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Cooking for the Holidays with Appliances from Best Buy

Disclosure ~ The reviewer (Living Smart Girl) has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

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Cooking for the Holidays with Appliances from Best Buy
@BestBuy #holidayprep

 

One of my favorite times of the year, (not the weather here in Minnesota) is the holiday time because that means family gathered all together, good food, memories and just lots of fun that is so needed since life is so busy.  And, I am one who loves to host the festivities at my home. But, even though I love hosting, I get frustrated with my meal prep because I have old appliances and it can cause cooking frustrations.

Now, if I could sit on Santa’s lap, what I would wish for would be a new kitchen with new appliances that would make my cooking time more enjoyable and productive.   And since the holidays are a hectic time for everyone not only for buying gifts but also for cooking and entertaining in the days leading up to and including the holidays.  I would like to make cooking easier with the latest appliance technology including induction cooking that enables you to boil water in less than two minutes like the Frigidaire FGIF3061NF plus induction reduces clean up time because spills don’t burn on.  This Frigidaire range also includes a convection oven which circulates the air in the oven for quicker baking time.  Another great innovation within cooking are double ovens that let you cook two dishes at two different temperatures at once like the Whirlpool WGG555S0BS but still fits within the space of a standard range.  All of this technology will allow you to get the food the way you want it prepared and saves you time so you can spend it with the ones you love.  Learn more at bestbuy.com/holidayprep 
Now if I had this appliance I would rock the holiday meal, have extra time to spend with my family and be the queen of my kitchen.

My meal usually consists of a turkey, a ham, mashed potatoes, corn, stuffing, a couple pies, rolls, sweet potatoes, relish tray, cranberries, and lots of cookies which are always made ahead of time.   My sister and Aunt and myself get together right before Thanksgiving and do a huge cookie bake, and oh how it would be awesome to have the Frigidaire FGIF3061NF in my home to make our cookie baking go faster, and smoother.  It is hard to bake the amount of cookies we do, with a single oven, so having a double oven would rock the cookie baking experience.    So, between the cookie baking and the holiday meals new appliances would be a perfect thing for Santa (or hubby… *cough* *cough*) to bring me.

Do you do a lot of holiday cooking?  Tell me your biggest obstacle during your holiday meal prep.

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Enhance Your Home Movie-viewing Experience: With A Home Cinema System

Enhance Your Home Movie-viewing Experience: With A Home Cinema System

Movie time in the home provides a good opportunity to spend quality time with loved ones and have an exciting experience. Having a sophisticated home cinema system will greatly enhance your home movie-viewing experience as it helps recreate the cinema atmosphere in your own private place. Once you get your selection right, this system can take your movie-viewing experience to a whole new level with special sounds and effects that would have been missed when relying on just your TV to produce them.

Why Are These Systems Special for Movie-Viewing?

Without mincing words, the main thing that makes home cinema systems perfect for movie-viewing is their ability to produce cinema-quality surround sound. What is that? As you may have noticed, when watching a movie at a cinema, the associated sound is projected to you from different angles to give you the impression of being right in the mix of the action. This is what is referred to as surround sound. You can recreate this experience when watching TV and videos in your home when you have one of these systems.

Speaker Systems

There are different types of home cinema, namely: 2.1, 5.1 and 7.1 speaker systems. These designations describe systems with two, five and seven speakers respectively with a subwoofer. The 5.1 system is the most common configuration since 2.1 and 7.1 systems produces effects that are either insufficient or excessive for many private spaces.

How to Setup

Information for setup often comes with a system when you buy one. The speakers are placed in strategic sections of your room, with the left and right speakers required to be placed at equal distance from your sitting area. The auto setup feature can be used to determine the appropriate positions for the speakers. A speaker is placed either above or below the TV to take care of most conversation coming from it. There is usually no restriction on where the subwoofer can be placed.

Getting a home cinema system could be the best decision you can make when you wish to take the cinema to your home. The system will create the feeling of seemingly being with the actors as you are able to pick out virtually all sounds and effects. You are missing out on awesome movie-viewing experience without one of these systems.

