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Creating the Perfect Nursery

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Creating a nursery is so much fun, but no matter how prepared you feel, it’s hard knowing where to start. When I was creating Brady’s nursery, I had no idea where to start. There are so many things that you are supposed to buy, so many things that you are supposed to do, and it can be very overwhelming. If you are in the same boat when it comes to creating a nursery for your bundle of joy that is on the way, keep reading. Here are a few ways that you can create a special and perfect nursery for your bundle:

Consider Your Space

First of all, you absolutely need to consider your space. What do you have room for? When it comes to creating a nursery (especially if it is your first one), it is very important to crawl before you can walk, no pun intended. Make sure you are not getting too carried away with all of the crazy things that you see on Pinterest and instead, focus on what is practical and what you can fit in your space.

The first thing you need to consider, like I mentioned, is the amount of available space that you have. You do not want the room to look too cluttered, so you might have to cut back on some of the non-essentials and only choose essential items, such as a crib, a recliner or rocker, and a dresser/changing table.

My favorite way to help yourself out with this process is by creating a tentative floor plan. Draw a rough outline of the room and then pencil in each piece of furniture. Of course, sizing will probably be off, but this gives you a great start before you actually take the time to measure.

However, you do not have to consider your space if you are moving, which a lot of couples choose to do when finding out that they are having a baby. If this sounds like your situation, make sure that you are making sure that the home works for you now and in the future, as well. So, look at the nursery size, consider the number of bathrooms and what is in the bathrooms (is the tub safe, etc.), will the home have a playroom, etc. Tell your real estate agent that you are expecting and need a home that is safe for your baby-to-be. The reason why you need to be so specific with your wants and needs is because “purchasing a property is most likely the biggest financial decision you will ever make. Whether this is your first purchase or you are an experienced buyer, this decision must be made carefully,” according to Erin King with Jax Historic Realty. “Erin, who previously worked in financial services and holds an MBA with an economics focus, brings a deep understanding of buying and selling historic homes. He enjoys sharing that knowledge with clients, from how to fit a 21st century lifestyle into a historic home and where to seek financing for renovation with a home purchase, to accurately pricing homes in Historic Districts such as Riverside, Avondale, Ortega, Springfield, Murray Hill, and San Marco. Erin, who prides himself on close attention to detail and quick response to clients, has put together a support team of contractors and other professionals who help transactions go smoothly.” So, no matter if you are looking for old homes for sale in San Marco, or a new build, talk with Erin, or your personal real estate agent to make sure that you are getting what you need for your growing family.

Choose A Color Palette

Next up: choose a color palette! This is a really fun part. Do you know that you are having a girl? Maybe you will go with a blush pink color, or periwinkle blue with a hint of purple in it. If you are having a boy, consider a gorgeous light blue color, or maybe an emerald green accent wall. There are so many colors to choose from and this just makes the process very real and fun. When you do choose a color palette, consider the nursery furniture, your flooring, and any ‘unchangeable’ items first. Then, you can choose all of the colors for the walls and decor options. My friend, Alex, chose to go with all neutrals: white, cream, and light beige, with just a few pops of light blush. I think that is a beautiful color palette for her first baby girl. Plus, it is simple enough to last a while.

Know Your Needs vs. Wants

Any new mom or dad is going to go a little crazy and that is okay, but definitely take the time to consider what is a need and what is a want, or you will end up with a very cluttered room, which is not so great or practical and it will only make your life harder in the long run. Diapers? Obviously that is a need. Wipes? Same. A cute unicorn jumpy house? Uhhh… maybe that is not so practical, especially not for a newborn. You get the point! What is a need vs. a want is somewhat similar for everyone, but it is also based on what will make your life easier as a parent. There is no right or wrong way to parent and you just need to see what works best for you! 

Add Personalized Touches

Last but not least, add personalized touches. Have you picked out a name yet? Maybe consider adding it above her or his crib. Do you have a special blanket picked out? Maybe embroider his or her name on the blanket. This is not only a cute touch, but also a great keepsake to have in the future. There are so many ways to add personalized touches to a nursery and in my opinion, it is the best part, so have fun with it.

