Style Your Home With These Insider Designer Tips

Want a new look for your home but don’t know where to start? Home styling can be a pain in the neck, but with these insider tips, your life is about to get a whole lot easier.

1. Go for odd numbers 

Always accessorize with an odd number of objects. The trick is to make your decor look styled, but not too perfect. The coffee table look best with three groups of accessories on top.

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2. Layer rugs

Here is a little designer secret, try layering two rugs together for a bohemian vibe, or layer a larger plain rug directly under a smaller patterned one. It will give your space instant designer cred.

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3. Books as decor

If it’s in your budget, splurge on books with beautiful covers for their aesthetic value. Treat them like accessories and stack them on tables.

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4. Try diagonal seating

If you have a particularly large or long and narrow space in your home, try placing your furniture diagonally. It visually fills out the large space and keeps things looking fresh and unique.

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5. Think outside the picture

Create a gallery with objects other than pictures frames. Visit your local flea market and vintage stores for trays, mirrors or plates and place them onto your wall.

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6. Say bye to symmetry

For a major boost in style, mix and match your dining table chairs, sofa or place different night stands on either side of your bed.

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7. Add texture with textiles

Add dimension to a room with textiles in different textures. For example, a textured blanket, like a giant fur on a sequined Moroccan wedding blanket.

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8. Balance vignettes with color 

When accessorizing small vignettes, try objects with different textures and sizes, and always stick to one color palette. The reoccurring colors will tie the different decorative accents together to create one cohesive vignette.

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9. Be bold with wall color

Designers like to get creative with wall colors and they are not afraid to be bold. Deep shades are an inexpensive way to make any space striking. Depends on your preference and the theme of your room, but don’t be afraid to try green, yellow, orange or even red.

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Gingerbread Men Cookie Recipe

What is a better way to spend a cold crisp day wrapped in your blankie eating gingerbread men cookies and sipping on hot chocolate? Gingerbread men are cute as can be and making them is a great family activity you can enjoy with kids. Be prepared to get your hands dirty with this recipe.

Ingredients:

- 3 cups flour

- 2 teaspoons McCormick® Ginger, Ground

1 teaspoon McCormick® Cinnamon, Ground    

- 1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon McCormick® Nutmeg, Ground

- 1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 cup molasses

1 egg

1 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract

Directions

  1. Mix flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and salt in large bowl. Set aside. Beat butter and brown sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add molasses, egg and vanilla;mix well. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until well mixed. Press dough into a thick flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness on lightly floured work surface. Cut into gingerbread men shapes with 5-inch cookie cutter. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets.
  3. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges of cookies are set and just begin to brown. Cool on baking sheets 1 to 2 minutes. Remove to wire racks; cool completely. Decorate cooled cookies as desired. Store cookies in airtight container up to 5 days.

Tip: If desired, decorate your gingerbread men with raisins, currants or cinnamon red hot candies for eyes and buttons. Or, colored icing onto cookies.

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Photo Credit: Freshbabyshowers

Must Have Backpacks

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These two strapping beauties are one of the trendiest accessories you can own this season! They are the perfect way to carry off personal style. They go with everything from denim, tailoring to skirt. A must have in every girl’s wardrobe.

15 ways to wear a leather jacket this Fall

A great leather jacket can make a serious dent in your bank account, but it is also an essential item and has the ability to transform your wardrobe. If you are willing to invest in a good one, you won’t regret it. We have rounded up 15 reasons to justify the idea of spending so much on a single item. Most importantly, 15 ways to wear a leather jacket after your purchase.

1. Wear it with layering pieces

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2. Take it from Rachel Zoe, Wear your leather with silk

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3. Chic like Miranda, Wear it with stripes 

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4. Causal like Jen, try it with black skinny jeans 

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5. Katie Holmes is sporting hers with a causal t-shirt

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6. Sexy like a Victoria’s Secret model, wear yours with boots like Rosie 

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7. Kim K approved! Wear it with sneakers

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8. Who wouldn’t raid Chanel Iman’s closet? Pair your leather jacket with any LBD 

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9. Make a statement like Jessica Alba, wear it with plaid.

