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Making the most of a master bedroom, How you can have luxurious furniture and decor on a budget

Home renovations are very common in the United States, with homeowners investing time and money to transform their living spaces. We love an underdog story and are all about a fixer-upper. This is why we love a house with “good bones”. According to a report from Architectural Digest, the home improvement industry has seen a surge in activity, Americans spent $363 billion on home improvements, renovations, and repairs in 2020 and $406 billion the following year. This was an 11.8% increase from 2020 and nearly three times the average annual growth of 4.4%. By 2022, homeowners’ spending rose to $472 billion. Motivations behind these projects ranged from needing to upgrade aspects of their home to just simply wanting a change.  For me, when making the most of my master bedroom, top of the list of wants is luxurious furniture and decor on a budget. I have great style but with teenagers, tuitions and all that entails sometimes my finances and style are out of sync.

When it comes to home renovations, the master bedroom often takes center stage. As a sanctuary for relaxation and rejuvenation, this space needs to exude luxury and comfort. While many may assume that achieving a high-end look in the master bedroom requires a hefty budget, plenty of affordable solutions can elevate your room’s aesthetic without breaking the bank.

Here are a few decor and furnishing tips to consider:

Incorporate antique furniture

Antique furniture pieces can instantly elevate the look and feel of a master bedroom for less. A trend report highlighted by Real Simple states that vintage furniture store Kaiyo customers have saved over $50 million on top furniture lines compared to buying brand new. Aside from being a wallet-friendly option, vintage dealer Steven Brown says antique furniture is also more durable and made with better craftsmanship than mass-produced pieces. For those looking to infuse their bedrooms with a touch of elegance, visit thrift stores and estate sales or scour online marketplaces. Hunt for pieces like antique dressers, bedside tables, or a vanity that can add character and sophistication to your bedroom without the hefty price tag.

Upgrade your bed

One of the simplest ways to achieve an elegant bedroom is by upgrading to a larger bed size, as they effortlessly evoke a luxurious feel. Additionally, large California king beds are a surefire way to enhance your sleep, providing ample space even if you co-sleep with your kids. In fact, I’m not sure we would have survived the little kid years without a California King sized bed. It allowed for all the togetherness without the discomfort. While it may be a bit more expensive than smaller sizes, the benefits of improved sleep and enhanced bedroom aesthetics are well worth the cost. To create a more opulent atmosphere for a fraction of the cost, consider the California king bedroom sets that are labeled under “outlet” or “clearance” on Living Spaces. There, you can find options like the Willow Creek Cali king set for nearly half the average price of $2000 for a new Cali king bed frame. This set also has a matching dresser and nightstand, which means even more savings.

Don’t leave the walls blank

If you’re working with a bedroom that’s on the smaller side, maximizing wall space is essential. As discussed in our post How to Maximize Space In A Small Home, there are a few ways you can do this. For instance, you can install a tall bookcase that reach the ceiling or try a living wall planter. Alternatively, you can adorn your bedroom walls with framed artwork to add depth and visual interest. Good art can easily be very expensive. Luckily, you can find affordable art made by small artists at flea markets or on sites like Etsy. Interior design experts recommend going for large-scale pieces that complement your room’s color scheme for a polished, high-end look.

Opt for luxe curtains

When creating a luxurious ambiance, pay attention to the importance of curtains. Decorators advise against synthetic fabrics such as polyester and viscose, which can cheapen a room. Instead, Housing.com suggests hanging curtains made of flowy cotton or linen. These are well-suited for both traditional and modern bedrooms. Plus, they’re pretty low-maintenance and can be machine-washed rather than professionally cleaned, which MoneyPantry estimates can cost upwards of $189. Cotton drapes can be layered over blackout curtains, so you don’t have to choose between style and privacy.

Making the most of a master bedroom and transforming it into a luxurious retreat doesn’t have to break the bank. By incorporating these budget-friendly strategies, you can achieve an expensive look without spending a fortune. You can have luxurious furniture and decor on a budget.  With creativity and thoughtful planning, your master bedroom can become a sanctuary of style and comfort, offering a peaceful haven to unwind amidst the demands of daily life.

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winter gardening

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

It’s kind of hard to imagine gardening, as I’m looking out the window to see freezing rain turn to mounds of snow but it’s right around the corner. Spring will be here before you know it. For the last couple of years, I keep waiting until May to start my garden but then May gets away from me and before I know it, summer’s over and I have no tomatoes. The garden just keeps getting pushed aside. This year, I want my tomatoes. I’m pushing through the procrastination and making a plan. This year, we’re considering winter gardening as part of my prep.

With a little organization and planning, your garden can be grow and plant ready this spring when you want to start enjoying it. If we leave our garden all winter the prep work can pile up and become a huge, time-consuming and labor intensive chore. No one wants to be rushing to prep their garden in May because if you’re a parent, you know May’s too busy for that. 

However, by doing a few gardening jobs now will make life a lot less stressful in the future for your garden parties, morning coffee on the deck and working out in the garden. Although the garden can look very dead in winter it isn’t always, flowers are waiting to push through, vegetables can still be grown and lots of animals are hibernating and may be in your garden resting ready for their return in spring.