The Best Things to Buy in May

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I cannot believe that May is here. April was such a fast month for me, and I don’t think that May is going to be any slower! With the boys getting out school later this month and planning for summer vacation, there are so many things to look forward to.

May is a busy month for so many people with the official start of summer, graduations, weddings and more. With that being said, there are several things that you should be buying this month! Here are my top 6 favorite things to buy in the month of May.

Mattresses– Did you know that May is “National Sleep Better Month”? With that being said, this is a great month to buy sleep-related items including mattresses. As an example, Groupon has this Sealy Conform Essentials 11.5″ Gel Memory-Foam Plush Mattress Set priced from just $399.99! (reg. $3000) I noticed other great mattress deals as well so now is definitely the time time to buy if you need a new mattress! You may be surprised at what great deals that you can find!

Swimwear– Since summer will be here before you know it, many stores are offering great sales on swimwear for the entire family. Many children’s stores like the Children’s Place offer free shipping so you can score a great deal for the kiddos without ever having to leave your home. Also, don’t forget good ol’ Amazon. I scored this 2 piece cutie for myself for $29.99! I love how modest yet trendy and comfy it is!

Bicycles– May is also “National Bicycle Month” so that means we can snag great deals on bikes! I noticed that Walmart has kids bikes priced from $48! What a great deal! You can also check places like the Goodwill and Salvation Army as people will be getting rid of older bikes to purchase newer ones. I have seen bikes that look like brand new at these places, and you are saving yourself a lot of money in the long run.

Non-Traditional Flower Gifts for Mother’s Day– Did you know that Mother’s Day can actually be one of the most expensive times of the year to buy flowers? In fact, many florists, hike their prices up! You can still give mom a great gift, but be sure to think outside of the box here as well. There are many great deals to take advantage of on non-traditional Mother’s Day gifts. Places like Edible Arrangements, Shari’s Berries and Canvas on Demand would be great alternatives and they are offering some great deals right now! In fact, at the time of this post, Groupon has an offer for a 5×7 canvas from Canvas on Demand for only $4.99, an 8×10 for $7.99, 11×14 for $9.99 or a 12 x12 for $12.99! I find that these canvas prints make the best gifts and they offer memories to last a lifetime!

Home Items– May is a great month to think about purchasing items like robotic vacuums or small kitchen appliances. Also, be on the lookout for deals on items like cookware, glassware and dishes as many stores will be gearing up for wedding season.

Party Supplies– May is the beginning of the summer months and with that brings graduations, summer parties, and barbecues. Many party supply stores like Oriental Trading and Party City will offer discounts on their products. I also find that Target will offer gift card and cartwheel promotions to save on these supplies so be on the lookout! And, don’t forget to think outside of the box at craft supply stores like Michaels and Hobby Lobby! I often find the cutest party supply items there and they almost always offer a coupon.

Decorate An Exhibition Hall With These 9 Fabulous Decor Tricks

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The flashy reflections that strike the eyes upon entering a usual commercial arena of exhibitions remind one of the ‘worldly’ Of this earth, the material, the mundane- a vain attempt to extraordinary marvel. But imagine the exhibition hall which can act as an exhibition of insight into the divine, the ethereal, the aesthetic: not an attempted extraordinariness, but the path of the extraordinary through the ordinary. The natural, the organic, the unbleached. Raw and untouched- beautiful and seraphic from all angels, in every facet.

If that is how you imagine your exhibition hall, then we are here to help you realize your imagination, opening the vistas of possibilities.

The decor of the natural – the topiary decor

We have got these handy, accessible tricks and ideas for your topiary decor, for realizing your world of imagination: All you need are some custom topiary resources, like artificial leaflets, green veils, paper-flowers, scraps of colorful papers, charts, fairy lights, thermocol sheets, cardboard, eco-friendly colors and paints, etc.

The Festoon Of Nature

To make the exhibition hall appear raw and sublime, artificial leaflets woven together in a festoon can be hung around and about the perimeter of the exhibition hall. This can be done in attractive patterns and variants.

Also to make it more appealing to the senses and vibrant, various colors of leaflets woven together into a grand tiara can be hung across the walls in a wavy pattern to give it a look of dense woods.