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10. Fit for a diva like Mariah, leather jacket with pencil skirt 

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11. Cute like J.Law, rock your leather jacket with lace 

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12. Wear it with knit sweater

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13. Can’t get enough of Miranda, wear it with distressed denim

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14. Dress like an editor, wear it with printed skirt like Alexa Chung 

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15. Don’t forget your statement accessories 

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5 Spring 2015 Trends To Wear!

Over the last 4 weeks, we have seen many pieces and trend come down the runways in Paris, Milan, London and New York.  While the exact items haven’t even made it into production yet,  we have to wait 6 months until we can get our hands on them. However, we can use these trends as inspiration to do some current – season shopping. There are plenty in the market right now that echos the Spring 2015 trends. Be a fashion leader and stay one step ahead of everyone else.

 

Yes To Gingham

This classic check fabric appeared in the Spring collections by Altuzarra, Oscar de la Renta and Diane Von Furstenberg. For Fall, try to go for a darker shade of gingham in black, navy and brown.

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Timo Weiland ginham-front sweater, $295, available at Barneys New York

Bright Me Up 

Shiny fabric and rainbow brights dominated the runway, from Jeremy Scott to Marc Jacobs. Brights are usually reserved for Spring, but you can shop for a similar piece for Fall as a little pick-me-up on a gloomy cold day.

MTI1MDgxNTI5NDAyNTg1MDU4Karla Spetic Knit Sweater, $270, available at Net-a-Porter

Candy – Colored Fur

As seen in Coach, Giamba and more, fur seems to be more appropriate for Fall rather than Spring, therefore, we can totally rock this trend right now.

MTI1MDgwNTgzNzA0NDYzMzcwFairy Floss faux fur coat, $88, available at nastygal

All In Denim

Head-to-toe denim showed up on the runway at Gucci, Stella McCartney and many more. Denim never goes out of style and they are appropriate for any season, you can’t go wrong by investing in a good quality piece.

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Frame Denim Le High skinny overalls, $299, available at Nordstrom 

Sporty Gal

Even if you are not into sport, you will probably find yourself dressing like one from time to time, they can be pretty comfortable on a causal day. Sporty details – from performance inspired fabrications like mesh to athletic-inspired stipes and trims, were important elements at Alexander Wang, Rag & Bone and more. The activewear trend is going pretty strong on the market right now, you can find plenty of sporty fashion at the moment.

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Combined Top, $59, available at Zara 

How To Get Healthy Hair

Hair is made of protein, so keeping a healthy diet and good hygiene is an essential part of maintaining luscious locks. Getting the hair you want is fairly easy with the right kind of steps.

Blow dry 101 

Always set your dryer at the warm setting and hold it 6 to 8 inches from your hair. Be sure to point the hair flow down to prevent frizz.

Long locks

Taking care of longer tresses requires frequent trims, it is recommended that every 6 to 8 weeks we are due for a trim. Condition the ends every other day to prevent dry out.

Naturally curly

Revive your curls with dry shampoo. Simply spritz your hair and run your fingers through as if you were pulling it into a ponytail.

Brush for healthy hair

Use a natural – bristle brush, it is softer and more flexible, which means less damage to your hair.

Avoid breakage 

Your hair is most fragile when wet, so avoid excessive combing and brushing until its nearly dry, and remember to keep your dryer at a good distance.

Fight frizz

After conditioning, rinse your hair with cold water. Cold water helps seal cuticle, making it harder for moisture to enter the hair follicle, which can cause frizz.

Straight hair

If you straighten your hair, start with an anti-frizz serum to create a moisture barrier and add a heat protectant to prevent your strands from being damaged during heat styling.

Pump up the volume

spritz a volumizing spray at your roots when your hair is dry, then flip your hair over and blow-dry. Finally, gently smooth out any stray strands with a brush.

