Category Archives: Home

As the Temperatures Get Lower, Give Your Pad a Vibrant Pick-Me-Up

Every single year, as winter falls around me I suddenly wake up one morning, snow undoubtedly covering the outside and turning everything as far as I can see around me, completely and purely white, I look around my apartment and I. Hate. Everything. Yes, that is right–I hate everything about my surroundings; from the carpets to the rugs to the curtains to the couch to the television stand; yes, even the television stand is not safe during this time of the year. This year, I think my winter-spawned re-decorating sensory is in overdrive because technically it’s still fall and I have woken up, staggered down the steps in search of coffee, only to stop dead in my tracks and look around my living room and get that same itch that everything must change immediately. In this vast internet space, awe-inspiring home decorating accessories and furniture seem to throw themselves at you just when you need them. So this year, if you’re like me and hate everything about your living space, then give it a vibrant pick-me-up and who knows, it just may pick you up as well.

Check out these incredible finds to put some vibrant life back into your house from Lotus Bleu:

Start with some covet-worthy chairs for your living room, bedroom or patio (if you’d feel comfortable about putting these incredible (and quite pricey) chairs outside and vulnerable to the elements.

wingback lounge chair, Lotus Bleu

This is the first chair that “spoke to me” as soon as I clicked on the ‘furniture’ link on the Lotus Bleu website. I am in love with it. It is a vintage, mid-century Danish-style wingback lounge chair in contemporary floral silkscreen fabric. ($2,450)

rocking chair with ottoman, Lotus Bleu

Another vintage, mid-century rocking chair with accompanying ottoman with loose cushions in linen silkscreened with silhouettes of branches and leaves. ($1,650)

It is really astounding to see what a difference a few throw pillows or festive cushions can do to your sitting spaces. A good throw pillow goes a long, long way.

Robert Le Heros striped print cushions, Lotus Bleu

Stripes are always a great choice if you’re working with neutral toned carpets or walls, plus they add a whole lot of color to the room without being tacky, overbearing, or just plain ugly. Try these Robert Le Heros cotton striped cushions. ($108-238)

Thomas Paul goldfish pillow, Lotus Bleu

New York designer Thomas Paul‘s mandarin-orange goldfish pillow. ($94)

mosaique silk pillows, Lotus Bleu

Gorgeous mosaique silk pillows with a solid base embroidered with circles, flowers, or lotus motifs. ($62-72, on sale now for $43-$50)

The key to a living space that is so vibrant and really makes you want to spend more time in that space is a room with awesome lighting and these fixtures are nothing less than something that will really catch your eye.

pastel table lamp, Lotus Bleu

Lacquered pastel table lamps with a white silk shade and three-way switch. ($280)

Thomas Paul patterned lamp shades, Lotus Bleu

Thomas Paul patterned lamp shades with coordinating colored bases. ($200-220)

Create an Eddie Borgo-Inspired Jeweled Pumpkin

Now that the spooktacular night of Halloween is coming to an end, you’re probably wondering what to do with your leftover pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns. Jeweler Eddie Borgo needed a housewarming gift for designer-friend Victor Glemaud and decided to create a festive centerpiece–a bejeweled pumpkin.

Eddie Borgo jeweled pumpkin
Thanks to Vogue, you can find out exactly what you need to create your very own Eddie Borgo-inspired bejeweled pumpkin. This is a great way to keep the Halloween spirit in your house until you’re ready to start decorating for the holidays and is also a really fun crafts project.

You will need:

  • Pumpkin
  • Carving knife and spoon
  • Jewelry studs (Borgo recommends StudsandSpikes.com or M&J Trimming)
  • Krylon matte black spray paint

1. Pick your pumpkin at the local market. Borgo likes his medium-size, symmetrical, and round.

2. Empty out the seeds and pulp and begin to carve the face.

3. Try to accentuate the cutout shapes by studding around them, pushing the spikes into the shell of the pumpkin. Borgo likes to start with the eyes, followed by the noise; the mouth comes last.

4. After the face is completely studded, use Krylon matte black spray paint over the whole pumpkin to make it deep, deep black.

