.

7.    Add an addition – If you need extra space or if you’ve always dreamed of expanding or enhancing your home, go for it while you still have a chance to enjoy the fruits of your efforts.

Add landscaping to your home for instant curb appeal and a great feeling about living there.8.    Finish the basement – Whether a family recreation room, a man cave, or a wine cellar, a finished basement adds a lot of value to your home in the future and the present. Enjoy special time in your finished basement with your family, spouse, or friends.

9.    Install new siding
– New siding installation can be quite the big expense. Making this kind of investment may be more manageable when you plan to live in your current home for a while.

10.     Install new windows – High quality and new windows can help keep your heating bill from going through the roof by improving efficiency. Consider installing new windows while you still live there so you can enjoy them.

Some other home improvements you might make when the time comes include replacing your roof and repaving your driveway. Depending on the number of years you live in your house, you may be able to get away with not replacing these elements of your home and leaving them for the next family to handle.

Major Solutions for Minor Dilemmas in Clothing

How many times have you been ready to walk out the door, only to discover a major tragedy has befallen your outfit?  Discover short, easy and relatively painless solutions that will revitalize your wardrobe.

Keep a clever arsenal of handy helpers at the ready and easily accessible. The best place to store these items is in a small hanging cosmetic bag that you can keep in your closet.

What you need to assemble:
•    Clear nail polish
•    Glue stick
•    Masking tape or duct tape
•    Stick on Velcro
•    Small pair of scissors
•    Small, white candle
•    Safety pins
•    Sewing needles with large eyes

Now you are ready to tackle most minor problems.

•    Stuck zipper – Rub a small amount of candle wax onto the area of the zipper closest to the stuck zipper pull.  Work the zipper until you work it free.

•    Zipper won’t stay up – Use a safety pin, loop it through the small opening that is found at the tip of almost every zipper pull, and secure the zipper to your waistband.  Be sure to attach the pin with the sharpest side facing outward to avoid becoming pinched.

•    Loose hem – Use a strip of tape (the heavier the fabric, the stronger the tape) to secure the hem until you have more time to sew it up.  If you will be wearing the outfit for a long period of time, try to use adhesive backed Velcro.

•    Clothing pulls – Use a small needle with a large eye to thread the pull to the underside of the garment.  Secure it with clear nail polish, especially if it is long in length.  Try to use a smaller needle for finer fabrics.

•    Run in your pantyhose – Use a small dab of clear nail polish to stop the run from getting any larger.

A clothing emergency occurs and you are not at home. Not a problem if you think creatively. Hem needs a lift? Use scotch tape or a large Band-Aid.  Zipper won’t stay up?  Use a small, coated paper clip.  Run in your hose?  Use a bit of washable glue or glue stick.

Some mistakes are more easily taken care of if they are simply avoided in the first place.  Follow these simple suggestions and enjoy the absence of stress in your dressing moments.

•    Drip Dry Clothing – Invest a few pennies in the purchase of plastic hangers and avoid those unsightly rust spots that may occur if a wire hanger is used to dry your clothing instead.

•    Donning pantyhose – If your hands become rough during the winter months, simply apply hand cream or lotion on a nightly basis.  If you’ve forgotten to keep up with this ritual, simply apply a small amount of cream or lotion and work it into the fingertips while applying it over the hands before putting on the pantyhose.

•    Shoes – If your feet have a tendency to perspire, especially if you wear nylon hose, avoid the resulting odor by placing a fresh dryer sheet in the toes of the shoes.  Should the shoes become excessively damp, place balled up newspaper in the entire shoe.  This will not only absorb the dampness, but also the odor.

•    Clothing pulls – Some pulls can be easily avoided by paying attention to the surfaces that you sit upon.  Never sit directly on concrete or unsanded wood since these surfaces are notorious for creating pulls.

Preparing for the unexpected is stress free.  Being prepared when the unexpected occurs is stress free.  Remember the motto of the better-dressed woman, quick and easy makes my day!

Joe Campanelli’s HEAVY-DUTY Green Cleaner Review

Let me just start by saying that I love to clean. Although I can’t get to it as often as I used to — before computers and kids — I still enjoy it when the opportunity presents itself. So, when I say that I’m impressed with a cleaner, I am! Joe Campanelli’s Heavy-Duty Green Cleaner is a product I am thoroughly impressed with! I can’t wait to share my insights on its performance.

You know that feeling you get when you can sit in your chair and gaze across the room to a sparkling clean countertop and a freshly mopped floor. That feeling you get when you can look out of a smudge-free window into the great outdoors and that amazing feel when your toes meet a fluffy, just vacuumed carpet…. You know that feeling, don’t you?

There is but one problem I have faced for years and years when it comes to getting the house entirely clean; the doors, countertops, and walls. I also have problems with some of my old pots and pans that I just refuse to toss out. I still use them but I wish they looked better.

