Tag Archives: decorations

Should You Decorate With Real Or Fake Garlands This Christmas?

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Should You Decorate With Real Or Fake Garlands This Christmas?

From Christmas trees to mistletoe, there are many different types of traditional decorations that adorn homes all over the world come the festive period, and a Christmas garland is another one of these. There is no doubt that you will have a huge assortment of Christmas garlands to choose from. However, before you can decide on the style that appeals to you the most, your main decision is whether to go for a real or artificial Christmas garland. In this post, we will reveal the reasons why the latter is the best option:

Disadvantages of Real Christmas Garlands:

A lot of people mistakenly believe that the only way to benefit from beautiful Christmas garlands is to purchase fresh versions. However, this is certainly not the case. While it is easy to understand the initial appeal of real Christmas garlands – their smell and their appearance – once purchased, people quickly realize that there are many more disadvantages associated with real garland decorations than meets the eye.

Firstly, you are going to need to replace your garlands every year, and, unfortunately, for some people their garlands do not even make it until Christmas Day. And, if they do, they are assured to have lost a considerable amount of their beauty by then. This is because real flowers deteriorate quite quickly. If you are someone that likes to have their Christmas decorations up for a while before and after the 25th of December, then this is going to be a big problem. The fact that you do not get a lot of use out of your real Christmas garlands shows that this is an expensive route to go down.

Not only are fresh flowers costly to begin with, but they are going to need replacing. You then need to consider the upkeep of these garlands. You are going to have to look after them if you are going to protect their longevity. The needles can go brown and they can drop, and the weather is assured to wreck havoc with your outdoor decorations, especially if you use screws or another type of fixture to hang them.

Advantages of Artificial Christmas Garlands:

On the other hand, you do not need to worry about any maintenance when it comes to an artificial Christmas garland. Instead, you will get many years of use out of them and all they will require is a little bit of dusting when you get them out of the box each Christmas. You will get a better value for money as your purchase is going to last you for a considerable period of time. Moreover, artificial flowers tend to be cheaper than real flowers in many cases.

Of course, the main worry for a lot of people when it comes to artificial Christmas garlands is that they are going to miss out in terms of beauty. While there is no denying that there are some companies that sell cheap artificial flowers, which are obviously fake, there are some great retailers nowadays that craft stunning artificial garlands – so much so that you won’t be able to tell the difference.

If you want to give a modern twist to an old tradition, then artificial garlands are ideal. You will get more bang for your buck and still have a beautifully decorated home for the holidays!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

5 Tips For Creating The Perfect Jack-O-Lantern

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5 Tips For Creating The Perfect Jack-O-Lantern

Before we visit a pumpkin patch or farm, we might want to brush up on our pumpkin decorating skills. A well decorated front yard for Halloween is a joy for children and adults alike so why not go all out? If you are looking for an activity that extends beyond choosing a pumpkin and decorating it, which will happen too, then click here. Let’s get started:

Select the Right Pumpkin:

A thorough inspection of the pumpkin should include checking for soft spots. This is to make sure that you do not end up choosing a pumpkin that has already begun to spoil. Also avoid pumpkins with deep ridges and go for a smooth-surfaced one. At pumpkin farms, there will be plenty of choices as opposed to you trying to pick the best among limited options within a grocery store, when customers have already bought the best ones.

The design that you have in mind should also dictate the pumpkin that you choose. In other words, do you need a short and round pumpkin or one that is skinnier and taller in terms of its shape? Know in advance what you are looking for.

Prepare Your Design Before Applying to the Pumpkin:

Draw out your design and then use tracing paper to transfer it onto the pumpkin. This can be a design that you have approved yourself or that has been checked with someone else first. However, it is nice to surprise people by not showing them your design until it is carved on your finished pumpkin.

With your design, think beyond just a traditional triangular face and consider creating other Halloween symbols such as bats, stars, or moons. More adventurous still, you could attempt a graveyard scene or a spooky forest. If designing your pumpkin further down the line, perhaps at Thanksgiving in November, then think about alternative creations of say puppies, cats, or rabbits. Children tend to prefer animals because of their familiarity and the cute factor.