And that’s all there is to it!

Eddie Borgo jeweled pumpkin process

Enter for a Chance to Win an HDTV Every Day Throughout April

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The popularity of HDTV has certainly been growing exceedingly throughout the past couple of years and that popularity is not dying out any time soon. Now that it’s tax season, many people will begin thinking about what to do with their tax returns; given the economy, many people will certainly wish they could spend their tax returns on luxury items such as an HD television or perhaps a video game console or new computer, but will most likely end up using that money to pay overdue bills, catch up on mortgage payments, pay back rent, or even spend a significant amount of that money on groceries in bulk as we continue to see our economy deteriorate.

Charter Communications is working to meet the demands of their customers by offering service bundles that meet their unique and specific needs and save them money, but they are also creating a great buzz in a truly unique and fun way. Every day throughout April, if any current or new Charter customer orders Cable, High Speed, or Telephone services online, upon installation of their service, will automatically be entered for a chance to win a 22″ flat screen HDTV. As an added bonus, they are also offering their customers a chance to win the grand price package, including a 52″ LCD flat screen HDTV, a Home Theater System, and one year of free Charter Digital Cable service with HD programming. Imagine receiving a complete Home Theater System and the ability to literally bring the movie theater right inside to your own living room just for ordering either Cable, High Speed of Telephone service!

This isn’t the first time Charter has offered their customers an added bonus just for doing business with them. Charter is a company that truly does business a little differently than their competitors, injecting benefits and fun into their business models. In the past, Charter has run giveaways for laptops, Xbox 360 game systems, and even a 2009 Honda Civic Hybrid. Charter is definitely a company that knows what their customers want in a service provider and goes above and beyond the call of duty to keep their loyal customers happy.

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Pretty in Pink Pig

Pink Pig is perhaps the most interesting and unique name for any kind of boutique that I have ever come across, which is easily understandable since Pink Pig Cottage Antiques and the new Pink Pig on Main Street in Westport, New York offers truly unique collections of country cottage and farmhouse style furniture and country accents for home decorating. With just one, quick look around their website you are sure to be inspired to re-decorate your favorite rooms and even your entire house with the furniture and other items you see; I know I was.

When it comes to items for home, I am most interested in the small things–Knick knacks, wall decor, and most particularly, candles. I have a very large collection of different candles that I pull out depending on what kind of mood I’m in. Candles are very relaxing and work wonderfully for sprucing up the feel of your home, so I was delighted when presented with the opportunity to review Pink Pig’s signature, natural soy candle.

Pink Pig Debbie Schrodt, owner of Pink Pig spent numerous hours developing a pleasantly scented candle sure to be loved by anyone. The candle is a blended scent of florals, including tuberose, Indian jasmine, lavender, geranium and white rose and is the first candle in what will be a series of six available at Pink Pig.

The first thing that I noticed about this candle was the packaging it came in. Pink Pig is indeed pretty when it comes to their packaging; the box the candle box came in was even lined with pink wrapping and the box itself came tied in a black bow.

The candle is all natural soy, which has more benefits than you may realize. The first thing that I noticed upon burning Pink Pig’s candle is that the aroma was not only pleasant, but unlike a great deal of candles I have melted due to the fact that the aroma was stronger, but not overpowering in the least. I always have a candle burning in my office when I am working, and what I noticed about this particular candle is that it has lasted the last couple of days and with the amount of hours that I am in my office, that is longer than a great deal of candles I have come across. Upon further investigation, I found out that soy candles last longer than your average candle and this particular candle burns for approximately 60 hours, which is absolutely amazing, especially considering this candle is 7.5oz.

Pink Pig’s signature candle is available for just $24 and I have to say that it is most definitely worth the price. You can purchase the candle at the Pink Pig shop in Westport or you can shop online at PinkPigWestport.com.

Donate or Recycle Your Old Mattress

What did you do with your last mattress after you bought a new one? Haul it out to the trash and let the garbage truck take it away to a landfill? If you’re like most people, then you did and when most people are throwing away their mattresses, landfills are filling up with everyone’s dirty mattresses. About 20 million mattresses are thrown away every year just in the United States and for every 10,000 people that either donate or recycle their mattresses, it would save eight feed of landfill space–An entire American football field.

