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From classic to stylish: our top tips to reconvert your interior

When your classic interior in shades of white, black and pastel tones, is flirting dangerously with the boring side of things, there are a few little touches that can change your home from neutral and cold to inspiring and cool. The great news is that a classic interior is a perfect canvas to get started and that finding new pieces is a relatively easy task for all the budding interior designers out there.

 

If your home design mostly revolves around white and black tones, the best bet would be to opt for colourful accessories to add a splash of colour and bring some visual flair and rhythm. From coat hangers to photo frames and mats, any small item can potentially add that special touch. A generally good tip is to try and mix a maximum of three colours (one cold, two warm) with some neutrals to an overload and giving you a headache. It may not look like much but it’s very efficient and fun too, especially if you enjoy the odd visit to the DIY store.

 

The 1970’s trend is very strong now on the catwalk so it comes as no surprise that its influence is already expanding towards the interior design world too. Try to picture the look: orange earthy tones, a bit of formica furniture here and there and flowery paper walls. All best served in moderated touches around the house of course.

 

If you’re more of the understated type, it should be noted that the 1970’s can teach us a great lesson in mixing pop pieces with contemporary ones, so you don’t have to go full on: find one or two pieces of furniture, either vintage originals or replicas, and let them shine on their own against a more neutral backdrop.

 

If psychedelic wallpapers for the living room were never really part of your plan, try and spruce up your classic interior with some modern options: graphic tiles, metals, indigo and painterly rugs.

 

Graphic or patterned tiles can also be applied to bring a new lease of life in an otherwise plain-looking kitchen or bathroom. Add some silver and gold in the shape of designer lighting, a photo frame or wallpaper for a modern look. Indigo works great in contrast with white walls and floorings for a fresh look or with black for a Victorian powder room feel.

 

When adding your own touch, always remember that in interior design inventiveness is a fine line between eclecticism and clumsiness…still, don’t be afraid to have fun!

 


Norwex March Specials

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Have you wondered about Norwex?   Well wonder no more!!   If you have not looked at our products, or tried our products you are missing out.  Eliminate all the toxins in your home by using our cloths and water.  Yes, just a cloth and water.   No harsh cleaning products needed to get the job done, and done way better.   I absolutely love my kitchen cloth for all my kitchen cleaning needs.   My bathroom has never been so clean, and all done with no harsh chemicals.   And, my body.. soft, smooth and irritant free thanks to throwing out all the harsh body washes/soaps I was used to using.  Just my body cloth and water.   And shaving is so much easier.  I use my body cloth, and then I shave.  No soap, or shaving cream.. just the razor on my skin.   Save your skin, and save on razors.

I would love to talk to you about Norwex if you have questions.     Check out my site, join my newsletter list, or comment here with your questions.

And… MARCH is join free month.  You can join as a Norwex consultant for FREE ($10 shipping), get a kit and get started on your Fresh Start program to earn tons of goodies FREE.

 

Create Yourself a Standing Work Station

It’s time to take a stand.  A stand against a flat butt that is! 

Do you work from home, or have an office job where you are sitting all day?   I do!!   Now, let me say… I love my job and wouldn’t have it any other way (working from home that is).   Working from home is great for many reasons!  I get to work in my jammies, I don’t have to go out in the cold or drive on snow covered roads, I can keep a clean house, make my own hours, meet up with my friends during the day for coffee, sleep in whenever I want, stay up as late as I want, and take days off whenever I feel like it.  It’s all a win win for me.   EXCEPT for one thing.   My BUTT is getting flat and wide.

Before working from home I have had jobs/businesses where I was on my feet and on the go.  Being a candle maker I was up and down stairs all day, never sat down… ever!  Owning a bar, on my feet all day and never sitting down and lifting cases of beer and pop all day.  So, the last 11 years of my life I have pretty much never sat for any job… until 3 years ago.   Dec 1, 2011 when we were done being bar owners, I took on blogging full time and boy oh boy… my BUTT has paid the price.   I seen a friend and fellow blogger post about how she bought a table to construct a stand up desk and my wheels started to turn.

Now, I am not one to go and buy new stuff.  Nope, I like my furnishings in my home to be old, used, vintage, or hand made.  Our home is more rustic, unfinished old floors, lots of wood, beams, logs, etc.  I had an old desk, that was pretty beat up, from my sister.  It was big, ugly and just didn’t fit my home or vision of my perfect desk.   Check it out ~

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See, big, bulky, and ugly.   It served the purpose of what I needed, but the fact is I was sitting about 12 hours a day. (some days more)
I told my hubby about what I wanted, we put our heads together and came up with the perfect stand up desk for me and our home.

