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  • October 26th, 2011

    Make your walls beautiful without paint or wallpaper.

    Are you renting a house or apartment and forced to live with white walls? You don’t have to anymore. The hottest, newest product for wall art are decals. They are removable graphics that let you be creative. Some are even MOVEABLE!

    Wall DecalsMy favorite site for wall decals is Blik. Blik was the brain child of Scott Flora, an architect, and Jerinne Neils, a food writer. While trying to decide what to do with their own walls they came up with this brilliant idea. The application of their product is perfect for any home or business space. I love the flexibility. Change your mind, no problem. This is perfect for a child’s room. The walls can be changed as they get older. Bringing them from infancy to teenage years easily.

    Blik’s newest product is the pattern wall tile. You can create a feature wall, an accent over the bed, cover closet doors, or well you name it… we can go on and on. The tiles are self-adhesive and can be repositioned and moved easily. These self-adhesive fabric tiles are eco-friendly, non-toxic and free of both PVC and phthalates.

    So there are no longer excuses for you to live with white walls. Get creative and have fun.

    Posted in Living Green, Tips & Ideas | I Welcome Your Comments »

    August 9th, 2011

    Turn Your Patio Into A Voluminous Vegetable Garden

    By Jill Homer

    My first apartment was a second-story condo in an urban complex, far displaced from the groomed suburban landscapes and sprawling gardens I had grown up with. My only connection to the outdoors was a small porch, surrounded by brown siding and a fading carpet of artificial turf.

    To add a little color to the patio, I adopted a few small tomato plants from a friend who had started his garden indoors, and planted them in large pots near my railing. To my surprise, they started to grow. Soon I had filled the 5′ x 10′ space with more than a dozen ceramic pots, plastic containers, and beach pails filled with peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and pole beans. Before I knew it, my porch was a curtain of green and my meals regularly featured home-grown vegetables.

    patio vegetable gardenWell-planned patio gardens allow gardeners to make the most of a small space while maintaining a degree of control not available to those who plant in the ground. If a plant is not getting enough sun, it can be moved. If it is not draining properly, more holes can be added. Healthy plants prevent pests, and some, such as slugs, are not even a factor. Watering is more efficient, because it must be done by hand, making a patio garden ideal in a drought situation. And at the end of the year, even inexperienced gardeners can enjoy a bounty of vegetables thanks to the built-in advantages of garden containers, which include regular drainage and nutrient-rich soil.

    Herbs also make great container plants, as they survive in generally drier conditions. Pots offer the opportunity of bringing herbs inside when the weather gets colder. However, many herbs are fast-growing, so it’s best replant the container each spring.

    Starting a patio garden is not difficult. Here are a few tips:

    1. Start with 4″ plants, which can be found at most nurseries. With a little creativity, just about any vegetable can be planted in an above-ground container, however, the most common seem to be tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, lettuce, beans, and spinach

    2. The size of a plant can vary depending on the variety of seedling used. Make sure containers are large enough to accommodate a full-sized plant. Most tomatoes will need at least an 18″ square container. Peppers, however, are perfectly happy in smaller pots.

    3. Cover the holes at the bottom of the container with small rocks to improve the soil drainage.

    4. Part-fill the container with compost. A slow-release fertilizer can be added at this stage to distribute nutrients as the compost dries out. Fill the remaining space with a nutrient-rich planting soil.

    5. Water the plants and let them drain. Take them out of their pots and arrange in the container, packing in tightly. Fill in any gaps and firm all the plants in place. Keep the soil below the rim of the pot for easier watering.

    6. Water the container well and move it to its final position. Arrange plants according to their needs. Tomatoes prefer a south-facing porch with full sun, while spinach and lettuce are happier near the house in partial shade. Make sure the place where you want to plant gets at least six hours of direct sun every day.

    7. Trellises, cages or poles will be needed for tomatoes, cucumbers, beans and other vines. Patio gardeners can also take advantage of permanent features, such as fences and railings, to support their plants.

    8. Containers need to be watered at least once a day in summer. They also require regular fertilization. A fertilizer dilutor can be clipped on to the hose to feed plants as you water.

    With just a little time and imagination, any drab patio can become home to lush green vines, red peppers, juicy tomatoes, and succulent cucumbers. Why not start today?

    About The Author

    Jill Homer is a freelance writer who is happy to provide articles for your home and gardening needs. For more information, contact her at jill@biketoshine.com

    Posted in Living Outdoors | I Welcome Your Comments »

    August 8th, 2011

    Say No To Chemical Detergents

    By Vineet U Ghai

    Mother Nature is crying for help. We have used and abused our resources, and now we are giving them a slow death with chemical pollutants. But you can begin to make a difference. In many ways and one of the ways is just by changing the way you launder, can help in reducing pollution levels.

