Memorable Mother’s Day Present


Mother’s are anticipating the day of the year where their family comes together to be thankful for the one who raised them. This Mother’s Day give your favorite mama something that will make the occasion memorable. It doesn’t have to be expensive or a grand ordeal; just a little something to let them know you’re thinking of them and love them to pieces.

This year don’t just buy your loved one a bouquet, make it yourself. Will Roger’s Gardens is having a flower arrangement class on May 12th from 9am-11am. All ages are welcome so even the kiddos can get in on some arranging action. All the materials are provided to create one you can take home. Your mother will be shocked and awed when she learns you made that beautiful bouquet all by yourself.

Make a personalized book for mom on Love Book. Customize each page with illustrations, text, and characters. You choose the skin tone, hair and eyes to create your own mother and daughter or son characters. You can fill the pages with little cartoons and stories or quotes that remind you of her or tell your story. I challenge your mother not to cry.

A thoughtful gift that is priceless and meaningful is a gratitude jar. Decorate a mason jar of your choice and fill it with 365 slips of paper telling her why you are grateful for her as your mom. She will know you appreciate her every day of the year that she pulls out a slip to read before her day.

Buying her a plant doesn’t always have to mean flowers. Last year my mom wanted to decorate her garden for spring like she normally does every year but didn’t have the time or energy. So I brought the garden to her. I got her a few of her favorite potted plants like Boston Ferns and Elephant Ears. She was thrilled with her makeshift garden and it gave her house a little spruced curbside appeal before she could get around to completing her garden.

A precious gift that is a cute way to share your relationship is framed pebble art. If you are crafty then you can easily make your own with some hot glue and a few pebbles. The goal is to create portraiture out of them in the likeness of a mother and child. If you don’t have a crafting care in your body then you can find them on Etsy.

Mother’s don’t need a lot to be happy. All they need is a little affection and appreciation to make their day a little brighter. A little thoughtfulness goes a long way.

Effective House Warming Gifts

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The neighbors just moved in and you want to show a little friendly hospitality or your friend bought a new house and is throwing a party to break in their happy home. The go-to gift would be a beautiful Ivy but you know that they have a brown thumb as opposed to green; you’ve seen those flower beds struggle.  Here are a few items that those friends and neighbors will be overjoyed to receive and definitely will use.

A fancy bottle of olive oil. For those who are chefs at heart, this is the gift that keeps on giving. Since typically olive oil tends to be pricey most people don’t use an excess amount. A nice bottle will last them through several meals. A flavor infused oil may add a little spice to their life. Literally. A nice bottle can be purchased in any culinary boutique or a more widely known store such as Williams Sonoma.

A precious doormat. They could be worried about that freshly lain carpet so a place to wipe their guests’ shoes would be ideal. A cute doormat with a welcoming quote or phrase will be an inviting addition to their front porch. If they have animals then a “Wipe Your Paws” mat may be in order, or a “Come on In, We’re Not Ready” for the one who always claims they’ll be ready in five minutes but you both know they just got in the shower. You know who you are.

Freezer meals. This may not be the cleverest gift but it is extremely practical. If you’re anything like me then you LOVE food and always appreciate a good meal. Sometimes throwing a frozen meal in the oven or slow cooker is just so much less headache when the busy day is done. Moving into a new place is exhausting and any time spent not thinking about what’s for dinner is time well spent. Your friends will hold you dear to their heart once you’ve fed them.

A chips and salsa server. Who doesn’t love salsa? No one, I tell you. This is one thing I was really upset about looking back at my wedding registry after the wedding was long over. Why didn’t I register for one?! This is something that is perfect for the one who loves to entertain. So convenient and can be a multiuse server. It can hold chips, salsa, hummus, crackers, pickles, olives, and even celery for the weirdos.

Never go to a party empty-handed. I have always taken this advice from my mother and honestly, it has never let me down. These housewarming gifts are sure to be a centerpiece of the party. If not, then there’s always wine.

Multi-Use Guest Room

MB-0159-Blog-041718 coverA guest room is a great addition to have when family and friends come to call. The downside is that the room is only used occasionally, maybe a few times a year around the holidays and vacations. In order to maximize this space, there are quite a few options to turn that room into a multipurpose area.

Turn that room into an at home office. Set up a desk area that your guests can use while they enjoy their stay. A decorative comfy chair and a modern glowing lamp can set the ambiance for a more homey place to get all your duties accomplished. It will make your office feel less sterile and for once you and your companions may actually enjoy getting to sit at a desk. Choose a full bed in place of a queen or king if the space is especially tight.

