Holiday Planning 101 – It’s Not too Early!

Holiday planning in SEPTEMBER? Yep. It’s time! Get a jump on the season and take the stress factor down a notch. There will be details to polish up later, but let’s get going on the majors now. You can plan your calendar: activities, appointments, decorating, etc. These are the big things. What I love about holiday planning is that if you get the plans down now, you can live in the present for the rest of the holidays! Holiday Planning on Your Calendar – Calendaring ( here is one holiday calendar we love! ) is critical during the holidays! It will save your sanity. Schedule EVERYTHING! Daily activities – First of all, Plan School, Work, Athletic schedules and Lessons! (suggestion: use a different color for each member of your family!) Appointments – Schedule every Dentist and Doctor’s visit, Hair, Nail, or Waxing appointment, Pest Control and Pool guy visit! Get it on the calendar through December so you won’t have...

ROCK Your Fall Decor! Here’s How…

Although the temperature is still hitting the triple digits here in Phoenix, September spells FALL on most minds! With the change of seasons comes the change in home decor, therefore, it’s time for fall decorating! The colors and the textures in nature are nothing short of inspirational, so let’s look at some simple yet beautiful ways to bring the out-of-doors inside to decorate your home this fall! ~ LEAVES ~ No matter your style, orange, gold and red leaves absolutely scream fall! Fill glass Hurricane Jars with leaves as a stunning way to capture the colors of the season. You can also add in a tall white battery operated pillar candle for a nice warm touch. Three of these jars in different heights, on a silver or glass tray make a lovely table centerpiece or fireplace mantle focus piece. The idea of using real, dried leaves has ‘romantic appeal’, however, real leaves dry out and turn brown....

HOT TIPS for using ESSENTIAL OILS in the HOME

ESSENTIAL OILS are all the rage these days – the talk of Mom’s Clubs, Naturopaths, Massage Therapists – anyone who is interested in a more organic, toxin free lifestyle will wander across these ‘natural wonders’ in their personal research! What Is an Essential Oil? So – what exactly IS an ESSENTIAL OIL? What do they DO? Why USE them? And…why use them in your HOME? An ESSENTIAL OIL is the highly concentrated “essence” of the plant from which it is derived. Roots, stems, leaves, flowers and bark are processed by steam distillation, expression, or extraction, to create a usable oil product with varying  scents, These oils are valued for their healing properties, and wellness benefits. Essential oils are natural and chemical-free, which is why they are so appealing to anyone wanting a more “green” lifestyle. Essential oils can be used in different ways, including aromatherapy, topical application, or for our purposes, in household care! It’s funny – most...

The BEST Non-Toxic Ways to Make Your Home Smell AMAZING!

If you have ever walked into your front door after a day away and were almost knocked out by “THAT SMELL”, then this is the read for you! I love a fresh, non-toxic fragrance in the home, so I really dislike using toxic room sprays! Additionally, I don’t want to use unsafe chemicals to kill odors! After some research, experimenting, blending and mixing – I can help you LOSE that SMELL! Whether it’s ‘BOY ATHLETE’ scent, ‘WET DOG’ odor, or ‘GHASTLY FRIDGE’ fumes, here are a few heavenly recipes to get to the source of the bad odors, and turn your home into a ‘Sweet Smelling Dwelling’! Start with the Basics to Create a Non-Toxic Fragrance First of all, my go-to ingredient base is usually Baking Soda. You can by the giant-sized bag at Costco for a great price. The other ‘secret ingredient’ is a great Essential Oil! I have a stash of my favorite scents for...

EVERY CAMPER’S GUIDE TO GOOD CAMPING BEHAVIOR

When the hot summer months arrive in the Valley of the Sun, all Phoenicians focus on keeping cool! Among the top five ways to ‘CHILL OUT’, camping in the North Country is a family favorite! Before you pack up the sleeping bags, the barbeque, and the kids into the RV and head off to the pines, you might want to refresh your memory on what all the OTHER campers want YOU to know!! If you want your neighbors in the Great Outdoors to become friends and not enemies, follow along for some advice on good camping behavior! Campground Etiquette 101 #1 – Don’t Crowd Your Neighbor!  In a campground with designated spaces, it’s pretty clear what your perimeters are. Keep your picnic table, your clothesline, your kids and your dogs in your own area! As much as you ADORE your kids, they might not be welcome in the neighboring campsite. That goes the same for dogs....