Know How to Hold Your Pumpkin:

It is a good idea to hold the pumpkin in your lap as you are carving it. This is the most supportive and safest way to carve a pumpkin. Have the right equipment of a serrated kitchen knife for the main carving and a small saw for the more intricate parts of the design.

Consider Shaving:

We are not talking shaving your legs or facial hair, but the alternative of not cutting right through the pumpkin with every stroke. Instead, sometimes deciding to just scrape pieces of pumpkin away to allow just enough light to glow through your open-design creations. It is always important to be patient when creating any pumpkin design. The best designs have taken much thought and a good deal of carving, and your other technique of shaving should make for a design that is more dynamic than it might otherwise have been.

Incorporating Scraps Within the Design:

Do not waste anything because you can incorporate your scraps or discarded pieces of pumpkin within your design. The ones that you do not intend to cook, that is. For example, you could make hair, a tongue, a pipe, or a chimney from these spare pieces. This will make your pumpkin into more of a character with a personality, a more sophisticated structure, or make it more three dimensional in form. You can be as artistic as you like, creating something for your pumpkin that merely started as a basic idea on paper. Think as creatively about your scraps as you do about the main part of your creation.

Turn your ordinary pumpkin into something extraordinary with the tips above and you will delight your whole neighborhood with your creation!

Our Spooky Shelf

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Our Spooky Shelf

Hi!! In my household, it is Halloween all of the time. Johnny and I love scary movies, spooky decor, and all things true crime. We have a fairly large amount of Halloween themed decor and, until this past weekend, we never had anywhere to display them because of limited space in our apartment. So, I was absolutely delighted when Johnny cleared off the game shelf on our cabinet record player and turned it into our spooky shelf, instead. Check it out:

Whenever Johnny and I are running errands, we often tend to bring home little surprises when we find something that each other would like. For example, I purchased the cowboy skeleton and undead bunny statue for Johnny when I had my Halloween Haul with my sister and niece. And last Friday, Johnny brought me home the little bat plushie front and center on the shelf. He also got the vampire puppy for both of us! ❀

We got the Frankenstein and Skeleton Man plushies on our family vacation to the Poconos and we are particularly fond of them. They are so cute! The rest of our decor was given to us by Johnny’s mom and we are insanely appreciative of that. A lot of the statues are from Johnny’s childhood but all of the orange pumpkins were hand painted by his grandma. It is incredibly special to have them and they are just adorable. My favorite is the one in the middle that is sitting on its side. πŸ™‚

Johnny’s executive decision to create our spooky shelf was an inspired one, indeed. And, trust and believe we’ll be leaving it up all year round!

What is your favorite holiday to decorate for? Do you leave seasonal decor up all year too? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Halloween Haul

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Halloween Haul

Hello! This past week, I went on a dinner and shopping outing with my sister and niece and it was the best! For dinner, we went to one of our favorite restaurants, Lemongrass Grill, for Thai food. We each got an order of their delicious curry and spring rolls and were completely stuffed after barely finishing half of it. That’s no matter, though, because it tasted even better the following day! πŸ˜€

After dinner, my sister said that she wanted to check out a few stores to look at Halloween decorations and I just had to tag along. Halloween is mine and Johnny’s favorite time of the year and we are always on the hunt for fun decor to keep it Halloween all year round in our apartment. These new goodies should definitely help the cause:

^^^ The cowboy skeleton is from Big Lots and everything else is from Michael’s.

We started our shopping at Big Lots and there wasn’t very much left in terms of Halloween decor as Christmas had already taken over. I found the cowboy skeleton which I knew that Johnny would love and my sister got this hilarious stuffed ghost that would repeat everything you said back in a funny voice. My niece had so much fun with it before we even left the store!