The good news: I received in the mail, Joe Campanelli’s Heavy-Duty Green Cleaner. Now, the bad news: I did something I should have never done as a “reviewer of products”. I didn’t grab my camera, I didn’t “think” about the results I’d received, I didn’t even stop half way through my first experience to realize I had skipped the first job of a reviewer (to take pictures); I just kept right on wiping with total disregard to sharing (sorry).

I guess I was caught in the moment.  I simply opened the lid, grabbed the cool sponge it came with and headed straight for the biggest eyesore in my house – the front door.  If only I had taken the picture… you would have seen how wonderfully awesome this product works. I couldn’t help but “wow” with every wipe of the sponge.

It’s not that my door was that hideous. It was just dull looking from years of hand prints that built up to a dingy look. The door also had two oil streaks from a few years back when our landlord changed our dead bolt and door knobs. For some reason, the oil had leaked on each corner of the lock and streaked straight down to the bottom of the door. I was never able to clear those streaks no matter what I used and how hard I rubbed. There was just no cleaning this door. So, I did what every other person would do – ignored it.

Well, I’m happy to say that my door is now streak-free. There’s not a stain on this door nor is it an eyesore anymore. It makes me so happy.

Don’t fret though because once I realized I hadn’t taken a single picture, I called a friend. Part of my phone call was to tell her about the heavy-duty green cleaner and the other part was to ask if she had anything at all that needed some serious cleaning. She obliged. She came straight over with the center console of her husband’s Explorer (yes, the center console). Her husband works at our local refinery and uses the Explorer as his work vehicle, so the whole car has years of stains embedded in the leather.

Anyways, she brought over the console (I got pictures) and I began to clean it. Low and behold, it did it again. It gave me the same results as with the door… this stuff is “Heavy-Duty” when it comes to cleaning.

I need to stop right here and just lead you to Joe Campanelli’s site. If not, I can sit here and write a million other words to describe my satisfaction with the Heavy-duty cleaner…

FYI: Other products from Joe Campanelli’s include:
1.    Stain Removers
2.    Odor Eliminators
3.    Carpet & Upholstery Shampoos
4.    Super Scrubbing Sponges
5.    Heavy Duty Cleaning paste
6.    New Developing products that are at the moment – TOP SECRET

For more information please visit www.joecampanelli.com.  You can also find a dealer in your area by visiting the Dealer Locator page.

101 Things to Do Inside on a Rainy Day or During a Thunderstorm

101 things to do on a rainy day, things to do on a rainy day, what to do on a rainy dayIf the weather is preventing you from spending time outside, you can still find a lot of fun things to do inside, on a rainy day, or during a thunderstorm. Even a cloudy day can put a damper on your plans, especially on the weekend. Summertime thunderstorms can be exciting to observe while rainy days during the colder months of the year still call for things to do during your time spent indoors.

From weddings and graduations to days scheduled for picnics and barbecues, we often spend at least a few minutes here and there wishing away the rain and keeping our fingers crossed it just won’t come. Still, sometimes Mother Nature has other plans. If you are wondering what to do on a rainy day and having a hard time thinking of something fun or worthwhile, consider these 101 things to do on a rainy day or during a thunderstorm.

Whether you want something fun, romantic, creative, mentally stimulating, productive, active, or just something relaxing to do inside, look no further. No matter if you need ideas for rainy day activities in summer, winter, spring, or fall, this list ideas for a stormy or dreary day can solve your dilemma with plenty of other options to spare.

What to do on a rainy day…

Romantic Things to Do on a Rainy Day or During a Thunderstorm
If the weather is too yucky to go outside, you can still have a romantic date or spend some quality time together inside. Think up your own things to do on a rainy day or consider these top 10 romantic things to do inside on a rainy day or during a thunderstorm.

1.    Enjoy a wine pairing meal or a simple, at-home wine tasting. Share a box of chocolates or a decadent slice of chocolate cake. If you have a fireplace, now is the time to turn it on!
2.    Enjoy homemade fondue. After all, what can’t you dip in chocolate? Marshmallows, cookies, pretzels, brownies, rice krispie treats, need we go on?
3.    Write a poem. A few moments of sweetness and creativity can woo your love for years to come.
4.    Write a love song. See above – what’s more romantic than a song written just for you?
5.    Write a love letter. This is a sweet idea you can put into action on a rainy day where you won’t see your sweetheart.
6.    Spend the day in bed.
7.    Exchange full-body massages with your significant other. Try learning about different massage techniques or get a kit for an interesting massage like a hot stone massage.
8.    Watch a romantic movie. For every few action movies and thrillers, a romance comedy should work its way into your Netflix or OnDemand listing.
9.    Make dinner or a special dessert with your sweetheart. Cooking and baking together can be romantic and fun, so why not make the most of the weather by doing something fun in the kitchen?
10.    Light some candles and play the rest by ear. There’s nothing wrong with relaxing and snuggling up to listen to the rain. If it’s boring enough, you’re sure to find other things to do.

Active Things to Do on a Rainy Day or During a Thunderstorm
Don’t let the bad weather get you down! You can still exercise your muscles or do something active on a rainy day or during some icky weather. Consider these ideas for something active you can do when your energy levels surpass the dullness of the weather outside.