A guest area can also double as a den or family room. A day bed can be a place for sleepovers or a lounge spot to gather the family around for movie night. Find a lifted day bed with deep drawers for extra storage underneath, which can hold board games and toys. The use of smaller furniture such as a daybed, side tables, chest of drawers will stretch the space to go further.

Remember the old comedic shows when a person rented a cramped efficiency and the whole scene was the character trying to figure out how to pull out their Murphy bed from the wall? Well, I’m not saying it’s for everyone but Murphy beds are back in style. There are many cute beds that tuck away easily when you are finished with them and need the extra room. The best part is that the back of the bed just looks like another part of the wall.

When we work hard for our square footage at the end of the day we want to get as much use out of each inch as possible. Creating multipurpose spaces can help actualize that to help form a functional home.

Tax Day Freebie Guide

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Nearing the end of tax season can be stressful but the good news is that it’s almost over and we can breathe easy for another year. With the end in sight, we can celebrate on April 17th with these free treats and super deals.

Catch a Great American Cookie. On tax day participating Great American Cookie offers one Cookies and Cream or chocolate chip cookie per each customer. After your cookie, Cinnabon is giving away two gratis Cinnabon bites. Treat yourself to a tax job well done.

Need something a little stronger after you’ve filed? Chili’s offers $5 Presidente margaritas and pineapple margaritas for $6. Of course, you must be 21 and over to participate in this frozen freebie. Applebee’s has Dollarita, which is $1 margaritas during the month of April so you can afford to relax all month. Toast to tax day.

Now to get organized for Spring and leave all that paperwork behind. Go to Office Depot, Office Max. or Staples and get up to 5 pounds of paper shredded for free. Now you can shred those tax papers from over 3 years ago.

Moving on to lunch. At Schlotzky’s, if you buy a bag of chips and 32-ounce drink then you will receive a free sandwich. That’s a pretty decent price for a tasty meal. If sandwiches aren’t your style then Sonic has half-priced cheeseburgers ALL day.

For dinner, you can feed the entire family with Papa Murphy’s pizza. For their tax day promotional they are giving 50% off online orders. Use the code SAVE50P to make that refund money stretch.

To relieve the leftover stress, HydroMasage at Planet Fitness is giving you a free Hydrotherapy massage treatment. The perfect finale to an anxious season. Offer lasts through April 22nd.

You deserve all of this and more so take advantage of these great deals while supplies last.

Cleaning Out Your Closet

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Spring is now upon us, the season of rebirth and renewal. To keep in the spirit with the moment it’s a good time to clean out your closet literally and not metaphorically. Although if clearing old junk from your closet helps you emotionally and mentally then maybe metaphorically will work too. I am here to be your closet rebirth guide.

First remove all the clothes in the closet. For each item ask yourself these questions to aid you in deciding whether to get rid of it or not. Does it fit? Is it damaged? Have I worn this within the past 12 months? Would I buy it today if I saw it in a store? These are great indicators if you should donate the piece. This system can also be used when contemplating the worth of shoes. Then you can separate them into discard or sell piles.

Get new hangers that match so that everything looks uniform and straight. You will be more likely to wear an item if you can see them all clearly and don’t have to dig around in the closet to the deepest abyss for an outfit.

Raise your bed with a bed riser. This is a great place to store unused clothes for the season. If it is spring and your closet is full of winter’s thick coats and boots then under the bed riser in plastic tubs would be a choice hiding spot.

Get matching wicker or canvas baskets to organize the non-clothing things in the bottom of your closet. These can go back in the bottom or on the top shelf. These can also be tagged to easily be able to see what the baskets contain for your convenience. That way it hides your clutter and brings order to the mess at the same time.

Use a hanger with shower curtain rings to hang scarves, camisoles, tank tops, ties, hats or belts. This way you can keep them all in one place and lessen the chance of losing them. You will also be able to see them all at once and re-hang them with ease.

If you cleared out tons of old clothing but your tiny closet still is busting out like the Koolaid man through a concrete wall then a simple hack is to use S hooks or soda can tabs to hang multiple garments so they will stack vertically instead or squishing them inside to side. You can take this one step further by grouping them in colors, season or types.

The rebirth of the closet is one of the most beautiful sights that spring cleaning brings.

Smart Ways to Pack for a Move

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Moving can be stressful. There is so much to organize and pack before you go from one house to your new home. It is the moment when you realize that you have collected so much over the years that it’s starting to look like an episode of Storage Wars in your garage. “Overwhelming” is a good word for the whole debacle.  Relax. Just follow these steps and you’ll be an organizational moving pro in no time.