Maintenance of any Water Areas

In the garden there may be different areas where you have pools of water. If you have a pond you may need to check it and make sure any water plants need cutting back or if the water needs to be treated in any way. If you have a pool or hot tub you may need to get someone in for any pool or hot tub maintenance. A lot of grime and dirt can build up so it is always best to get it sorted. You may even have the occasional animal find its way into your pond that has drowned and needs to be disposed of.

Trimming Plants And Bushes

One of the other things you will want to do is to trim plants and bushes, they should all be dried and looking dead now with all the leaves wilted off. It will be an easy time to prune them down so they can grow again for the next season. If you are ever unsure how much to prune them simply google it or ask your gardening friends. 

Assist The Wildlife In Your Garden

The creatures that comprise the ecosystem of your garden need your assistance now more than ever because they toil tirelessly year-round to eat pests and aerate your soil. It’s your turn to return the favor. If you have bird feeders, hang them up somewhere cats can’t reach them. If you’re crafty, construct a bug hotel. Insects and small mammals can find a place to overwinter if you just leave a pile of fallen branches and leaves in a corner of your yard.

Harvest Your Winter Crops 

Harvesting during the winter will be a lot of work if you’ve produced winter vegetables. It’s even said that hardy brassicas like Brussels sprouts and winter cabbage taste better after a frost. In the winter months, parsnips, leeks, and gorgeous kale are among the other veggies that are ready for harvesting. Not to worry, if you planted your vegetables in the autumn and they aren’t quite ready yet; they are all hardy and will happily grow in the ground till spring. 

If you’re planning a garden this spring, now is the time to get started prepping it so that you can have a hearty harvest this summer. If you’re an avid gardener, what’s your best tip for prepping your garden?

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It’s the time of year again where family and friends gather together to celebrate and enjoy one another’s company and that means houseguests. I LOVE when family and friends come to visit. I hate the deep cleaning I have to do the day before they arrive but I love having them so my guest room is always available. It’s like my own little airBnb, only I don’t charge and it’s very unlikely that any sort of Barbarian situation will arise, as I am confident there is no basement. Everyone loves to be wowed by a stylish and inviting guest room. Believe me I know. My sister-in-law is an interior decorating goddess and every time we visit; I feel like I’m staying at the lushest resort ever. The woman has a gift. It's a great way to make your visitors feel welcome and comfortable when they stay with you. Creating a guest room that will always impress doesn't have to be complicated. All it takes is a few simple steps to make your room warm, inviting, and comfortable. From choosing the right pieces of furniture to adding personal touches, your guest room will be a place your visitors will never forget. With the right mixture of style and comfort, you can create a guest room that will always leave a lasting impression and, bonus, you’ll never have a shortage of visitors. Upgrade the bed and mattress Your bed is the focal point of the guest room. That's why you must upgrade the bed and mattress to give your guests a comfortable place to sleep. You don't want your guests to wake up with aches and pains. It’s true. I’ve had that happen to me and, needless to say, I do not frequent that home very often. I can’t afford the weeks of PT it costs to do so. A good mattress can make all the difference to your guests. When it comes to the bed frame, you have lots of options. You can choose a traditional wooden bed frame, a divan base, or a more modern metal one.  Provide empty closet space  Closets are a great place to store extra blankets, towels, and anything else you may need in an emergency. Using an empty closet can sometimes make the room feel cluttered and unorganized. Keep the closet as empty as possible to create a clean and open look in the room. This will also make it easier for guests to find the items they are looking for when they need them. If you don't have enough space in the closet to store your extra belongings, try using a dresser or a bench to store blankets and towels. You can also use a cabinet or a small bookshelf to store items away from sight. You don't need to go out and buy lots of fancy things. Your guests will appreciate a clean, tidy, and well-organized room. Add soft touches to make the room inviting. Decorating your guest room doesn't have to be complicated, but it does have to be functional and functional. Try to choose fabrics and textures that are soft and comfortable. Try incorporating as many soft fabrics and textures as possible to create a welcoming and cozy space. Adding a few decorative pillows to the couch and a comfy shag rug can make the room feel like home. Decorating your guest room doesn't always have to be about adding large pieces of furniture and flashy decorations. Small items like decorative pillows and rugs can make a big difference in the overall look and feel of the room. Adding as many soft elements to the room as possible will help make your guest room feel like home. Choose a neutral color palette. When deciding what colors to use for your room, it's essential to pick a neutral color palette. Neutral colors are easy to mix and match and can be easily incorporated into any room in the house. This will make your room feel cohesive and like it's part of the rest of the house. A neutral color palette is also a great way to create a relaxing and comfortable environment in the guest room. When deciding which neutral colors to use, you can choose a color palette that corresponds with the season or the type of guests you usually have staying with you. For example, a fall-themed palette or a palette that represents comfort and warmth would be best for guests staying during the winter months. Add personal touches to the room. Your guest room should be a reflection of you. You can personalize the room in many ways to make it feel like an extension of your living space. Add a few decorative items to the bookshelf to show off your personality. You can also add pictures and mementos to the room to show your visitors a glimpse of your life. Try incorporating various personal items into the room that show off your interests and hobbies. Or you can add pictures and prints that give off a more hotel-style vibe, such as Monet art prints, for a touch of luxury. Keep the room organized and clutter-free. Keeping the room tidy and organized is one of the best ways to keep it looking clean and appealing. You can create a clean and simple look by using only a few decorative pieces in the room. This will help keep the room from feeling cluttered and overwhelming. You can use decorative baskets or trays to hold your blankets, towels, and other items in the room. This will help keep the room tidy and make it easy to locate things when they are needed. Try to keep the room as clutter-free as possible. This will help make the room feel clean and spacious. It will also help your guests feel comfortable knowing they are in a tidy environment. Keeping the room organized and neat will also make it easier for you to clean the room and keep it looking clean and tidy. Invest in quality bedding One of the first things your guests will touch is the bedding. It's essential to have quality bedding that is both comfortable and easy to clean. Bedspreads are a great way to add texture and style to the bed. Avoid using thick, thick bedspreads that take too long to dry. Instead, try to find a bedspread that is easy to clean and dry. You can find a wide range of bedspreads at most stores, but be sure to choose a comfortable and easy-to-clean fabric. Also, try to find a bedspread that matches the room's color scheme. This will help tie the room together and make it look even more stylish. Your guest room should be a place that feels warm and welcoming and also reflects your personal style. It's a great way to show off your personality and make your guests feel at home. You can do a few things to make your guest room feel stylish and comfortable. Start by upgrading the bed and mattress to create a welcoming and stylish first impression. Next, keep the closet as empty as possible to create an organized and open look. Then, add soft touches to make the room cozier and inviting. Finally, invest in quality bedding to find the perfect bedspread. With these few simple steps, you can create a guest room that will always impress.