11.    Exercise. Create a fun challenge for yourself to see how many exercises you can do. Work on strength training or cardio to improve your fitness level and muscle tone. You can also opt for an indoor exercise video you enjoy. My pick would be Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred.
12.    Do yoga or Pilates. Get your mind and body in sync with a fine balance of stretching and breathing.
13.    Shoot pool / billiards. If you don’t have a pool table, call around to the local billiards centers and see if they have a table available. You can head over with friends and pass the time together.
14.    Play darts. Shooting darts in your basement can be fun, but if you’re old enough, head over to a bar and challenge your friends. Loser buys the next round.
15.    Have a NERF gun fight. This activity can be fun for all ages, even if the power goes out. Make it more exciting by building forts or playing a version of “capture the flag”.
16.    Do some sit-ups, crunches, push-ups, chin-ups, pull-ups, or other indoor exercises. Start a routine for yourself to keep up even on the nicer days. Or you can lift weights. It’s another simple fitness suggestion, but it can give you results that you’ll love. It may only be 15 minutes of activity, but you will feel great as you start to see improvements over time.
17.    Go to the gym. Find a fitness class to try or play racquetball or another indoor sport. You can also use the indoor pool if they have one, or an indoor track or other workout equipment.
18.   Play hide and go seek inside. Depending on the layout of your house, it may be too easy to find your opponents, so you might want to make up new rules to the game or have a home base where you can dash to if you don’t want to get caught.
19.    Visit a gym that has an indoor rock-climbing wall. Climb to your heart’s content and then go out for lunch or dinner.

Creative Things to Do on a Rainy Day or During a Thunderstorm
Rainy weather shouldn’t stop your creativity. In fact, a thunderstorm or a rainy day is the perfect excuse to try a new craft or some other creative things to do. During the next thunderstorm, consider these interesting and crafty ideas for a dismal day.

20.    Do a craft you find on Pinterest. Seriously, I read the comments you guys leave and if you get to the end of the article and haven’t found a thing that you want to do, I am all for sending you over to Pinterest where you can find countless crafts to try.
21.    Learn to crochet or knit or cross-stitch. I made an awesome handmade blanket for my husband before we were married or even engaged. It featured his favorite hockey team and I even free-handed the team logo for the corners of the blanket. It is one of his prized possessions to this day, so don’t knock the needle crafts!
22.    Paint something. Get canvases and make your own artwork or paint rocks or seashells. You can make a noodle sculpture by gluing macaroni or other noodles to a box or other household recyclables and then spray paint the noodles. Get creative and have fun with it!
23.    Draw something. Try to sketch your dog or your true love. Draw your house or your dream house. Doodle. Play Pictionary with your friends. It’s a fun way to pass the time if you like to put pen to paper.
24.    Sculpt something. Use modeling clay or Playdoh. For even more fun, make your own salt dough and craft your own holiday ornaments, animals, or scenes.
25.    Build a model ship, airplane, or rocket. This can be a fun project to try with friends or siblings. It can also be a time-consuming hobby that becomes a favorite pastime. Give it a shot and see what you think!
26.    Make a homemade pinata. You just need a balloon, flour, water, scissors, and newspaper for the most part. Once you are done with that, you can use crepe paper to decorate it. I’ve always wanted to make a pinata of one of our favorite NFL team’s football rivals that we could bash on game day. A rainy day could be the perfect day to try that!
27.    Hold a photography shoot in your home. Play old school dress up with your friends or take cute pictures of your pets or kids (if you have any).
28.    Make homemade jewelry. Depending on the materials you have, you can try to make friendship bracelets, shell jewelry, beaded jewelry, jewelry with stones, and more. Take a look at Etsy to get ideas of what kinds of jewelry people make and sell. You can also make your own hair bows, headbands and other accessories if you feel crafty enough.
29.    Paint your nails. Make your own nail designs for the season, crafting cute characters or a classy look with jewels or sparkles. You should definitely find the time to do a soothing pedicure at home – just soak your feet and listen to music before you get around to choosing what color to paint your toes.
30.    Create and organize new photo albums. It’s been on my to-do list forever, way back to my wedding and now the birth of my daughter. If you have the photos and the albums, spend a few hours putting everything together.
31.    Create a scrapbook. Ditto – see above. I am such a slacker when it comes to scrapbooking and creating photo albums. Maybe one day, one of the next few rainy days…?
32.    Hang some photographs on your walls. Even if you have some artwork already there, consider changing things up a bit. You can get a lovely new look for your favorite rooms by simply changing the art on the walls.
33.    Take up sewing or craft a new sewing project. Some fun things to make may be shaped pillows, tutu skirts, quilts or t-shirt quilts (for all the t-shirts you collected when playing sports but never wear), or other fun sewing projects.
34.    Start a new hobby like brewing your own beer. If you aren’t old enough to brew or drink beer, maybe you’d enjoy a root beer float or Coke float! Just add some ice cream to your favorite soda pop.
35.    Find some old white clothes and give them a tie-dye face lift. This can be very fun with shirts, but also with socks, sports bras, white skirts, shorts, sweats, sheets, and more.
36.    Play pretend. Play made up games like house, school, circus, pet shop / dog pound, museum, newspaper, or other games of make-believe.
37.    Write a song and/or play an instrument. If you are talented enough to do both, go for it. If you have a piano or keyboard at home, this can be a fun way to pass the time in the rainiest of days. Learn a favorite song on your instrument or make up your own.
38.    Learn to play guitar or another instrument if you don’t already know. (Sidebar: Playing guitar in the rain can be an irresistible way to attract certain members of the opposite sex in the future. Who can resist an attractive musician playing a favorite song while the rain trickles down?)
39.    Begin writing a novel or book. If you haven’t written a book yet, why not? You can surely find something to write, whether it’s an actual real-life story or more of a comic series.