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How To Lose Weight: Fast, Easy Tips

If you are trying to lose weight, here are some useful tips to help you in your weight lose process

1. After breakfast, stick to water. For breakfast, go ahead and drink orange juice, but for the rest of the day, focus on water and skip juice and soda.

2. Eat three fewer bites of your meal. One less treat a day, or one less orange juice. Doing any of these can save you about 100 calories a day.

3. Watch one less hour of tv. Study found that the more people watch tv, the more often they eat and the more they eat overall.

4. Wash something thoroughly once a week. Whether it’s the floor, windows in your house, or your car, a 150-pound person will burn about 4 calories for every minute spend cleaning. Scrub for 30 minutes and you could work off about 120 calories.

5. Wait until your stomach rumbles before you reach for food. Sometimes we eat out of boredom, nervousness, frustration or habit. If you are hankering for a specific food, it’s most likely a craving, not hunger. Find other ways to relieve your boredom and tame stress.

6. Sniff a banana, apple or peppermint when you feel hungry. Studies have found that the more frequently people sniffed, the less hungry they were and the more weight they lost. One theory is that sniffing tricks the brain into believing you are actually eating it.

7. Eat in front of the mirror. One study found that eating in front of the mirror slashed the amount people ate by nearly one-third.

8. Spend 10 minutes a day walking up and down the stairs. The Center for Disease Control says that’s all it takes to help you lose as much as 10 pounds a year. (assuming you don’t start eating more).

9. you will lose weight and fat if you walk 45 minutes a day. While walking 30 minutes a day is enough to prevent weight gain, exercise beyond 30 minutes result in weight and fat loss. 45 minutes daily walk will help you lose 30 pounds in a year.

10. Walk before dinner and you will cut calories AND your appetite. In a study of 10 obese women conducted at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, 20 minutes of walking reduced appetite and increased sensations of fullness as effectively as a light meal.

11. Brush your teeth after every meal, especially dinner. That clean, minty freshness will serve as a cue to your brain and body that mealtime is over.

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Photo credit: stans-songs

Lawn Maintenance In Winter

With Winter just around the corner, lawn care doesn’t quite end during the months long season, here are some considerations and concerns that we should be aware of even in Winter.

  • Clean it up. It is extremely important not to leave debris, leaves, or toys out on the lawn. These things can smother the grass, creating disease condition, and invite insects, mice and other damaging pests
  • Lower the height of your mower by a notch or two (.5″ – 1.0″) the last couple of times you mow. Excessively long grass can smother itself, cause disease, and is at risk of damage from freezing and thawing conditions
  • Monitor weather conditions. Turf is very resilient and can tolerate an extreme winter but certain conditions can be harmful in the long term. It might be worthwhile to chip away a little exposed ice in a low spot if you know a winter storm or deep freeze is approaching.
  • Be aware of traffic. Under snow cover, or exposed to the elements, dormant grass will tolerate a moderate amount of traffic but a heavily worn path will be slower to green up in the spring and cause compaction.

Winter is unpredictable and may put your lawn through some harsh and extreme conditions. The best thing to do is make sure the grass has hardened off, monitor the weather, and focus on keeping your sidewalks clear.

LawnPhoto Credit: CCLawn

Simple DIY Halloween Decor

Halloween is approaching very quickly, which means it is time to get in the mood. Halloween is a great time for decorating and with these simple DIY decor ideas, you don’t need to spend a fortune to make your home look scary and fun.

Hanging Ghosts:

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You will need: Styrofoam balls, black craft paint, small paint brush, cheesecloth, eye screws, glue, scissors

1. Insert your eye screw into the top of each styrofoam balls using your glue. Let it dry

2. Use your black craft paint to paint ghost eyes on each styrofoam balls. Let the paint dry

3. Take your cheesecloth and place them over top of styrofoam balls. The length depends on how long you want your decor hanging.