In some places, throwing out your mattress is illegal requiring people to donate their mattresses where recyclers can separate the fiber, foam, steel, and wood for remanufacturing and can make new mattresses.

There are a few options for you if you’re looking to get rid of a mattress. You can either donate it to either a crisis center, halfway house, Craig’s List or Freecycle. Make sure you clean your mattress before donating it! For instructions on how to properly clean a mattress, check out Instructables.

To recycle your old mattress, go to Earth 911, type in “mattress” in the start recycling “what do you have?” field and your zip code in the “where are you?” field for a recycling drop off sight near you.

Let PartyBluPrints Do the Party Planning for You

PartyBluPrints There are a lot of people who absolute love to entertain; when buying a house, they make sure that there is ample room in order to throw dinner and cocktail parties or intimate gatherings of friends and family. I have never been one of those people and I’ll tell you the main reason why–I hate planning something out meticulously. I really wouldn’t have a clue where to start when planning the execution of a dinner party or even a small get together; I can’t even have all parts of dinner done at the same time night after night and I have had a lot of practice with it and just can’t seem to get the timing right. I believe that there are a select few out there who can plan the perfect party and have it pan out the exact way that they had planned and if there are people out there who love throwing parties but can’t plan it out, they hire party planners. I have never had a small fortunate laying around to hire a party planner, either, so I figured I was simply out of luck.

That is, until I found out about PartyBluPrints.

PartyBluPrints gives you the luxury of not having to worry about planning a party and not knowing where to start or even coming up with the theme that is just right for your gathering. They outline your blue print to success starting with the key elements of a party; the menu, cocktails, music, favors, activities and invitations. Not only do that go in order with what you need to start and then to finish, they give you ideas and inspiration to take with you and best of all, their blue prints are all in PDF form, not prone to getting lost or ruined in the midst of your party, but conveniently on your computer at all times to consult.

Their website is often updated with holiday ideas and also a few free guides, this season’s being an Election Party and Girls Night In. Other parties they have planned are ready for you to dig in to are a holiday parties, wine tasting parties, sports parties and a few different exciting themes specifically for women and that coveted “girl time” that is so hard to make time for sometimes.

When choosing a party plan of my liking, I went for A Night in Venice, with a festival, cosmopolitan, radiant and harmonious vibe.

As I took my first glance through my PartyBluPrint, the first thing I thought was “Wow!” They did not miss a beat when it came to planning the perfect party to encompass the entire vibe and not only that, but they include a little background history on, in my case, Venice, and while taking some ideas from history and from the place itself, they tune your entire party to that theme and it is amazing, really.

PartyBluPrints steps

My PartyBluPrint started with the invitation and how to make it appear its absolute best. It then went on to not only the cocktail and meal menus but also the recipes and the preparation for each item, which I was pleasantly surprised with, as I need a recipe for soup! If you are planning your party ahead of time, they also include websites where you can buy the exact ingredients for the menu right online, making it convenient and super easy.

We all know that any gathering is not complete without ambiance and PartyBluPrints even thought of that! Giving you an overall idea and also distinct instructions, they make it a cinch to turn your home into a luxurious, magical place where the theme of the party greets your guests as soon as they step through your door.

While the Eparty plans PartyBluPrints have set up are remarkable in their entirety, the very best aspect of their party plan is that they give you an entire shopping list for your party in a list format with little boxes next to the items to ensure sufficiency in your party planning, making sure you have everything you need for a remarkable evening with your guests. For people like me who, like I said, cannot plan dinner to be done at the same time, they give you a step by step guide right down to time measurements, making sure that everything is completed and you’re ready for your guests when they start to arrive.

PartyBluPrints offers an exceptional service to party planning newbies and offers ideas and inspiration to those comfortable with throwing a gathering of any size. I would definitely recommend them for any type of party you are thinking about planning in the future, you cannot get more efficient or aesthetically pleasing.

