Get Ready for Summer! + HM #183

Get ready for summer! Check out these great ideas for summer fun and entertaining. Find fabulous food and drink recipes, and tips and tricks for the best summer ever. Plus, link up at Home Matters. #Summer #HomeMattersParty

Get Ready for Summer! + HM #183

Summer is COMING! Whether you idea of summer his hitting the beach, going camping, having backyard BBQs, or just relaxing with friends, the gals of Home Matters have got you covered. Trip through our roundup and find awesome ideas to help you get ready for summer. Enjoy!

 

Camping – Hacks, Tips, Tricks from Ashley @ Frugal Coupon Living

 

Frozen Butterbeer Popsicles Recipe from April @ Mama Loves Food

 

Soothing DIY After Sun Spray for Sunburn Relief from Chrystal @ Happy Mothering

 

Kids, Summer, YIKES! Brilliant Ideas for Kids’ Activities from Lorelai @ Life With Lorelai

 

Get Ready for Summer! Blog Hop

Click through all the Hosts and Co-hosts blogs to see the complete Themed Roundup!

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A Home Matters Themed Roundup

Last Week’s Theme: Mother’s Day Celebration Ideas

Next Week’s Theme: Memorial Day Weekend Ideas



Welcome to the weekly Home Matters Linky Party. A great place to come, share your blog posts, and make new friends.

We would love to have you visit our blogs and follow us on social media!

Hosts

Lorelai @ Life With LorelaiFacebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

Kristen @ The Road to DomesticationFacebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

Co-hosts

Sahana @ VikalpahFacebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

Nicole @ Mom Always Finds OutFacebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

Emily @ Domestic DeadlineFacebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

Donna @ Modern On MonticelloFacebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

Nina @ Vintage Mama’s CottageFacebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

Ashley @ Sweetpea LifestyleFacebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

Jenny @ Cookies, Coffee and CraftsFacebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

 

Check out more posts from the Hosts and Co-Hosts on our
NEW Pinterest Board, All Things Home Matters!
And, please do follow…

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Each week, we like to feature some of the awesome posts shared at last week’s party. We hope you will be inspired by these creative and talented bloggers who share their best recipes, DIY projects, crafts, home decor, organization ideas, and more. Enjoy!

Check out this week’s features below.

 

Paper and Iron-On Wood Sign from Randi @ Duke & Duchesses

PIN here.


Glazed Lemon Scones from Lisa @ Cooking With Curls

PIN here.


How To Paint Outdoor Furniture So It Lasts for Years from Krista @ The Happy Housie

PIN here.


DIY Plastic Bottle Faux Succulents Terrarium from Claire @ Pillar Box Blue

PIN here.


Steak and Mushroom Mini Quesadillas from Jas @ All That’s Jas

PIN here.

 

Thank you to all who linked up at last week’s party. We look forward to seeing what you will be sharing with us this week!

Remember that every feature is shared on all Host’s and Co-Host’s blogs, as well as on the Home Matters Linky Party Pinterest Board! Don’t forget to follow…

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Home Matters Linky Party Guidelines:

We are thrilled that you came by to link up today! Here are a few rules that hosts and co-hosts of the Home Matters Party follow, and we ask that you follow them, as well.

  1. Please link up no more than THREE posts each week–try to make sure that they are new links that you have not shared here previously. (Exception: Holiday/Seasonal specific posts may be shared once per year.)
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With your help, we can continue to grow the Home Matters Party! Thank you!

Get ready for summer! Check out these great ideas for summer fun and entertaining. Find fabulous food and drink recipes, and tips and tricks for the best summer ever. Plus, link up at Home Matters. Click To Tweet

Link Up!

By joining the Home Matters Linky Party you are giving permission for all hosts and co-hosts to use and share any part of your post, including pictures, for party promotion, as featured posts, in party photo collages, on blogs, and across social media, etc. All credits will be given to the original source. Also, you will receive a weekly email reminder regarding the new week’s Home Matters Linky Party.

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Thank you for joining in the fun and excitement at the Home Matters Linky Party. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do. We look forward to chatting with you in the comments.

 

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5 Tips for Hosting a Stress-Free Family Christmas Party

Hosting a Family Christmas Party can be stressful. You want everything to be perfect, full of family tradition and holiday spirit in order to create those magical memories that will last a lifetime. So, we have some great tips and trick that will help you host a stress-free family Christmas Party. Of course, these tips will help in planning and in hosting any party!