    The environment is changing and degrading fast, everyday each of us are adding to the increasing pollution. Even when we are cleaning our clothes, we are polluting the air/land and water around us. How? Through the detergents that we use. Yes, these chemical detergents, that are readily available in every store, are nothing but one of agents of severe pollution.

    say no to chemicalsThey are made of harmful chemicals, that make the product non biodegradable. Some common anti environmental ingredients that you will find in detergents are: linear alkylbenzenesulfonate or LAS, and nonylphenoxyethoxylate or NPE, synthetic smell. Some other harmful ingredients of a chemical laundry detergent are:

    EDTA
    DEA
    SLS or SLES
    1-4 Dioxane
    Ammonia
    Glycol ether
    CA 65
    SARA title III
    Phosphates
    Formaldehyde
    Alcohol
    Butyl

    These chemicals are highly toxic and can cause severe harm to your health as well as pollute the environment. They can cause severe rashes and allergies on your skin, not to mention the way they attack the fibers of your clothes. Have you ever wondered why do you need fabric softeners? The answer lies in the massive chemical treatment the clothes receive in every washing in such chemical detergents.

    So, what to do now? The right way is to Go Green. Stop buying such chemical products, and switch to more eco friendly options. A natural or an eco friendly detergent is plant-based, has the pH neutral, is and 100% biodegradable. Moreover, they come in ultra concentrated formulas which mean you use less and it lasts longer. They contain no dyes, and have no or little smell. You have to do the washing everyday, then why not switch to a green option, right now, so that tomorrow, your home doesn’t add to the local pollution level! If you are thinking, is eco friendly detergent, the rel=nofollow [http://www.time2gonatural.com/]best laundry detergent then you are right. As they really help in reducing the negative impact on the environment. Every major change begins locally, and in this case, it can start from your home. Make a difference by giving up on the chemical detergents, do not be misled by their claims of a ‘clean wash’. They are dirtying the environment and the planet with their toxins. The minute they flow out of your house’s drain, they start polluting the water body ahead, and don’t ever stop, as they are not biodegradable.

    What you can do is, to choose a laundry product that is safe for your clothes, your skin and also does not pollute the water downstream. The next time you go to the store, make sure to explore the natural, eco friendly and green options available. Be aware, and read the ingredients’ list in the back of the product. So not buy anything with NPE or Chlorine. Look for natural products made with vegetable oils. A little positive effort from your end can set off a chain of betterment, that will prevent the Planet from degenerating so fast. Remember, every little bit helps.

    Go Green with natural soaps and soap nuts, as they also make great eco friendly laundry products. They are non-toxic and biodegradable, and do not harm the environment at all.

    The writer is a consultant with Time 2 Go Natural. She recommends you strongly to buy soap nuts for a healthier environment, as it’s everybody’s responsibility.

    Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Vineet_U_Ghai

    http://EzineArticles.com/?Say-No-To-Chemical-Detergents&id=6461308

    Posted in Living Green | I Welcome Your Comments »

    July 7th, 2011

    Need help in selecting colors for your home?

    ColorSnap app by Sherwin-WilliamsSherwin-Williams has an app for you. Introducing the iPhone, Blackberry and Android app that helps you choose a color palette for your home. It’s call the ColorSnap® app.

    You can search for specific colors or browse the full Sherwin-Williams color palette and fine tune the colors using lightness, saturation and hue features. The ColorSnap® app also helps you select coordinating colors, so if you suffer from color stress this is the tool for you.

    Did I mention this is all for free? Go to the Sherwin-Williams web site to download the ColorSnap® app.

    Posted in Tips & Ideas | I Welcome Your Comments »

    July 7th, 2011

    Choose black to add sophistication to any room

    painting walls blackIf you want to make a dramatic change and add sophistication to any room then paint one or two walls black. SHS Roofing explains that dark walls make your room look larger. It’s best if it’s the wall opposite your sofa in the living room or bed if it’s the bedroom. Make it the wall you will see the most and make it visually interesting by adding a great abstract painting or a grouping of smaller paintings. Artwork really pops against black.

    Carry the black to other parts of the room with your accessories: Candle sticks, pillows, lamps or a large mirror with a black frame. Found a brass chandelier at a flea market? Spray paint black and give it new life.

    I recently visited Inspired Interiors in Fort Lauderdale and they have a black wall that looks spectacular. They specialize in painted furniture and the black walls set off the furniture beautifully. The artwork in this photo is the beautiful work of Gisele Haselbarth.

