Keep Your Home Clean – Tips For Busy Families

A clean home doesn’t just mean one that is physically spotless. Organization also has a lot to do with the visual appeal and cleanliness of a property. Today we are going to discuss a few ways you can go about maintaining a nice-looking residence even if you barely have time to breath.

An Everyday Process

While taking on more daily tasks when you can barely seem to keep up with what you have sounds counterproductive, it’s one of the most surefire ways to keep a great-looking home regularly. Habits are formed when the same projects are taken on for about a month straight. So, write up a game plan and begin today. Maybe in the mornings you want to put the dishes away and start the washer if enough laundry has accumulated. It’s best to get things done as you notice them then find yourself in a situation where you need a certain piece of clothing and are unable to wear it or have guests dropping by and the dishes seem as though they’re piled to the ceiling.

Throughout the day, clean up after yourself and make sure family members do the same. See hair in the sink or toothpaste? Take a few seconds to wipe it out. A clean sink, shiny tub and tidy toilet make for an inviting household. As dishes are dirtied, put them directly into the dishwasher or choose a time of day that they need to be completed. Rotating family members on this one means you’ll get breaks from the tasks you dislike most and cleaning won’t feel so monotonous.

Dealing With Clutter & Keeping A Healthy Lifestyle

It’s only natural that clutter will accumulate over time. As you’re busy trying to focus on your job, getting the kids off to school and keeping a clean home, it’s important that you don’t forget to live your life. Don’t worry if you have days where you simply don’t want to do anything.

Allow yourself time to wind down, as long as you don’t get into bad habits that are going to mean much more work for you later on. Letting dirty laundry go for two weeks, for example, is going to mean a long day of nothing but laundry in the near future.

As you notice clutter accumulating, make note of it and figure out if the items that are most bothersome are necessary in your home. Should they be stored in a drawer or in a storage container in the garage for future use instead? Or, could some of those items potentially just be wasting space?

In this case, you may choose to donate them or toss them in the trash. If you look around and find a room to be more than you can handle, have a quick cleaning session. Even a mere 5 or 10 minutes can make a big difference and mean less stress on your shoulders. Have the whole family pitch in and put objects in their proper place, wipe those counter tops, and vacuum the floor. May not seem like much but a little truly does go a long way.

A well known Interior decorator, Martha Illingworth is the author of today’s guest post. She is known for her flawless approach and advises people on home maintenance on her blog. Wood blinds in NYC is what she suggests to many of her clients to get a natural feeling to one’s house.


4 Great Ways To Get Rid Of Pests In Your Yard

You can enhance the value of your home by creating a beautiful lawn or garden. The curb appeal will attract potential homebuyers even before they walk into the home. Whether you are planning to sell your home, or you simply want an attractive looking home, you should take the time to work on your lawn.

One thing that can ruin a perfectly good lawn is the presence of pests. Pests can damage plants and flowers, leaving your lawn looking unattractive.

Before you embark on the task of getting rid of lawn insects or pests, you need to know that you cannot eliminate the pests completely, nor do you want to. Some of the insects are actually beneficial to your lawn and they are completely harmless. When you want to get rid of pests, you should concentrate on those that are harmful. There are different ways to get rid of the pests and you need to think of the best solution for your lawn or garden.

Biological method

Also referred to as the natural method, biological pest control is where you use living organisms to fight the harmful pests. This method is usually quite time consuming and it can also be quite expensive. It is not always efficient for those looking for quick results. When using the biological method, you need to be patient as the system takes a long time to work. It is, however, very environmentally friendly because you do not use any harmful products.

The biological method is safe for your lawn and for the family. Microorganisms that are predators of the harmful pests are introduced into the lawn and they naturally attack the pests killing them. The nematodes, bacterium or fungi are usually mixed with water and sprayed on the lawn. Depending on the type you use, you will need to apply the solution frequently to get the desired results.

Plant Pesticides

Plant or botanical pesticides are becoming quite popular because they are less harmful to humans and pets. Made from plant materials, the pesticides are less toxic but they are just as effective for getting rid of pests. They are effective when used on pests that live on the leaves or surface of the lawn, but they are not so effective on pests like grubs that live in the soil.