Can You Smell Fall? #FebrezeFall

Febreze1 Disclosure ~  This is a sponsored post on behalf of SheSpeaks and Febreze.  All opinions are 100% that of Living Smart Girl’s.
#FebrezeFall  @Walmart  @SheSpeaksUp.
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Can you smell fall in the air?    I sure can and I have to say, even though I hate winter, I do love fall and all the prettiness that it brings.  I love the changing leaves, the cooler nights and the smell in the air.  With Febreze you can get that fall smell in your home and car and bring some fall ideas to life with their great tips for recipes, home decor and activities.

I got a fun Scentspiration box from Febreze with the Home Harvest Collection inside.  Isn’t this cute!! It is a little farm house/barn box and filled with a cute recipe card box, recipe cards with great recipes, activities and home decor ideas, some fun Febreze goodies like plug in air fresheners and one for my car as well.   I put the plug in in my basement to help bring some fall smells there, and stuck the car one in my new vehicle.   Have you picked up some Febreze in the fall scents to use in your home or car?   What ones are your favorites?  Do you like different ones in each room or the same thru the whole house?   I like to keep the same thru the whole house generally.  When you think of fall, what scent comes to mind ?

These cards are so fun that came in the kit.  Great recipes like Iced Coffee Float, Sugared Cranberries, Oven Bakes Smores, Roasted Pears, & Creamed Corn.   Have you ever made any of these?    I have not, but think I will have to try the Iced Coffee Float.   How about toasted almonds?  Ever tried those.  I haven’t but just thinking about them, I want to.

If you like to decorate for fall the cards have some fun ideas.  Like, how to make an Acorn Centerpiece, Lollipot Bouquet, Cranberry Tree, Leaf Wreath, or Lightbulb Pear.  The Acorn Centerpiece and Lightbulb Pears sound fun an like something I would decorate with.  What kind of fall decorations do you have that you made?  I would love to see pics, if you have made something fun you want to share.  Do you use Febreze when making your fun decorations ?

Fall means more play time out in the yard for many, as the bugs are less and for some, the weather is more enjoyable.  (Those in southern states).  There are many fun activities one can enjoy in the fall.  Gather some of your girlfriends together, or even the kids and try making one of these cool things ~ Coasters, Burlap Bows, Owl Almonds, Spiced Oranges, or Whistling with an Acorn Top.  Do you enjoy some fun activities in the fall?  Tell me about them.

No matter what you are doing, the Febreze Home Harvest Collection can help you get in the mood and get your home ready for fall.    And, don’t forget about the fact that Febreze truly eliminates odors so your company will only notice the fresh smell of fall in your home.
See how cute my Scentspiration box from Febreze with the Home Harvest Collection is.

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Disclosure ~  This is a sponsored post on behalf of SheSpeaks and Febreze.  All opinions are 100% that of Living Smart Girl’s.
#FebrezeFall  @Walmart  @SheSpeaksUp.
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DIY Ideas to Decorate Silk Pillow Covers

DIY Ideas to Decorate Silk Pillow Covers

 

Thinking about purchasing silk pillow covers for your bedding? Wow! That’s nice. There are a number of benefits of using silk as your bedding material because the fabric has certain properties that help you live with better health. For those who have a soft and sensitive skin, silk is recommended. Moreover, even those who are allergic to dust should sleep on natural or organic bedding.

 

The only problem is that silk bedding is a little more expensive as compared to the other type of bedding available in the market. Definitely, the more beautiful and appealing one you purchase, the more expensive it is going to get. So, how do you make sure that your silk bedding looks classy yet it turns out to be an affordable deal for you? Listed are some DIY ideas that you can use to decorate your plain silk pillow covers and sheets and make them look worth good money.

 

DIY DECORATION FOR SILK PILLOWS

 

  1. Using paint and brush: In order to give your silk pillows an awesome facelift you can use your fabric paints and a regular painting brush. The best way to go about this DIY idea is to first finalize the kind of look you want to give to the pillows. Paint interesting scenery using different colors. You can also sketch out before painting.
  1. Finger Painting: One of the simplest of ways to make something interesting is using finger     print or painting. Dip your thumb or fingertip inside organic fabric paint and make interesting patterns out of it. From birds to trees to abstract shapes, there is a lot to make on the fabric of the silk pillow.