    Posted in Tips & Ideas | I Welcome Your Comments »

    June 23rd, 2011

    The Coffee Table Bed

    Since leaving my parents home I’ve always lived in small spaces. It was sometimes a challenge but you learn to get creative with space. The most ingenious thing I’ve seen lately is the Coffee Table Bed by Julia West Home. It’s a good looking coffee table and quickly becomes a bed for one. Perfect for someone who doesn’t have a guest room.

    Julia West Home is located in Toronto and from what I can tell they don’t have an online shopping cart. They have other double duty furniture pieces on their site at JuliaWestHome.com. Check it out, dove-tail joints, I give this one a thumbs up.

    Posted in Tips & Ideas, Trends | I Welcome Your Comments »

    March 1st, 2011

    Tufted Furniture

    A little vintage, a little right now!

    tufted-furnitureThis is a classic look that instantly adds sophistication to any room. Robin Bruce is creating tufted furniture in a 21st Century way. Unexpected fabrics and new lines give this classic a new life.

    Robin Bruce by Rowe offers a line of tufted furniture that is affordably beautiful.

    RobinBruce.com

    Posted in Tips & Ideas, Vintage Home | I Welcome Your Comments »

    February 17th, 2011

    A great trend in painted ceilings

    striped-ceilingOne trend I’m hearing about this past year and still going strong for 2011 is the painted ceiling, not a white ceiling but a magnificent color painted on the ceiling. This is a daring trend because….I don’t know about you but I never want to have to paint a ceiling twice. My arms hurt just thinking about it. This is most definitely a time to hire a pro.

    I recently visited a friend who moved into his new condo. His ceiling is painted with stripes of different widths. The color choices for the stripes are perfect. This is a drop ceiling over the kitchen. It probably is used for air conditioning duct work. I think this solution is the best I’ve seen for turning a low ceiling area into an asset. I was sorry I didn’t bring my camera. So here is the photo taken with my iPhone.

    He hired professional painters. I think they did a great job. The stripes were perfect. What do you think?

    Posted in Tips & Ideas | I Welcome Your Comments »

    January 3rd, 2011

    2011 Color trends for your home

    Pantone has named Honeysuckle the Color of the Year for 2011. It’s a daring color. I once had a bathroom painted that color. It’s great for a small room like that. Probably a little too much for the walls of any other room in the house. But I think as an accent color it would be magnifico.
    pantone-2011
    Benjamin Moore has named “Vintage Wine” as the 2011 Color of the Year. It’s a very sophisticated color. It works with a neutral palate but a little dull for my taste. I love how they used it on the ceiling. Color on the ceiling is another trend.
    bmoore
    Many trend sources are showing purple as a major trend with turquoise as a close second. I love both of these as accents in a neutral room as the pop of color.
    2011-colors
    The use of Black or white is still very much “IN”. One way to make a sophisticated update to your home….Paint all the doors a rich black. It’s very stylish.

    If you’re looking to make a change in the new year but don’t want to spend a lot then consider paint. It makes a big impact and it’s easy to change. Be bold. You will love the results.

    Posted in Tips & Ideas | I Welcome Your Comments »

    December 8th, 2010

    Turn every day trash into holiday gold

    11

    It’s almost impossible to decorate your home for the holidays without spending tons of money. On almost any given day we find ourselves grabbing an extra ornament, buying a new wreath or spending enough on a menorah to feed the family for a week. As the penny pinching mother of two girls I know how tricky living on a budget can be (especially during the season of treats, toys and tinsel), but you can find small ways to live large… without spending large.

    * Make Your Own: It might sound cliche, but making your own ornaments and wreaths is one of the best ways to decorate your home without going over budget. But if you aren’t a crafty person, help your home look festive by adding small amounts of baby’s breathe flowers, candy canes or pine cones wear needed. Try spray painting pine cones in beautiful colors (a fun activity for the kids) and filling small baskets or bowls to create a simplistic center piece.

    * It’s Ornamental: Consider buying a large container of cheap, basic ornaments (the simple, shiny kind in a universal color) and dotting them throughout your house. Fill up an empty candle holder, arrange them around a centerpiece or vase, or add them in a bunches on top of cabinets or windowsills with candles throughout…voila!

    * Get Wrapping: If all else fails, use an affordable holiday ribbon to wrap the staircase banister, dining room chairs or small throw pillows (as if you’re tying a holiday bow on a present). And remember to turn of your Christmas tree or seasonal lights during the day to save electricity (you’ll thank yourself later!)

    Bailey Vincent Clark is the founder of Makeover Momma.com: helping busy, budgeted women feel fit, fashionable and fabulous after kids. In addition to hosting Makeover Momma TV weekly and working as the “New Mom” voice for Walmart.com, she is a full time mother of two girls in small town Virginia.

    © Photo Courtesy of Etsy.com

    Posted in Living Green, Tips & Ideas | I Welcome Your Comments »