Tuesday, March 20, 2018

1st Day of Spring!

Courtesy of Allison Norton

Hi Friends,

Spring is the most hopeful season of the year. Along with the warmer days and budding blooms that symbolize spring also come the hopes of dining outdoors, and the exciting feeling of trying new activities. Be an advocate of making seasonal to-do lists in order to keep life interesting. Here are a few ideas that will have you ready to embrace any adventure that comes your way before Labor Day. Without further ado, here are 10 Spring adventures that should go on your Spring bucket list…

10 Things to Try This Spring

1. Go to an outdoor music festival.
In the past few years, I have come to associate the month of April with Coachella. If you have never been, there is no better time to go than now (the lineup this year is amazing!). And if you've been before…do I even have to convince you? For those of you who don't live in Southern California, be sure to look into Mile High Music Festival, Outside Lands, Lollapalooza, and Bonnaroo, which are all in the summer.

2. Go on an impulsive weekend road trip.
The best kinds of road trips are the ones that happen in a spur of the moment decision. Pick a place you have always wanted to visit (I'm dying to go to Big Sur), grab your best friend or boyfriend, and just make it happen. Be sure to bring a cool camera to take snapshots along the way.

3. Create a cozy patio set up for springtime entertaining.
My apartment has a darling little back patio that is just begging to be used for an al fresco dinner party. This spring, I vow to add outdoor furniture, twinkle lights, and potted succulents to make the space inviting and useful. If you have a patio, I encourage you to do the same!

4. Springify your closet.
There's nothing like a bit of spring-cleaning to help get you excited for new warm-weather wardrobe staples. Donate items you haven't worn in a while, and reorganize the clothing and accessories you plan to keep for a fresh perspective. It will give you a good idea of what to add to add to your spring shopping list.

5. Hike to the highest spot in town.
Los Angeles has some pretty amazing hiking spots that are especially enjoyable on a gorgeous spring day. This season, take advantage of getting a good workout and enjoying the view by hiking to the highest spot in your town. You might even see your city in a whole new light.

6. Volunteer once a week.
Volunteering once a week this spring (and beyond!) is so rewarding, and it will enrich your life. I highly recommend researching a food bank, soup kitchen, or inner city school closest to you and lending a hand. It doesn't even need to be once a week-even going once a month will make a difference, and it will make you feel good in return.

7. Learn how to nurture.
Practice cultivating something this spring… Whether that means planting an herb garden, bringing home your first goldfish, or buying a puppy, learning to take care of something else will give you a broadened outlook on life.

8. Learn how to bake a pie.
I've always wanted to learn how to bake a pie from scratch, and this season I've decided to make it happen. Bake a pie with seasonal spring fruits like rhubarb, strawberries, or cherries.

9. Add a flea market addition to your home.
While you may be quite familiar with the flea markets in your area, a vintage splurge might not happen every time you make the trip. Promise yourself one special purchase at your local flea market that you will love in your home. It will refresh your d├ęcor for the changing seasons and get you excited about adding more new pieces in the future.

10. Add a few sun kissed strands to your hair.
In my opinion, one of the best parts about spring is that it leads into summer! Get your tresses beach-ready by adding in a few highlights. If your hair is chestnut brown, throw some golden strands into the mix. If you're a redhead, try a bit of strawberry blonde. And if you have golden locks, bright blonde is the way to go.

These are just a few ideas to get your started, compliments of Allison Norton but if you might also be inspired by Malavika Suresh with Spring Inspiration.

Spring Inspiration: Things to do this spring...

