Home Decorating With Pantone’s Color of the Year – Greenery

It’s already 2017 (can you believe it?) and the ICYMI has recently named “Greenery” the official Color of the Year.  What do you think of the new color?  It seems to be catching on and making it’s way into beauty, fashion and into, my favorite area, home décor.

The director of the Pantone Color Institute, Leatrice Eiseman says,”The tangy yellow-green speaks to our desire to express, explore, experiment and reinvent, imparting a sense of buoyancy.”  While I think it’s a fun color worthy of playing around with it’s not something I want to deck my house out in.  I just got rid of a bathroom set and stove that had a very similar green color to them.  Actually, come to think of it, our homeschool room/office already has carpet that’s this color.  Does it still count as stylish if it’s from the 70s?  Well, anyway, I’m here to share a few ways you can add a fun pop of color with Pantone’s new greenery.  This post contains some affiliate links.

Ikea Greenery Picture1.  Olunda Picture Frame – Available at Ikea, $30

 

Greenery Notebook

2.  Notebook – Available at Amazon, $5

 

Century Green Vase

3.  Century Green Vase – Available at CB2, $40

 

Green Dutch Oven

4.  Cooks Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven – Available at Amazon, $65

 

Green Glasses

5.  Green Glass Tumblers – Available at Amazon, $33

 

Greenery Pillow

6.  Surya Cranmore Floral Throw Pillow – Available at Target, starting at $35

 

Green Chalkboard Decals

7.  Set of 2 Green Chalkboard Decals – Available at Land of Nod, $13

 

Green Ruffle Pillow

8.  Ruffle Throw Pillow – Available at Land of Nod, $8 (originally $24)

 

Birch Lane Kids Lamp

9.  Birch Lane Gourd Geous Lamp – Available at Wayfair, $67

 

Moroccan Trellis Green Rug

10.  Moroccan Trellis Rug – Available at Amazon, starting at $30

That’s all I have!  I tried to only list things I would actually enjoy owning and wouldn’t break the bank.  Several of the things I listed were even on sale.  That ruffle pillow from the Land of Nod is calling my name.  At only $7 I want to get one in every color!  So cute!

Tell me, do you embrace the new Pantone colors every year or only your favorites?

6 Energy Cutting Tips for Your Home

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of IGS Energy for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

Being eco-friendly is not just about recycling and toting around reusable grocery bags though these are great, easy ways to be more green. Helping the environment can actually help your wallet as well. With these green actions and adjustments around the house, you can effectively lower your electricity and water bills as well as save on other general expenses.

1. Turn off the lights when you leave the room. Electricity bills are typically one of the highest bills a household gets each month. Turning off the lights when you leave the room as well as turning off any appliances and electronics that are not in use are easy ways to help you conserve energy. Electricity generation is also a big source of pollution because many energy companies still rely on burning coal to provide energy for homes and businesses. By actively making sure that you are not wasting any electricity, you will simultaneously cut down on the amount of pollution created as well as cut down on your electricity bill.

2. Make the switch to CFL bulbs. It is true that CFL bulbs, also known as compact fluorescent lamp bulbs, are more expensive than regular incandescent light bulbs. However, when you factor in how much money you save in the long run with CFL bulbs, you will see that these more eco-friendly bulbs actually pay for themselves with the savings you will incur. CFL bulbs typically last up to 15 times longer than a traditional incandescent bulb, and they also have the capability of putting out the same amount of light as a traditional bulb but while using half the energy. In fact, one CFL bulb can save buyers more than $30 in energy costs in its lifetime. If you replace all of the lights in the house with CFL bulbs and make it a habit to turn off the lights when not in use, you could save hundreds of dollars in electricity costs annually.

3.  Only do laundry when there is a full load. You may be tempted to throw your favorite shirt into the wash by itself when you accidentally get some unsightly stains on it, but consider spot-cleaning it and waiting until you are ready to toss an entire load of laundry into the machine before washing it. A washing machine and dryer use up tremendous amounts of energy, so it is more eco-friendly to maximize the use of these machines by only turning them on when there is a full load to wash. When you do fewer loads of laundry, you will cut down on your water and electricity bills as well as your carbon footprint.