Keep Reading: More Things to Do on a Rainy Day…

If you are wondering about what things you can do on a day during the rainy season, keep reading for more suggestions…

Keeping It Fresh – Tips to De-Clutter Your Wardrobe

What good is the style and cut of the outfit, if they can’t take their eyes away from the wrinkles?  Maintaining your wardrobe to look its freshest is simpler than finding the perfect sweater to match your new skirt and less painful than paying the bill for your fashion expenses.

The best way to keep your clothes fresh and attractive is to avoid over stuffing your closet and drawers.  If you use your space wisely, you will save countless hours by not having to iron, continue looking for something that isn’t wrinkled, looking for a different pair of slacks to go with the sweater that is wrinkle free and most importantly of all not having to put all of those outfits back into their respective homes.

Keep it as organized and clutter free as possible.  Rule of thumb is, if you haven’t worn it in three years, you never will.  Unfortunately, this never works for me.  I no sooner toss a relatively worn out shirt, then my youngest daughter asks me why I haven’t worn it.  Immediately upon discovering its demise, she bursts into tears and laments a lost opportunity to wear something truly retro and amazingly authentic.

What to toss:
•    Clothing you have outgrown (Believe me, if you haven’t lost the 20 pounds that you promised to lose on New Year’s Eve three years ago, you aren’t going to lose them.)

•    Pantyhose that have a run in a visible spot.  Even if you are desperate, you are still going to switch the skirt for a pair of slacks and grab a pair of socks.

•    Stained clothing, which have refused to bow down to the magical powers of the newest stain-removing agent, are never going to appear on your body outside of your home.

•    The t-shirt that the ex-boyfriend left at your home the last time he was there two years ago needs to find a new home.

•    The sweater that itches because it is made of wool and you are allergic to wool.

•    The ugly scarf that your sister-in-law gave you for your last birthday.

I offer a bit of cautionary advice here.  If it is one of your old favorites, a time proven classic, one of those items that is only worn at weddings or formal events, or something you might pass down to your daughter in a year or two, then find a place to keep it safe.  Otherwise, toss it in the trash or give it to a charitable organization that collects used clothing.

Quite possibly one of the best ways to avoid too many clothes in the closet is to curtail your shopping trips.  Let’s face it, no one needs three identical sweaters, which differ in color only.

Another easy method of maintaining a wrinkle free wardrobe is to invest in clothing that is relatively wrinkle resistant.  Many of the polyester and spandex blends offer a wrinkle resistant capacity that is nearly perfect.

Going-Away-to-College Shopping Guide

Sending a child off to college for the first time involves a great deal of planning, coordinating, and shopping. In fact, quite often, parents are faced with the need to purchase additional items after they have already delivered their child to the college campus. For those parents who are searching for necessary items, this handy Going-Away-to-College Shopping Guide will prove to be quite useful – for those who are sending their students off for the first time as well as those who have already sent their children off but are in need of several additional items. Start your search off with a cursory glance through these items on the list and follow through with ideas of your own that are generated once you browse through this article.


The Prepared Parents
Written by Marie Pinak Carr and her three daughters, The Prepared Parents Guide offers lots of advice for parents who are about to send off their kids to college. Filled with tips on what you need to know as well as tips on what you should be doing, this text features 253 pages filled with information designed to make life easier for the parents of fledgling college students.Each chapter tackles a different topic in thorough and easy-to-understand fashion. Topics include necessary paperwork, booking hotels, health and dental insurance, the dorm room, moving in debts, and much, much, more.

Clothing

College is definitely a place where socks are going to be a large part of dorm life. From keeping tootsies warm during the long night’s slumber to taking the place of shoes for the long walk down the hall to the bathroom, socks are an important facet for any gal or guy.