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

It’s the time of year again where family and friends gather together to celebrate and enjoy one another’s company and that means houseguests. I LOVE when family and friends come to visit. I hate the deep cleaning I have to do the day before they arrive but I love having them so my guest room is always available. It’s like my own little airBnb, only I don’t charge and it’s very unlikely that any sort of Barbarian situation will arise, as I am confident there is no basement.

Everyone loves to be wowed by a stylish and inviting guest room. Believe me I know. My sister-in-law is an interior decorating goddess and every time we visit; I feel like I’m staying at the lushest resort ever. The woman has a gift. It’s a great way to make your visitors feel welcome and comfortable when they stay with you.

Creating a guest room that will always impress doesn’t have to be complicated. All it takes is a few simple steps to make your room warm, inviting, and comfortable. From choosing the right pieces of furniture to adding personal touches, your guest room will be a place your visitors will never forget. With the right mixture of style and comfort, you can create a guest room that will always leave a lasting impression and, bonus, you’ll never have a shortage of visitors.

Upgrade the bed and mattress

Your bed is the focal point of the guest room. That’s why you must upgrade the bed and mattress to give your guests a comfortable place to sleep. You don’t want your guests to wake up with aches and pains. It’s true. I’ve had that happen to me and, needless to say, I do not frequent that home very often. I can’t afford the weeks of PT it costs to do so. A good mattress can make all the difference to your guests. When it comes to the bed frame, you have lots of options. You can choose a traditional wooden bed frame, a divan base, or a more modern metal one. 

In choosing the right bed setup, consider the flexibility of twin beds. Twin beds are excellent because they can be pushed together to form a king-size bed for couples, or separated to accommodate singles who prefer their own space. This versatility is particularly useful depending on who your guests might be. For the best twin XL mattresses, look for options that provide excellent support and comfort, and don’t forget to invest in quality mattress toppers to enhance the sleep experience. The ability to adapt the sleeping arrangements easily will not only save you space but also make your guest bedroom adaptable to a variety of needs and preferences.

Provide empty closet space

 Closets are a great place to store extra blankets, towels, and anything else you may need in an emergency. Using an empty closet can sometimes make the room feel cluttered and unorganized. Keep the closet as empty as possible to create a clean and open look in the room. This will also make it easier for guests to find the items they are looking for when they need them. If you don’t have enough space in the closet to store your extra belongings, try using a dresser or a bench to store blankets and towels. You can also use a cabinet or a small bookshelf to store items away from sight. You don’t need to go out and buy lots of fancy things. Your guests will appreciate a clean, tidy, and well-organized room.

Add soft touches to make the room inviting.

Decorating your guest room doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does have to be functional and functional. Try to choose fabrics and textures that are soft and comfortable. Try incorporating as many soft fabrics and textures as possible to create a welcoming and cozy space. Adding a few decorative pillows to the couch and a comfy shag rug can make the room feel like home. Decorating your guest room doesn’t always have to be about adding large pieces of furniture and flashy decorations. Small items like decorative pillows and rugs can make a big difference in the overall look and feel of the room. Adding as many soft elements to the room as possible will help make your guest room feel like home.

Choose a neutral color palette.

When deciding what colors to use for your room, it’s essential to pick a neutral color palette. Neutral colors are easy to mix and match and can be easily incorporated into any room in the house. This will make your room feel cohesive and like it’s part of the rest of the house. A neutral color palette is also a great way to create a relaxing and comfortable environment in the guest room. When deciding which neutral colors to use, you can choose a color palette that corresponds with the season or the type of guests you usually have staying with you. For example, a fall-themed palette or a palette that represents comfort and warmth would be best for guests staying during the winter months.

Add personal touches to the room.

Your guest room should be a reflection of you. You can personalize the room in many ways to make it feel like an extension of your living space. Add a few decorative items to the bookshelf to show off your personality. You can also add pictures and mementos to the room to show your visitors a glimpse of your life. Try incorporating various personal items into the room that show off your interests and hobbies. Or you can add pictures and prints that give off a more hotel-style vibe for a touch of luxury.