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You see the wicker/wood drawer unit?  Well I had 2 of them and they came from my Mom.   When my Mom passed away my Dad gave them to me so they are very special to me.   They are used, beat up, but were the perfect height and just what I needed for my desk.  We put one on each end so the one I use for my business supplies, and the other one is facing the other direction for other stuff like dog treats, decks of cards, cribbage boards, phone books, etc.    We bought a laminated piece of wood that is 35″ x 60″ and I stained it a light honey pine color.  It fits perfectly in place on top of the wicker/wood drawer units.   As you can see, I like old crates, wooden boxes, primitive goodies and pictures.

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I have been using this new stand up desk for about a month now and am in love.  I bought a tall padded bar stool with a back on it for when I am just fatigued and need to sit.  The first week, boy oh boy did I hurt.  My legs would just ache and my lower back and abs.. yes even my abs, would just burn.  My BUTT.. well it was aching too!    It is a HUGE change to go from sitting all day to standing all day, when you have been sitting all day for just over 3 years now, and so it will take my body some time to adjust.  I was sent some product for review called Salonpas and have been using that to ease some of my pain.   It helps some, but not all.   But, the fact that I went from one extreme to another pretty much overnight might not have been a smart move ;)  LOL!

I have to honestly say that I wish I had done this 3 years ago.   I didn’t know people used stand up desks.   It has helped my IBS-C some, helped me to feel more energy through the day, I feel more productive, and I don’t find myself sitting at the desk staring at my computer even when there is nothing to be done online.  I stand at my desk, then go do dishes, play with the dog, pick up the house here and there, and I can even watch TV from my desk so that is a win win too!

Do you work from home and sit all day?   I strongly urge you, for your health, to check out building a stand up desk.  You will love it and your body will thank you.   I have noticed a huge change in my butt, legs and abs in only a month. I find that I do squats and leg lifts and more stretching during the day while standing and working.  Love it!

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PS… do you see my big book on the desk.  That is my Blogging Planner which I love.  If you are a blogger, you so need to get one!

The Ultimate DIY Bundle – On Sale Now

 

Don’t miss out on your chance to get this amazing DIY Bundle.   Sale is a short time frame, and ends January 26th.  Click the image above for all the info and to get your bundle now.

Vacationing or Living is Affordable at Carefree RV Resorts

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Disclosure  ~ This article is sponsored by Carefree RV Resorts.  All opinions expressed are that of Living Smart Girl’s.

Sometimes I sit and think, I can’t believe I never really had a vacation up until I was in my 30’s.  Yes, growing up we went camping, went to visit relatives, and had a few day outings, but my parents just never had the money to travel which meant us kids didn’t see much outside of Finland, MN.   We went to Wisconsin a couple times with our Grandma, and took a trip up into Canada and around Lake Superior, coming down thru Michigan, when I was about 12, but I don’t remember much of that.  I then went to North Dakota a couple times with my boyfriend when I was 16, but it was dead of winter so there was no sights to see.   Until I met my husband and our son was almost grown the word vacation just never came up much.   I think if I had taken a trip to Florida in my 20’s, I would never have come back.  That means I never would have met my husband or be doing what I am doing now, so that might be a good thing.  LOL!    I went to Florida the first time in 2007, after the loss of my Mom.   I fell in love!   I finally got hubby to go down 2 years ago, and he fell in love.  All we talk about now is Florida, and retirement.

I was so excited to learn about Carefree RV Resorts.   Hubby and I are going to check out staying at one of them for our next Florida vacation.   Hubby can retire in 6 years, and our goal is to live in Florida part time and Carefree RV Resorts would be a great place to call home for us.  Offering Affordable Florida Vacation Homes with 34 locations in Florida, makes it easy to find one that will fit our lifestyle.  I am not at retirement age, but we have talked about buying a home in one of the any age communities so we have a place to get away to before retirement.  Park Models for Sale are reasonable, and there are many to choose from.   I have my eye on a couple already!!

Carefree RV Resorts is a family of 101 RV parks and Manufactured Home Communities across the United States and Canada.
Carefree offers a wide selection of new and used Park Model homes for sale in their RV Resorts, and mobile homes in their Mobile Home Communities.
   With 34 RV Resorts in Florida, Carefree RV Resorts have something to suit any budget or need. They have homes ranging from under 20K for pre-owned to 50K for brand new, fully customized homes. There is an additional lot rent paid either seasonally or annually.