OZONE
One of the hottest brands of socks on the market today, Ozone Socks feature class, style, color and quality. From sophisticated solids with a bit of ruffle or fringe to stripes and plaids reminiscent of bygone days to funky patterns with multiple colors to unique culture displays, Ozone socks have what it takes to the eyes to staring. Plus, they are comfortable! This is important after a long day encompassing breakfast with the girls, an hour of class, coffee and snacks, more hours of class, and lunch. Okay, maybe that’s a bit of generalization and maybe college fays are filled with many more hours of studying, labs, conferences, and sports practices; nonetheless, the comfort of our precious daughters, nieces and sisters is important. In fact, if you are buying these as a student you’ll have a difficult time choosing among the eclectic array of the raddest socks in town. My suggestion is – buy whatever adds a twinkle to your eye as you peruse what they have because the twinkle is bound to stay there! Check them out at ozonesocks.com

Power Sox, a Gold Toe Brand
Gold Toe Power Sox for men are the perfect socks to buy for young men going off to college. Through a long busy day, these socks will keep their feet dry and comfortable.

Power Sox, a Gold Toe brand, uses the advanced performance technology of COOLMAX fabric offering moisture management that helps to keep your guy’s feet dry by lifting moisture up and away while enhancing the drying rate. The ventilated tops let feet breathe and stay cool while the entire sock has been designed for extreme comfort and a good fit. Power Sox offer terrific arch support and shock absorption to help prevent our boys from having tired feet after running to class, meals, or practice. Okay, enough with the technical mumbo jumbo- these socks are comfortable and they help to keep feet dry! Great for athletes, bandos, techies, and just about anyone!

Awesome Avenue Pop Culture Memorabilia

For those college students who like retro merchandise with a vintage flair, awesomeavenue.com is the place to visit. Students and their parents will discover a wide assortment of cool t-shirts with iconic logos as well as backpacks crafted by well-known brands, and nifty retro toys just for fun!


How to Get Stargazer Lily Pollen Stains out of Clothing or Fabric

The gardening bug got me again this year – so much so, that I’ve bought a few dozen lilies to plant around my home. One of the last things the owner of the plant shop said to me was a warning not to get the stargazer lily pollen on my clothes or face, as it causes terrible stains that don’t come out [easily].

Get Stargazer Lily pollen out of clothes.To my dismay, when I got home with my purchases, my husband asked what was the yellowish orange streak smeared across my face. Somehow I had managed to get a long smear of stargazer lily pollen across my forehead. No matter – my hubby kindly wiped it off and when I went inside later that night, it no longer showed up on my skin. However, if you didn’t already suspect it, I also got a few huge stargazer lily pollen stains on my clothing – around the hem of my corduroy skirt and somehow, on the back of one of my favorite shirts.

How I got stargazer lily pollen stains on the back of my clothes is beyond me, but I couldn’t believe my misfortune. As far as I was concerned at the time, my lily pollen stained clothes were hopeless. On a whim, I decided to do a quick search online to see if any magical remedies existed.  It wasn’t as easy finding a solution as I expected, but after a few moments, I had a plan.

Get Stargazer Lily pollen out of clothes.To help you get rid of the stargazer lily pollen stains on your clothing or fabric, follow these steps:

1.    DO NOT – I repeat, do NOT – wet the stargazer lily pollen stains. I know this might be too late for you if you’ve attempted to clean the pollen stain already, as many of us turn to water as a quick rinse. In the case of lily pollen stains, it is not always effective and can in fact prevent the stains from being removed at times.

2.    First use cellophane tape to pick off any of the loose pollen from your clothes. This can be challenging with textured clothing, such as corduroys, but it can effectively remove a good bit of lily pollen if you keep at it.

3.    If pollen stains remain, place your stargazer lily pollen stained clothing outside in the sun for about 2 – 3 hours. I may have left mine a bit longer, but to my complete amazement, the lily pollen stains completely vanished.

4.    If stains remain, attempt further cleaning with your preferred laundry stain removal product. I luckily did not need to follow any further than step 3.

Of course it is easier said than done – especially if you are reading this article to solve a problem – but prevention is the best way to keep your clothing free from stargazer lily pollen. For future protection of your clothes, remove the anthers (parts of the flower containing the pollen) before bringing your stargazer lilies into the car or the house.

Good luck removing the stargazer lily pollen stains from your clothes. These tips should help you succeed or at least improve the stained clothing.

Top 10 Cheap and Easy Things to Do Outside with Your Friends, Family, or Sweetheart Every Summer

When the summer rolls around, you can bet on a number of bright, warm, sunny days and the need for sunscreen and cool beverages. You can find plenty of fun things to do outside on a summer day, and they don’t have to cost a lot of money.

Whether you want to hang out with your friends, spend time with your family, or chill out with your significant other, you can enjoy any of these summertime outdoor activities. These activities are almost all kid friendly summer activities as well, so you can get your whole family involved.

1.    Go swimming.

2.    Enjoy freshly made cotton candy.

3.    Find shapes in the clouds, gaze at the stars, or watch a meteor shower.

4.    Go on a picnic or eat outside at a picnic table.

5.    Grill your dinner or go to a barbeque.

6.    Go for a walk in the park.

7.    Have a catch in your backyard.

8.    Play a yard sport like croquet, bocce ball, or wiffle ball.

9.    Play a round of miniature golf.

10.    Go to an outdoor concert or festival.

If you’re looking for a summertime activity to do on the cheap, any of these suggestions should do. You can enjoy about half of these activities completely free while the other half cost only a little bit of money.