Keep the room organized and clutter-free.

Keeping the room tidy and organized is one of the best ways to keep it looking clean and appealing. You can create a clean and simple look by using only a few decorative pieces in the room. This will help keep the room from feeling cluttered and overwhelming. You can use decorative baskets or trays to hold your blankets, towels, and other items in the room. This will help keep the room tidy and make it easy to locate things when they are needed. Try to keep the room as clutter-free as possible. This will help make the room feel clean and spacious. It will also help your guests feel comfortable knowing they are in a tidy environment. Keeping the room organized and neat will also make it easier for you to clean the room and keep it looking clean and tidy.

Invest in quality bedding

One of the first things your guests will touch is the bedding. It’s essential to have quality bedding that is both comfortable and easy to clean. Bedspreads are a great way to add texture and style to the bed. Avoid using thick, thick bedspreads that take too long to dry. Instead, try to find a bedspread that is easy to clean and dry. You can find a wide range of bedspreads at most stores, but be sure to choose a comfortable and easy-to-clean fabric. Also, try to find a bedspread that matches the room’s color scheme. This will help tie the room together and make it look even more stylish.

Your guest room should be a place that feels warm and welcoming and also reflects your personal style. It’s a great way to show off your personality and make your guests feel at home. You can do a few things to make your guest room feel stylish and comfortable. Start by upgrading the bed and mattress to create a welcoming and stylish first impression. Next, keep the closet as empty as possible to create an organized and open look. Then, add soft touches to make the room cozier and inviting. Finally, invest in quality bedding to find the perfect bedspread. With these few simple steps, you can create a guest room that will always impress.

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How to Maximize Space In A Small Home

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

You can easily check off the same things on your wishlist in a smaller house as you can in a bigger one. Some of these ideas for decorating and organizing a small house can make you feel like you’re really living large. When space is at a premium, it’s critical to be creative with what you’ve got so you can maximize your living space. Take advantage of these pointers and tactics to make the most of your limited space and make it more enjoyable to live in your home.

Use Wall Space

The walls of a home are the best resource that isn’t being used. Even though they’re great for hanging pictures, they should be used for much more in a small space.

Use tall bookcases that go all the way to the ceiling, or put up shelves one on top of the other all the way to the ceiling. Hang your bike on the wall by putting up hooks. Try a living wall planter if you want plants but don’t have room for pots on your table or floor. Hang extra chairs and tables that can be folded up. Instead of table lights, use wall sconces.

Choose Skirted Furniture 

Skirted furniture is great because it looks nice and can hide things as well. If a sofa has legs that stick out, you can see what’s under it. However, if you add a skirt, you can use the space under the sofa to hide things. Most of the time, furniture with exposed legs makes a space feel lighter and airier and makes a small room feel bigger. However, skirted furniture is the way to go if you need more hidden storage.

Use Your Doors

Most of the time, the space between the top of the doorway and the ceiling is just right for a shelf that can hold books, storage containers, or other small items. If you’re short on space, don’t forget to look up.

Put hooks on the back of all your doors so you can attach whatever you want. Use the outside of cabinet doors as well, not simply the doors that separate rooms.

Use Double Duty Furniture 

In a small space, it’s always a good idea to choose furniture that can be used for more than one thing. For example, instead of putting a side table next to your couch, you might want to use a pretty side chair. So, when you have guests, it can also be used as an extra seat. Use a bench with hidden storage instead of a coffee table. So, you get a table, a place to sit, and a place to store things all in one. Think about sofa beds and other furniture that can be used in different ways.

Store Your Stuff

Sometimes home is just too small to accommodate all of your belongings. This might mean getting rid of some things, but that would be a shame if they are mementos and important to you. 

Instead of disposing of them entirely, you can use storage units to keep them safe and to ensure your home remains clutter-free. Look for special storage deals to keep costs down.

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Tired of Waiting Around? 6 Benefits of Learning to Do It Yourself, DIY

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

I don’t know about you, but I can’t stand waiting around for other people to do things for me. I’m not sure if that’s the control freak in me, me being the oldest child of six, being a mom or my type-A personality poking through but whatever it is, I prefer to be able to do things for myself.  I love having people in my life that I can count on but I’m so independent that the occasion where I take advantage of having those people around, is few and far between. I pride myself on being capable, but I’m wise enough to also know my limitations.

As a homeowner, I’ve come to realize that every home is full of unexpected costs even if it’s a new build. Things come up that slowly but surely drain your savings accounts and sometimes, feel like a never-ending to-do list of repairs, replacements, cleaning, and just about everything else you can think of. If you’re like me, you’re probably tired (maybe even a little annoyed) of waiting around for the “handyman” (the Big Guy) to be available to do the things you need done.

Why keep waiting? If you’re reading this, you are a strong, capable woman who has probably grown and given birth to a human being, you can do hard things, Girl, you got this. Forget about waiting for someone else to do the things you want to be done. Learning to DIY is an excellent skill that means you never need to wait for someone else to do what needs to be done, ever again. You’re thinking, “But Debi if DIY is so simple, why isn’t everyone doing it?” Because some people prefer leaving things out of their wheelhouse to the professionals. I do too, in some instances. Let’s be honest, I can’t do everything.  But if I can do it right, I’m all about rolling up my sleeves and learning to do it myself. 