1. Go on a detox/cleanse.

2. Spring clean your home.

3. Have a yard sale (or an e-bay sale) to get rid of what you don't need anymore.

4. Rearrange the furniture in your home. Feng Shui up your life and bring in a newer and fresher energy.

5. Have fresh flowers in your home.

6. Take care of your legs (it's time to get those bad boys out!) and toes. Get pedicures and manicures often.

7. Update your Spring/Summer wardrobe.

8. Learn some new hairstyles.

9. Detail your car.

10. Start a brand new project.

11. Plan a summer trip.

12. Start a reading list.

13. Get a new hair style.

14. Take more walks in beautiful places.

15. Ride your bicycle.

16. Have a picnic.

17. Start running again.

18. Drink more water.

19. Wear lighter colours.

20. Start an outdoor hobby.

Both list are great, but whatever you decide to do this Spring have fun with family and friends...

Check back for more great ideas and enjoy this Spring from your friends at Interior Design!

Your kind contribution will allow us to continue sharing great, no cost and cost saving ideas for your space. Click the "Donate" button below to make a contribution. Thank you!

Live well,

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Courtesy of The Holiday Spot

Hi Friends,

Found some history on St. Patrick from The Holiday Spot and thought we would share this information about the patron saint of Ireland with all of you.


History of St Patrick
St Patrick is known as the patron saint of Ireland. True, he was not a born Irish. But he has become an integral part of the Irish heritage, mostly through his service across Ireland of the 5th century.

Patrick was born in the later half of the 4th century AD. There are differing views about the exact year and place of his birth. According to one school of opinion, he was born about 390 A.D., while the other school says it is about 373 AD. Again, his birth place is said to be in either Scotland or Roman England. His real name was probably Maewyn Succat. Though Patricius was his Romanicized name, he was later came to be familiar as Patrick.

Patrick was the son of Calpurnius, a Roman-British army officer. He was growing up as naturally as other kids in Britain. However, one day a band of pirates landed in south Wales and kidnapped this boy along with many others. Then they sold him into slavery in Ireland. He was there for 6 years, mostly imprisoned. This was when changes came to him. He dreamed of having seen God. Legend says, he was then dictated by God to escape with a getaway ship.

Finally, he did escape and went to Britain. And then to France. There he joined a monastery and studied under St. Germain, the bishop of Auxerre. He spent around 12 years in training. And when he became a bishop he dreamed that the Irish were calling him back to Ireland to tell them about God. The Confessio, Patrick's spiritual autobiography, is the most important document regarding this. It tells of a dream after his return to Britain, in which one Victoricus delivered him a letter headed "The Voice of the Irish."

So he set out for Ireland with the Pope's blessings. There he converted the Gaelic Irish, who were then mostly Pagans, to Christianity. He was confident in the Lord, he journeyed far and wide, baptizing and confirming with untiring zeal. And, in a diplomatic fashion he brought gifts to a kinglet here and a lawgiver there,but accepted none from any.

Indeed, Patrick was quite successful at winning converts. Through active preaching, he made important converts even among the royal families. And this fact upset the Celtic Druids. Patrick was arrested several times,but escaped each time. For 20 years he had traveled throughout Ireland, establishing monasteries across the country. He also set up schools and churches which would aid him in his conversion. He developed a native clergy, fostered the growth of monasticism, established dioceses, and held church councils.

Patrick's doctrine is considered orthodox and has been interpreted as anti-Pelagian. Although he is not particularly noted as a man of learning, a few of his writings remain extant: his Confession, a reply to his detractors, and several letters. The Lorica ("Breastplate"), a famous hymn attributed to Patrick, may date to a later period. By the end of the 7th century Patrick had become a legendary figure, and the legends have continued to grow since then. There are many legends associated with St Patrick. It is said that he used the three-leafed shamrock to explain the concept of the Trinity; which refers to the combination of Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. Hence its strong association with his day and name Legend also has that, Saint Patrick had put the curse of God on venomous snakes in Ireland. And he drove all the snakes into the sea where they drowned.