The park models for sale are all so cute, and would be perfect for anyone looking to vacation or live part time or even year round.  I know the older we get, the more time we would spend in Florida.  Even though we think 6 years is a long way off, we need to start planning now.  A Park Model is a smaller, single-wide home that is considered a recreational vehicle. Park Models are designed for placement in RV resorts, campgrounds, or locations where smaller trailers are an acceptable living environment.   A typical Park Model is a single structure and is shorter and narrower than a Manufactured Home. They typically have one bedroom, one bath, an eat-in kitchen and living room. Park Models are typically eight to thirteen feet wide and have one or two bedrooms. They are under 500 sq ft.  This is perfect for what we are looking for, how about you?  

Not into Florida?  Well no worries as Carefree RV Resorts has resorts in Florida, Texas, New Jersey, California, Massachusetts, North Carolina and Ontario Canada.  So, you have no excuses to not enjoy Carefree RV Resorts.  Check out some of these great pictures and tell me how you could pass up a life like this, the Carefree way! ;)    Such cute park model homes, all done up so nicely.

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Carefree is currently running a special called “Your Passport to Paradise – You stay we pay!”
With the help of a Carefree sales advisor, your visit will be planned at prime Florida destinations based on your interests and preferences. We’ll select properties that have everything you are looking for to preview during your personalized visit. Accommodations include up to 4 nights for 2 guests in a Carefree Resort Home.  Flexible dates. Subject to availability.  Arrive by car or RV and simply commit to a guided tour of the Carefree property of your choice.  Availability varies by property.  Plan your visit before April 30, 2015. Every home buyer will receive a $1,500 check within 15 days after close of their resort home.
For more information call Sheri at 855-999-9812
En français Nicole et 1-450-775-1760

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I can’t wait to start researching and finding the perfect home for us.   This has been a huge eye opener as to what is available for us, and for you.  So, maybe we can be friends if we all live by each other.  How fun!!   See you at the Carefree RV Resorts!

Five Simple Steps to Choosing your Perfect Bath Tub

Perfect Bath Tub

With hundreds of different models available how can you make sure that the bath you buy is the right one for you? Below are five fool proof steps on helping you find the perfect tub.

 

STEP 1 – MEASURE YOUR SPACE

By determining how much space there is to house your bath tub you can effectively search for tubs that will best suit your needs. Carefully measure the area where you want your bath to go, consider the different types of bath tubs you would prefer and if your preferred installation is possible. By doing this prior to shopping you avoid being disappointed when you fall in love with the bath of your dreams. Knowing your restraints saves time when looking for baths, bath tubs can be bought online and most sites will give detailed specifications allowing you to make an informed decision. Freestanding tubs look great if there is enough free space and alcove tubs work well in tight spaces. If you’re going for luxury why not look into sunken bath installation? This type of tub can look brilliant in the right setting, if this seems like the right choice for you then consider how much space to leave around the area for a tilled ledge or storage.

 

STEP 2 – THINK ABOUT MATERIALS

Bath tubs come in a variety of different materials and each of these has their own set of pro’s and con’s. Whatever budget you’re trying to stick to make sure to do your research before purchasing to ensure you get the right tub for the job. Some commonly used materials currently on the market are as follows

 

  • ACRYLIC
  • ENAMELED CAST IRON
  • GEL COATED FIBERGLASS
  • CULTURED MARBLE
  • EUROPEAN STELL ENAMEL
  • NATURAL MATERIALS

Choose Bath Tubs

 

STEP 3 – TRY THE TUB OUT BEFORE YOU BUY

One of the most important factors of a bath tub is that is must be comfortable. Make sure that you and anybody else who will be using the bath will fit in it comfortably. Also think about how deep you want the bath to be and remember that larger baths need more water to fill them. If your buying a smaller bath choose something a bit deeper where as a longer baths don’t usually need the extra depth. If you have small children the depth and size of the bath you choose can be even more crucial.

 

STEP 4 –THINK CAREFULLY ABOUT HOW MUCH YOU SPEND

A new bath can be an expensive purchase but remember that if you decide to scrimp on cost it may lead to poor quality. If you go for a cheap, low quality option it may end up costing you more in the near future. By spending that bit extra you are guaranteed better quality so try and see your bath as an investment. Many different types of bath tubs can be bought online making it easier for you to shop around and compare prices. Most bathroom renovations are due to items such a baths, sinks and toilets being in a state of disrepair so it’s worth spending as much as you can afford so that your bath will stand the test of time.

 

STEP 5 – CONSIDER THOSE ADDED EXTRAS

If you’re a real water baby and enjoy nothing better than an hour long soak a couple of nights a week then think about added extras that will make your bathing experience even better. Spa and Jacuzzi baths tend to be more expensive than regular models but they can make your bath even more relaxing as well as help with muscular aches and pains. If you’re all about aesthetics then think about the use of decorative fittings. Stylish faucets can really add detail to your bathroom and enhance the design of your chosen tub.