 

  1. Stencil Magic: Make a stencil out of brown paper and use it for decorating your silk     pillow covers. You need to fix the stencil on the pillow cover and then using a toothbrush, sprinkle fabric paint on either the empty space that shows the fabric from beneath the outer frame of stencil     or fill the inner portion of stencil. Both ways, the outcome is     pretty cool.

 

  1. Embroider: If you do not want to use paint on your silk pillow cases, here is another thing thatcan be done. Instead of using paint you can use your thread and needle to make interesting shapes and things on your pillow covers.

 

  1. Felt and Fur: If paint     and thread don’t appeal, you can instead use felt and fur. Cut the felt and the fur in tiny piece and attach them in different shapes on the pillow cases.

These are some of the ways in which you can decorate your silk pillow cases and make them look prettier. There are a lot many ways of giving plain silk bed sheets and pillow cases an interesting look. You can read about the same from different craft books or on the internet. Have a fun time and also create value – that’s called art.

Patio Furniture Selections

Patio Furniture Selections
A company like Patio Living does decks, but families need to make sure they are selecting the best deck or patio design for their family. Every family has different needs, and they must come to their contractor with a plan.

A Brand New Deck

A family that needs a brand new deck must decide the type of deck they need in their backyard. Some decks will encircle a pool, and there are other decks that take a traditional rectangular shape. When the family has a plan for their deck, the contractor can provide them with a beautiful version of their vision.

A Bigger Patio

A bigger patio is helpful for every family that cannot elevate their patio by building a deck. A new deck is hard for some people to use, and a patio can be any size the family wants. The most advanced patios can extend for several yards outside the house, and each part of the patio can become a new area that the family can use for entertaining.

Adding The Grill

There are many families that want to use their deck for cooking, but the grill can become a problem. The family can ask their contractor to include the grill in the design of the deck. The contractor can use a gas line from the house to power the grill, or the contractor can create a nook that is especially for the gas grill.

The family can ask for the grill to dictate the design of the entire space. Every part of the deck can be made for a certain table, bench or set of chairs. The best thing for the family to do is to use the furniture to determine the size and shape of the deck. The deck will be completely unique, and the family will impress their friends and family with the deck.

When families want to increase the value of their home, they need to add a deck to the house that will help them entertain guests or relax. The deck can be in any shape, and it will make the home look better than ever.

 

Words for your Walls #DecoratingwithWords

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Words for your Walls #DecoratingwithWords

Every time I would walk into my sisters house, or the house of a friend, relative, or neighbor I would see pictures all over the walls.   I was never one of those to have pictures of people on my walls.  I don’t know why, I just wasn’t.  I am not sure if it was due to the fact that the way I decorate never seemed to allow for pictures or if I just didn’t like the way it looked or what.  Well, that changed a few years ago when I came across the words that you can put on your walls.   Snaps!!  What a great idea!

I had pictures that I had been wanting to display and thought, it is about time I do a wall with my loved ones pictures.  That is when it hit me, I need words for my wall to showcase my pictures.   I chose the saying “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words” and did up my new wall.    But first, I had to paint.  My walls were a yucky sponge painted coral/cream color.   Yes, very “in” back when I did it but not so much now.  LOL!   So, I tackled the job of paining my wall (1 whole wall mind you)  :)

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I painted a coffee brown color.  Love this color!!  Since I decorate sorta lodge/prim/antique  (or whatever) it is a fitting color for my computer area.

I added the words to the wall, arranged my cherished pictures and stepped back to see my work.  And, then the water works started.  Yes, I cried.  I cried because I should have put up pictures of my family and fun times long ago.  Not sure why I never did, but I didn’t.   I added a couple pictures of me and my husband with my Grandpa who we lost to Cancer, and picture of my Dad at his job the week he retired, a picture of my son and our dog, my Son’s Grad pics, a picture of my nephews and niece and a picture of my husband.   I have since added more pictures but this is what my wall started out as.   I love my wall words and how it made the whole picture wall come together with meaning.   A picture is worth a thousand words and nobody can erase the feelings you had when those pictures were taken.  I have more pictures to hang, but need to find some cute frames that fit my home and style.