Since the selection at Big Lots was lackluster, I suggested that we try Michael’s and I’m glad that we did. All of their Halloween decorations were half off so I was able to get three pictures and my lil bunny for forty bucks. Not bad at all and I can’t wait to add my new additions to my art wall. While Michael’s still had a decent amount of Halloween decor left, I know that it will go quickly because Christmas came early there too and you can’t beat half off.

If you need Halloween decorations, I would hurry to the stores because it might be Easter time at your favorite places if you wait too much longer!

What is your favorite holiday to decorate for? Which store has the best holiday decor selection? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Garden Tours

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Garden Tours

Hi! My dad is, hands down, the best gardener in the world and has a million green thumbs. Whenever I’m over at my parents, I always enjoy our “Garden Tours”. My dad and I will walk through the backyard together and check on the progress of his flowers and veggies. There is something new to see every time and it never gets old! Take a look at some pics from our backyard stroll and keep in mind that it was all done by a man who recently broke his dominant arm. Like I said, my dad is the best gardener in the world. ❀

My dad’s garden is home to many creatures both real and fake. There are bunnies, butterflies, bees, and bats as well as all of the decorative birds, lizards, frogs, and gnomes! My niece loves to play outside and my dad is always on the hunt for new lawn decorations to surprise her with as she is partial to the fake flamingo he has. It is also so much fun to look for bunnies and butterflies with her. πŸ™‚

A few weeks ago, we had a family visit to the Kingwood Center Gardens in Mansfield. The botanical gardens were splendid, but I don’t think they have anything on my dad’s backyard and I live for our Garden Tours. What a guy!

What are you growing in your garden? What is your favorite flower? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Pansy Party 2.0

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Pansy Party 2.0

Hi! A few weeks ago, I planted a pansy patch in the front yard of my parent’s house with my dad and it was a hoot. I felt so proud of our handy work after we completed our project and smile every time I see the pretty blooms. We are still waiting to begin planting vegetables but, in the meantime, my dad has begun decking out our garden space with his vast collection of solar lights and statues. This past week, he upgraded our pansy patch to a fairy garden and I love the results! Check out the 2.0 version:

Not only is the landscaping of my parent’s yard beautiful with its flowers, dogwood tree, and raised planters but it is also filled with outdoor decor that offers adorable surprises throughout. There are an abundance of strand solar lights wrapping around trees and bushes and in ground ones that display a nightly “light show” in the yard. Not to mention his insect hotels, bird baths and houses, pinwheels, wind chimes, and bird, hummingbird, and butterfly feeders that provide perfect bird watching opportunities and the music of nature.

I was so tickled when I saw the 2.0 upgrade of our pansy patch because almost all of the decorations he chose for it were gifted by me! The fairy garden motif also was special to me because my dad and I had recently enjoyed looking at the employee fairy garden contest together at one of his physical therapy appointments. Seeing the little colorful mushrooms poking out among the flowers, solar lights, and garden gnome Godzilla brought me back to the Christmases and Father’s Days that I gifted these decorations to him and it was so nice to see him still using them a few years later.

I can’t wait to garden more with my dad and am looking forward to seeing how he upgrades our next project! ❀

What is your favorite flower? What is your favorite kind of outdoor decor? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Creating An Opulent And Impressive Bathroom Space

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Creating An Opulent And Impressive Bathroom Space

When designing the ultimate in luxurious bathrooms you can’t go far wrong in following the template of a five-star hotel bathroom. The elegant and extravagant style that is found in the best hotels anywhere in the world is the pinnacle of luxury. Design really is the key to an opulent bathroom and doing it well takes time, a great eye for detail and, of course, a generous budget Do not be tempted to cut corners where costs are concerned on any of those little details that will make your bathroom a true showpiece:

Don’t cut corners with plumbing:

The first thing you need to do is find a good plumber; someone you can rely on for everything from increasing water pressure to backflow inspection and repair. No matter what you do, your bathroom won’t be luxurious if your plumbing lets you down. In fact, it would just be disastrous!