4. Make the switch to low-flow and aerating faucets. Just like the CFL bulbs, the initial purchase cost of a low-flow and aerating faucet would be offset by the savings you would incur with use. These faucet heads pump air into the water coming out of the faucet so that you would still experience plenty of water pressure, but with less water usage. When you consider that a single five-minute shower can use up approximately 40 gallons of water, it is easy to see why using less water for day-to-day activities is crucial. By using low-flow and aerating faucets and shower heads, you can help conserve water as well as reduce your water bill.

5. Replace paper napkins with cloth ones and disposable dishes and silverware with reusable ones. It can be tempting to use paper plates and plastic disposable forks and spoons if you hate doing the dishes, but all of that garbage getting tossed out at the end of each meal is bad for the environment. Paper napkins are ill-advised as well for the same reason. When you switch to cloth napkins and reusable dinnerware, you dramatically reduce the amount of garbage you will produce. Though initially purchasing a good dinner set and napkins would be more expensive than purchasing disposable items, you will also never need to buy these items again, unlike the constant need to refill and replace disposable ones. Coupled with fewer washing machine loads and a low-flow faucet, cleaning your reusable items will also still be environmentally friendly. IGS Building 6. Shop around for an independent energy supplier.   What is the difference between a utility and a supplier you may ask?  Well, in areas where this energy choice (sometimes referred to as energy competition) is allowed, the utility is responsible for maintaining and repairing the infrastructure of the poles, pipes, and wires that will still deliver electricity and natural gas to consumers.  While a supplier, on the other hand, is a company that sells the energy that the utility delivers. Suppliers compete in an open marketplace by offering a variety of services and incentives, and consumers chose those that most appeal to them and best meet their energy needs. Suppliers have more options to purchase the energy more efficiently and cost-effectively.  (Go here to learn more about energy choice and deregulation)

To put it in a different way, imagine you are going to buy the latest Smartphone from Apple.com or Target.com and the U.S. Postal Service delivers it to your home, in a deregulated market, you can choose an independent supplier (like IGS Energy) to purchase your electricity and natural gas on the open market, deliver it to your utility, and your utility delivers it to your home (or business).

You may also choose to remain with the utility whose rate often fluctuates with market conditions – meaning their rates are variable and move up and down at various times of the year. The benefit of an independent supplier like IGS Energy is that you can lock in rates at today’s low rates for the longer team and have the peace of mind that if rates jump around, yours remains steady. Suppliers are also able to offer other options such as longer-term fixed rates, flat bills, or green energy products.  IGS works with your local utility as part of the utility’s customer choice program – they aren’t in direct competition. IGS Energy Salesman Serving over 1,000,000 customers, IGS Energy is one of the largest independent suppliers of natural gas and electricity in the country.  Not only that but they also offer a wide range of home protection products to help customers protect their budgets against costly repairs of the utility lines that keep their home running smoothly, that most people don’t know are their own responsibility.  It’s not too late to make a change, you can check your options here: natural gas and electric supply products.IGS Energy IGS Energy is also actively involved in their community.  Across all of their offices throughout six states, 630 IGS employees gave back to their communities, and company-wide they provided more than 3,000 combined hours of volunteer service. Over 45 organizations were supported during the All-Employee Day of Service including Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity, community food pantries, and animal shelters.  Check out more of ISG Energy community involvement here: IGS Companies community support. 

To see if you could benefit (and possibly save money!) visit IGSenergy.com to be connected with one of their trusted energy advisers.  

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A Touch Of Class: Making Your Studio Look Like A Hotel Room

Working in the city often results in you having to compromise on the size of your apartment. For example, if you live in places like Manhattan, San Francisco and L.A., the places where you can affordably stay in an be quite limited. In such cases, it is actually quite common for many people to simply live in a cramped studio apartment that is barely 24 square meters in size.

For some people, their apartments can be even smaller with some of them being barely 18 square meters. Suffice it to say, you can see that space is at a premium in such locations and it is due to this that the concept of “class” is rarely connected to the “shoe boxes” that people wind up having to live in. However, just because you live in a cramped room does not mean that you cannot bring a touch of elegance into the way you live in order to enhance your overall experience.