5 Tips for Hosting a Stress-Free Family Christmas Party

 

With winter holidays straight ahead and drawing closer by the minute, we’re all looking forward to lip-smacking Christmas banquets and family reunions, right? Well, not exactly. Every time the season comes for Santa to slide down the chimney and deliver gifts, busy moms start bracing themselves for second helpings of stress and hard work required to host a pitch-perfect at-home Christmas celebration. Nevertheless, the fact that your whole family will be coming together to welcome Father Christmas in a few weeks’ time doesn’t have to be a source of angst or dread this time around. All you need to do is arm yourself with tried and tested tips on how to throw an unforgettable, stress-free Christmas party and act on them without delay.

1. Invitations Nobody Can Say No To

Before dashing off to decorate the dining table and whip up food for the Christmas party, pause for a second to do a brief guest count. Draw up the guest list and seating plan to make sure your party goes down without hitches or unpleasant guest table quibbles.

With the guest list in place, it’s time to send out invitations (preferably in the written, not digital form). You should send invites at least two weeks ahead of the celebration to allow your guests ample time to RVSP. Expert tip: be sure the invitations are so lovable your invitees can’t say No to them. If you hate the idea of DIY invitation crafting, you can find various printable Christmas party invites online. Use them to cheat your way to bonus party turnout.

2. Decide on the Food and Drink Menu

The next point on the stress-free Christmas party staging list, the choice of food and drinks you’ll serve your guests deserves an extra dose of attention. As a general rule, the party bar should contain both alcoholic and soft drinks, just to stay on the safe (and relatively sober) side of the dining table.

If possible, it would be a wise idea to check with the guests if they suffer from any food allergies or follow special diet plans: such a precious piece of info will help you stock the party table with delicacies all invitees will relish. If you don’t want to go through the food prep hassle, you can look up the offer of best finger food catering services in Melbourne and pick tasty bites that fit the party budget and your guests’ dietary preferences.

3. It’s Time to Dress Up the Party Venue

After you’ve sorted out the essentials for the Christmas party, you’ll need to dress the venue for the gathering. The rule of thumb here is that ornaments in red, gold, and green are best-suited to the biggest event of the winter season, but you can also use violet, blue, and orange details as accents.

To achieve a festive yet suave tablescape, you should bring out finest silverware and porcelain crockery: after all, Christmas is precisely the type of a special occasion that calls for such displays of elegance and luxury. For final touches, you can top the Christmas party table with fragrant candles, string lights nestled in jars, and a centerpiece in the form of an evergreen arrangement with red and white ribbon.

4. Devise a Fail-safe Entertainment Program

To keep boredom at bay and avoid awkward party silences, create a special playlist and pick a few games you and your guests will play after dinner. Christmas Carol Pictionary, white elephant gift exchange, and other themed games are a great entertainment choice, but you can also opt for non-Christmassy activities if your party crowd isn’t exactly a major fan of traditional festive amusement.

As far as music is concerned, you shouldn’t leave out Christmas melodies from the playlist, but you can structure it around handpicked non-seasonal tunes such as jazz, blues, R&B, and classic rock. Expert tip: melodies that make your guests’ ears prick up and set the mood to merry are a good choice of music for the Christmas party.

5. Party Favors, the Hospitable Hosts’ Way

No Christmas party is complete without gifts, but the Christmas tree shouldn’t be the only place for your guests to find tokens of appreciation, caring, and love. To bring home the medal as the most hospitable host ever, make cute party favors before the big event which you’ll place at the dining table.

Gingerbread cookies, lollies, tree ornaments, and chocolates in Christmas wrappers are just the tip of the party favor iceberg. If you want to go pro with the Christmas party staging, you can present the guests with personalized favors such as swag bags, printed mugs with funny slogans, spa and massage coupons, and creative cookie tins or favor bags which you can order online for bonus stress-free party organization.

All set? Don’t forget to put on your finest party clothes, don a wide smile, and have tons of fun –after all, joy, laughter, love, sharing, and positive mood are the whole point of winter holidays. Enjoy your family Christmas party to the fullest. Merry Christmas!