Style:

One thing to consider is the look you are hoping to achieve, be it a sleek modern luxury or an ornate rather opulent bathroom with extravagant fixtures and fittings that are, perhaps, just a little over the top without looking cheap.Β Once you have a style in mind, the color scheme, bathroom suite, and all of the fixtures including light fitting can be sourced to fit in with the style. Remember, while color on the walls will play a big part in the overall style of your bathroom, it is important not to overlook both the floor and any tiled walls you require in order to compliment the overall look.

Clutter:

Consider your clutter when designing your bathroom, as clutter is not a feature that sits well in an opulent bathroom. Sleek lines and well thought out storage solutions should definitely be a big feature in any opulent bathroom. Keep personal items on display to a minimum and, instead, rely on cleverly designed cupboards or even a vanity unit to keep them out of sight.Β 

Fixtures:

Say goodbye to simple framed mirrors and glass-covered ceiling lights. Opulence is all about adding that touch of extra to the room. Make sure that your fixtures make a statement in their own right and consider using several light sources within the room to create a variety of light depending on your mood. When it comes to your fitting, look for taps and shower fixtures that are a unique shape or style to set your bathroom apart. Freestanding furniture such as vanity units and even a freestanding bathtub can also add to the luxury design of your bathroom, as can frameless shower units.

Tiles:

Special attention and consideration should be given to the choice of tiles on your wall and floor. It is important that the theme of your room continues over every surface in order to achieve the bathroom you desire. Opt for high-quality tiles – a choice that could even add value to your property.

Create a bathroom fit for royalty, which will not only increase your property value but decrease any stress as you sink into your freestanding tub after a long day!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Giving Your Kitchen A Mini Makeover

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Giving Your Kitchen A Mini Makeover

If you had success during your Mini Living Room Makeover, then now might be the time to start turning your attention over to the kitchen. In my opinion, a house is only as great as its kitchen and not only will improving on it increase its functionality but it is also a surefire way to increase your home’s property value, too. Today, we are going to explore some ideas to help start your own mini makeover for your kitchen:

Tend To Maintenance:

The most important thing to do in your kitchen is to first make sure that all of your appliances are working properly. Maintenance like stove repair or a garbage disposal making questionable noises should be tended to immediately as more damage will be caused the longer you hold off. Despite appliance repairs not making a visual difference, they will sure improve your kitchen’s functionality and that’s just as good, if not better.

Add A Backsplash:

Adding a tile backsplash behind your stove or dishwasher is an amazing way to transform your kitchen relatively cheaply and easily. It also gives you the opportunity to have some fun as you decide on how you want your backsplash to look. From sleek monochrome colors to checkered, paisley, or even glitter you are sure to find a tile that will suit the mood you are going for in your kitchen.

If the backsplash you love doesn’t go with your current color scheme, fear not! That is nothing a new coat of paint won’t fix and you can space out these projects for as long as you need.

Storage:

If you proudly have had your ingredients like flour, sugar, and salt displayed in the same jars for years on your countertops, then it might be time to change things up! There are countless cute and functional storage tins and containers to house your most used ingredients in. You could even incorporate some shelving onto your kitchen walls to place them on to help free up counter space.

Storage accessories as well as dish towels, place mats, and dishes are all perfect opportunities to add bright pops of color or patterns into your kitchen. It is also one of the cheaper ways to makeover the space.

Improve The Lighting:

Having good lighting in a kitchen is crucial as you read new recipes, chop veggies, and measure ingredients. Not to mention entertain your guests and family! One of the best ways to improve the lighting in your kitchen if your current situation isn’t up to snuff is to add a few hanging light fixtures in the problem area. They will instantly illuminate your work space, island, or dining area and turn your kitchen into an even brighter space in the house.

The kitchen is the heart of the home and we all want ours to look its best. Follow the mini ideas above to start making big improvements!