Make a folder and keep all your important moving documents in it before you leave. These can range from contracts, receipts, moving quotes, and leasing or rental agreements. That way in case of emergency you are covered.

Collects the necessary supplies beforehand. Get your scissors, tape, permanent marker for labeling, bubble wrap, and packing paper like old newspapers ahead of time. Don’t forget boxes. Your local grocery, clothing, and coffee shops will usually save you some if you ask nicely.

The first few days before moving pack things you use the least and save the items you use most for the end. Now pack your “first-night” box at once. These will be personal items you will need on your first night in your new space. These may be a toothbrush, clothing, towels, soap, you name it, whatever you think you need that evening to have an easy transition into the next day. Believe me, this will go much better for you if you are not searching for toilet paper in 10 boxes marked “bathroom” right after guzzling a liter of water.

Several weeks before even thinking about packing you can go through all your junk. This is a perfect time to get rid of old things you have collected and don’t use. You don’t want your new place to be a museum of untouched knick-knacks. Start donating, selling, and giving away the stuff that you haven’t used in 6 months. Not to mention, do you really want to go through the trouble of packing junk just to unpack it later and store it forever? Make a point to start over fresh for your new place. Back to packing.

You will put the heaviest articles in small boxes. I’ve made this mistake several times. Often I have filled a huge box to the brim with books to which my husband was unamused. You will find heavy items are much easier to carry in small packages and your back will be grateful.

This one is a given but we will mention it anyways. Organize each box according to room such as living room, guest room, kitchen, bathroom etc. Then you can get fancy with a subcategory like silverware, bedding, summer clothes, or picture frames.

You will have no part of Storage Wars once you’ve completed this ultimate packing checklist.

How to Build Credit

The whole point of credit is to show that you are a responsible adult who will be able to pay a lender back when applying for a loan. Applying for a loan is especially difficult if you do not have credit. It is a good idea to start building credit at a young age. The sooner, the better. It is something that is definitely not taught in school but it should be. This information would have been so much more helpful than geometry in my personal opinion. You will need a few nuggets of advice first before you start your financial journey.



Get a credit card. There is a lot of negativity associated with credit cards and I understand. They are a quick way to debt before you realize it. Despite this, they are also a good way to build credit. The trick is to start off buying small things like gas and then paying it off completely each month. It will show the lenders that you are great at paying back debts. It’s important that you use the credit card every month, not that you have it and it sits in a drawer otherwise it defeats the purpose of having it.



Once you have one credit card, then get another. One line of credit is okay but two are amazing. This can be something small like a clothing store credit card. Get your work clothes from the store and pay it off every month as well. Different lines of credit create variety in your hypothetical portfolio.



Get a small loan. This can be as simple as a student loan. Paying back a little loan will open the doors for you to qualify for large loans such as a loan for a car or house. It may even be beneficial to take out a menial loan just to pay it back almost immediately. This is a quick way to build credit fast if you’re in desperate need of good credit.



Get something in your name. Whether it is a gas bill or auto insurance, a bill with your name on it signifies you have been paying someone consistently. Rent, utilities, and phone bills are all included in helping your credit score grow.



Credit building can be intimidating. Don’t let the details bog you down. Start with these few simple tricks and you will have an amazing credit score in no time.



Interested in building your credit to buy or invest in a home?
Tom Davies with Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation
can guide you to methods or resources that will work best for growing YOUR credit score.

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Prepare Yourselves for DST

The dreaded Daylight Savings Time where we lose an hour of sleep instead of gaining one. This can really affect you and members of your home. Fortunately, this year the change comes on a weekend instead of a workday. For those that work the weekend, I sympathize. It is important to prepare in advance so that we can minimize feelings of jet lag, irritability, and sleep deprivation. Follow this advice if you have experienced urges in past DST’s to chug a Trenta iced coffee then immediately purchase another, set your husband’s Xbox on fire, or “accidentally nap for 6 hours” out of the day.


Start sleeping earlier. A few days before the big change start going to bed 30 minutes earlier. This will help your body adjust to the change and help you fall asleep faster.



Set your home clocks mid Saturday. This will trick your brain into already thinking it’s later. Then you can eat dinner earlier and prepare for bed at an earlier time.


Work out. Early in the day, do a high intensity work out. Releasing energy will tire you for later and relieve stress levels to make sleep easier. Don’t work out late in the evening because that will make it harder to sleep from all the adrenaline coursing through you.