 

 

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Tips To Reduce Possible Water Damage

Winter is coming; prepare now for the spring thaw. Get tips on reducing the possibility of water damage to help protect your home and property.

Tips To Reduce Possible Water Damage

Help protect your home and property

 

As the cold of fall and winter settles in, most are consumed with the worry of snow. Why? Because spring happens. It’s inevitable. For most people who inhabit the frigid winter areas to the north, it is eagerly anticipated, with days marked off on a calendar and seedlings warming in a window. Every day there is still snow on the ground, they measure it, marking the thaw.

No matter where you live, however, spring thaw means rivers can overflow and flood. Even without a river overflowing, days of spring rains or even snow melting around the foundation of your home can cause flooding. That’s why autumn before the snow falls or winter rains begin, is the perfect time to protect your home and property from potential water damage.

From the Bottom Up

When cleaning your house, you probably start at the top and work your way down so when you clean your ceiling fan blades, you can vacuum any dust that falls. However, a house is built from the foundation up so the builder knows it will be on solid ground. When protecting your home from potential water damage, you want to make sure your foundation stays firm.

You may have already taken steps to direct rain gutters away from your foundation, but you can also take advantage of low spots on your property by creating a dry creek bed. This can direct water away from your house. You can also try a rain garden in the low spots, which uses native plants that love the occasionally soggy soil. You may even install an underground pipe that drains water buildup in a low spot even farther away. If water persistently builds up on your driveway and flows into your garage, consider re-paving with gravel or pavers that allow water to get into the ground below.

Sometimes, no matter how much you try to protect your foundation, spring thaw can still cause basements to flood. As soon as you can, turn off all electricity to the house before you step into standing water in the basement. Remove the water as quickly as you can to prevent mold and other bacteria from growing in the damp walls and floor. Items that have been waterlogged need to be dried out or disposed of, including baseboards, furniture or carpeting.

In Over Your Head

Before snow or ice prevents you from getting to your roof’s rain gutters, make sure they are cleared of any debris that would block melting snow from draining off, or cause ice to build up and lift shingles. Inspect the ceilings in all rooms of the house, especially inside closets where water stains may be hidden until the damage has become significant. Look for any discoloration in ceiling paint. Windows should also be inspected for water leaks which can run inside walls undetected and lead to mold growth.

Skylights, chimney flashing, and vents in the attic can also leak unnoticed until there is significant damage to a ceiling. Look for signs of moisture or rust around any ceiling vents, or vents that persistently drip water when it rains. Have your attic inspected periodically, especially along joists that may allow water to run from the actual leak to another part of the attic. Indications of water leaks in the attic can be dark stains on wood, mold or obvious water.

It’s important to remember that damage also doesn’t necessarily just exist inside your home. Have you been wondering why your garden doesn’t bloom each spring and summer? The flow of water in your yard could be impacting your plants negatively if they’re getting too much (or not enough) due to the slopes and dips of your yard.

Protecting your home and garden from potential water damage can be as simple as creative landscaping and routine inspections. Preventing mold from water damage is always much easier than removing mold after the fact.

 

~Megan

Visit Megan at her blog, Your Wild Home!

 

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Homestead – Get Tips To Start Homesteading

Are you looking to start a homestead? Does a self-sufficient and sustainable lifestyle seem appealing to you? Then check out these tips on how to get started from our regular contributor, Megan Wild.

 

Tips on Starting a Homestead

Do you pass by quaint roadside stalls brimming with delectable fresh produce and wish you could live a peaceful, self-sufficient farm life? Do you already have a small vegetable or flower garden in your backyard because the idea of homegrown sustainability is one of your family’s goals? If so, you may be ready to start your own homestead!

Homesteading is a lifestyle that includes small-scale farming, animal husbandry, food preservation and textile or craft making. Don’t worry, you don’t have to dive right into all of those elements at once. It really is a lifestyle change that takes time and practice, but will ultimately result in the pride and satisfaction that you’re moving toward a life of self-reliance.

Here are some tips on how to transition into starting your own small homestead.

Get to Know Your Surroundings

Is your property able to support a homestead? You don’t need hundreds of acres, but you will need to do research to make sure you have enough sunlit space for your garden and a big enough pasture for any animals you wish to raise. It’s also extremely important to check with your local zoning board to ensure that everything will be up to code.