Getting a Bed that is Also a Cabinet

Foldable Bed

Source: instantshift.com

One of the more unusual items that you can get for your home comes in the form of a cabinet bed that you can get from sites like Cabinetbed.ca. This is basically a bed that is collapsible and can be inserted into a nondescript yet elegant looking cabinet that can be placed at the side of your apartment. The advantage of choosing this type of bed over a solid mattress is the fact that it not only enables you to have more space as you move around your apartment, it also enables you to have a small mini office in your bedroom that helps you work from home without being tempted to work from your bed the entire day.

Get Soft Lighting and Lamps

Bedroom

Another way of enhancing how your apartment looks based on the advice of ApartmentTherapy.com is to install soft lighting into it along with placing lamps on your side tables. While it may seem like an odd choice, soft lighting is actually rather helpful in creating a nice ambiance in your room. This is further enhanced if you were to place proper light covers on the lights in the ceiling. This helps to distribute the brightness to the extent that it helps to create a nice even setting of lighting. Aside from this, small lamps placed on side tables are an effective way of adding a touch of class to your small room since you can turn of your main lights and turn the lamps on.

Getting the Right Sort of Household Goods

Another thing that you can do is to invest in branded household goods such as the Alessi line of kitchen tools from Lumens. The unique designs really stand out when displayed in a kitchen area, and the entire line is rather durable as compared to ordinary household items that you can buy from your local mall. When displayed via hooks and open shelves in your kitchen, they really add a considerable touch of class to your tiny apartment.

Have Carpeting Installed

People tend to forget that the floor of their apartment is also a valuable element when it comes to enhancing the overall appearance of their home. However, it is normally the case that they neglect to add sufficient “enhancements” to the floor and leave things as-is. This results in people looking at the floor and seeing nothing more than drab tiling, or maybe even wood flooring that looks like it has seen better days.

Installing Carpet

In order to enhance the look of your apartment, install some plush carpeting that both matches your walls yet can be easily cleaned. While investing in carpeting may seem to be a rather expensive option, you need to take into consideration the fact that you will be the one who will make the most use out of it. Just imagine the feeling of a nice plush carpet as you walk across it. There are few feelings like it in the world and shows just how nice a carpet would be both for the sake of appearance, as well as how it would feel like on your feet.

All in all, if you implement even a few of these recommendations when redesigning your studio apartment, they’ll go a long way towards enhancing the overall look and feel of the place. Just remember, making your apartment look good is more for yourself, since a nice apartment helps to create a calming and homey feel that enables you to relax after a long day at work. In fact, Gizmodo.com states that an apartment that looks drab and tiny makes you want to avoid it rather than stay in it—and this defeats the purpose of having an apartment in the first place.

How to Childproof Your Home

When I first found out I was pregnant I was consumed with childproofing our home.  That is, after I was consumed with picking a name and learning what I could and couldn’t eat.  There’s so much for new moms to think about!  To help make life a tiny bit easier for moms I’ve compiled a list of ways to childproof your home.

