Archive | June 2014

Top Tips for Childproofing Your Home

With summer around the corner, your children will be out of school and probably spending more time at home. To make sure your home is a safe environment, childproofing is essential. Here is a list of a few safety precautions.

Physical Safety

  1. Keep breakable items away from children. Items made of glass or ceramic should be kept out of reach to prevent any injuries. You can also switch to using rubber instead of breakable materials.
  2. Use playpens. To make sure young children are not running into items or getting hurt around the house, playpens are very useful. They are also often portable in case the child is visiting a neighbor or friend.
  3. Use safety gates and fences. Keeping children away from accidents, safety gates can be placed in front of stairways. If you have a pool, you may also use pool fences to prevent children from accidently falling into the pool.
  4. Cover furniture edges and other sharp corners. If your children like to run around, it is highly advisable to cover sharp edges to keep them from getting hurt.

Medical Safety

  1. Keep medicine out of reach. To do so, you can use child-proof caps or store the medicine in higher cabinets and shelves.
  2. Make sure household chemicals are stored away. Like medicine, household chemicals should be placed in locked cabinets and shelves or in places that children cannot reach.                                  

Fire and Electrical Safety

  1. Block access to electrical outlets. Inserting objects into electrical outlets is a risk for electrocution and serious injury. To prevent these accidents, you can use sliding outlet covers or plastic units.
  2. Install smoke alarms in every room. You should also check them monthly to make sure they are working.
  3. Create an evacuation plan. In case a fire breaks out, you should run through an evacuation plan with your child and remind them of the dangers of fire.

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Decorating a New Home

Moving can be an exhilarating experience, especially if it’s your first house. One of the primary things that you must tackle is turning a house into your home. The following are some tips for decorating a new home:

Don’t buy everything at once

When you first move in, those empty walls and sparse bookshelves can be daunting. While you will want to infuse your personality into every aspect of your house right away, you should take your time. Start by purchasing essential pieces and some decorations. In the following months, buy items here and there as you see them. This will save you from splurging on things that you think you need to fill space in an empty home.

Invest in big ticket items

While you are purchasing the essentials, be attentive to what you are spending your money on. You should invest in items like large pieces of furniture and necessary appliances. Don’t spend a lot of money on top of the line wine bottle openers or expensive coasters. Spending more money now on better quality things can ultimately save you money in the long run.

Avoid buying sets

Furniture showrooms often create the idea that in order to have a perfectly decorated living room you have to buy a complete set. However, doing so would make your home look just like those furniture showrooms! Instead purchase some pieces in a set, like a bed frame and matching dresser, but find end tables somewhere else. Mixing and matching will show that you spent time finding the perfect items for your house, and not like a store picked them out for you.

Add personal touches

Finally, don’t be afraid to get creative! Instead of spending money on all new cabinets, consider painting them and adding new hardware. Being resourceful will also save you money. Visit thrift stores and yard sales for items like picture frames and small knick-knacks that will give your home a personal touch that only you could create!


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Graduation Party Clean-Up

Now that it’s June, it’s time for graduation parties! Everyone loves a good party – the food, the decor, the laughs. When the graduation party is over and it’s time to cleanup, use these four simple steps to effectively clean your home.


1. Pre-party Preparation

Before the party starts, make sure your home is prepared for it! Set out coasters, have paper towels on hand, and provide plenty of trash and recycling bins. Taking time to prevent messes now will save you time later.

2. Pick up

Once the party is over you should grab a trash bag and pick up any rubbish littering your kitchen, living room, and backyard. Clearing out cups and plates first will allow you to get to the grime on furniture, walls, and floors.

 3. Wipe up

The next step is to wipe down surfaces that may have gotten dirty during the party. Use Windex on your windows and mirrors, an all purpose cleaner on your walls, and soap on your tables.

 4. Vacuum and Sweep

Now that you’ve tackled the walls and furniture in your home, it’s time to turn your attention to the floor. Be sure to use a stain remover for any spills on your carpet. Then, you can vacuum your rugs and sweep or mop your floors to remove the final party debris.


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Summer Decorations for the Front Door

Summer is on its way, but the heat is already here! What better way to greet your guests than with a refreshing blast of décor at the front door? Door decorations are not only fun crafts, but they also leave a great first impression on your visitors. Here are a few ideas to get you started.


Wreaths are perfect for any season and are easy to make! Like in this pinwheel wreath, adding color brings out a summer feel.

Or if you have leftover cloth and have no idea what to do with them, check out this fabric scrap wreath.

Not the only season in its wake, summer is also time for baseball! If you’re a fan, this wreath is an exciting way to cheer on your favorite team.


Door Hangers

Aside from wreaths, door hangers are also welcoming decorations. Recreating objects that remind you of summer can be a fantastic addition to your front door, like this sun decoration.

You can even flashback to those memories catching fireflies in the summer with this Mason jar decoration.

Or you can escape the heat with juicy fruit at your front door.