Get in touch with nature and learn what plants and natural structures surround your property. Are the local shrubs poisonous, or are they a natural medicine you can use at home? Is there a clean stream perfect for keeping cows watered as well as backup in case your well dries? What wild animals are native to your area, and are they a threat to your produce? These are just a few things to consider, and you will have to build your homesteading activities based on the land you have available.

Chickens and Goats and Cows, Oh My!

One of the biggest reasons people turn to homestead living is the growing concern over ethical animal treatment. By raising your own animals, you are in control over their happiness and the many uses they provide for you and your family.

Chickens are often the first animal homesteaders start with as they’re easy to maintain and don’t require large pastures. Not only do many people tout the taste of free-range eggs over commercial eggs, but studies show that free-range eggs are healthier for you overall. Watching chicks hatch, or looking for fresh eggs, are fun activities everyone in the family can participate in watching and doing. For chickens that no longer lay, you then have a cruelty-free source of poultry and feathers to be used whenever.

When it comes to meat and milk, cattle and goats are great for both. Just make sure you’re completely read up on the proper care and handling of any livestock you choose to own before you buy any. Once you have their pasture and housing situated, you can start going to auctions. Even if you don’t buy the first time, this is a great way to get a feel for what other experienced farmers do and the types of cattle you could buy. Don’t be afraid to speak to the sales manager at the auction, as they will help acquaint you with how things are run.

After your animals are settled in their new home, make sure you continue to look after their care. Get in touch with your local veterinarian before and after making any purchases. They can tell you what vaccinations are necessary and which warning signs you should watch for.

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Growing a vegetable garden is not so different from a flower garden. With careful planning, you can have both to utilize throughout the growing season. Tomatoes, squashes, peppers and beans are all easy starter vegetables. You don’t have to sacrifice the beauty of a regular floral garden — consider switching to colorful herbs such as lavender or chamomile or even rose varieties that produce large hips, which are great for brewing in tea. Let your children participate in the digging and planting when you first get started. It’ll make hunting for hidden vegetable bounty under the leaves all that much more rewarding.

You want to make sure you benefit from your garden year round, so dry or can your produce properly when you’re not eating it fresh. This will help you cut back on wasted veggies that aren’t eaten in time when your crop really booms. You’ll also stock your shelves for the winter.

Attitude Is Everything

Finally — and most importantly — remember that it takes patience and an open mind to change into this new lifestyle. You may make mistakes, and you may fall on hard times. However, the benefits truly outweigh the costs when you earn your self-sufficiency.

Once you get the hang of it, you’ll find homestead life to be extremely rewarding and you’ll thank yourself for all the hard work you put into it.

 

~Megan

Visit Megan at her blog, Your Wild Home!

 

 

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Sunflowers – How To Grow These Healthy Giants

We’re back in the garden with regular contributor, Megan Wild. You’re going to love these floral giants — sunflowers for your garden!

How to Grow Healthy Sunflowers

Add some wow factor to your garden!

 

One of the greatest joys of gardening is watching something you planted from a tiny seed grow and reach amazing heights – even towering over you. There’s no better way to get that wow factor in your garden than to plant sunflowers. Some varieties can reach 10 to even 16 feet high! To grow large, healthy sunflowers, though, it pays to follow a few best practices to give them the best chance to thrive.

 

Choose the Right Location

 

It should come as no surprise that sunflowers do best in a sunny location. They need at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight per day – the more the better. Sunflowers also need a soil that drains well, so planting them on a slope will often help keep their roots from becoming too waterlogged.

 

Another advantage of planting sunflowers on a slope is that picking the right plants can help reduce soil erosion and minimize flooding in other parts of your yard. Sunflowers have long taproots that anchor deeply and soak up a lot of excess water, which can help preserve the rest of your landscape.

 

Plant in Mid-Spring for Best Results

 

Sunflowers aren’t frost-hardy, so it’s best to wait to plant until all danger of frost has passed in your area. Prepare your soil by adding a low-nitrogen fertilizer and lots of compost. Turn these into the soil with a spade to loosen the planting area and allow roots to flourish. Press sunflower seeds into the prepared soil to about an inch in depth, making sure to plant seeds in rows 6 inches apart. Cover seeds with soil and water well.

 

If garden pests like birds, chipmunks or squirrels disturb your seeds, cover your planting bed with bird netting or chicken wire to protect them. Water seeds daily until they sprout.