No More Waiting Around 

The best reason to learn to do it yourself is so you don’t have to wait around for someone else to do something you are completely capable of doing. You might be surprised at how many repairs around the house are actually pretty easy to fix, whether you need to replace door handles or fix the dryer heater element to make sure everyone’s clothes are ready in time for school or at the very least they don’t go sour. 

By taking a proactive approach to your home, you can overcome small issues quickly. You won’t need to put your life on hold while you wait for the repair company to come over, which means you can get on with it yourself and focus on the next repair. 

Save Money and Time 

Since you’re not waiting around any longer, you can save time, even if it takes you a little longer to repair it than it would a professional. Everyone has been there before where the repair company comes in, twists a nut or bolt, and leaves. You don’t need to waste their time (or your money) anymore.

This also makes saving money around the house so much easier. While some companies are happy to come out for free quotes, they will still charge you for the work and materials (especially with the price of gas right now) which is often much more than you’d have to pay if you did it yourself. 

Learn a New Skill

Learning a new skill is always a great way to boost your knowledge and help you feel better about yourself. With so many DIY tasks simpler than you think, it’s easy to expand your horizons. 

What’s more, as a student for life I can attest to the fact that the more you learn, the easier it is to learn other things, too. You can use your existing repair knowledge to identify different ways to approach problems around the house and fix them without causing significant damage. 

Pass the Knowledge onto Your Kids 

Parents always need to teach their kids how to survive in the real world. I mean they don’t even offer home ec in school anymore. And let’s be honest, without that class, most Gen X latch key kids might have starved to death. What would I have done without learning how to cook an egg in a basket and how to stitch and make my very own pillow? While our kids may not need DIY skills or other essential life skills right now, they will once they move out of our house, whether they go to college or find a place of their own on the other side of the country. 

Learning DIY skills gives you a great chance to pass your knowledge on to them. They don’t need to help you out all the time, but asking them to be your assistant and encouraging them to watch will give them the basic knowledge they need to approach DIY safely. They’ll know to switch the water off at the source while fixing pipes, and they’ll also know to turn off the mains so that they don’t electrocute themselves. They’ll also build self-confidence from being self-reliant and if all else fails, they’ll know they can call mama for some advice because mama can get things done.

You will Be More Active 

One under-appreciated benefit of DIY is how it can help you be more active. People often don’t think about all the heavy lifting or regular work, even if it doesn’t feel like hard work. 

If you wish you could be more active but don’t love going to the gym or running, DIY could be an excellent way to burn some calories and move, and the more projects you attempt, the more intense and ambitious your activities become. 

You Gain Respect 

People love people who know what they are doing, especially if you don’t look like you have a handy bone in your body. If you want to surprise friends and strangers alike, learning DIY and coming to their rescue is a solution that’ll make you popular. 

You might even be able to make some money off them once you show off your skills, as neighbors will be happy to pay you for your time, so they don’t need to wait around for the handyman.

Just Do It… Yourself

Learning DIY brings a wide range of benefits that can help your family just as much as it can help you. If you’re tired of waiting around for the handyman to get back to you and arrange an inspection or appointment, you can get ahead of all your home’s demands and upkeep by learning to fix common problems all by yourself, and you’ll be thankful you did. 

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How to Stop Your House from Becoming a Money Pit, home maintenance

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

As a homeowner, you find out pretty quickly that there are always unexpected issues and costs. Surprise, the central air isn’t working! Surprise, the house isn’t level! Surprise, an opossum is living in your attic and it smells like he died! Staying on top of your home’s many unexpected issues and covering the costs of them can not only be stressful but costly, as well. But there are ways to cut those costs with a little diligence and maintenance (which is less effective than fixing something that has already broken). It’ll take some awareness, planning, diligence and elbow grease but it’s cheaper than the alternative. Let’s talk about how to stop your house from becoming a money pit.

Sure Money Pit was a funny movie but no one actually wants to live that life. So if you feel like your home has become a huge financial drain on your family, now is the time to do something about it. Below are tips and ideas to help you to start making small positive changes that will save you money.

How to stop your house from becoming a money pit

Clean Everything Regularly

One of the first and most important things you can do with your home is make sure that it’s kept properly clean and in good shape at all times. By doing the basic things like this, you can make sure that no bigger issues arise later on because that’s not what anyone wants. When you clean the home inside and out on a regular basis, you can make things like mold issues less likely. It’ll help avoid problems later. I’m not saying anything crazy like dusting every week, making the bed daily or even putting away that folded laundry, I’m saying basic upkeep so you’ll notice when things aren’t right.

Create a Savings Fund for Home Maintenance

The fat is not lost on me that this is easier said than done. But if you want to make sure that you don’t get hit financially upside the head by the cost of looking after your home, creating a savings account that allows you to cover those costs without having to forgo eating and obliterating your finances in the meantime. Putting just a little money aside each month that can go towards maintaining your home and making sure all of those costs are covered is a good idea. And any savings that aren’t used can be put to use when a bigger repair needs to be made in the future or a family vacation.

Get an Energy Audit

Getting an energy audit carried out by a professional is a good idea if you want to reduce the running costs of your home. From day to day, we all use energy in the home. And it makes sense to use less of it, both from a green and eco-friendly point of view, and a money saving point of view. When you have an energy audit carried out, you’ll get to see how and where you’re currently wasting energy and what kinds of changes you can make in order to improve things.