Go Green in Your Garden

I have noticed that there are quite a few more “go green” commercials airing on television. Not only that, but many companies have seen to pick up the same tactics in all consumer media–Television, online, magazines; you name it, and it’s going green.

Companies want you to buy organically–Food, bath and body products, laundry detergents and so on, but when I got down to thinking, one place where you should most definitely be letting your eco-friendliness shine is when you’re using your green thumb.

Don’t let your plants and flowers soak up all the green in your garden. Many gardeners don’t realize simply how ironic it is that you’re growing green but you’re not necessarily going green when it comes to most small gardens and one of the most controversial elements when it comes to your garden are the products you are using to help keep your garden beautiful. One of the biggest things that can keep your garden from looking it’s best are weeds and instead of spending an entire day pulling weeds out by hand when you can be tending to the other aspects of your garden, you must find yourself an excellent weed killer.

Weed killers aren’t environmentally friendly; in fact, weed killers use harsh chemicals to kill weeds, but while you may think that they are getting the job done in that department, they are also harming your other plants–And that goes triple if you have a vegetable garden! Luckily, there is now an organic herbicide that is safe to use for you, your pets and children and the environment.

Nature's Avenger Nature’s Avenger is an all-natural organic herbicide that is completely natural and designed to meet the needs and demands of gardeners, homeowners and Mother Nature.

It has been approved for use in organic production, is fast-acting with visible results in just two hours or even less and it is also highly biodegradable. It is made with natural citrus oil, which means you aren’t dealing with harsh chemicals with harsh chemical smells. With Nature’s Avenger, your sense of smell, braincells and health of pets and children are fully taken care of.

Nature’s Avenger is available is a 24oz pre-mixed, pre-measured, easy to use spray bottle and also in 32oz and 1 gallon concentrates and can be purchased through their website or on Amazon.

Cozy Blankets Wrapped in Inspiration

I work from home and one of the things that I never really paid much attention to before, such as motivational and inspirational quotes, have become a very big part of my life. I find a quote I like and I will make a desktop background with the quote on it or write it down on a piece of paper and keep it on my desk. It is very little things such as this that give me my little jolt for the day–Oh yeah, and coffee. They are what take me from “Ugh, I don’t want to do anything today.” to “I need to work, I need to make money to keep a roof over my head and food on the table. This is what is going to turn my life around. This is what I do and I am damn good at it!”

One of the best finds I have come across lately, as well as something that has completely transformed my work ethic are the Affirmagy wraps. The blankets come from an all-woman business, which of course makes them top notch in my book, being a woman entrepreneur as well as a soon-to-be woman business owner and they also have a poster of Rosie the Riveter in the office, which just makes my love for this company grow and grow. They have been featured on Family.com, Entrepreneur.com, as well as in publications of Pink magazine, Fit Yoga and The Boston Globe.

The affirmawraps are incredibly soft blankets that come in a variety of colors that have inspirational quotes covering them. They have helped my work ethic due to me being snuggled up in my computer chair in mine since I received it.

Affirmawraps come with several different quotes on them, including abundance, courage, gratitude, love, motherhood, serenity, strength and wholeness. They also have a limited edition series which come with quotes for compassion, peace, inspiration and joy.

Being a freelance writer, website designer and web administrator, I obviously needed the inspiration wrap, needing all the inspiration I can get on a daily basis. It reads:

I live an inspired life. As I follow my dreams, I inspire others to do the same. Inspiration radiates around me. I love finding inspiration in the little things. The compassion of others inspires me. I attract extraordinary people. I am inspired every day. Each day I awaken my intuition. I follow my inspired heart.

inspiration Affirmawrap

Affirmagy wraps are absolutely amazing, in my opinion. They are ultra soft, cozy as well as the pick me up that so many people could use in their lives; they also make incredible gifts for anyone in your family, circle of friends, coworkers and they even come for babies and pets, which I think are great; I just wish I got one for my cat–Yes, she is incredibly spoiled.