 

 

Support Your Sunflowers as They Grow

 

Once your sunflowers sprout, they don’t need much care unless you are experiencing a drought. An inch of rainfall per week is the right amount, but if you get less, water your sunflowers deeply once per week to make up for the deficit.

 

When your sunflowers reach a foot in height, it’s time to thin them. For a row of dwarf sunflowers, you should pull out the weaker seedlings and leave the strong plants at a spacing of about one per every foot. For giant sunflowers, thin to one every 30 inches or so. It’s important to create enough room for your sunflowers to reach their full potential, so don’t skip this important step – even if it seems sad to kill half of your seedlings.

 

As your sunflowers bloom, they will need staking to keep them upright. Sometimes the seed heads get so heavy that the stems bend or break, so use strong bamboo stakes to hold them upright. Simply insert the stake into the ground a few inches from the stem and use garden twine to tie the stem to the stake every 6 inches or so. This will also help your sunflowers if you live in a windy area.

 

 

Protect Sunflowers From Predators

 

Sunflowers are tempting food sources for local garden critters, so you may need to protect them, especially if you are interested in harvesting the seeds for yourself. To do this, you can spray plants with a hot pepper spray or other squirrel deterrent. You’ll need to reapply ever few days, or after a rainfall.

 

To keep birds away from your sunflower seeds, tie a paper bag over the flower head as the seeds begin to develop. This won’t allow you to enjoy your flowers for their beauty, but it’s usually the only way to keep the local birds from making off with your crop. If you’ve planted a whole bed of sunflowers, you can select just a few to protect and allow the birds to eat the rest while you enjoy the flowers for their decorative features.

 

Once you get the hang of growing sunflowers, you‘ll never want to be without them. They are a brilliant feature in any garden, and they’re loads of fun for kids to enjoy – especially if they get to snack on the seeds in the autumn. Give these giant beauties a try for a fun garden project this summer.

~Megan

Visit Megan at her blog, Your Wild Home!

 

Have you grown sunflowers before?

Do you have any tips or tricks for growing sunflowers in your garden?

 

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Hosting A Perfect Dinner Party

Want to entertain your friends and family with ease and confidence? Then, read on… today, we are going to get the tips and tricks for Hosting a Perfect Dinner Party in this guest post from Emma Lawson.

 

Hosting a Perfect Dinner Party

Making Entertaining Fun and Easy

 

Nowadays, when people are always in a rush, a dinner party can be a real treat. Nothing is better than having all your friends at one place, eating homemade dishes, drinking, and laughing together. Such a lovely event can indeed make us much happier and even lower the levels of stress. However, many people think that throwing a perfect dinner party is a pain in the neck – very complicated and often frustrating. Well, this is so not true! If you are still skeptical about this – stay with us. Here are some of the most important tips on how to successfully host a perfect dinner party. Enjoy!

 

  1. Stick to the Familiar Cuisine

Source

 

Even though it may be extremely tempting to prepare some exotic Taiwanese dish – trust us, that is not such a great idea. First of all, you probably won’t even pronounce its name properly, and what is more important, most of the ingredients will be unfamiliar to you. Cook something you are confident with.

 

  1. Plan Your Time

 

This is a crucial step, particularly if you plan on having a dinner with multiple courses. This means that you will need the oven for more than one dish, so planning your timetable is always a good idea. Cooking for a larger group obviously takes longer than preparing a meal for two, so have that in mind – give yourself an extra hour or two in the kitchen, just in case.

 

  1. Cook Smart

Source

 

This basically means that you should avoid dishes that require constant checking, stirring or flipping, especially when you are cooking for many people. The key lies in simplicity, and it is definitely smart not to complicate things too much. If you are a proud owner of all those electrical kitchen appliances that serve as a posh décor, now would be a good time to use them. Also, doing the hard work first is a good way to go. Besides that, you can always chop vegetables the evening before the party, as well as to bake desserts a few days before it.

 

  1. Maintain the Balance

 

When planning the menu for your perfect dinner party, you should definitely avoid too many heavy dishes. Instead, just think about what goes together and prepare the dishes according to that plan. For example, if you decide on having a steak or fried chicken for the main course, it would be a good idea to choose a light dessert.  You can also stick to the particular theme, such as Italian or Chinese cuisine.