The Play Of Light And Sun

Fairy lights or rice lights can be hung on the artificially made festoons. This will give the exhibition hall a touch of gold; thus a play of light. The effect will also depend on the selection of the colors of the light. Preferably golden or white fairy lights will provide the elegant touch of the sun to make the plantscape real.

Mirrors In The Plantscape

In order to enhance the play of light, scraps of a mirror or mirror-effect paints and colors can be applied on the wall of the hall in parts. This will multiply the effect of the rice lights and make the exhibition hall brighter. Also magnifying mirrors placed behind the exhibition stall can make the products on the exhibit more lucrative and creatively appealing.

Topiary Frames

The stalls put up in the exhibition can be decorated with the topiary frames as the custom design. The topiary frames do not even have to be real. Artificial topiary frames will do wonder; not just in terms of the look and design of the interiors, but also in terms of resourcefulness and availability.

The frames can be fitted alongside the length of the hall. Varying themes like capturing a stall-inn of the exhibition as the jungle picture, or fitting stall-inn within each frame with varying background themes, like a sunset, dense woods, waterfall, etc. This way, the entire exhibition hall will appear as the miniature of various forest scenes and natural landscapes.

Potted Plants And Game Of Thrones

To make the exhibition hall more contemporary and to establish a connect with the modern audience, potted plants can be put alternatively, either on the borders of the hall or hanging from the ceiling. The entrance can be made attractive by pacing artificial throne, over which the welcome banner be put or LED board with the curl twigs of plants or artificial topiary items. By the side of the throne, artificial flames can be fixed as an add on.

Paints And Colours

To make the entire affair environment-friendly, eco-friendly colors and paints can be used with variants of textures for the ceiling. This can further be enhanced with water sceneries, forest or sunset or dark night-galaxy scenes.

If the idea of the topiary frames is into play, then paints and colors can be used according to the themes used. In order to make the texture effect sharp, various items like sand-paper sheets, branches, sponges, rocks and pebbles soaked in colors can be applied using dripping techniques.

The Grand Tree Of The Centre

In the middle of the hall, a grand tree, artificial, light or easily transportable can be fixed. From the apex of the tree, the ideas around festoons can be put to use. The natural festoons can be hung diagonally across the hall from the festoon of the tree. This will provide a web-like overhead ceiling decor; diaphanous and heavenly as it can get.

The branches of the grand tree can also be customized in a way that provides as light holders which can be used to put on display various exhibition items.

Artificial icicles can be another trick, simply made by using glue or gum, dripping down the branches of the tree to give it a more real yet artistic touch.

The Stalls As The Inns By The Woodside

The stalls in the exhibition can be individually placed under wooden inn-like structures to enhance the plantscape effect. A wood-like overhead shelter, using materials like thermocol or cardboards can be erected beneath which the stalls will be placed across the hall. Either a uniform interior can be selected across the stalls, or each stall can be housed in artificial inns, according to the different background themes and plantscape designs. Artificial wine-creepers and other artificial crawling plants can be wound round the support of the stall-inns.

Patterned Floor Of Grass And Herbs

Using the surface of transparent plastic material, artificial grass and herbs can be stuffed in a bounded plastic sheet which can be spread across the floor of the hall. Thus while walking, the subtle feel of nature and raw senses would act as a source of rejuvenation as exhibition catches up the pace.

These are some of the cool ideas and tricks, using simple, easily available items and materials to decorate the exhibition hall. At the same time, the effects suggested will provide the hall with a look distinct from the regular commercial halls; thus making it a custom replica of romanticism and raw beauty of nature providing a break from the mundane life-activities and yet being enrooted in it at the same time.

Productivity Tips That Help You To Make The Most of Your Work From Home Life

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Most of the people are opting to work from home for many reasons. In fact, freelancing is not freedom from work, but, freedom to work. All like a clean and cozy space to work. They need it as a comfortable one as well as a convenient one that helps to enhance their creativity and productivity. One can make a cozy and stylish office space at a little budget and an affordable price to make an elegant and sophisticated space to work from your home.