Childproof Your Home

  1. Cover all electrical outlets.  We love the ones that you install into the wall in place of a regular electrical socket.  You have to have both prongs inserted at the same time before any electricity comes out.
  2. Anchor large furniture.  The damage done to walls is negligible in comparison to the safety of your child.
  3. Move breakable objects.  Keep glass objects out of the reach of little hands.  The same goes for heavy items with cords…like an iron or toaster.  Keep them and their cords out of reach.Smith and Noble Blinds
  4. Use cordless blinds.  I used to think that keeping blind cords out of reach was enough till I watched this disturbing video (watch with caution and without kids around).  It’s amazing how fast accidents like this can happen.  That site says,  “According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission over 40 percent of accidents occur on products that complied with the ANSI national safety standard. These accidents are preventable by going cordless with all window blinds.”  I just ordered cordless blinds for both of my kid’s rooms from Smith and Noble.  I love that they sent me samples to match the colors to my existing decor.  Plus, they sent someone to measure my windows for free!Smith and Noble wants your window treatments to be safe for your families so they are giving a $1000 window treatment makeover to one lucky family!  They will also give away a $50.00 trade in value per corded shades when you enter.  Big savings!  To enter visit their site here.
  5. Stow hazardous supplies.  This includes cleaning supplies, bug killer, vitamins, hand soap, knives, etc.  Lock them up or put them in high shelves where little curious fingers can’t explore.
  6. Be prepared. Keep the number for the national poison control center – (800) 222-1222 in the United States – and your local emergency numbers close to every phone just in case.
  7. Keep the ground clear.  Not only do you want to keep your little one from old crumbs but more importantly away from coins, safety pins, paper clips, those tiny plastic clothes tags, and on and on.  My son went through a stage where he wanted to put anything in his mouth, besides his food.
  8. Toilet locks.  We didn’t do this one but we have a rule in our house that all bathroom doors are to remain closed at all times.  A child can drown in just one inch of water and I heard somewhere that kids are more top heavy than adults allowing them to fall in easily.
  9. Lock windows.  According to the CPSC, every year about eight children under the age of 5 die from falling out of windows in the United States, and more than 3,000 are injured.  A friend of my family found their son, who was under 2 years old at the time, out his window and on the overhang of his window!  Thankfully his mom rescued him and they now have the most secure windows possible.
  10. Avoid sharp corners.  For sharp edges, like those of a fireplace, you can buy protective foam to cover it while the kiddos are small.
  11. Detectors! Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home.  It’s also a good idea to have a game plan laid out a head of time with older children so they know what to do in case an alarm sounds.

This isn’t a comprehensive list at all but they are some important ones that we’ve tried to be cautious of in our home.  Tell me, experienced parents, what did I leave off?

Make Your Home Smart With Lennox

October 21, 2015 just rolled around and we aren’t as tech savvy as Doc and Marty McFly thought. We still need roadways and we don’t have hoverboards. We do have smarter homes though, and some homes are really decked out. What kind of technology do you have in your home that makes it “smarter?”

I guess our home is pretty dumb. We don’t have much technology the Doc would approve of, but I do enjoy all my kitchen appliances. I enjoy my microwave the most. It’s a standard microwave, but it has a hood function that sucks the “cooked” air out and lets us breathe easier with less smell in the air. It’s also my favorite because of the storage feature. I don’t have to clutter my counters with a microwave because it’s attached above the stove. I love that. Nice clean lines. The timer feature – simple but a life saver. Our laundry room is upstairs from the main floor, so I set a timer on the microwave, so I know when to go get my laundry. It saves me so much time and energy from running back and forth because with kids, I need to conserve all of my energy!

One smart home feature I’d love to have is bluetooth light bulbs. The light bulbs act as a speaker system for your music. Turn on your phone or tablet, turn on the bluetooth, and you can hear your music in every room that you have a speaker bulb installed. You can even set the tempo of the music to match the tempo of the blinking bulb (which its color can be changed too) if you’re in the mood to really party. Last time I saw these for sale, they started at $70 a light bulb, so I think it will be a while before we make that “want” a “need” in the budget.

Lennox

I also wouldn’t mind have a smart HVAC system.  We just installed one in our new home and I can’t wait to move over there and try it out on a regular basis.  Lennox has a smart HVAC brand called the iComfort S30® which lets me control my home’s temperature from my smart phone and it even let’s me set your home’s temperature to a certain “feel-like” degree.  So if I want it to feel like 72 degrees it can do that for me.  We won’t have to figure out the humidity and all the aspects that affect the temperature!  This will be very handy in the fall and spring when we’re constantly adjusting our thermostat from heat to air.  The Smart Away™ mode will even use my smart phone’s GPS to sense when I come and go, adjusting the temperatures accordingly to save energy and maximize comfort.  How cool is that? Setting my temperature away from home is nice but setting the heat to rise just before we wake up is my favorite feature!

What smart home features do you drool over? What is your must-have smart appliance?  For more information on a Lennox HVAC system you can visit there website here.

Lennox’s HVAC Smart Home Technology

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Lennox but all opinions are my own.

Most of us choose our favorite season based on our temperature preference. I love the fall because it’s cool and crisp and anticipates even a cooler time. My HOT friends love the summer and the time off with their kids too (most of them enjoy that aspect). One thing irritating for us fall lovers is the fluctuating temperatures. Often times we ask ourselves what season it will be this week.