Head on over to their website and fall in love with Affirmagy wraps, there is one there for absolutely everyone; and also be sure to check out Affirmawords, the Affirmagy blog by Kristen, maker of the Affirmawraps.

Planning Your Own Vegetable Garden

fresh vegetables Within the next five years, my partner and I are planning on buying our first home. While talking about the home of our dreams and about what a luxury it will be to not have to ask a landlord if we can paint the walls, hang up pictures and change the carpet in our rooms, he mentioned that he would love to have a garden.

Now first of all, my partner is very much unlike most guys you will meet–He loves to decorate, he has an eye for what colors and fabrics look best on me and he has a knack for cleaning the house a whole lot better than I could! I am a very lucky woman to have somehow attracted my very own straight gay man.

While thinking about this garden that he would love to have, we talked about not only having fresh flowers we wouldn’t have to pay an arm and a leg for, but also our very own produce; which of course, with the rising cost of gas to get to the store and the twenty percent increase in food prices that have hit America hard, having our very own vegetables would be a dream!

Being the dedicated blogger that I am, I thought I would share some information I picked up on how to make the thought of your very own vegetable garden a reality.

Like any major endeavor you plan to take on, a vegetable garden takes planning. You can’t just go out to your yard, pick a corner and start planting, you need to take into consideration how much sunlight your crops need, how many different varieties of vegetables you will be growing and where everything is going to go.

Vegetables have very particular needs unlike any other plants. Your vegetables required deep, fertile soil, a level ground and six hours of full sun every day at the very least. You also need to take into consideration that raised beds are better for growing vegetables because they have good draining, which rids your vegetables of disease and suffocation of the root systems. Raised beds also warms the soil a lot quicker than a regular bed and of course, since vegetables need six hours of full sunlight daily, they could use all the warmth they can get!

It is much easier to sketch your plan out on paper before you begin to plant. Decide what vegetables will go where as well as the size of the beds you will need. The best type of paper for this endeavor would be graph paper so you can plan to scale and also make sure you know how big your crops will grow so you can make sure that they are spaced out properly and not overlapping onto each other.

To make the raised beds that I mentioned earlier, mark off the bed layout with string and bamboo stakes. Make sure that your beds are not wider than 36 to 40 inches and using a shovel, carve out a series of lowered paths around the staked-off areas. Then, mound the soil onto the beds and use a rake to level the soil.

If you currently have your own vegetable garden, tell me about it in the comments, I could surely use all the help I can get and if you’re feeling really adventurous, take some pictures and send them to me using the contact form.

Natural Aromatherapy for Your Bathroom

aromatherapy As a person who has easily spent way too much money on aromatherapy home and bathroom products including skin care, bath and shower products, candles and incense, I recently found a terrific natural approach to aromatherapy guaranteed to lift your spirits and your immune system.

Head over to your local flower shop or crafts store and pick up a small bundle of eucalyptus, mint, or lavender and some natural garden twine. Hang the bundles off of your shower curtain rod using the twine, close to the shower head but out of the way enough so it won’t get too wet when you turn the shower on.

If you have a cold or would like to boost your immune system, eucalyptus is a natural decongestant. The steam from the shower will release the scent throughout your bathroom and it will also clear up your cold and prevent it from returning and others from attacking.

Mint is also used as a throat soother, if you’ve looked through your local store’s cold and flu section, you may have noticed some products that aid in the soothing of the throat or medicines that get rid of sore throats and most often, those products contain mint. What not a lot of people know is that mint can also aid indigestion, helping stomach aches and also chest pains.

Lavender is my favorite plant for aromatherapy. Lavender as an essential oil has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties and it is also used to naturally soothe headaches if applied to the temples; I used to get horrible stress headaches and ended up buying myself a natural body salve with lavender essential oils that worked wonderfully. Breathing lavender in has a calming effect and it is used to soothe stress, aches and pains and is best for you when exposed to it right before bed, as it produces a deeper sleep rid of stress that is most often carried with you into sleep making you wake even more tired than you were before you went to bed and still carrying emotional baggage and stress.

This little trick can even be used just to put a nice, natural fragrance in your bathroom that will last for a few weeks.