HOW TO PREPARE YOUR HOME FOR YOUR VACATION

Did you know that 45% of Americans take a summer vacation? That’s a LOT of people leaving there home unattended for an extended period of time! What precautions should you take before flying the friendly skies? Here are a few great ways to prepare your home for your summer vacation! Avoid that “I’ve gone away” look.  Nothing screams I’M NOT HOME like 10 newspapers in the driveway, or overgrown grass and untrimmed bushes! Keep you home looking ‘lived-in’ by doing this: Stop the newspaper and put your mail on hold. Have the lawn cut right before you go Put a few different inside lights on a timer plug-in Park your car in the garage Ask a friendly trusted neighbor to park in your driveway occasionally or at night Avoid shutting all the blinds – leave some partly open Take precautions with the water and electricity.  The absolute worst end to a fabulous vacation is coming home to...

3 PLACES IN YOUR HOME THAT YOU ARE PROBABLY FORGETTING TO CLEAN

Housecleaning is a task that usually falls on the TO-DO list somewhere below “Wash the Dog”, and somewhere above “Write a letter to the IRS”!  Dusting, vacuuming, polishing and cleaning hidden areas can be tedious and time-consuming, so we tend to do ‘what MUST be done’, and push off the non-essentials for another day. So, unless you are a cleaning pro, there are 3 places in your home that you are probably forgetting to clean. 1 – AIR FILTERS AND EXHAUST FANS Out of sight, out of mind, right? If you occasionally remember the air filter, but don’t have a new one to change them out, just give it a quick vacuum and make a note to buy one soon. Don’t forget a quick wipe with a damp rag on the vent. A bathroom exhaust fan works in a humid atmosphere so it will get badly soiled over time. This task is a little more complicated and requires unscrewing...

3 Cleaning Mistakes you are Probably Making

3 Cleaning Mistakes you are Probably Makng! Everyone who loves to clean, shout ME right now! *Crickets* So I may actually have been the only voice! Many find housecleaning a daunting and dreaded task. I think I love to clean because I had a mom who loved to clean! Mom knew how to clean well, how to clean fast, and she taught me to avoid these three big mistakes: MISTAKE # 1 — Neglecting to Pre-Vacuum. I’m not talking carpeting here – Dust, hair, pet hair, and dirt are collecting everywhere, on every surface in your home daily. Instead of ‘moving the dust around’ by swiffering or sweeping, vacuum. Set your vacuum on the bare floor setting and vacuum all the hard surfaces before washing. Attachments are AMAZING if you use them correctly! Vacuum all your tile or wood floors before washing! Take the vacuum head off and attach the long wand with the nozzle to...

The Easy Method For Picture Hanging

The Easy Method for Picture Hanging In my last home, I had a FABULOUS idea: Have a photo collage wall! You know, all the kids, random shots, cute frames, perfectly placed. HAH! I tried it freehand and the results were, let’s say, NOT stellar! Some frames closer to some than others, a few frames at a tilt unless I stuck a wad of sticky stuff on the back, and almost NONE exactly level at the top–well I’ve matured in my MAD PICTURE HANGING SKILLZ!! If you love framed photos on the wall and have been hoping for an easier way to get this crazy task accomplished, today is your lucky day! STEP ONE- Decide on the photos, choose your frames, and look through a few catalogs or magazines for ideas. It’s always easier when you have an idea in mind before you pound a nail. Photos should compliment the home decor, not compete with it. SUGGESTIONS:...

How to Create a Fantastic Patio

How to Create a Fantastic Patio It’s Patio Time! The love of a balmy, breezy spring day is universal. A fabulous, welcoming patio can be created with a little thought, a little elbow grease and any budget! You don’t have to be a millionaire to have a beautiful outdoor space. Let’s start at the beginning, shall we? Planning What are your go-to activities? Are you the Martha Stewart of entertaining? Are you a homebody who would rather read alone on a windowseat? Are you the Monopoly Queen, always challenging your kids to a game? Maybe you are the barbecue guru and adore eating outdoors. Whatever your daily adventures entail, this is what you want to translate to your patio space. If you’re all about friends, you’ll need to consider seating for many, yet open space for guests to mix and mingle. If you are a ‘foodie’, then the Bar-B-Que area might be THEE most important part of the patio to you....