 

  1. Decorate Like a Pro

Source

All of us would agree that table decoration has a major role while planning on a dinner night, which is why it should be taken care of properly. Great presentation can turn even the simplest dish into the most special one, so take care of the finishing touches that will impress your guests. Take the whole event to the next level and do it classy – by choosing  crystal glassware that will add a touch of glamour to the whole room. A vase or two filled with freshly picked roses will also enhance the overall atmosphere at the party.

 

All of the aforementioned tips are essential if you want to make it work, however, it is also very important not to take yourself, as well as the whole party, too seriously. The host’s mood actually sets the tone of the party, so give your best to be as relaxed as possible. If you are having fun, be sure that everyone else will, too. Good luck!

 

 

 

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Homework – Tips To Make It Easier

Homework

Tips To Make It Easier

I wanted to kick-off the new school year with a little advice on homework. So, I’ve put together some of the things we found helpful through the years, and also gathered a few other posts for you to peruse.

Let’s face it, everyone wants their child to be successful in school, and homework is a large part of that success. The importance of learning how to do homework is a life lesson in itself. Learning organizational skills, study habits, how to prioritize, and budgeting your time is essential to becoming a successful adult.

Here are some of the things we did:

  1. Do Homework Right After School
    This serves a couple of purposes. The first being that the lessons learned in school are still fresh in their minds, and they will have an easier time recalling the information and putting into practice. Secondly, With the homework monkey off their back, kids will have time to relax, rejuvenate, and share some family-time before getting organized for the following day and going to bed.
  1. Have a Homework Cabinet
    By this I mean have a place where you keep all homework supplies–paper, pencils, crayons, glue, etc. Have file holders for sorting: Homework in progress (for those longer projects), Graded Homework (for studying for tests), etc. We had separate stacks for each child.
  1. Doing Homework on the Go?
    I carried homework supplies in my vehicle–for those days when you pick-up the kids from school and head straight to dance class or soccer practice. Colored pencils, pencils, pens, pencil sharpener, scissors, rulers, compasses, protractors, glue sticks, tape, paper…you name it. If it didn’t melt, I had it in my box. While one child was dancing, I had the other two doing homework. We also carried folding chairs so we could sit outside the hot car.
  1. Use Car Time Wisely
    We practiced math facts, spelling words, and memory verses while driving to and from school everyday.
  1. Help But Don’t Do
    Sometimes kids need help with their homework. It is great to help them before they get so frustrated they just shut down or melt down. The key is to help and not do their work. Do not give answers. Ask questions they can answer that will lead them to the correct answer. If they are just not understanding a concept, re-read the lesson with them and share examples. Help them understand the lesson, before attempting the assignment again. Helping teaches, and kids learn–doing does nothing.

Check these posts out for more Homework Inspiration and Ideas

Homework Tips From An Ex-Tutor
from Kathy @ Mothering From Scratch

Homework Planning & Organizational Tips For Students
from Angela & Heather @ Sports Mom Survival Guide

5 Simple Tips To Stress-Free Homework Time
from Rebecca @ Simple As That

10 Tips For Giving & Managing Homework (Without Going Crazy)
from Linda @ Teach 4 The Heart

A+ Homework Tips From A {{Former}} Teacher
from Katie @ Clarks Condensed

Looking for a Fun Idea for School? Check this out!


Cool For School Or Anytime – Shoelacing!

What are your Homework Strategies?


 

 

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12 Tips On Choosing The Right Paint Colors

12 Tips On Choosing The Right Paint Colors

What should you take into consideration?

You may have read previously that we are turning a room in Luke’s house into a Guest Room / Rory Room. You can read about some of our Bedding Ideas, here. A major part of re-doing any room is painting, but what color do you choose? Choosing the right Paint Colors is always one of the most difficult decisions to make.

Painting a house or just a room is a large investment — in time, hard work, and money. Add to this the absolute plethora of color choices, and a decision is not easy. So, how do you choose just the right paint colors for your wants, wishes, and needs?  Luckily, I have a dozen tips to aid you in making this decision, and lead you to a color that you will love.