For a fun and healthy summer, get together with your friends or loved ones and celebrate the warm weather and fresh air by spending some time outside. Try out these outdoor activities or think of your own cheap and fun things to do in the summer.

Product Review: Bring a Tropical or Exotic Atmosphere to Your Home with Febreze Destination Scents

If you are Febreze Destination Scents are available at Amazon.com.looking for a fun and fragrant way to spruce up your home for the spring and summer, give some thought into the little details rather than a big, extravagant plan. Sometimes the simpler things in life can have the greatest impact. One such example is the new line of Destination Scents by Febreze.

These lovely room fresheners, sprays, and candles may seem small, but they go a long way to freshening up more than just a room. You can really liven up your home and its atmosphere with Febreze Destination Scents.

Febreze NOTICEables Destination Scents Fragrance Warmers to Plug in
Order Febreze Destination Scents products online at Amazon.com.As one example, the fragrance from the Febreze NOTICEables Moroccan Bazaar fragrance warmer traveled throughout much of the first floor of our two-story home. The unit is similar to a Glade Plug-in, but of considerably higher quality and craftsmanship. The fragrance traveled from the bathroom to the laundry room, kitchen and beyond, so much so that my husband noticed the wonderful fragrance and commented about how nice it made our home smell.

The Febreze NOTICEables Moroccan Bazaar fragrance warmer infuses the aroma of fresh-ground ginger and nutmeg, among other ingredients to simulate the bags and barrels brimming with spice at the Moroccan Spice Market, which inspired the creation of this particular item by Febreze. The interesting thing about this product is that it alternates between the two individual fragrance bottles and a little green light illuminates to tell you which scent is currently diffusing through the air.

The Febreze NOTICEables fragrances should last roughly 30 days (or more on low) and each fragrance warmer offers a built-in intensity dial that allows you to increase or decrease the amount of fragrance diffusing at any time.

Febreze Destination Scents Hawaiian Aloha Odor Eliminating Candle
Another exotic and tropical item you might like to try for freshening up your home is the Febreze Hawaiian Aloha Odor Eliminating Candle. This pretty and fragrant candle offers a lovely and appealing design in a round glass votive. The fragrance is light and tropical, inspired by the yellow Hibiscus, the state flower of Hawaii.

Although I haven’t yet burned the candle, the fragrance still manages to freshen up our upstairs bathroom. The Febreze candle is designed to last up to 30 hours of burn time and works to eliminate odors in one hour intervals (i.e., burn for minimum one hour at a time).

Febreze Destination Scents Brazilian Carnaval Odor Eliminating Air Effects® Room Spray
Febreze Destination Scents product review - buy products online at Amazon.com.Finally, one more enticing product from the Febreze Destination Scents line that you simply must try is the Brazilian Carnaval Room Spray. This fragrance comes in a pretty aqua blue metal spray can with a plastic nozzle and trigger. The Brazilian Carnaval scent is inspired by the lush green groves of acai berry palms that are found deep within the Amazon.

The Brazilian Carnaval Room Spray delivers a simply delightful aroma that may just make you want to spray rooms for the sheer bliss of enjoying the wonderful room spray. To fully get the effects of this product, you should spray each room with a sweeping motion to bring the freshness to your entire home. This room spray works to eliminate odors and freshen up rooms as needed. It’s especially great for the kitchen and bathroom, but don’t neglect your bedrooms, family areas, and the rest of your home. In fact, your car can even benefit from a little Brazilian Carnaval fragrance.

The Febreze Destination Scents product line includes the three authentic scents of Hawaiian Aloha, Brazilian Carnaval and Moroccan Bazaar. Retail prices for each of the different products in the line vary, but you can find coupons and discounts online at www.febreze.com.You can also find a variety of Febreze Destination Scents products for sale online at Amazon.com.

A Great Way to Organize Your Shoes – “As Seen on TV” Shoes Under

Like many women, you probably own a ton of shoes – Shoes Under is a sensible shoe storage solution for your home.possibly with more than one pair to match each of your favorite outfits. With dozens of shoes and only so much closet space, what’s a girl to do? Rather than give up your beloved shoes or live in a perpetual state of shoe chaos, consider a more creative approach to organizing your shoes.

As you may have seen on TV, a new product called Shoes Under is available to serve your shoe storage needs. You can even store belts, scarves, and other small accessories in the compartments in the Shoes Under shoe storage solution. Shoes Under features a flexible canvas exterior with a clear plastic cover that zips around three sides to keep your shoes clean and protected.

Shoes Under is a sensible shoe storage solution for your home.After first seeing the Shoes Under commercial on television, I definitely thought it looked like a great product and I was excited to learn more. I was thrilled to review Shoes Under and to share my experience with all of you. For someone like me, who often finds organization around the home to be a challenge, the Shoes Under storage solution is a great alternative to keeping your shoes in their store boxes or simply under the bed or in the closet.