Ensure the Ground Slopes Away from the Home

One of the problems that many homeowners face relates to water and how it impacts the foundations of the home. If you have lots of standing water around the home, that’s not going to be good for you. Make sure that the ground around your property slopes away from the house. By doing that, you can make sure that any rainwater flows away from your home and not towards it. It might sound like a small thing but it’s massively important especially if you got a “great deal” in a flood zone.

Inspect the Roof Every 6 Months

Inspecting the roof is something that you should try to do at least once every 6 months or so. You never know when a problem might arise, and when it does, you want to get it checked out as soon as possible. The truth is lots of roof problems go unnoticed for a long time, and when they are finally noticed, it costs a lot of money to get them fixed. So be sure to consider that and think about having your home’s roof inspected at least a couple of times a year.

Put a Home Warranty in Place

Putting as many measures in place as possible to ensure that home repairs don’t end up costing you a fortune is a good idea. And that’s one of the key reasons why you should think about putting a home warranty in place if you haven’t done so already. This will mean that if you do suffer any issues in your home, some of the costs will be covered for you by the warranty. It’s the kind of security measure that you definitely need to have in place if you want to avoid big financial impacts in the event of something going wrong.

Create a Maintenance Schedule

Having a regular maintenance schedule in place is something that can help a lot when it comes to taking care of all the things that need to be taken care of regarding your home. It’s so easy to overlook or forget about certain things when you don’t have a schedule in place that you can follow and fall back on. That schedule can be followed week after week, month after month, ensuring your home stays in the best condition possible.

Make Sure the Carry Water Away from Your Home

We’ve already talked a bit about the impact water can have on your home and its integrity. If you want to go further in making sure that standing water around the base of your home doesn’t become a big problem for you, you should think about the role your gutters might play in that. If the gutters are dumping water next to your home, you have a problem. Ensuring the drainage system is doing everything it should do and that water is being carried away from the home safely is going to be key.

Replace Heating and Cooling Filters Every Few Months

Your heating and cooling system is something you won’t want to overlook when it comes to avoiding financial disasters. When something goes wrong with it, it can be very expensive to fix. That’s why you should take extra care to maintain the system well and have someone look at it for you regularly if you’re not sure how to do it yourself. One of the most important things you can do is replace the filters every few months, or even monthly if you want to be extra cautious.

Fix Gaps and Damage to the Home’s Exterior Right Away

If you notice any gaps in the exterior of your home or holes that simply shouldn’t be there, it’s a good idea to have these filled and fixed right away. Any damage to the exterior should be dealt with sooner rather than later and that’s something that you can take care of yourself in most cases. The first task, however, is to check the exterior on a regular basis and make sure that you’re noticing these issues sooner rather than later.

Install Stronger Locks on Doors and Windows

Installing the strongest possible locks on the doors and windows of your property is another thing that you might want to consider. If you don’t do this, you’ll always run the risk of these entry points causing you security problems. Stronger locks and doors will avoid damage being done via a break-in and, most importantly, avoid the break-in from happening in the first place. So that’s definitely something to think about.

As you can see, there are lots of things you can do to stop your home feeling like such a financial burden for your family, so be sure to make the most of each of the tips and ideas discussed above. By making the right changes in the right areas, there’s no reason why you can’t save yourself a lot of money.

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DIY Bedroom Storage Ideas for Your Home. DIY Bedroom Storage Ideas for Your college dorm, DIY Bedroom Storage Ideas for Your apartment

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Lacking storage space in a house or apartment is a common problem that many homeowners can relate to, especially at this time of year, as kids are packing up their entire lives and moving into college dorms and houses. In these instances, sometimes your bedroom is the only room that is actually yours. The space inside of a bedroom has its limitations, usually of the space variety.You need creative DIY bedroom storage ideas for your home, apartment and college dorm to maximize your spaces and make it your own. Our bedrooms are where we decompress. You want it to be functional and inviting at the same time. To do this, it helps to have some clever storage solutions.

Here is a compiled list of some of the best DIY bedroom storage ideas.

Install Shelves Along the Perimeter of Your Walls

When you have a small bedroom, like a dorm room, the easiest way to make it look bigger is by adding shelves along the perimeter of your walls. You can also go crazy and install a wardrobe for your bedroom. Not only will this give you more storage space and an uncluttered feeling in your room because there won’t be so much stuff on display, but they’ll also offer some privacy for when you’re changing clothes.

Use Crown Molding as a Shoe Rack

If you’ve got so many shoes (like me) and don’t have much bedroom space for storage, this is something worth considering. Turn your crown molding into an instant shoe rack! All it takes is some mounting hardware to attach the bracket at just the right height off the ground so that you neatly arrange your heels where they belong. Plus, because it’s hidden behind doors or curtains, what more could anyone ask?

Baskets 

A basket can be a great way to store things in your bedroom without an immediate home. For example, you might want to keep some lotion or sunscreen on the bedside table but not always within arm’s reach when getting out of bed. Instead of taking up space with multiple items on your nightstand, put them all into one container and place them on the side of the nightstand (in a drawer or under the bed) where they won’t move around too much.

Built-in Nooks

Built-in nooks are a great way to increase your bedroom storage space. If you have an unused closet or wall space that you can fill with shelves and cabinets, this option might work for you.