For the botanical pesticides to be effective, they must come into contact with the pests quickly. Pyrethin is one of the most popular pesticides and it comes from the chrysanthemum plant. This pesticide is very strong but it should be used with care because it kills the good insects also. It should be used sparingly in spots on some sections of the lawn. It is also toxic to fish and should not be used frequently near water bodies. Neem, which is an oil extract from the neem tree, is also used in pest control.

Chemical pesticides

There are many types of chemical pesticides in the market, and they have different compositions and benefits. They are quite effective in getting rid of lawn pests quickly, but most of them also kill the good insects or beneficial organisms on the lawn. Some chemical pesticides are also harmful to people and animals and can be toxic.

It is important to find out about the different pesticides available before buying them. Before applying chemical pesticides on your lawn, you should make sure that you read the instructions carefully. Make sure that people and pets are kept off the lawn after application of the pesticides. Diazinon and Carbaryl are the most common insecticides in the market. They are used to kill a wide variety of insects or bugs.

Insecticidal soaps

People who are looking for an environmentally friendly solution can use insecticidal soaps. They are made from salts that are in fatty acids and they are effective in killing many soft-bodied insects or pests. The soaps are nontoxic to humans and they are also biodegradable. They are mixed with water before being poured onto the problem areas on the lawn.

To get rid of pests on your lawn, it is advisable to get the services of a pest control service. This way, you will not have to be exposed to any harmful products. The professionals are able to assess your lawn to determine the best solution for your needs.

More useful tips about pest control from James J.Decker


How To Keep Bees Away From Your Home

It’s about that time of year. The weather is warming up, the sun is shining and everyone’s looking to spend more time outdoors. While bees may not be a big deal at a distance, having them up in your space, surrounding your food and in your pool doesn’t exactly help create a relaxing environment for your family or your guests. So, what can you do to minimize the number of bees and enjoy summer to its fullest potential?

Ways You May Be Attracting Bees To Your Property


While you may not realize it, there are things you could be doing that are actually bringing the bees to your yard. This may include trash cans that aren’t properly covered, which probably include sweet smelling items, such as pop that are like welcome signs to bees.

The flowers and trees you have on your property may be bringing your unwanted guests directly to the party. Try your best to keep the action, such as your pool, hot tub or volleyball tournament away from areas that contain a lot of pollen. Pollen is one of the most attractive scents to bees and isn’t just present on flowers, but on walnut, hickory and elm trees, as well. The same goes with food. Try to designate areas where you eat outdoors versus areas where you relax.

As with most pests, if you have plenty of food and water, there isn’t much reason for them to not want to stick around. While you may not be able to get rid of all the water outside your property, especially if a pool is part of your backyard, you can make changes that will make your yard less appealing.

For instance, it may be best to nix those bird baths and outdoor water dishes you have for your pets.

As far as your pool is concerned, be sure to keep it covered when not in use and have bee traps hanging throughout your property so bees are attracted to those before they reach the water. There are many traps on the market today that only require you to apply sugar or fruit juice inside. Bees are instantly attracted and once they enter, are unable to escape. Once filled, all you need to do is dump out the contents and hang again.

What if The Problem Persists?

If you find yourself infested with bees and unable to keep them away no matter how hard you try, it may be time to either try to locate their hive yourself or seek a professional. It is important that you never, ever spray a hive during the daytime and read the product instructions carefully and thoroughly if you do plan on trying to take down a hive on your own.

The nice thing about hiring an exterminator to do the job is they are going to have all the safety equipment and tools to get the job done right the first time. They’ve done this more than a few times and getting stung by that many bees isn’t exactly something most homeowners want to experience.

Big Star Jeans

The biggest star in making the best jeans is none other than the Big Star Jeans! We all know that when it comes to choosing jeans, we all get very picky and are very conscious about the fit. Apart from having the right fit, we also need our jeans to look stylish and be comfortable at the same time.

Big Star jeans not only fit all the above criteria but also provide high class quality. Be it for men or women, this well known brand of jeans has a lot of choice to offer. There are different colors to choose from and you can select from the wide range of finishes that they have as well.