I’m a bit behind in home technology, but there are HVAC systems that help you control the temperature of your home remotely. iComfort® S30 from Lennox is a wireless-enabled touchscreen thermostat. It’ normal like other thermostats which you can control from the wall, but you can also control it from your smartphone, tablet, or laptop! It really ups the convenience aspect because the program will give you weather updates! Instead of having to figure out what your weather will be like for the day and then walk to the thermostat to adjust it, you can do it remotely. I always struggle with remembering to adjust the thermostat before I leave the house because I’m in a rush to do this and that. If I forget, no problem. I can do it from my phone. It also adds convenience because it alerts you of scheduled maintenance system problems.

Lennox

If you activate this feature, you don’t even have adjust the thermostat’s schedule to when you are home. The GPS in your phone will alert the system when you are home and set the HVAC system to your desired temperature.  The Smart Away™mode brings comfort, convenience, and efficiency together in a blended synergy.

The Feels Like™ temperature mode will let take humidity and temperature into account and adjust the system’s temperature to create your desired temperature in the house! For you HOT readers, I’m sure you would love this!!!

For those of you plagued with allergies, you’ll love this feature. The Allergen Defender monitors the amount of pollution and pollen in your area based on zip code and turns on the fan to eliminate these nasties from your home! Here’s a video that explains this feature more in detail.   

You can also find out information on Lennox’s website.

Second Chance to Win on eBay with Liberty Mutual Insurance

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Liberty Mutual Insurance for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

Have you ever bid on something on eBay only to have someone swoop in at the last second and outbid you?  I’ve been there many times and I hate it when that happens!  Now, with Liberty Mutual Insurance eBay Bid Protection, you might get a second chance at that lost item!

Liberty-Mutual-Insurance

I’ve been outbid before.  I spent time searching for that rare item and researched a good and fair price to offer.  I placed my starting bid, not too high but not too low.  Hours go by and no one bids against me.  I wait, and wait, and wait.  With only a few minutes to go I refresh the page frantically.  I have a second tab open in case I need to raise my bid.  It has my max bid typed in and ready to go.  Refresh, refresh.  I think to myself, “Yes, I’ve got this!”  With two seconds remaining someone out-bid me.  I scramble to submit my highest bid but it’s too late.  I see the “You’ve Been Outbid” notice.  Ahhh, so much time wasted!

If you’re an eBay shopper, I’m sure you’ve been there too.  It’s disappointing.  Wouldn’t it be great to get a second chance at that eBay auction you lost and have that possession you had your sights set on?  Yes, I think so!  Well, with Liberty Mutual Bid Protection Sweepstakes you can enter a sweepstakes to win an item that you were outbid on!

This sweepstakes covers items that are in the Cars & Trucks and Home & Garden categories of the eBay marketplace.  You could win a CAR!!!

Here’s how you can enter:

  • – First, go register!  Easy peasy.
  • – Then, anytime you place a losing bid on an item in the Cars & Trucks or Home & Garden categories between $500 and $1000, you are automatically entered!

This sweepstakes ends September 1, 2015 so you have plenty of time to browse around and enter!  Happy Shopping!

* Eligible entries are losing bids in the cars & trucks category between $15,000 and $30,000 placed by June 15, 2015, as well as any other losing bids on items in the cars and trucks or home & garden categories between $500 and $1,000 placed by September 1, 2015.

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Creating a Haven

Starting today and lasting through the month of October, I’ll be participating in The Nester’s 31 Days series.  Each day I’ll share a little bit about Creating a Haven.  I hope you’ll join me in this journey!

Create a Haven

P.S.  I only have 20-30 minutes to write a day so there will be no editing or even reading over it before I publish.  This is my raw writing.  Please don’t judge too harshly. : )

Day 1 – Desire to Create a Haven

Day 2 – 3 Reasons I Want to Create a Haven

Day 3 –

Day 4 –

Day 5 –

Day 6 – Family Purpose Statement

Day 7 –

Day 8 – 4 Ways to Create an Inviting Entryway

Day 9 –

Day 10 – Front Porch Inspiration