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2 Backyard Must-Haves for the Summer

As the weather gets warmer, we all begin spending more time outdoors. A backyard is the perfect place to relax in the evenings and entertain on the weekends. Here are two functional ideas for a well-decorated yard this summer.

Awesome Backyard Patio Ideas 2013

1. Hammock

A hammock is a comfortable alternative to traditional seating. Placed in the shade, it can be an excellent tool for relaxation on those hot July days. For porches, you can even buy swinging hammocks that are suspended from a ceiling and will not succumb to the same weathering as an outdoor one.

Summertime and living are easy . . . especially when it's spent relaxing in your Bliss Hammock ($130). It's made of weather-resistant, soft, interwoven, colorfast Olefin weave strap and has a spreader bar made of weather-resistant hardwood with a marine finish.<br /><br />

2. Portable Tables

When entertaining guests or finding the perfect spot in the yard to sit, you’ll want to have a table to hold your drink. A portable table is functional furniture that is easy to assemble on the spot and fold back up when the picnics are over. They come in a variety of sizes and colors, so you’ll want to find one that fits in your yard and can be stowed away easily when it begins to get colder.

For those of you who can't abide by picnics on the grass, this Sur la Table Folding Table ($45) folds into its own bag.<br /><br />

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Best Tool Gifts for Father’s Day

For this Father’s Day, you can give your dad the tools to start those projects he has been hoping to try. Even if your dad has a garage full of tools, there may still be ones that he is missing. To get you started, here are a few tools that your dad will enjoy receiving for sure.

Basic hand tools: These refer to the tools that are most often used, such as hammers, screwdrivers, levels, and nails. For odd jobs at home, your dad may also need a ladder.

Power tools: If your dad enjoys large-scale projects, he would love getting a new set of power tools. As one of the most popular, a cordless power drill would help your dad finish projects faster.

Garden tools: With summer and fall coming up, your dad may be working outside in the yard more. Gifting him with a mulching lawn mower or a high-powered lawn blower would help him finish gardening in no time. Again, your dad may also need basic tools such as rakes, spades, and shears.

If your dad is not interested in project tools or home improvement, think about getting him a different kind of tools:

Grilling tools: Aside from personalized spatulas or aprons, your dad may also enjoy receiving a new pair of tongs or a BBQ grill set.

Kitchen tools: To spice up the kitchen, you can also gift your dad with a few cooking tools. For a creative present, you can look into these knuckle pounder meat tenderizers.

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Organizing a Workbench for Father’s Day

As Father’s Day is approaching we will all be looking for the perfect gift to get Dad. Rather than spending exorbitant amounts of money, do something personal! The following is a step-by-step guide to organizing a workbench – a homemade gift that is sure to wow.

1. Prepare

The first thing that you’ll want to do is survey the area that will become the new, perfectly organized workbench. If the father figure in your life does not already have one, you can simply find a table or other surface in a basement, garage, or shed. Of course, there is always the option to buy a workbench as well. With whatever option you choose, clean the area and establish what materials you will need.

2. Gather Supplies

Does Dad need more bins and containers to hold nails and screws? Or perhaps a hanging system that hammers and wrenches can be mounted on? Take a look around your garage to find some extra boxes and storage bins that can be used for underneath the workbench. You can visit your local hardware store to purchase additional storage items, such as a panel system that can help keep larger items out of the way.

 3. Sort

Once you have the supplies that you will need to successfully organize the workbench, get to it! It can sometimes be helpful to make a game plan before you begin, or you can dive right in and work in your own style. One good method is to remove everything that Dad already has in an area, install any organizers that you purchased or found around your house, and then begin putting all of his tools into their new homes.

4. Throw Away Unwanted Items

Once you’ve finished organizing those screw drivers and pliers, look at the leftover items that don’t seem to fit. If Dad has hundreds of rubber bands and broken paintbrushes, think about downsizing and throwing some unwanted supplies away. Just make sure not to throw anything away that may be expensive or have personal value without Dad’s permission!

Organize Your Messy Workbench with These 10 Tricks

Voila! With some time and effort, the end result of your hard work should be a masterpiece that any father figure will love.

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Decorating for an Outdoor Graduation Party

Graduation is a milestone that deserves to be celebrated with friends and family. Whether it is elementary school or college, holding a gathering can create a memory for you or your children. Decorating for a graduation party is simple and fun! If the weather is nice outside, bringing the party outdoors can give you the chance to invite more guests. Here are a few tips on how to decorate outdoors:

  1. Use school letters or colors leading into the party. If your guests enter from the driveway, you can think about attaching school letters or congratulatory messages to sticks and placing them on your lawn to welcome your guests. Guests will not only know exactly where to go to reach the party, but they will also be reminded of the graduate’s future school.
  2. Place pictures of the graduate throughout the party area. On tables, walls, fences, and any other places you can think of, you can print out pictures of the graduate and create a collage. Otherwise, you can also form a timeline by printing out pictures of the graduate from birth to their current age, celebrating how far they have come.
  3. Add tablecloth to the tables. To prevent any damages or stains, adding tablecloth can also remind guests of the party theme. Another idea is to use a colored tablecloth and then place another clear tablecloth on top of it. In between, you can place pictures of the graduate to avoid damaging the photos.
  4. Add centerpieces to your tables. Other than keeping with the theme, centerpieces can also make your tables seem more complete. One idea is incorporate graduation caps into your centerpieces.
  5. Use tableweights. In case the wind blows away the tablecloths, you can use tableweights. Adding a graduation theme to the tableweights can relate everything back to the party theme.
  6. Create a large banner. The banner could include the graduate’s full name or their future school or plans. Also, the banner could include congratulatory messages.
  7. Use balloons. Balloons can add extra color to the party. Tying balloons to different areas of the party, you can also define an area.
  8. Create a gift table. Although optional, guests may be bringing gifts for the graduate to the party. Having a sign-in book on the table, your graduate will know who came to the party and who to send thank-you notes to. You can also leave a basket for any cards to prevent them from being carried away by the wind. 

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Detroit: 2 Sides of the Coin

In the past few decades Detroit has had a negative stigma attached to it. Despite its flaws, there are some hopeful aspects in the most populous city in Michigan. The following are a few pros and cons to living in Detroit.


1. Attractions

Most people don’t think of Detroit as a cultural hotspot, but it actually has many attractions and museums that appeal to adults and children alike. Must-sees in the city include the Detroit Institute of Art, the Detroit Historical Museum, the Wright Museum of African American History, and the Detroit Science Center. Other attractions like a zoo and numerous parks add a cultural appeal to the city.

2. Investment

Investment in Detroit’s buildings and neighborhoods has become a lucrative business in the past few years. Foreign investors, particularly from China, are buying inexpensive property in the city. Plus local companies like Renegade Detroit Investors are taking matters into their own hands to turn Detroit back into the booming city it once was.

3. Sports

Detroit has four major sports teams that bring revenue and excitement to the city. Sports fans can watch the Detroit Lions (Football), Pistons (Basketball), Red Wings (Hockey), or Tigers (Baseball) in Detroit’s well kept stadiums and arenas. Additionally, the city hosts many sailing events on Lake St. Clair



1. Unemployment

In the heart of the city, the unemployment rate is a staggering 15%. A major issue has been the decrease in manufacturing jobs, especially in the automotive industry that used to run the city. On the plus side, proposals for new infrastructure in Detroit would create 25,000 jobs for residents.

2. Crime

After the 1950s, Detroit lost approximately half of its population. This left a number of buildings and houses empty, resulting in dilapidated neighborhoods throughout the city. Throughout these slums, crime runs rampant. Detroit earned a score of 2 out of 100 on the crime index, with 100 being the safest. This poor grade on safety makes most people very uneasy to move to Detroit.

3. Home Prices

Between unemployment and high crime rates, it is no secret that Detroit’s economy is struggling. For this reason, real estate has been fluctuating. Some neighborhoods are being rejuvenated, but most homes in Detroit are undesirable.


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6 Tips for a Stress Free Move

Moving can be an exciting and stressful experience. Between finding a moving crew and figuring out just how to move your antique armoire into your new bedroom, you’ll want to have a plan of action for the whole moving process. Following these six helpful tips will make for a smooth transition from one home to another.

1. Plan

The first step you should take after closing the deal on a house is to plan how you will move all of your possessions from your current home to the new one. Asking friends and family can be a great option, but they are sometimes unreliable or suddenly have last minute plans. Hiring a moving truck and crew will guarantee help on the day of your move, and can be well worth the expense. Whichever option you choose, be sure to schedule your crew with plenty of time in advance.

2. Downsize

Now that you’ve organized a crew to help you on the day of your move, you’ll want to cut down on just how much ‘stuff’ you have. Holding a yard sale will greatly help you downsize, and even give you some extra spending money for new items. Anything that you don’t sell can also be donated. Saying goodbye to some old pieces of furniture will really help you start fresh in your new home!

3. Organize

Once you’ve cut down on belongings, it’s time to pack them up. Labeling boxes by room (both in your current house and in the new one) will cut down on time later, and tell movers exactly where they belong. Additionally, establishing an inventory of boxes and furniture can help you stay organized and keep track of all belongings. A little time spent organizing now can save you a lot of hassle later.

4. Schedule

For the day of the move, it’s good to make a plan of action. Schedule what time your helping crew will arrive, when you’ll head over to the new house, and what you want to get done by the end of the day. You don’t need a multi-page schedule to stay organized – even jotting down a few notes in your phone can help eliminate some major stress later.

5. Clean

Before bringing everything into your new house and unpacking, take a few minutes to tidy up. Wipe down counters, sweep the floors, and dust off lamps and cabinets. Make your new home truly yours, and start fresh with a quick clean.

6. Unpack

Congratulations, you’ve survived moving day! You’ll no doubt be exhausted after the whole process, but try to take some time to unpack. Check for damages made my movers right away to ensure you get your money’s worth. Try to unpack by the end of the week to avoid boxes lying around your living room for months. The sooner you make time to put all of your possessions in place, the sooner your new home will be your own!



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