The brand has made itself popular because of their excellent washes, exceptional fits and superb prices. The Big Star jeans originally started with jeans for women. However, as the demands increased because of the high quality and the wonderful fits, the company also started to make jeans for men. Rest, as you know is history!

Union, Digger and Pioneer are the three most famous fits that the Big Star jeans have to offer for men. These jeans are made by Koos Manufacturing in California, and are the leading manufacturers and producers of denim. All clothing is checked for quality before it is sent out of the facility.

You could buy from a slim fit to a regular fit or even go for the boot cut, depending on what you are looking for. The Big Star jean is extremely comfortable to wear. You can pick and choose your favorite style according to your mood.

The way you wear your jeans defines your attitude. So get a pair that suites your personality and image. One of the most important things when buying jeans is the comfort factor. So even if you really dig the style, you need to be certain that they fit you comfortably.

The Big Star brand makes sure that all the jeans are designed while keeping the comfort factor in mind. With a brand like Big Star, you would not have any problems where comfort is concerned.

Top quality fabric is used in making these jeans so you can wear them for as long as you want without getting uncomfortable. These jeans are also very durable and are made for every day use. It goes without saying that the Big Star jeans can sustain the wear and tear with ease.

These stylish jeans are most sought out for, as they make you look trendy and cool. You can even team up your latest jeans with the hot looking Big Star T-shirts.

For women, the best selling jeans fit is Mia. This fit is available in various styles and washes and it is made in the boot cut fit. Women also love the Remy Jean with its flap pockets and low rise.

Casey is the newest and the hottest Big Star fit. It is slim on the thighs and has a boot cut with a low rise fit. If you are looking for a more relaxed look, then you could also opt for the Karla fit. These jeans are a high rise and are slightly relaxed on the thigh area.

Another great fit that women are in love with is called Sweet. These jeans are the lowest rise jeans as compared to all the other Big Star fits. When it comes to shopping we know that women want it all. So Big Star also has a variety of shorts and capris available for its female customers.

So now that you know that Big Start has a fit for every body type, go get a few that fit you!

Plaid shirts

Plaid shorts, plaid shirt, bags, shoes and hats are all common on girls, boys and kids. They are available from every type of clothing outlet, from the local niche clothing store to the biggest department stores.

Plaid has not always been so popular. In times gone by the pattern has been termed old fashioned or just plain odd. In the UK there is a certain negative part of the community that wears a certain type of plaid which has given that particular pattern a very bad reputation.

Plaid is a term used to describe a cross-hatched pattern in woolen garments. The word itself probably comes from a type of Gaelic dialect. Probably originating from Scottish, Welsh or Irish tartan, there are now countless designs. In fact, the term ‘full plaid’ is used to describe long skirts common among members of highland bands of Scotland.
The kilt is the most famous example of a piece of plaid clothing. They are recognizable throughout the world and used to tell all what clan, or family, the person that is wearing it is a member of. They date back hundreds of years and are usually worn around the waist. Of course the most memorable thing about kilts is not about the actual kilt itself, but about what is being worn underneath. Famously, so the Scots would have you believe, underwear is entirely optional.

Inhabitants of the Midwestern United States began wearing flannel in everyday life hundreds of years after the invention of the kilt. Loosely spun wool or cotton, flannel is very similar to a type of material common in historic Wales. This is more evidence relating the origin of these types of  cloth to Gaelic history. It is still very common amongst the workers in colder climates as it does tend to be very warm. Flannel shirts were not seen as cool, exactly, so it took a musical movement during the 90’s before men’s plaid shirts were seen as common or cool anywhere.
It was during the 90’s that the grunge musical movement became common. Artists such as Kurt Cobain began wearing flannel, with cross-hatched designs and suddenly men’s plaid shirt wearing became common all over the US and the World. Kurt Cobain and those of his ilk wore the plaid shirts in videos and on stage lending them great credibility, at least to those to whom his music meant a great deal. His widow eventually auctioned off these shirts.
Eventually, grunge was no longer the most influential music genre. West Coast gangster rap, led for a time by Tupac, took the plaid baton and ran with it. Tupac, specifically, would wear a plaid shirt over a white tank top. The shirt itself was long enough to reach his knees but it was still a men’s plaid shirt.