 

Sample Chips, get your Tips here…

  1. What mood do you want to create and inspire?
    Different rooms in your home are used for different types of living. Think about how you live in the room you are planning to paint, and what feeling you want the room to express. Our guest room for example, we want to bright and cheery, yet cozy and relaxing.
  1. Look for color scheme inspiration.
    Find color inspiration from your other home decor, fabrics, magazines, Pinterest Pins, Color Scheme swatches, or Open Houses. The Design Seeds website is an awesome resource for color inspiration.
  1. Gather paint brochures.
    Not only will paint brochures give you ideas for color schemes, but you can see the actual paint colors that are available from the brands of paint you are interested in using.
  1. Consider the furniture style and color.
    Think about your furniture style. If you have shabby chic furniture, you are probably not going to want something ultra modern and cold.

 

  1. Think about transition and flow.
    This is important. You want your home to feel cohesive and inviting, and not just a bunch of chopped up rooms stuck together. Pay attention to what you see of the room you are painting from the other rooms and hallways on your house, as well as what of the rest of the house you see from the room you are painting.
  1. Choose a basic 5-color palette for the house.
    Color adds warmth, and depth, and provides a pop. It touches the soul and makes you feel. So, in conjunction with the previous item, transition and flow, decide on a color scheme for the entire house. Now, this does not mean precise colors, but rather just a basic scheme. Pick three to five colors — 1. A White; 2. A Neutral; 3. An Accent Color; 4. A Coordinating Color; and 5. Another Coordinating Color.
  1. Get sample paint cards or strips, and place them on the wall you will be painting.
    You are re-paingintg anyway, so go ahead and tape those sample cards right to the wall. Tape from the back so you leave the color fully showing. Leave them up for days, a week, or more.
  1. Make note of lighting (both natural and electric), and understand undertones.
    Light plays on colors in different ways, and differing light can bring out or mute the undertones in the paint colors. What are the undertones in the colors you like versus the colors you are not liking? Yellow, Red, Blue, Green? The easiest way to determine undertone is by holding the paint chip next to a white piece of paper. It is easier to find a color you like once you know what color group you favor.

 

  1. Narrow your choices to 2 – 5 colors, and buy sample jars of paint.
    You can purchase small sample jars of paint. They are not that expensive, and it is by far the best way to help you truly decide on a color. Sample cans cost a lot less than a gallon or two of the wrong color.
  1. Paint samples onto Poster Board to make large color swatches and hang on the wall.
    This is one of my favorite tips. Hang poster boards on the wall and paint them with your selected paint colors. You have just made a large paint swatch. This gives you a much better idea of what the true paint color is, and how it will look on your wall.
  1. Check paint swatches at varying times of day and lighting.
    Look at your painted swatches at all times of the day and night, and with various lighting, so you know how your color will look under every circumstance.
  1. DO NOT RUSH into a decision.
    This is probably the most important of all the tips. Paint is something you live with day in and day out for years on end. In the long run, waiting a few weeks or a month to choose the right paint colors is really no time at all.

 

I hope you find these tips helpful in choosing the right paint colors for your project. If you have any other tips or suggestions, I’d love to hear them!

Do you have any painting projects planned?

Where do you like to find your inspiration?

 

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Labeley Customizes Your Party Drinks

 

Customize Your Party Drinks with Labeley

Give your party a little pizzazz!

 

Are you ready for your Super Bowl Party? Want to make your party the one everyone talks about all year long? Want to give it a little personalized kick? I have a fantastic and fun idea for you!

When Doris from Labeley contacted me and asked about publishing a post about making personalized labels in time for the Super Bowl, I quickly went to check out their website. I was impressed! What a great idea–so creative and super easy. Of course, I had to say, “YES!”

So, now, learn and enjoy Labeley with Doris…

 

 

How to Make Your Party Drinks Stand Out with Custom Labels

Are you ready for this coming Sunday? You had plenty of time to explore these Super Bowl party tips and perhaps choose a few that you liked the most to try out for your wild party. If you’ve already got everything planned out, good for you! But I’m sure there are many of you who still need inspiration, so one more idea for throwing a unique football party with very little effort might come very handy.

Since there seems to be an abundance of food ideas online, let’s focus on drinks. Here’s one interesting tool for playing with beverages that can really make your party the talk of the month.

The tool is called Labeley and it lets users create personalized labels online for free. It is pretty simple and offers a lot of neat options.

First go to the tool’s homepage here and choose the type of label you need for your party: beer, wine, or even kids labels if perhaps you’re throwing a children’s Super Bowl party.