They take up floor space, but the payoff will be more than makeup for it. You won’t need to worry about getting out of bed whenever you want something from under the bed anymore because everything will be within arm’s reach on built-in shelving units. Plus, when guests come over, it’ll look so cozy with all those books lining your walls. So there’s no downside to taking advantage of available surfaces like these!

Shelf Dividers

To easily organize items on your shelves, it’s a good idea to have dividers. It makes seeing what is in each section much easier than just one big pile of stuff you can’t see through. Plus, they’re cheap compared to buying new shelves and nails for them. 

Use Your Radiator As Shoe Rack

If you live in a small space and don’t have much storage, use your radiator as a shoe rack. For example, you can buy a shoe holder that fits your radiator and then use it to store shoes.

The best part about using the radiator for storing shoes is that they’ll be off the ground and out of reach from pets or children who might accidentally get into them.

With these tips, you can have a cozy and neatly arranged room. Of course, some might work better than others, or perhaps a combination of these would be best. Whatever solution you find may require an investment in time and money, but it will pay off with the extra space that comes with it.

What’s your best DIY bedroom storage ideas for your home, apartment or college dorm?

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Wayfair, settee, Quinceanera, Sweet 16

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

It’s funny how changing something as simple as a throw pillow, a blanket or a chair can change the whole vibe of a room. Don’t even get me started on a paint color or art. When we bought our current home, it was a fixer-upper but we saw the potential because it “had good bones” as my Father-in-law would say. It wasn’t going to be instant gratification; it wasn’t our dream home but it had a charm and was in the perfect neighborhood for a young family. So we bought it.

Disclosure: This is a compensated post written in partnership with Wayfair, but, as always, all opinions are my own.

We’ve grown with the house. As we’ve renovated and changed every single thing in this house in the past 9 years, we’ve also changed in every single way except for one, we are still that oversharing, possibly co-dependent family who does everything together. We laugh, cry, scream and shout together. We lift each other up and face change head on, just like this old house. We’ve got good bones.

Latina, Latinas, Stereotypes, DEvious maids, Latinos, racism, business, motherhood, raising daughters

This house has welcomed friends and family for dinners and holidays, it’s hosted several Halloween and Ugly sweater parties. Echoed the sounds of newest additions to the family and enveloped the cries of pain and sorrow of loss. It’s witnessed love in more ways than I ever thought possible. With its meager structure, it’s brought us through a pandemic. Now, it will see our daughters turn 15. In fact, our Bella turned 15 during the first week of the pandemic. Out Gabs will turn 15 next spring.

15-years-old is the age a Latina girl becomes a young woman in the Latino culture. It is the same age that the Catholic church recognizes children as adults. Being a Quinceañera is something all little Latina girls look forward to from the day they attend their first Quinces party and realize that someday, they will get to wear the big dress and crown and be the princess in not just their parents’ eyes but to everyone. She will be celebrated in a way that most girls may never get the chance to be.

We had such a beautiful celebration planned for Bella. It was as big and grand as any wedding and years in the planning. Friends and family for all over the country were planning to come. Bella, who is a shy and humble introvert, was ecstatic to celebrate this Latina rite of passage. I wasn’t able to have my own Quinceañera because my parents couldn’t afford to throw that party 3 times, and they had 3 girls so it’s something I’ve always dreamed of giving my girls. 

She had the dress, crown and shoes. Months of practicing professionally created choreography by her world-renowned ballet teacher with her damas and chambelanes. Decorations, food, outfits and even a special settee for our princess, to serve as her throne for the night. Months of organizing and planning, saving and working towards goals all to be taken away by a global pandemic.

Then the pandemic hit and snatched it away from her on her actual birthday, 1 day before her the biggest party of her life, the CoVid pandemic caused the country to come to a screeching halt. She was inconsolable. I didn’t even know how to reason it with her. How do you reason with a 15-year-old who just lost something she was looking forward to for years? Think of trying to reason with a bride who just lost her wedding the night before the wedding because the world had other plans.

We tried to reschedule for August but, as we all know, the pandemic was not done (still isn’t). Family and friends sent her well-wishes and tried to cheer her up. But the dress still hangs in the corner and all the decorations are boxed up in our theater room. Champagne flutes and Mexican candy for 200 are collecting dust next to the decorations and atop all of it there are two crowns and a last doll, as a constant reminder of what never was. But the settee, the one that was to hold her in her big dress on her big day, now sits in our dining room and is where she sits to do virtual school. It’s where she often naps when she’s feeling down. It’s where her and her sister sit, cut up, laugh and plan their TikToks.

Wayfair, settee

This settee is more than just a place to sit, it’s a place to reflect and feel your feelings. It not only changed the room in this old house, it occasionally changes the moods of my daughters. Most importantly, next June, it will hold my Bella on the day we celebrate her and her sister, Gabs, in a post-pandemic double quinceañera celebration like you’ve never seen. I guess now, I’ll have to order another one so each princess has her own thrown. When they move out someday, I will send these settees with them so they can always remember their big day and the family who loves them more than they can even imagine.

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family moving unpacking

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

When you decide as a family to move, for a new start ( and who hasn’t), or for a job change, there are many things that need to be considered, including our children’s well-being. I know because I lived that commuter marriage life for almost 3 years. While moving away is an exciting idea, it can be stressful especially if you’re moving abroad with your family.