The reach of both of these types of music is wide and varied eventually resulting in plaid items of clothing being worn in every corner of society and by all types of people.

Plaid shorts, on the other hand, are a pretty recent development. They hit the high street in a big way in 2007. Fashion houses were responsible this time. Always looking for a new angle, they released them as an addition to their vacation collections. Because this new fashion was driven by the fashion houses themselves, many parts of society saw them as a must-have item for the following years’ fashion.

Plaid shorts are found among the most fashionable people, mainly, though all other parts of society are catching on as cheaper products become available.

For a design that originated far back in history, plaid has come a long way to become a high fashion example of clothing on the street today.

Cheap Jordans

Air Jordan or simply Jordans are a brand of shoes which was produced by Nike. These were originally designed for and were endorsed by Michael Jordan, professional basketball player.

Since its creation in 1984, this has been the most popular in Nike sneakers, which is a worldwide recognized brand shoes. To create a good demand and keep the value of the shoes as high as possible, Nike, in charge of releasing cheap jordans, announces one specific date before the distribution of this specific line. This advertisement tactic is to make sure the demand still exists in the market especially by the basketball fans since they love the design of the shoes. Nike uses the logo “Jumpman” to promote the Air Jordan brand. The brand like many other has been subject to counterfeiting all over the world. Many believed counterfeiters are fraudulent dealers usually over the internet and are sold at prices starting at $19 and go up to the regular prices.

95Cheap jordans are classified according to the year when they are released to the market and by their particular model since there have been numerous releases each year. The signature design of Air Jordan models is re-introduced every year. The color and the scheme have changed so much that it appears different from other designs. Since 1984, there have been 23 models introduced to the market. Collectors classify the line by release year and model: Originals, Retros (shoes that have been re-created for sale for common people), and Retro-pluses (Retro + are similar to the original changes but with more up-to-date changes), Player Exclusive (created exclusively for certain athletes in the realm of sports), and Samples. The Jordan brand because of its tradition of quality and high-fashion is a household name and shall continue for long.
There are various websites available on various search engines which promote cheap jordans offering this most sought after brand at various lucrative offers. Jordan station website publishes not only the best rates available but also has a section which marks the journey of the cheap air jordans from start till today. Jordanzone.com was founded by Jordan shoe fanatic and they dedicate this website to Michael Jordan, the man who changed the game and the shoes that bears his name. This website provides information on other websites which sell authentic cheap jordan shoes. Jordanonsale.com is a US-SINO based internet retailer of various brand name sneakers, including cheap jordan. These are available on the website without the hassle, in premium quality, doesn’t require minimums & orders are shipped within days. During festive season, websites offer cheap jordans for sale.

Air Jordans have been the most popular selling signature basket ball shoe that Nike has ever created. Although, Micheal Jordan retired from basketball in 2003 (3rd time), cheap Jordans are still the top selling models for many retailers. The legacy lives on with release of retro air Jordans, which are the re-makes of the classic air Jordans either in the color or slightly modified to match with the current trends.

5 Great Tips If You’re Interested In Building An Outdoor Living Area

Summer is definitely the most popular season because as soon as the sun comes out we feel like a million bucks. Part of the reason we feel so good is because we get to spend a lot more time outdoors. In the past you would normally see people sitting on a deckchair in the middle of their garden, but at the moment there are more and more people building outdoor living areas.

Having a mini-living room outdoors is a great reason to spend more time in the garden. If you are thinking about building one you need to do it the right way, so we’re going to look at some tips that will help you out. You definitely won’t regret it once you’re done because it will give you a good reason to get out of the house.

Start by planning things properly

Before you get started you need to make sure you plan everything. You definitely wouldn’t start throwing things inside a room in your home without coming up with a plan. When you know how your outdoor living area should look you can then go out and buy things. If you start buying things before you plan everything out you might find you have to take things back to the store because they don’t fit anymore.

Keep storages pace in mind

It would be nice if we all lived in a tropical country where the sun was a regular occurrence, but most people will live somewhere with heavy winters. As soon as the weather takes a downturn you won’t be able to use your outdoor living area unless it’s covered, so you will need to store certain things away until the weather picks back up again. Your tables and chairs can stay outside, but other things won’t be able to handle the rain and wind.