I got my wall words from Uppercase Living, but there are many places to buy them.    You can find so many great sayings, or even come up with your own.  If I had more walls I would put more sayings up, but my husband likes to remodel and take down walls… so I am very limited to where I can put things.  But, the wall words are great for any art project or any place your mind can imagine.

Do you decorate with words?   Tell me how you use them.

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Crafting can be fun and easy with Instacraft

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Crafting can be fun and easy with Instacraft

What is Instacraft you ask?   Well, it is a fun little book that is filled with super cute, surprisingly easy, fun crafts to make.   Doesn’t matter if you are a newbie crafter, or a veteran crafter, you will enjoy this book just the same.   Some of the things you can make using this book are ~ brick bookends, berry personalized stationary, faux french lockets, sweetheart sugar jars, traveling globes, takeout container lanterns, paint swatch key hooks, pantone placemats, time capsule terrariums, fond memories wrapping paper and so much more.

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You can purchase the book on Amazon or you can try to win it here.

Giveaway Open to US only.   Prize ~ 1 Instacraft Book.   ~  Ends 8/20/14  @11:59 PM CST.

Enter Below ~

Disclosure ~  Living Smart Girl received a book to facilitate a review.   All opinions expressed are 100% that of Living Smart Girl’s.

How to Maneuver a Complete Style Overhaul in Your Home

How to Maneuver a Complete Style Overhaul in Your Home

Reinventing your home doesn’t require a major addition or renovation project. Sometimes all it takes is overhauling your home’s style. This includes everything from furniture to décor to the handles on your faucets. Maybe it’s time to get rid of that cheap furniture you’ve had since college. Or maybe you just want a change. Either way, give your house a facelift and save thousands by avoiding an expensive remodeling project. Here are some tips to get started on the home style overhaul.

Start Big

When looking for new furniture pieces, it’s best to start big and gradually work into the finer details. That means looking at the furniture you use most often—probably your sofa, dining table set, and bed. Once you’ve replaced these cornerstone pieces, you can address the other furnishings that make up each room: coffee tables, ottomans, side tables, bookshelves, and armchairs.

You can save money by purchasing furniture from wholesalers. Brand-name retailers markup furniture almost 50%, so you end up paying one and a half times as much. Cut out the middle man and you can find some great pieces at a fraction of the cost. If this still isn’t your style, and you’re crafty enough, refurbishing old staples can be an excellent option.

After the furnishing is taken care of, you can get into the nitty-gritty of decorating. This is your opportunity to add your signature touch with rugs, lamps, bedspreads, pillows, art, plants, and other decorative favorites. This step-by-step approach will help you to stay on budget and organized. Tackling everything at once can be overwhelming, and you want to have enough to spend on the major furniture pieces. You can always find good deals on décor at antique stores, art fairs, and flea markets later.

Choose a Design Style

Design trends are always changing, but there are a number of signature styles that can guide your furnishing decisions. Explore different styles and choose a favorite to create a cohesive look. Some popular styles include:

Modern Rustic: Look to the past for inspiration. This style relies on reclaimed wood, tarnished metals, aged surfaces, exposed brick, and natural textures like wool, burlap, linen, and sheepskin. Have fun rooting around at antique stores and garage sales to find cool vintage items that can be repurposed. This style is often integrated with industrial items—salvaged metal pieces, edgy lighting fixtures, and abstract art.

Traditional: A look that never goes out of style, think balance and symmetry. Muted, warm colors and classic fabric patterns—florals, stripes, and plaids. Cushy rugs and comfy couches with tasseled pillows. Match your pieces to create that feeling of elegant symmetry.

Coastal: The classic beach house style. Think light and breezy with whitewashed walls, light fabrics, and minimal clutter. You can get creative with weathered wood, seashells, and nautical themes. Coastal is a great style if your home gets a lot of natural light.

Contemporary: If you like to be up on current trends, this fluid style is your best bet. Contemporary design is all about clean lines and geometric forms, with an emphasis on open space and avoiding clutter. Go for neutral shades with pops of bold color. Furniture should be sleek with straight lines and clean surfaces. Abstract art and sculptures are right at home in this style.

Use this overhaul as an opportunity to create the living space you want. Find cool signature pieces and create an atmosphere that makes you feel at home.