Take advantage of the opportunity to be present that moving has given you, it is for the best!

It’s the perfect time to take advantage of the move to make further changes in the child’s life, such as expecting them to learn a new language (if needed) or perhaps wanting them to take up new hobbies. Their rationale is that it does not matter so much to the child if there will be one or two changes because it will be difficult for them in any case; so the key to transition is to ensure it is done smoothly. Just make sure they know that you’ve got their back and use all the moving hacks you can find.

Moving to a new house may end up being a much harder change for the child than the parents imagined. If the child is required at the same time to adapt to additional changes such as learning to walk if they are a toddler or being expected to help out more with other siblings, this could be overwhelming to them. Therefore, it is best to wait patiently for the child to successfully adapt to the new home and only then carry out further change processes.

Things take time, and that is OK.

In conclusion, parents have two particularly important roles with their children when moving away: helping the child to part well from the previous place, and at the same time helping them to adapt well to the new place. You should also note that this change will be hard for you too, so don’t pressure yourself.

Especially when moving abroad, take things slowly and keep the spirits and mood lifted as much as possible, after all this is a positive change you’re making. In essence, you must allow the child to carry out a gradual process of separation from their friends and educational environment.

Talk to them clearly and empathetically about moving home, and do so at the right time – not too early when the child is young and not too late when the child is older.

Introduce them to the new home and the new environment; as well as their new school as this may be the toughest challenge.

Encouraging them to make new friends is good but you should never force them to adapt immediately as change takes time. It also depends on the age of the child, the younger the child, the easier it will be for them to make the change. If they are older, there may be more resistance.

Communication is key as well as having them involved as much as possible, without too much stress arising! 

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back to school, office envy, wayfair, virtual learning,

Back-to-school looks a little different this year for many families, mine included. I’ve been a work-from-home for the past 13 years, so I’m used to the rigorous scheduling of being a stay-at-home mom while balancing working full-time, only this year, I decided to add going back to school to earn a Master’s degree in the middle of a pandemic. On top of that, and the world being on fire, my girls are embracing virtual learning because I have a dreaded “underlying condition”. We had to make some concessions and tweaks on expectations because it’s hard, all of it, for all of us.

Disclosure: I am a Wayfair homemaker ambassador and this is a compensated post, however, all opinions are my own.

I’m sure that we can all agree that the “new normal” is not normal at all. My girls are learning from home because it’s the safest option for our family. I actually love having this extra time with them, when our time is so limited. In a couple of years, Bella will be heading off to college and that fact is not wasted on me. I know these CoVid days at home are a gift to us. Still, working from home while going to school with both girls learning virtually and not being able to do the things we normally do or even the simplest things like vacation, is absolutely exhausting.

READ MORE: What is Coronavirus and what every mom should know

So, we try our best to find the extraordinary in the ordinary moments and appreciate the challenges for giving us fresh perspective on our blessings and still, even with all the positivity we can throw at it, it’s still been really hard on all of us. I’ve learned to pick my battles, as a wife, mother, student and freelancer, let things go and give grace to others. I’ve become more forgiving and understanding and even still, there are days when it’s almost too much to bear.

One thing that has helped me throughout this pandemic and not leaving our house has been to be able to change our spaces. It sounds simple but some plants, some paint, a little blood, sweat and tears and a few new pieces of furniture can be a simple way to create a completely new feel in an old space. Aside from refreshing bedrooms to make them more calming and relaxing, streamlining bathrooms and scrubbing kitchens, the most important refresh I’ve done is creating functional schooling areas for the entire family. For mi kids, I discover a list of  the best Adderall alternatives which improved their focus, this has been the most effective since learning at home makes them  easily distracted.

READ MORE: How to Enjoy Your Summer While Social Distancing

I have a home office but normally, there is just me at home. With three people going back to school in a pandemic, in Zoom meetings, trying to read, write papers and stay focused, there had to be more than 1 office. We can’t all squirrel away in our bedrooms and work, that would be too depressing. I spruced up the office with a mini makeover and the cutest Ghislain daybed because during a pandemic, even big kids need naps sometimes. We also got another HVAC installed, which you can get from CM Heating’s services.

back to school, office envy, wayfair, virtual learning,My latest spruce-up efforts have been directed towards the virtual schooling oasis AKA our living room. It just didn’t feel particularly uplifting and definitely not inspiring. The furniture is big, heavy and dark-colored. The walls were actual 1970’s brown paneling. PANELING! It felt like being stuck in the past. We removed the paneling and primed and painted the walls in a more contemporary grey with bright white molding. We painted the brown shelves and beams white. I covered the brown leather couch in a teal couch cover. Covered the cold hardwood floors in a white furry shag rug and placed a matching throw pillow cover on the sofa. We also upgraded our internet connection with EATEL – wi-fi since the kids can’t lag during their classes.

back to school, office envy, wayfair, virtual learning,In addition to that I updated the look with, my favorite piece, the Janelle End Table that replaced the oversized wood tables. Since it was going to be transformed into a study area for one of us, I also added a new lamp to provide better lighting and added some plants for fresh air. Throw in a small modern shelf with some classics and inspiration is everywhere. I love the way it feels and looks. The more open, bright design and concept feels like a breath of fresh air when your brain feels too tired to go on.

What would you do to freshen up your virtual school area?

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