Changing the room layout with a bit of greenery

Transformation of room layout is a good idea to enhance the beauty of your office space at home with zero budgets. One can change the room layout and furniture and install outdoor plants and trees on teapots or work tables to make the home office more sophisticated. Placing the sofa near the longest wall of your living space offers more room for your home office. It may be a desk or a cabin, arrangement of furniture makes the room look more spacious. Arranging the artificial outdoor topiary plants provides the room an eco-friendly and ambient look if you cannot afford a space or time to grow plants in your office cabin or desk space at home. Placement of large artificial plants in the living room makes a room beautiful at your small budget even if you reside in a rental home and you cannot alter the room permanently.

These steps make your room look ventilated if you can make these simple moves which cost you a few bucks.

The convenient setting for sitting or standing space

Research says that sitting continuously for one hour is equal to smoking 5 cigars a day. Sitting sedentarily causes many health issues, and we may feel bored at sitting for hours to work. Arranging or modifying furniture that allows you to sit or stand and work is a good idea to avoid sedentary hours at the maximum. If you feel exhausted standing all the time, you can fold the extended bar of your chair to sit and work.

Elegant Desk Space from a closet

You can turn your old-school closet into a work desk and place plastic ivy leaves as decors to make your closet desk more beautiful. Even the idea looks simple, it works well if you need a less space at home to get through your work. You can change the closet into work cabin and use the doors like small office doors to make your business more hassle-free. The closets are useful to make space for books, computer, and stationary. You can paint the closets with bright colors like orange and green to give your cabin a gorgeous look.

Room Partitions or curtains

Use room partitions or curtains to provide more space for office space at home. You can change your living room into a home office by using curtains as room dividers. These are affordable moves if you cannot make solid changes and if you rent the place for a limited period. Bright colored curtains in the living room give a sophisticated separation between the home and office in your living room.

Floating wall unit

A floating wall unit can be installed in your home to part the home space and office space and make your room more spacious to work. Installing large artificial trees near the floating walls make the place a more enchanting one to reside in and work. Some floating wall units are movable, and you can move them according to your wish if necessary.

If you need a family office at home

If you need to install a family office at your home, you can change it accordingly by small changes in the organization of the furniture. Use of L-shaped desks and organizers make your task easy. If you can afford for modern furniture, it will be a more encouraging and comfortable move as you can alter the modern furniture according to your convenience. This idea will be adored by the younger members of the family as well. On the other hand, modern furniture is recyclable and don’t harm the environment as synthetic plastic is recycled to prevent pollution. It is the idea to promote plant more trees and save the existing ones by manufacturing eco-friendly furniture from recycled wood or boards or synthetic plastic.

If you have a tiny house

If you have a tiny house and you have less storage space, you can change your home office a more spacious one with sticky organizers and storage shelves. This idea goes well if you hail at a rented space. This is a cost-saving idea and helps you to save time and money as you have to just stick the shelves or fold them according to your needs. Hanging organizers are also available in the market to save the storage space. You can change the decors like hanging organizers as these are available in a variety of designs.

Bedroom turned into office

Most people like to work in their bedroom at the comfort at the need of the hour. By coloring a wall of the room according to your taste or installing decorative wall panels and organizers or hanging shelves, your bedroom gives you a cozy office space if you have less space in the living room. You can wake up to a coffee and work from your bedroom and enjoy the tranquility of the morning and enhance your creativity.

Wall Mount Furniture

Use of wall-mount furniture is a good idea to save the living space if you have a lesser room for the office space at home. Wall-mounted furniture helps you a lot to save the room space and make the furniture as a good room décor indeed.

Furniture that occupies a lesser space

You can opt for furniture that occupies less space or foldable ones to save room space and avoid the congested look of your living room.

The above tips are helpful in giving your home office a spacious and elegant look at an affordable budget as well as providing an eco-friendly look.

10 Amazing Uses for Bananas

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Do you have some extra bananas in the kitchen that are over-ripe? We all love to eat bananas, but here are some other ways to enjoy the delicious fruit!