True, these are mostly legends. But, after some 1500 years, these legends have been inseparably combined with the facts. And together they have helped us know much about the Saint and the spirit behind celebration of the day. Patrick's mission in Ireland lasted for over 20 years. He died on March 17, AD 461. That day has been commemorated as St. Patrick's Day ever since. The day's spirit is to celebrate the universal baptization of Ireland. Though originally a Catholic holy day, St. Patrick's Day has evolved into more of a secular holiday. Or, rather, 'be an Irish Day '. And the Irish has borne it as part of their national tradition in everywhere they populated and prospered. The Catholic feast day for this most loved of Irish saints has become a holiday in celebration of the Irish and Irish culture. The leprechaun, a Celtic fairy, has become entrenched as a chief symbol for this holiday, as is the shamrock, an ancient symbol for the triple goddess Brigit. It is fitting that this holiday should fall at the time of the year when the return of spring begins to seem at hand.

Happy St. Patrick's Day from your friends at Interior Design!

Your kind contribution will allow us to continue sharing great, no cost and cost saving ideas for your space. Click the "Donate" button below to make a contribution. Thank you!

Live well,

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Easy Cleaning Tips for Your Home's Exterior

Courtesy of Brian Patrick Flynn

Hi Friends,

Washing off dirt and debris is a great start. Some pressure washers come with an assortment of color-coded spray tips. Each one has a different spray, from the high-pressure pinpoint spray to a wider, low-pressure spray. Siding can be cleaned with a low-pressure spray tip. Pressure-washing is also useful for removing algae stains from fencing.

Cleaning the Deck

Pressure-wash your deck with a tip that produces a spray about the width of a two-by-four with medium pressure. The trick is to keep the spray moving. Don't rest in one spot for too long or it could permanently damage the surface. Then apply a wood preservative to help prevent water damage and discoloration.

Spotless Driveway

Pressure-wash the driveway, then help prevent future stains by applying waterproof sealer. Using an extender pole on a paint-roller handle, start in the middle of the driveway and roll the sealer to all edges of the concrete. Allow 24 hours before parking on surface.

De-Junk the Gutters

Removing debris isn't only a fall chore in some yards; many trees such as black locust, oaks and maples drop litter in spring and summer. While you're clearing the gutters, also check for cracks in the seams. Use an old chisel to scrape the old caulking out and dry the area thoroughly. Use new bead silicon sealing to keep water from getting behind the gutters and rotting the boards.

Remove Faded Flowers

Photo By: DK - Dorling Kindersley Limited

Deadhead spent flowers in your planters and container gardens. Removing faded blooms does more than neaten things up; it directs the plant's energy away from making seeds and into producing more foliage and, in the case of many species, more flowers.

Haircut for Herbs

Photo By: DK - Dorling Kindersley Limited

Cutting back herbs keeps them from becoming leggy. It's okay to remove as much as half of the stem.

Quick Fix to Beds

Photo By: DK - Dorling Kindersley Limited

The fastest way to give a crisp, clean look to your garden beds is to add a fresh layer of mulch. Or, if the mulch layer is still about three inches deep, lightly rake the surface to get rid of that weathered, compacted look.

Home for Gardening Gear

Photo By: HGTV fan MeadowsweetDays

Corral your gardening tools and repotting projects into an attractive structure, like RMSer MeadowSweetDays' garden shed.

Make your home sparkle with these simple ideas for cleaning the driveway, gutters, garden beds and more...

Check back for more great ideas from your friends at Interior Design!

Your kind contribution will allow us to continue sharing great, no cost and cost saving ideas for your space. Click the "Donate" button below to make a contribution. Thank you!

Live well,

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Daylight Savings Time Begins!

Hi Friends,

Just a friendly reminder to set your clocks ahead...

Check back for great decorating ideas from your friends at Interior Design!

Your kind contribution will allow us to continue sharing great, no cost and cost saving ideas for your space. Click the "Donate" button below to make a contribution. Thank you!

Live well,

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Clean the Dirtiest Places in Your Home

Courtesy of Carley Knobloch
Photography by Carley Knobloch

Hi Friends,

The kitchen sink area is one of the worst. Raw meat, raw fish, what’s left of dinner — the sink has plenty of growing bacteria. Give it a scrub with baking soda, then follow up with a white vinegar soak. Add a few tablespoons of vinegar to warm water, or place vinegar-saturated paper towels in the sink for 15 minutes to completely sanitize.