Turn out the lights. We are perceptive to even the smallest amount of light. Melatonin is our natural sleep hormone that is produced when it is dark to aid in the sleep cycle. 30 Minutes before bed turn out all light and electronics. This will especially help kids adjust easier to the new schedule.


Follow routine. Sticking to a routine is imperative to your evening. Good evening routine whether children or adults will pay off. Doing the same thing every nigh before bed will signal your brain that rest is near. These can be simple things such as reading, shower or baths, brushing your teeth and putting on pajamas.



Avoid caffeine, alcohol and nicotine. This may seem obvious but many still don’t follow this sound advice. Stop any energizing beverages after 4pm. There is a common misconception that alcohol helps you sleep. While it may get you to sleep faster, it keeps you from entering REM stage for extended periods of time. This means you are getting much less good and deep sleep and much more light sleep.


DST doesn’t have to be a struggle every year. The older I get the more I need my beauty sleep as opposed to my college days when I could sleep for a few hours before an exam and still pass. Don’t feel like that college student this year. You are a mature adult individual who can handle DST now. I believe in you.










Maintenance of the Month

This winter has been brutal. One can only imagine what their house is feeling during the winter months. There are some monthly maintenance items that you can check off the list in order to lessen your poor home’s burden. A few little up keeps can help your home work and look its best despite the dreary weather.


One thing you can do to help your air circulation is remove your vents to vacuum the dust from them. Just like you remove lint from the dryer, you remove dust from the vents to promote clean air and keep your systems from working harder than they should have to.


Grouting the floors, showers, and back splashes. I’m sure it has been a cool minute since those cracks have been updated. After years, grout can slowly wear away and collect stains so a new grout job will refresh its look. If your grout is newer then it may be a good idea to give it a scrub down.


Clean out the gutters. If the seasonal sludge has blocked up your gutters, it may be a good time to clean them. Investing in gutter guards may save you some time and effort in the future.



For safety purposes, check your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors for dead batteries and if they are properly working. “This Is Us” fans will know the importance of this crucial step. Nobody wants another faulty slow cooker situation.



Keep your HVAC cleaned up. Replace the filters on it as well as schedule a routine maintenance appointment for it. It could save you money in the future to do small things to keep it running smoothly now.


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Check for rotting wood. The frame of your house is an important structure that needs attention just like any part of the house. Check for rotting wooden beams in the attic, porch, and indoor frame. Have them replaced as soon as you can if they are eaten by termites or moisture.

These are just a few things you can start with now before full blown Spring cleaning commences. A few things each month will keep your home on the right track to a clean, safe and efficient home.





Life Hacks for Energy Conservation

Energy conservation in the home is often overlooked when it comes to budgeting. When done the right way it can be an effective tool to help you unexpectedly save in everyday finances. Here are a few of our recommendations to get you started in cutting those energy costs.



To start small you can invest in energy efficient appliances. This can mean replacing your old washer, dryer, or dishwasher with new energy efficient lean and green machines. Instead of replacing the dryer, you can at least remove the lint from the lint trap every time you dry a load of clothes. A full trap can use up to 30% more energy than an empty one. Two or more loads in a row can also take advantage of an already heated dryer.


pexels-photo-256307.jpegIf that’s a little out of your price range at the moment, another significant step is to replace your light bulbs. Most labels at the office or home supply store can tell you which are the bulbs that will last you for several years and the most energy friendly. They usually consist of LED or CFL bulbs. Don’t forget the outdoor lights as well. It may be a small step but you’ll notice a great change on your bill.



Saving on water can be as simple as changing your shower head. On average it takes a shower 20 seconds to release a gallon of water. Choose a new shower head that flows about 2.5 gallons per minute. If you reduce the temperature of your water by 10 degrees then you can save an additional 3-5% in energy costs.



A little caulk never hurt anyone. Windows and frame caulk can crack over the years leaving your house drafty. A fresh round of caulk is a great way to seal out the draft. This will prevent heat and air conditioning loss thus saving you dollars in the long run.


Replacing the air filters consistently and cleaning the heater filters is another way to lower your out of pocket expenses over time. As well as replacing the thermostat with a programmable one so that when you’re away you can set the temperature to 7 degrees lower or higher since you don’t need your home to be warm or cold if you are not in it.

We hope that some of these really drive home some ideas to more energy consciousness and financial savings. “Why would I want to save money?” Said no one ever.



Upcoming Event: 2/17/18 – Free Homeowner’s Q+A Sessions – FB Event Link

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