  1. Ice Cream– cut up bananas into even sized pieces and place in an airtight container. Place in the freezer for at least 2 hours. Place the pieces into a blender and blend away until you have ice cream!  It will take some time so be patient!  See my favorite recipe HERE.
  2. Body Scrub– mash a ripe banana with 3 tablespoons of sugar to create a natural scrub for your body! You can also add some essential oils if you prefer to give it a nice aroma. If you place on the face, I would keep it away from the eye area.
  3. First Aid– Did you know that the banana peel has anti inflammatory properties? This means that they are great for things like bug bites, scrapes and even sunburn. Just place the banana peel on the affected area, much like you would a cold compress. Cool, huh?
  4. Hair Mask– If you are like me, the summer can do a number on my hair. Did you know that you can use bananas as hair mask? To make a hair mask, you will need several very ripe bananas. (it will depend on the length of your hair) Mash the bananas up and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Massage the mixture through your hair and leave on for 10-15 minutes. Follow up with your favorite shampoo and conditioner.
  5. Teeth Whitener– Some people say that the magnesium and potassium in ripe banana peels can help to whiten teeth. I have never tried this, but you simply rub the inside of the peel on your teeth for several minutes. After about 10 minutes you will brush your teeth as normal.
  6. Natural Sleep Aid– Bananas are filled with potassium and magnesium. Since these are natural muscle relaxers, many people think that if you eat a banana an hour or so before bedtime that it can help you sleep better! Try it and let me know what you think! 
  7. Oily Skin Mask– If you have oily skin, try mixing one ripe mashed banana with 1-2 teaspoons of lemon juice. Place on your face and let stand for a few minutes before rinsing off. The acid in the lemon juice mixed with the should help with the oils in your skin.
  8. Splinter Remover– Who would have thought that a banana could help to remove a splinter? Tape a piece of banana over the area that has the splinter and leave on for several minutes. The enzymes in the banana peel will help to draw out the splinter.
  9. Bug Bite Relief– Massage a banana peel on bug bites to get instant relief from itching, pain and swelling.
  10. Shoe Polish– Forget expensive shoe polish! Take a banana peel and rub your shoe with the inside of the banana peel. Voila! You should only need to buff the shoes with a soft cloth. Bananas are full of natural oils which soak into your shoes much like a store bought shoe polish.

Do you have an amazing use for bananas that I did not mention? Be sure to leave me a comment in the reply section above! I would love to hear your thoughts as well!

Crayola Thank A Teacher #CrayolaThanks

Disclosure: I was provided with Crayola products to facilitate this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Please see my disclosure policy)

Crayola Thank A Teacher Campaign

Crayola wants to give back to some of the most important people in our children’s lives…..their teachers! Earlier this year in honor or Teacher Appreciation Day on May 8, 2018, Crayola announced their “Thank A Teacher” Campaign. This amazing initiative allows your children to create and upload a teacher thank you note right on the Crayola website! If you post your photo to Instagram or Twitter, be sure to use the hashtag #CrayolaThanks so that Crayola can easily find your photo. And, Crayola has their own gallery where you can search and find thank you notes by school or teacher. I just love this idea and what a fun way to give back! Many of you may not know this, but my degree is in education, so as an educator myself, I find this such a rewarding way to give back!

Crayola Thank A Teacher Contest

In addition, through August 25, 2018 Crayola is having an amazing contest for those that thank a teacher. 

Ten grand prize packs will be awarded, inclusive of:
  • $10,000 classroom makeover for the teacher
  • One year supply of Crayola products for the school
  • $1,000 scholarship for the student
  • $1,000 gift card for both the teacher and school 
  • Free CreatEd seminar for the school

In addition to the grand prizes, one lucky entrant will have his or her thank you note featured on a special pack of Crayola crayons this holiday. In addition, a weekly sweepstakes will run concurrently with the contest, offering entrants a chance to win $500 gift cards for themselves and their teachers. The contest and sweepstakes will run through August 25, 2018.

Crayola Thank A Teacher Product Line

Just in time for back to school, Crayola recently came out with a line of supplies geared for giving back to our teachers! Be on the lookout for these products when you are shopping for back to school supplies!

To find out more about the Crayola Thank A Teacher Campaign, you can GO HERE.