Bathroom: Toothbrush

Water alone won't sanitize months of growing bacteria. Put your toothbrush in the dishwasher, or use a UV cleaner for 10 minutes to get rid of bacteria.

Kitchen: Refrigerator Handle

Germs can live on refrigerator handles for at least two days. Apply a small amount of dishwashing soap to a damp microfiber cloth to wipe away bacteria. Avoid using bleach or other harsh cleaners to prevent chemicals from getting in your food.

Living Room: Remote Control

Everyone touches the remote, often times while snacking. Use a cotton swab dampened with rubbing alcohol to clean germs without damaging delicate buttons. Tip: Use disinfectant wipes to clean the remote in a hotel room.

Kitchen: Faucet

The aerator on your faucet, the little screen at the bottom of the spout, is a hotbed of bacteria. Remove and soak it in white vinegar every couple months to get rid of germs and lime buildup.

Every Room: Light Switches

Light switches are one of the dirtiest items in your home, which results in an abundance of germs. To clean, spray a cloth with all-purpose cleaner or a 1:1 mixture of vinegar and water. Gently wipe the faceplate and switch.

Bathroom: Walls

Nobody wants to think about it, but when you flush with the toilet lid open, nearby surfaces get contaminated. Your favorite all-purpose spray or hydrogen peroxide is a simple solution to this nasty problem.

Every Room: The Walls

While you're at it, go ahead and give all of your walls a good scrubbing. Wipe off any loose dust with a soft cloth, then gently scrub off any dirt with an all-purpose cleaner that's safe for your walls. (Test in an inconspicuous area first if you’re unsure.) Don’t forget the molding!

Kitchen: Cutting Boards

A clean cutting board is important since you place food directly on it. Using soap can wear down a wooden board, but vinegar will gently disinfect it. Scrub with a baking soda paste and salt for a deep clean.

Kitchen: Sponge

If the kitchen sponge smells, that's proof that it's harboring bacteria. Place a wet sponge into the microwave for a minute and a half to kill bugs, or run it through the dishwasher (and replace it regularly).

Kitchen: Garbage Disposal

Photo By: iStockphoto.com/-Oxford-
The garbage disposal can also produce a foul odor if not cleaned regularly. Pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain followed by a cup of vinegar. Let the mixture bubble for a few minutes; then pour a bucket of hot water down the drain to rinse. Grind half a lemon in the disposal for extra cleaning power and a fresh scent.

Kitchen: Oven Knobs

You touch oven knobs frequently while handling food, but how often do you clean them? Pull the knobs off, and give them a good cleaning with a 1:1 mixture of vinegar and water. For stubborn stains, let the vinegar sit for at least 10 minutes.

Dog Bowls

To clean your pets' bowls, remove the food and water and run them through the dishwasher. Use vinegar to get rid of lime buildup, and wash with dish soap in between dishwashing cycles.

Home Office: Computer Keyboard

You touch your face. You type an email. You reach for your lunch. You type a report. You get the idea. To clean your computer's keyboard, unplug it first. Next, gently wipe with a 1:1 mixture of rubbing alcohol and water, but make sure not to get your keyboard too wet.

Bathroom: Shower Curtain

Getting rid of mold on your shower curtains is easier than you think. Spray plastic shower curtain liners with a 1:1 mixture of vinegar and water, and run fabric curtains through the washing machine once a month.

It's hard to find time to clean when you have a busy schedule but hopefully these tips on how to clean the dirtiest items in your home will make it a little easier.

Check back for more great ideas from your friends at Interior Design!

Your kind contribution will allow us to continue sharing great, no cost and cost saving ideas for your space. Click the "Donate" button below to make a contribution. Thank you!