 

Bath Tub

 

 

Save Moving Costs

Moving presents several costs. Before the moving truck and gasoline is involved, people have to consider the cost of packing materials, such as tape, boxes, styrofoam, pads and other materials. It may be worthwhile to request empty boxes from a major store that stocks their inventory at night as they are easy to pick up. After moving, people have to consider whether there are repairs to be made in the new home. Also, when people set up their new utility accounts, some come with a set-up fee. It makes sense that it’s important to save costs where possible.

If the total cost for moving furniture would cost less than buying new furniture, it makes sense to transport it. However, there are stores like DirectBuy where it may be more cost-efficient to sell the old furniture, avoid the cost of transporting it, and buy new furniture. The larger moving trucks are, the more expensive they become. Also, the additional weight on a moving truck means extra gasoline usage as well.

Saving costs where possible can help a person in a new city explore it by going out at night, making trips to the supermarket and trips to the nearby deli or coffee shop. It’s important to get acquainted with the new city or town to become adjusted. This may be difficult to do with little to no money. In addition, while people are starting new jobs, their pay may be delayed. Saving money while moving can help to cover expenses while waiting for a payday.

Care in the Kitchen: Knife Safety Tips for Cutting and Sharpening

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A sharp and sturdy knife is a food preparer’s best tool, yet cutlery items are dangerous implements when used improperly. Pay great attention to cutting technique and sharpening tips to avoid accidents and operate an efficient kitchen.

 

Free of Distraction

 

One wielding a knife needs to keep free of distraction and maintain concentration. Multitasking dilutes much-needed attention and leads to accidents and cut fingers. Respect the knife and give it 100% of your prepping attention.

 

Keep ‘Em Sharp

 

Contrary to intuition, a sharp knife is considerably safer than one with a dulled blade. Dull blades require more effort and sometimes slip off food surfaces. Contrarily, sharpened blades cut through surfaces with minimal effort and less opportunity to make a mistake.

 

Cut Away

 

Covered within the first hour of ‘Using a Blade 101,’ always cut away rather than toward yourself when using or sharpening a blade. If the blade is facing away from you, there’s no way it can inflict injury. Also, don’t ever use a body part to ‘check’ the sharpness of a blade. Keep blades sharp at all times and never use a body part in a testing process!

 

Not for That

 

Yes, knives could come in handy in a number of alternative situations; it could help tear open a piece of mail or accompany a Halloween prop. However, blades belong in the kitchen and reserved for preparing foods; don’t use sharp knives for other purposes.

 

Find the Right Knife

 

Technically, a sharp knife can address a wide range of foods, yet using the wrong knife for a task is asking for trouble. A number of knifes proliferate chef sets since different blades are used for distinct purposes. For example, a paring knife makes it much easier to dice fruits and vegetables. The task could be performed with a larger 8-inch knife, yet invites opportunity for making a mistake.

 

Let it Fall

 

Do not try to catch a dropped knife or attempt to save it from falling by pressing your body against the counter. Both scenarios lead to injury. Contrarily, a dropped knife only needs to be washed, which is not such a horrible consequence.

 

No Horsing Around

 

As obvious as not using on your body parts, do not use a knife to play with friends or family members or pretend you are a psycho killer. Please resist the temptation to act like a child (why children aren’t allowed near knives) and place yourself and others in unnecessary danger.

 

Different Sharpening

 

A number of methods sharpen a dull blade, including using a stone or sharpening knife. However, like using each blade, you’ll need to know how to address each kind of blade. For example, a serrated edge is manufactured at a different angle than other blades and requires a different sharpening technique. Find the right sharpening tools to complete the task and keep your kitchen safe.

 

The kitchen is a place to prepare delicious treats and not a destination for avoidable disasters. Mind the above knife tips and practice safety each time you’re in the kitchen.

 

Michael Perry is a busy dad and husband who likes to spend a lot of time in his kitchen. An avid cook, he enjoys writing about new techniques for aspiring chefs on the web. You can read his informative articles on many of today’s top websites.

 

 

 

Old Factory Candles are Perfect Holiday Gifts

OldFactory

One of my very favorite things about the holidays is being able to go out and stock up on all the exclusive seasonal scents that hit the shelves around Halloween. Cinnamon, Apple Pie, Pumpkin Spice, Winter Evergreen, the list goes on and on! Every year those scents and many more fly off the shelves in the form of items like Febreeze, Wall Plug-ins, Potpourri and more. People go nuts for them! My item of choice of course are the candles.  They’re decorative, pretty and unlike with spray scents you never have to worry about releasing too many fumes into the air when you light them.