One Shoes Under shoe organizer can hold up to 12 pairs of shoes. In trying out Shoes Under, I found that some of my shoes fit into the compartments much better than others. I tend to wear a lot of high heels and more often, platform sandals. My shoes can be categorized as chunky heels or wide platforms, so I found a few of my pairs of shoes difficult to fit into the individual shoe compartments in the Shoes Under. Despite the tricky sizes and shapes of my shoes, I was still able to fit eleven pairs of shoes in my Shoes Under.

Shoes Under is a sensible shoe storage solution for your home.Also, I am not sure how well Shoes Under would accommodate men’s shoes – although I found it to be a great fit for my ladies’ size 7s. I have passed on my feedback about this and how my platform shoes fit, and hopefully we’ll soon see a new Shoes Under product with more room and versatility for wider, chunkier, and overall larger shoes!

Along the same lines, Shoes Under’s Instruction Guide notes that you can remove one or more dividers to accommodate larger shoes and even boots. I looked a few times and I don’t know exactly how to remove the dividers short of cutting them out. But, that kind of traps you into always keeping the same shoes inside Shoes Under, so my guess is that is not the expected solution. My recommendation if you find a tough time fitting your larger or taller shoes would be to simply lay them across as many compartments as needed, as the dividers are a soft and flexible, canvas type fabric that easily moves and gets out of the way to fit different kinds of shoes.

Shoes Under is a sensible shoe storage solution for your home.A few things you should know about Shoes Under: If you’ve seen the commercial on TV, please note that the majority of the rooms feature hardwood floors, which aids in the effortless sliding of the product in and out from under the bed. If your bedroom is like mine – with carpet – your experience may be different than what you expect from the commercial’s visual display of how easy it is to move the Shoes Under. While you may be expecting a similarly smooth sliding motion as seen on the TV commercial, what you will experience with carpeting is that the Shoes Under encounters considerable friction on a carpeted floor.

Another item of note – the frame of the Shoes Under is made of a softer fabric material, so the product’s shape does not stay firm when moving it under the bed and back out. While the commercial shows firm and rectangular edges, the edges of the product seem to bunch up due to the weight of the shoes and the friction from the carpeted floor. The storage solution does not maintain a strictly rectangular shape when using it on carpet; however, this may not be a major consideration for you if you have hardwood floors or simply don’t mind adjusting the Shoes Under’s shape whenever you replace it under the bed.

All in all, I really like the Shoes Under shoe storage and organization solution as an easy and neat way to keep my shoes organized and protected. I was previously using a long and short Rubbermaid container to store my shoes under the bed, but I like that I can see right through the cover on Shoes Under so I know whether the pair of shoes I want to wear is even inside. The product makes your under-the-bed storage area look so much nicer than cluttered piles of shoes which becomes so common for so many of us. I am thrilled to say, underneath my bed is cleaner and more organized thanks to Shoes Under!

You can buy the Shoes Under Storage System (Original As Seen On TV) online at the As Seen on TV Web site or at Amazon.com. Prices range from $13.97 for one Shoes Under product or $10 plus $6.99 shipping and handling for two Shoes Under products.

Choosing Wine Bars, Wine Cabinets, and Classy Wine Storage Furniture

If you love wine and enjoy family meals or social events where you indulge in a bottle or a few bottles of wine at a time, perhaps a piece of wine furniture is the perfect new addition to your home décor. Crate and Barrel Depending on your personal styles and tastes, this may be just what your home needs for a fresh, new look!

Wine furniture comes in many shapes and sizes, such as wine bars, wine cabinets, wine towers, wine buffets, wine carts, and so much more. You might even consider a special refrigerator just to chill all your bottles of wine! A piece of wine furniture can really take a particular room – like a dining room – from ordinary to extraordinary.

How to Choose Wine Bars, Wine Cabinets, Wine Towers, and Other Wine Furniture
In your hunt for the perfect wine furniture for your home, consider a few things to help you find the right piece. Where do you want to put the wine furniture? What color is your existing furniture in that room? What style do you need your wine bar or wine tower to match, or, would you rather enhance the room’s décor with an accent piece? Should you look for a corner piece or will a traditional piece do? What kind of storage and display properties do you want in your wine bar, buffet, or tower – drawers, hanging wine glasses, a mirror? Finally, how many bottles of wine do you wish to store in this piece of wine furniture?

Once you have answered even just a few of these questions, your search for the right wine furniture for your home becomes so much easier. The color of the wood may be the first defining factor to help you pick the right piece, but you can use any of the above elements as a step in the right direction for finding a great piece of wine furniture to accent your home.

Don’t forget to speak with your family members and spouse or significant other to get some dialogue going on the best fit for new wine furnishings for your home. You can begin your search online or take a few trips to your favorite furniture stores on your search for great wine furnishings for your home.

Buying in a Store vs. Scouring the Web: Wine Bars, Buffets, and Other Wine Furniture
The Internet is a great place to start when you are on the hunt for just about anything. Even if you don’t want to buy your items online, you can really get a great idea about what you like, what you don’t like, the cost, and who’s selling what.