Try to stay consistent

Don’t forget that your garden is still a part of your home, so when you’re building an outdoor living area you should still try to stay consistent with certain things. This is especially true of decking, patio slabs, and bigger pieces of furniture because they are there to stay for a long time. If you’re just buying disposable items you can be a lot more free and fancy when it comes to testing out different styles.

Use lots of plants

Don’t forget that you’re building an outdoor room so you can be a lot more experimental with plants. It’s not like you can put lots of large plants inside your living room, but you can do it outside and your new living area will look beautiful. You will feel like you’re sitting in the middle of a tropical rainforest. You just need to buy a pet monkey to swing around above your head.

Make sure these is light

Once the sun goes down you don’t need to move inside. You can stay outside when it’s still warm because it’s just as nice. You will need to make sure you set up some good lighting because the light coming from your kitchen won’t be good enough. Try sticking some colored solar lights into the ground around your outdoor living area because they will look fantastic as soon as the sun falls.

Get started right now

Once you’ve planned everything you can get started right away. Just make sure the furniture you buy is suitable to be kept outdoors otherwise you will end up wasting a lot of money. If you want to sit outdoors during winter you can even have a roof built to protect you from the bad weather, so you’ll be able to use it all-year-round when it’s not too cold.

Jenny Wadlow

3 Important Things To Consider When Renovating Your House

Deciding to renovate a house is a huge commitment and one than needs very careful thought. It’s really easy to get bogged down in the finer details, but don’t lose sight of the bigger issues. Beyond the main construction of the house, you have some big decisions to make. We’ll talk you through some of the things you need to think about in order to help focus your mind. It should go without saying that the more time you spend researching and considering your options, the better. Not thinking things through properly may mean you end up costing yourself more money in the long run. Here are three things that deserve careful thought before you go too much further:


The right insulation will save you a lot of money on your utility bills as you will have to rely far less heavily on your central heating system. There are plenty of different options to choose from. The most traditional method is probably using a roll of fiberglass. The material is stuffed into cavity walls and in between joists in order to pad out all of the empty spaces. There is another popular choice which is spray foam insulation. This is sprayed directly on to wherever you need it; it fills all the difficult like nooks and crannies and will last a long time.  Give this some serious thought and speak to some experts to ascertain which option is right for you.

The Kitchen

The fixtures and fittings in a kitchen are one of the most important things to think about. Once the units are in place it will be very difficult (and expensive) to move, so getting the layout and the design right the first time is essential. Make sure there is adequate room for all of your white goods such as your fridge, freezer and dishwasher. Make sure the plans are drawn up long in advance so you leave yourself with plenty of time to find the perfect units for your needs. Once the big items are in you’ll find it much easier to decorate the rest of the room.

Utility Room

If there is room in your plans for a utility room then make sure you include one. Utility rooms are brilliant for storing coats and boots, drying clothes and even for washing machines and tumble dryers. Keeping all of this clutter in one dedicated room will really help you achieve a minimalist look elsewhere so think about where in your plans the utility room could go. They work best when they are attached to the kitchen, and if they have an external door then that will give you great access to the garden for drying clothes on sunny days. Utility rooms are also really handy for all sorts of other storage so make sure there are plenty of shelves and cupboards in the plans.

The more you think your renovation through before you go ahead with it, the quicker and easier you will find making your dreams a reality to be. Having a clear plan of the way ahead will also save you a lot of stress!

Andrea Hopkins


How To Make The Most Out Of A Small Place

Not many people can live in huge mansions where it takes forever to go from the kitchen to the bedroom or where things always get lost. The reality for most of us is quite on the opposite. There are those that can allow to live comfortably, but not too conspicuously while the rest have to squeeze past someone on their way to the bathroom. However, even if your place is small it doesn’t mean you can’t make anything to make it better.

5 Things To Consider

Getting used to live in smaller place can be stressful when you’re not prepared for it. You have personal belongings and furniture that is suitable for a larger one. But you’ve to adapt to reality and live up to the challenge. Start with planning your new home lay out at the macro level. There are a few important issues to be considered before you’ll be able to pay attention to more subtle aspects.