 

Your Security Checklist Before You Go On Your Family Vacation

Your Security Checklist Before You Go On Your Family Vacation

Summer is here and it is about time you set off on your family vacation. Besides the packing and planning, you want your vacation to be stress and worry free. The last thing you want is to return to a burglarized home. But every 13 seconds a home is invaded, amounting to 2 million break-ins every year. Making yourself an easy target increases your chances of becoming a victim by 300 percent, and nothing ruins a vacation more than knowing unwanted intruders took stock of your home.

 

However, a few added measures of protection can secure your home from unwanted entry.

Here are several tips to increase your home security while you’re enjoying your vacation.

 

Tell Your Neighbors

A pair of eyes and ears can be a low-cost way to stop a break-in. Alerting trusted neighbors before you head off will prevent any suspicious character from waltzing into your home right under the neighborhood’s nose.

 

Hide The Clues

Newspapers stacked mile high on your porch and a mailbox that looks like a stuffed turkey are tell-tale signs your home is empty. Burglars look for clues like these to sniff out their next victim. So tell your local post office to put your mail on hold and your newspaper service to stop deliveries while you’re gone.

 

Avoid The Obvious

A common mistake – all too obvious – is letting everyone know your house is empty. Loading your car with luggage and gear hours before your trip or parking an elephant of an RV right outside your driveway is a sure way to invite the wrong kind of strangers. So be conspicuous. Load your luggage the night before or park the RV around the corner. And don’t create a luggage marching file that shouts you’ll be going on vacation.

 

Create An Illusion

A car parked outside your house can make burglars think twice before breaking in. If you park your car in the garage, ask a friend to occasionally park their car in your driveway. Investing in a light timer can also stop burglars in their tracks if they believe somebody is home.

 

Secure All Doors and Windows

Each entry into your home is a potential means for burglary. In fact, 30 percent of all burglaries are through an unlocked door or window. Calling your local locksmith service (like this trusted locksmith in Miami Beach) to add an extra layer of security could be paramount for your home security. Home invaders only have a few minutes to break in, otherwise they increase their chances of capture. So make it tough for them to get.

 

With some wise measures on your part, you can keep your home protected and avoid becoming a break-in statistic, allowing you to return from your vacation, home intact.

US Locksmith Services Miami Beach is available to handle your locksmith needs every day of the year. Trust the most reliable locksmith in Miami Beach.

Sweet Slumber Pillow from Reverie

Sweet Slumber Pillows ~ just that name makes one think of a good nights sleep, right ?  Well, if you are struggling finding yourself a good pillow you have to check out the Sweet Slumber Pillow from Reverie.    Pillows are one of those things that for me, make a huge difference in how I sleep.  I have neck issues with my Fibro and I need a pillow that fits me just perfect. My husband also has pillows that fit his neck and sleeping habits perfect.   The Sweet Slumber Pillow is an awesome pillow, made of shredded natural rubber to simulate the feeling of down.   This is to provide both a comfortable pillow and good support.  This pillow is so soft, but in a heavy way.  You just have to feel it, hold it, and lay your head on it to really understand how comfy it is.   It is also 100% cotton quilted and the cover is removable for washing.  (for those like me who drool) LOL!!  Also, it is hypoallergenic, anti-bacterial and dust mite resistant.

I was excited to get this pillow because the one I am using is slowly becoming not as comfy as when I got it.  Not sure if I am changing, or the pillow is worn out.  But, I need a new one.   So, I was excited to try this Sweet Slumber Pillow.  Well, unfortunately it is not for me.  It is a bit thicker than I can use.   I love to hug it at night and it works good for under my knees or between my legs when I sleep.   So, hubby tried it and for him it also was to thick.  He sleeps with a flat pillow that he can roll up right now.   So, we gave it to our son and he loves it!!   He loves how thick it is, and how heavy it is as he is a tornado when he sleeps and usually all his pillows end up on the floor, but not this one.  It is heavy and stays put.   I am glad it worked for my son because he is on his own and buying pillows is not something he can do right now.

If you like a thicker pillow, one that is heavy and soft at the same time you have to check this one out.

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Disclosure ~  Living Smart Girl received product to facilitate a review.   All opinions expressed are 100% that of Living Smart Girl’s.