Searching online to find wine furniture can also benefit you in the amount of details that are right there at your fingertips. You can really find out a lot about the products you are considering, from dimensions (so go grab your tape measure and make sure it fits) to whether the particular piece of furniture requires assembly (so you can keep your handyman husband busy or pick out a guilt-free piece that comes already assembled) to the number of wine bottles the furniture can hold (and you know this is a major selling point – so go count your wine bottles and make sure there’s enough space!)

While you can learn a lot about the individual products online, you may also want to visit a store to check out some wine furniture in person. You will find that you have an easier time assessing the quality of something you can touch.

If you don’t need the piece to be extremely high end, you may be able to get away with buying it online simply based on the description and photographs provided. This might be a great way to get a good deal. Just make sure you check into the return policy should you encounter any problems once your new wine furniture arrives.

Whichever way you decide to buy, we hope you love your new furniture! Now, here are a few suggestions of various types of wine furniture that we like:

Crate and Barrel Crate and Barrel Wine Bars, Wine Cabinets, and Wine Furnishings
Dark chocolate brown is the color of choice for many Crate and Barrel wine storage and display creations. Espresso colored wood wine bars a plenty are available to accent your dining room, kitchen, or other special nook.

Crate and Barrel does feature a few additional wine bars, wine cabinets, and wine hutches in lighter colored wood, such as cherry, teak, and even black or white stained wood. Prices range from $299 to $2032, but occasional sales may reduce the price from time to time.

Birch Wood Buffet Server w Built-In Wine Storage, from www.winerackstation.comOther great online finds for wine furnishings:

Raised Panel Black Wine Bar Cabinet Wood

Beechwood Wine Furniture and Creative Wine Storage Solutions

Howard Miller – Metropolis

Birch Wood Buffet Server w Built-In Wine Storage

Bridgeport 24-Bottle Wine Cabinet

Wine Towers
Consider a wide variety of wine towers and classy wine furniture from Amazon.com.


Tower Shelf w Wine Storage


18-Bottle Espresso Wine Tower and Glass Holder

Budget-Proof Gifts: Say a Lot, Spend a Little!

Times are tough and money is tight anymore, so this article is designed to help you give meaningful gifts at a minimal investment. With the ever-climbing costs of fuel and everyday living, pinching pennies has never been more important. Use this handy guide to score the perfect present for your special someone.

To determine the best type of gift you can possibly afford, the first steps are to determine exactly what your budget is, and secondly, who is receiving the gift.

No Budget – Great ideas for gifts when you don’t have a dime to your name….

–Write a poem for your loved one-you can immortalize a person, a memory or a moment with a string of words. This sentimental motion will not be easily forgotten.

–If you are musically inclined, compose a song for the recipient! There is no feeling in the world quite like hearing a song and knowing you were in the mind of the composer.

–Using materials you already have, create a painting, or sketch or draw a picture/portrait for your friend or loved one.

–Film a fun video! Make your memories and laughs last a lifetime.

–Create a custom coupon booklet – Include such luxuries as a back rub, night without the kids… use your imagination!

Minimal Budget – Cool Creations and Ideas when you have a few bucks to spare….

–If you have MS Power Point and a CD burner, Make a slideshow with special pictures-play around with it and have fun. It is actually quite easy to add music in the background – so put your own soundtrack to your memories! (A dollar, give or take, depending on the cost of the CD)

–A hand-made, decorated photo frame is a thoughtful gift – especially after a recent special event or fun gathering in which you were both present. My friend gave me a frame she decorated herself in a Halloween theme with a picture of us in our costumes.

–Crafty little extras – Purchase inexpensive votive holders and design them as you wish, using the recipient’s favorite colors.

–Bake cookies or desserts for your special person – who can turn down homemade sweets!?

Just “A Budget” – For those extra-special people who make us want to spend our money

–Date-in-a-Box! Snag a gift card to the local movie rental, pick up a box of microwave popcorn and some movie theater style candy and you are all set!

–Play chef for the night – Make a special dinner of your loved one’s favorite meal, complete with candlelight, wine and dessert if you can manage it!

–Learn a craft really well and show off your skills… crochet or knit a blanket, sweater or scarf-or practice the art of glass painting and pick up some stained glass paints and a glass beer mug, vase, or item of your choice. Personalize as you desire and voila! You have a beautiful gift that will last and remind them of you for ages.

–Create a scrapbook for your special recipient-it doesn’t have to be anything elaborate, or you could spice it up as much as you want. Sometimes I use old construction paper and magazine clippings, and other times stickers and special materials from a craft store. For a really low budget scrapbook, check out the dollar store for mini-scrapbooks and add your own special touches.

Sometimes the most sentimental gifts cost very little or nothing at all…. The time and care you pour into a gift for a loved one says more than your charge slip or next bank statement. In fact, some of the most treasured items are so special due to your understanding of the person – i.e. how well you know him or her. In most cases, effort, time and thoughtfulness are more important than the price tag.