4. Using scissors, cut ‘rips’in the cheesecloth. Take each shred in your hand and stretch it down, this will create a tattered look in the cheesecloth

 

Crafty Pumpkins

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This one is great for decorating your porch, stairs, patio, coffee tables or fireplace mantel.

You will need: Pumpkin, ribbon, buttons (black), hot glue guns, sharpie, scissors

1. Write a word, or phrase across the pumpkin

2. Use hot glue guns to glue buttons on top of the word or phrase

3. Paint the stem black (you may skip this step if you wish)

4. Wait for the paint to dry

5. cut ribbon the length of your pumpkin

6. Tie it in a bow around the stem. Secure it with hot glue

 

Tin Can Luminaries 

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You will Need: Empty tin can (large coffee can), sharpie or marker in the same color as your paint, hammer, large nail, paint, paint brush, candles, towel

1. Fill the tin can with water and place it in the freezer, wait until the water is completely frozen, then remove can from freezer

2. Using your marker, draw whatever word or image onto the tin can. Keep the design simple. (design idea: outline of a cat, a witch’s hat, or words like boo, or Happy Halloween)

3. Place your tin can on a folded towel

4. Then, use the hammer and nail to puncture the design in the can

5. When you are done punching the holes, place the can under hot running water to melt the ice

6. Paint the can, once the paint is dry, you will probably have to use a toothpick and poke some of the holes through on the can since the paint can clog them up

7. Place the candles inside the can

Tip: You can also puncture one hole on either side of the tin can, attach a piece of wire, and then hang the luminaries.

 

Glowing Ghouls

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These glowing ghosts are really easy to make, you may draw a ghost or alien. Make as many as you want and once the light goes out, you will really spook up the place. place them on the tree branches in your front/back yard.

You will need: Green glow sticks, white balloons, black marker

1. Snap a glow stick and place inside the white balloon

2. Inflate the balloon and tie close

3. Draw a face with your black marker on the balloon

 

Yard Tombstones

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You will need: sheets of approx 5cm x 30cm x 91cm styrofoam sheet – one sheet will make 2 tombstones, bread knife, pairing knife, permanent marker, black spray paint, dark grey and white acrylic paint, a 6 or 7 cm paint brush

1. Draw the outline of the tombstone onto your styrofoam sheet, to help with the curve, use a large round bucket lid

2. Cut the tombstone shape out of the foam following the outline you have drawn. Use the bread knife to do this and it is best to do it outside as it will leave a mess

3. Draw your design on your tombstone. Draw simple images such as crosses, skulls or RIP

4. Once you are happy with the drawing, carve the design into the surface with your pairing knife. You simply scratch the surface of your sketched lines with the tip of the knife and gradually carve out grooves to a depth of 2-3 cm. Hole your knife at an angle for best result

5. The final stages is the paint your tombstone, first, use black spray paint to cover the entire surface, use long even strokes from different direction to ensure even coverage. Allow the paint to dry before moving on

6. To create a realistic stone effect, the next step is to dry brush the black surface with acrylic paint, start by applying a thin coat of grey paint with the 6cm paint brush. Careful not to get the paint into the carve design. Allow this coat to dry

7. To add more depth to the paint effect, apply a second dry brush coat in the same way, but this time, use a mixture of dark grey and white acrylic paint. Allow this coat to dry completely

8. Apply a third and final coat in white acrylic paint using the same technique as before. Adding this multiple layers will create very realistic granite appearance. Allow your coat to dry and your tombstone is ready to display

Tip: To position your tombstone outside, insert bamboo or metal skewers into the tombstone and stick them securely into the ground, place your tombstone close together at uneven angles to replicate an ancient graveyard effect.

Fall Outfit Ideas

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With the weather slowly cooling down, Fall is one of the most stylish season of the year. Fashionistas love to play around with style and get extremely creative with different garments. Feel free to share some of your outfit ideas for work and the weekend. From trench coat, wrap around to bomber jacket, what is your choice of the season?