Let’s say you want to surprise your beer-drinking buddies. Click on “Beer Labels” and start by picking your labels’ shape.

I outlined which shape and border I’m using for this demonstration. Click on the arrow on the right to choose some interesting color and background template/image for the label:

The commands are pretty straightforward. As you see, you can choose any color in the upper left hand corner of the tool, then pick a background template or choose an image file that you want to use as background.

Next on the menu are Main Graphics. Explore this collection of fun illustrations and choose one you think your guests would enjoy:

You can also choose not to add any graphics (click on the “no graphics” field), because the tool will let you upload any file from your computer and use it as the main label image in one of the next few steps.

Before personalizing the label with a unique photo, choose a ribbon or banner that will be used for placing the beer title or any text you wish to add later.

Go to the next step and choose text for your label.

You can play around with text options, choose font, its color, size, style and shape, as well as add different outlines and effects.

If you want to personalize your label with a funny photo of your friends or a photo of your favorite Super Bowl player, go back to Main Graphics and choose the “no graphics” option, and then upload your chosen photo in this final step.

You can then save your label, print it out and decorate your beer bottles with it.

Enjoy the party!

 

 

Doris, thank you so much for sharing Labeley with us. What an awesome tool. I can think of so many creative ways to use Labeley–21st birthday parties, Halloween, St. Patrick’s Day, baby showers, weddings… Oh , I can’t wait to give it a try!

How would you use Labeley?

Do you have a design in mind that you’d like to try?

 

Leave me a comment… I’d love to hear from you!

~Lorelai

 

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Super Bowl Party Trick Plays & Tasty Treats

Super Bowl Party

Score a Touchdown with these Tricks & Treats!

Are you hosting a Game Day party this year? Do you want to enjoy the game right along with your reveling party goers? Make your life easier, and allow your guests to spend more time with you and the game. Help your guests help themselves, and implement some of these Trick Plays.

10 Trick Plays:

  1. Plan Ahead and Get Organized
  2. Clean out Refrigerator – This allows you to store cold drinks without taking up extra space. And you won’t be embarrassed to let your guests get there own drinks.
  3. Unload Drinks – This eliminates dealing with drink boxes on Game Day.
  4. Have Labeling Systems for Drinks
    1. Plastic Cups – use Sharpie for guest to write their name on cup.
    2. Index Cards or Card Stock and Rubber Bands – Cut the Index Cards into strips and staple a Rubber Band to one end. Then guest can write their name on the card with a Sharpie, and slip the rubber band over a bottle neck or can. (Score the extra point–cut into shapes like footballs or stars)
  5. Tie a Bottle Opener to the Refrigerator Handle
  6. Set out Trash and Recycling Cans for Easy Guest Use – If cans are easily accessible, they are more apt to be used.
  7. Line Trash and Recycling Cans with Multiple Bags – This save you time in emptying cans during the party, and helps keep any mess contained.
  8. Make-shift Chip & Dip Server – Use a Wine Glass, Margarita Glass, or Ice Cream Schooner set in a bowl. Fill the bowl with chips and the glass with dip.
  9. Salted Ice will Chill a Warm Beer in a Few Minutes
  10. If You are Using Coolers
    1. Freeze Water Bottles to use as ice packs
    2. Cut up the Drink Box to make a label for the cooler. Tape the box to the cooler lid.

 

The Super Bowl isn’t all about the game or the commercials, it’s the FOOD! Check out these easy recipes for delicious Game Day fare.

8 Tasty Treats:

What is a Super Bowl party without 7-Layer Dip? This recipe is FANTASTIC!

Cheesy Pull-Apart Bread from Five Heart Home

Mini Loaded Baked Potatoes from The Curvy Carrot

Homemade Soft Pretzel Bites from Two Peas and Their Pod

Slow Cooker Shredded Buffalo Chicken Sliders from Hip2Save

“Best Loved” Hot Ham & Cheese Sliders from The Cozy Little Kitchen

Super Bowl Chili from It’s Filling

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Footballs from Sweet Dreams Cake App

These Trick Plays and Tasty Treats for Super Bowl are excellent tips and recipes for any party or gathering. Mix, match, use, enjoy…

Are you hosting a Super Bowl Party this year?

What Trick Plays or Tasty Treats do you have?

 

Leave me a comment… I’d love to hear from you!

~Lorelai

 

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