Decide What You Need – take the first step by making a list of things you’ll need. Then inspect your existing furniture and decide what you can use and what you can let go. Next, buy things that you actually need. For example, installing a bookcase is pointless, provided that you don’t read books.

Clear Up – go over and check your stuff again. Decide what you can throw out, donate or sell. Putting up a sale can ensure you have more money for truly useful things. Getting rid of useless junk will open up your place and make your life more joyful.

Add More Light – light creates optical illusions and make a small space appear bigger that it is. Explore your options to add extra lighting like placing lamps around or fixtures on ceiling. What’s more, once a room is bright a person will be able to see it in all its glory.

Go Higher – normally stuff sits on the ground. That is how we are used do it for thousands of years. But today we have the opportunity to utilise the free space higher up. For instance, bolting a TV for the wall and placing a bookshelf on top of a drawer will free a lot of space.

Utilise Storage Space – does all of your stuff have to be on a display at all times? Probably not. Then keep some stuff stored away. Hire a storage space or tuck it under the stairs. Thus you can bring things whenever you like for short period of time and put them back in an instant.

Five Killer Decor Tricks

When you have finished your place’s layout on the macro level, it’s time to deal with improving little issues. You’ll be surprised how a subtle aspect can change your small apartment for the better. For example, if you rent a place, there are always features that can’t be mended or changed like radiators, an old and worn out carpet or lack of space for more serious renovation efforts. Don’t despair there are smart solutions to all these annoying problems.

Long Curtains – hang long curtains as close to the ceiling as possible. Surprisingly enough, this will create an illusion of tall windows, which on its side result in making a room look larger than it actually is.

Throw In a Rug – when the carpet in your rented apartment looks drab and tired simply cover it with a large rug. The rug will not only conceal this eye sore, but it’ll also add freshness to the interior.

Paint Furniture – painting walls in limited space as in small apartment can be an insurmountable challenge. You can paint your furniture instead. It’s a creative solution to bring in colour.

Double The Function – buy furniture with smart add-ons that have double use. Thus you will save space without sacrificing functionality. Place a table along a long wall and use it as a home office in day time and buffet or bar in the evening.

Hide It – often times you’re stuck with pre-existing features you can’t change like a radiator, for instance. Use a room divider to conceal it.

Craftsman House Plans: What Exactly Are They?

Just what exactly are Craftsman house plans? This may be a term that you have come across if you have been looking at having your own home designed, but there is also a good chance that you are still unaware as to what it actually means.

In actual fact, all that happens with these house plans is that they tend to only use natural materials and simple forms, so there really is nothing complicated about it, but you still end up with something that looks fantastic. These plans will result in you having a home that is full of character and indeed you will see that they are actually comparable to the normal bungalow type of plan.

Typically with this type of house plan you will see that it has a very low pitched roof on the gable end that also has some of its roof rafters exposed and an over-exaggerated wide overhang. The porch with this style will also tend to have columns and will more often than not be a full width making quite a grand, but simple, entrance to the home. Indeed the style itself is very distinctive and even though just by describing the roof and the porch it may sound slightly strange, it is still a beautiful home to look at.

When you look at a home that is built in this way it can come across as being quite rustic in style, but inside it tends to stick to its carpentry origins by ensuring that there is a lot of built in storage to satisfy all of your needs, but all done in a tasteful manner and staying true to the overall design of the home. There is something organic about this type of house plan and there is always a real eye for detail with every aspect from the way that the roof is angled down to the way in which the windows open and close and everything else that you care to imagine. This design is all about precision and when it is done correctly it really does result in an amazing house.

Craftsman house plans have been around since the early 20th century and indeed thanks to its popularity it will continue to be used when designing new homes across the United States. They may offer you slightly less living space than other more modern designs for homes, but this is more than made up for when you see the character it creates and the way in which these homes are just so easy to live in.

The name Craftsman is perfect for this type of home because once it has been completed you can see how different crafts have come together from the stone masons that made the pillars, to the  builder, the carpenter, and even the landscape designer who has laid out the gardens perfectly. Overall this type of house plan often results in a home that is like a work of art and with each one being lovingly built you can be sure that you will enjoy your new home and live there for many a happy year.

Christine Cooney