Live well,

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

5 Tricks to Make Spring Cleaning Fun

Courtesy of Kayla Kitts
Photography by Zing Images/Getty Images

Hi Friends,

Yes, you read that right. We've got tips to get the whole family motivated to join in on the seasonal cleaning spree.

Did you know that 54 percent of Americans are completely and utterly overwhelmed by the amount of clutter in their lives? I totally believe it. That's why we're so enamored by Pinterest-inspired cleaning hacks and new ways to make this daunting task seem more...well, not so daunting. And if you've ever had to wrangle your S.O. or family into seasonal cleaning then you know how much of a firestorm that can be.

The experts over at VarageSale, the virtual garage sale for your phone, have shared some tips on how to motivate your family to join your spring cleaning decluttering mission this year (without using food as bribery). Take a look!

Turn Clutter Into a Vacay Fund

Promise the family a fun trip funded only by the money made from selling your items online. The extravagance of their trip will be determined by how much they sell.

Show the Kids What Their Clutter is Worth

Ask your children to pick five to 10 toys in their room or play area that they’ve outgrown to sell. Once sold, show them the money they’ve made, and divide the loot into streams of spending and saving.

Do a Decluttering Scavenger Hunt

Give each family member a mission to find items in their room within a list of categories (i.e. one pair of shoes, two shirts, three books, etc). The family member to finish first is the winner.

Let's Make a Deal: Clutter-Free Edition

If you buy your child something new, s/he has to find two to five items to part with in exchange. They might start with smaller items, like an old coloring book or just one toy car, and that’s okay. Once the game is established, push them to part with bigger items.

Take the Cake

Start a friendly competition between family members (you can make teams for the little ones) where all sales from their sales go into a communal pot. Whichever team sells the most takes the pot for that contest! Winners get to choose a fun family activity using money from the pot, like going to the movies or getting dinner at their favorite restaurant. The pot starts over the next day or the next time you want to tackle more spring cleaning so kids stay motivated to win.

Dance the Clutter Away

Be realistic and make time for a dance party. Removing the dust and cobwebs of winter can be an overwhelming task. Tackle the job in digestible blocks of time by creating a playlist of four to five of your favorite high-energy songs. Add a sixth song at the end that will inspire you to enjoy a mini dance party break. (Taylor Swift, FTW!)

Let's have fun...

Check back for more great ideas from your friends at Interior Design!

Your kind contribution will allow us to continue sharing great, no cost and cost saving ideas for your space. Click the "Donate" button below to make a contribution. Thank you!

Live well,

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

7 Spring-Cleaning Tips

Courtesy of HGTV

Hi Friends,

If spring is in the air, don't let a musty house spoil it. Here are seven tips for giving the season the welcome it deserves.
  1. The best refrigerator cleaner is a combination of salt and soda water. The bubbling action of the soda water combines with the abrasive texture of the salt to make a great cleaner.
  2. The best way to get rid of lime buildup around the faucet it is to lay paper towels over the fixture, soak it with vinegar and let it set for an hour. The deposits will soften and become easier to remove.
  3. Clean screens with a scrap of carpeting. It makes a powerful brush that removes all the dirt.
  4. Clean windows with a rag and soapy water, and then dry them with another rag. You can also go to an auto-parts store and buy a windshield squeegee, which cleans very well.
  5. If drapes are looking drab, take them out of the window, remove the hooks and run them through the air-fluff cycle in the dryer along with a wet towel (to draw off the dust) for 15 minutes. Hang them back in the windows immediately.
  6. Clean the blades of a ceiling fan by covering them with a coat of furniture polish. Wipe off the excess and lightly buff.
  7. Sometimes comforters, blankets and pillows don't need to be cleaned, but they do need to be aired out after a long winter in your closed-up home. Take them outside and hang them on a clothesline for a day.
Simple ways to make the yearly chore less of a chore...

Check back for more great ideas from your friends at Interior Design!

Your kind contribution will allow us to continue sharing great, no cost and cost saving ideas for your space. Click the "Donate" button below to make a contribution. Thank you!

Live well,