To further my love for seasonal scents I was recently given the chance to work with Old Factory to review their wonderful scented candles! Old Factory is an Amazon Exclusive company, meaning you can’t find them anywhere else on earth but Amazon. Exclusively on Amazon, makes it sound so trendy, like an Amazon VIP or something. Just kidding but hey, at least you can say you have quality, exclusive scents that not everyone in Target or Bed Bath and Beyond has in their carts.

Each Candle from Old Factory is hand-poured, made of high quality soy and burn clean without leaving the sooty residue we all hate. They also burn evenly which is something that I think we can all appreciate. After all, who wants a candle that only burns in one place and leaves those hideous wax craters in the center? Not this girl, that’s for sure. And, being an ex candle maker I know a good candle when I find one, and these are little gems.  My favorite of the ones I got was the pumpkin spice … YUM!

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If you’re looking for a great alternative to those Target brands you find yourself buying each year then head over to Old Factory on Amazon and check out their line of scented candles. There are a dozen great scents to choose from and the best part is that they’re made in the US so you know exactly what you’re getting without the worry of outsourcing.

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Here’s a few helpful tips on how to get the most out of your candle experience:

1. We recommend burning your candles for 1 to 3 hours at a time, and then letting them cool an hour before burning again. We’ve found that this helps to extend the burning life of the candle.

2. We’ve carefully formulated these candles so they are pleasing to smell but not overpowering. These candles burn great individually in small rooms, or you can burn 2 at a time in a larger room. We’ve grouped the fragrances in each gift set to complement each other nicely so you can pair them up for a great-smelling combination.

3. A little bit of wick management will help your candles last longer. Make sure to keep the wick trimmed to a reasonable length. And if you notice that the wick is starting to lean against the side of the jar, use a spoon to carefully reposition the wick to the center of the jar while the wax is warm and pliable.

Connect with Old Factory  on Amazon!

OldFactoryScents

Now for the super fun part.. The Giveaway.     Enter to win a 3 pack of Old Factory Candles, valued at $25.00.    You choose the scent pack.

Open to US Only.   18+    Ends December 15th 2014 at 11:59pm CST.  Enter using the Giveaway Tools form below.

 

New but Old Living Room Furniture

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New but Old Living Room Furniture

Welcome to my living room.    This is my husbands favorite place in the whole house.  It is our gathering room, meeting room, most nights our dining room, TV room, and so much more.  And now, it is our memory room.   We recently sold our couch and took this couch and chair from Tony’s Mom, because she was moving into a rental unit we own and she didn’t want this much furniture.  I have been in love with this couch, chair and ottoman since she got it back in 1999/2000.  It is a very well built set and still has many years left in it.  It is hard for my hubby and I to find furniture we like as all the new stuff is so puffy and big and made poorly but priced highly.  So, this fits us, and our home just right.

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The brown recliner we have had for about 15 years, and we acquired it from his Grandma when she passed (RIP Agnes).  You see Nellie there taking a stand on the recliner, claiming it as her’s.  Then off to the side is a wooden rocker, that was Tony’s Dads and we acquired that when he passed as well.  (RIP Art).    The little table between the 2 chairs, is made from a hunk of wood Tony found, and it is super cool and one of a kind.  The 2 deer heads on the walls, are ours.  My first buck and one of Tony’s largest bucks.

I am not one of those girls who need or wants all new stuff.  I love old stuff, decorate with old, vintage, retro, lodge, etc., items and love it!    The only things in the room that are “new” or bought new was the rug (and that needs to be replaced again) and my other lamps.  Those lamps were bases I had from other lamps and I put new lodge style shades on them.   And no lodge home is complete without some fake trees to add that outdoor feel.   I add lights to mine for the holiday’s and some homemade ornies from some prim gals I know.

Our living room means the world to us, in more ways than the typical.  It has been the room for long discussion, tender moments, tears, laughs, secrets, a little lovin (hehehe) and so much more.  This living room, used to be a bedroom and we ripped out a wall between the living room (old one) and bedroom to make it bigger.  So, aside from all the hard work and money put into it, it holds a special place in our hearts because our family lives here in the memories we have made and the furniture we use.

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Do you have a room that is special to you?   Do you like old or new goodies for your home?  Have you kept something from a family member that has passed?  Share your thoughts with me.

Disclosure  ~  Thanks for visiting Living Smart Girl.  Some of the links in my posts are affiliate links, which means when clicked you help support Living Smart Girl so I can continue to bring you great posts :)    Every click is much appreciated!