Giving Your Living Room A Mini Makeover

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Giving Your Living Room A Mini Makeover

Considering that we have all spent the majority of this past year in our living rooms, I think we all deserve to give it a mini makeover! If you are as sick of your living room as I am at this point, then a mini makeover could be just what you need to brighten the space as we continue on through the COVID-19 pandemic. Mini makeovers are also great because we are not talking huge renovations here, rather, small improvements to make your space better. Try utilizing some of the following tips as you spruce up your living room:

Choose A Statement Piece:

Is your couch losing its stuffing? How about a wobbly coffee table? Or perhaps your favorite recliner’s cushions have sunken in? No matter the case, visit Modern Sense Furniture to find exactly what you need and make it a statement in your room. One new piece of furniture can instantly transform a space and it also might give you the inspiration to base your room around it if you are interested in making a bigger change. Remember, when choosing a statement piece, you not only want it to be unique and visually appealing but you still want it to function properly. Who wants to sit on a cool couch if it is really uncomfortable?

Make Your Space Cozy:

The living room is where we go to unwind after a long day in the home office, so fill it with things that are comforting to you. Whether it be a plush rug beneath your feet, candles, thick curtains, or pillows and soft throw blankets – treat yourself to a few new items that will soothe you. You can even turn your quest for comfort into a new hobby through candle making, knitting, or crochet. Just make sure your living room isn’t too comfy during the day if you like to work from home on the couch. We don’t want you falling asleep on the job!

Create An Accent Wall:

Accent walls are a relatively cheap and very effective way to make a room feel like new again. Just a few painted accent walls in my parent’s home completely changed each room’s atmosphere. Accent walls can not only be created with paint but can be achieved with decor or even interesting floating shelving. If you choose to make an accent wall with pieces of art or framed photographs, the trick is for it not to appear cluttered. Go with paintings or pictures with color palettes that compliment each other. A hectic display with clashing colors is definitely not conducive to your relaxation!

Once you finish your mini quick fixes in the living room, don’t stop there! Small, simple steps can be achieved room by room to transform your home without any major renovations.

Holiday Haul: Second Family Edition

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Holiday Haul: Second Family Edition

Hello and welcome to the final Holiday Haul post from this past Christmas! I am so in love with everything that I received and I am already putting all of my gifts to great use. I have had such fun finding special homes for my presents, testing out products, and basically living in my new robe and slippers when I am at my apartment! This Christmas was a bright light at the end of the tunnel of an awful year and I look back on it fondly. I also can’t help but smile every time I see these sweet gifts from those who I consider my “second family”. Check it out:

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In case you can’t tell, Johnny and I are HUGE fans of the Harry Potter books and movies so we just feel spoiled rotten with these gifts. Like Johnny’s parents, my second family had the thoughtful idea to gift us with ornaments for our tree next year and I am so happy with how our collection is already shaping up. Johnny and I are both particularly fond of the one with Harry on his broom. His lil face and scar are just so cute!

During this pandemic, I have enjoyed working on puzzles at my parent’s house and with all of my clients. Unfortunately, Johnny and I just have no space in our apartment to work on a puzzle so I can’t wait until we move somewhere bigger. One of my first orders of business will be placing a small table in the game room we would like to set up so I can get my puzzle on. I think I will start with the one I was gifted with this Christmas first. πŸ™‚

The piece de resistance of this haul was definitely the Hagrid’s Hut LEGO set. Johnny and I made quick work of it the day after I brought these presents home and it turned out SO cool. We haven’t gotten a new Harry Potter LEGO set in forever and Hagrid’s Hut has been on my list for quite some time as I would like to expand the Hogwarts grounds. Johnny and I are planning on getting the Quidditch Pitch, the Whomping Willow, and the Divination Tower sets throughout this year to keep growing our LEGO world. For pics of the completed Hagrid’s Hut set, be sure to tune in tomorrow!

My second family knows me like the back of their hands and Johnny and I could not be more thankful for these amazing Harry Potter themed gifts! I can’t wait to celebrate Christmas more traditionally with them next year and feel so grateful to have such wonderful friends looking out for me. ❀

Have you built a LEGO set recently? Which one? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah