Interesting And Doable Renovation Projects For Your New Home

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Moving into your new home? If you have a fixer-upper in your hands, you may be pretty excited at the renovation possibilities waiting for you once you move in. There’s nothing like being able to put your own personal stamp on your home, especially if by doing so, you make these spaces look better and increase the value of your home at the same time. If you are planning on making some changes to your new home once you move in, whether big or small, here are some ideas to get you started.

Front Door Replacement

This project will barely make a dent in your renovation budget but can give you up to 90% return on costs. A new door painted in fresh, crisp white or any vibrant color is an instant boost to your curb appeal. Popular options for 2017 include doors with stone veneers and secure steel doors. If you have any DIY experience you can easily install one yourself or have a professional do the installation for you.

Hardwood Floors

hardwood floor

If you are moving into a house with drab and tacky wall-to-wall carpeting, you can switch to hardwood for a classier look and projected returns on renovation costs for up to 91%. Do not spring for laminate or engineered wood options since these are not as hardy as the real thing and therefore will not last long. Oak is a favorite among many home buyers, which can be a big advantage if you want to keep your resale options open. Hardwood floor replacements are not for every home, however. They are suitable for flooring that are cost-effective to replace, such as vinyl flooring or carpeting. Stone or tile flooring, for example, give character to any room and are costlier to replace so you may be better off doing renovations in other areas of the house.

Minor Kitchen Remodel

If you are already living in the house, you can still give your kitchen a decent makeover. A basic renovation with kitchen resurfacing, replacement of countertops and cabinet doors and installation of energy-efficient appliances can give your kitchen a total facelift in a matter of days. This is ideal if your kitchen has outdated appliances and you want to make exterior changes that will not require too much time.

Energy-Efficient Windows

Traditional windows are notoriously bad at temperature regulation and they may have lost their visual appeal years ago. If your new home stills sports drafty single-pane windows, it is time to make the switch to energy-efficient panels that are lighter, easier on the eyes, and designed to increase your home’s energy efficiency. Energy Star-rated windows can save up to $500 in heating costs annually. With the installation of energy efficient window panels, you can expect to recoup costs by up to 90%.

Bathroom Remodel or Addition

The number of bathrooms in a house figures significantly in its value. This is why a bathroom remodel or addition is a great idea if you want to increase your home value and recoup a large portion of the costs down the road. According to HGTV, homeowners can recoup up to 130% of costs with a single bathroom addition. Bathroom additions are perfect if you have extra rooms or extra spaces that are large enough for a simple bathroom or half-bath, which requires at least 18 square feet of space. Wary about costs ballooning out of control? You can opt for generic bathroom fixtures and accessories to avoid spending too much on this project.Bathroom Remodel

Deck Additions

Deck additions are a great option especially if your family is already living in the house. Since this is an outdoor project, there is minimal interference with daily activities done indoors. Deck additions make your yard more appealing and utilize otherwise unused and wasted space. And with more and more families opting for staycations, having a deck makes your home the perfect place to unwind, relax,and even entertain friends during the holidays. According to HGTV, homeowners who opt for a deck in the backyard can recoup their building costs by up to 90%. The good thing is that costs can vary widely depending on the size of the space, the type of deck you want and the kind of materials you need. Installing a deck, therefore, does not automatically mean that this project is going to burn a hole through your wallet. Homeowners with DIY experience can save on costs by building parts or the entire deck themselves. You can also pair up with a professional if you want to cut on the construction costs if you are not too confident about doing the entire work yourself.

Home renovations can be fun and exciting. They can also be financially practical, given that you can increase your house’s resale value with each project. Start with these ideas today and see how each of these can transform your home.

Hosting A Baby-Themed Home Party

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Hosting a Home Party

Presentation Parties for Direct Sales Events

Whether you are hosting a Pampered Chef event, a Silpada jewelry showcase, a CAbi trunk show or an Arbonne anti-aging skin care class, there are many similarities that can help you host your own event with panache.

Follow the suggestions below and not only will your guests have a fun evening, but you could earn some fantastic hostess benefits too!


Deciding to Host

In order to host an event at your home and invite your friends to shop, you must feel strongly about the company or the products that will be offered.

Take the time to sample enough products so that you can provide compelling testimony supporting the company’s benefits.

A good independent consultant will provide you with a wide cross-section of sample products. If the consultant is leery to do so, you may want to look at supporting a different company.

Select a day and time that will ensure the best attendance for your event. If you know lots of working women, a weekend or evening event is generally more successful.

However, don’t discount a shorter class at a restaurant over lunch or with appetizers and drinks immediately following work.

If you are inviting stay-at-home moms, schedule your event during the school day or take advantage of Dad’s babysitting by planning the class for a weekday evening.

Most at-home parties only require one or two rooms, so don’t feel you must have your entire home cleaned, sanitized and repainted. Take care of two rooms plus the bathroom, and call it a day!

If you need to, hire a carpet cleaning company to come through your home and take care of any potential stains or dirty floors.

Keep any food and beverage setups to a minimum. A direct selling consultant does not want the class to be overshadowed by your catered, Martha Stewart-esque delicacies.

Plus, you don’t want to make your friends scared to host their own events!



Although you may want to create your own hand-stamped or computer-generated invitation, follow the lead and advice of your independent consultant.

She has been trained in the protocol that is most successful with her specific organization, so defer to her guidelines.

However, you can help significantly by providing your guest list, (complete with names, email address, home address and phone number), to the consultant at least three weeks prior to the event.

Generally this will give her enough time to send out the invitations and follow up with a phone call to confirm attendance. You can help the process by telling your friends about the fun event you’re hosting, and to expect the invitation shortly.

Experts feel that it takes three invitations to the same event to garner the highest acceptance rate.

This statement does not mean your friends don’t like you or that they don’t want to attend your class. It just is an indication that everyone is busy and that your event is not yet on their radar.

Building Bonds Between Babies & Seniors

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When you’re expecting a new child into your household, it can be a huge milestone as a family, adding in a new member. If you happen to have elderly parents or family members who are involved in your household, it’s even more of a momentous occasion, as you’re able to have a large variety of family interactions that can help build meaningful, lasting relationships and bonds between family members, both new and old.

A new life can bring joy and happiness to all family members, not just immediate ones. When seniors are involved with the lives and upbringing of their grandchildren, they are more likely to be happier and live more fulfilling lives on their own. There have been numerous studies that show that seniors who are active in the lives and activities of their families are leading more enjoyable lives that are truly letting them be content. After a lifetime of looking after others, raising their own family, and being at the head of family-related matters, looking down at a new generation brings an immense sense of pride and accomplishment. Whether you are involved with your senior parents at your own house, or through a senior care agency, bringing them to be involved with your baby is important!

It’s absolutely vital when bringing a new child into this world that you involve the grandparents if possible. Creating relationships and allowing grandparents to interact with the child will bring peace and happiness to not only yourself, but the grandparents, and eventually, the young child as well. Building strong, lasting bonds with different generations is a great foundation for building a healthy, vibrant family. There are a variety of activities that you can pursue with seniors that involve children that can help them grow and flourish and lead to great bonds.

Our top choices for activities between babies and seniors include:

  1. Day Out At The Park – One of the easiest, most relaxing activities for both a senior and a child include heading out to the park to take advantage of a beautiful day. Regardless of any activities you may have planned at the park, simply walking around and being outdoors is a great bonding experience, regardless of the age. Grab a few friends, and their babies too, and make it a group outing!
  2. Relaxing At Home – An alternative to heading out to the park, if you aren’t up for going out into a potentially crowded area, you may want to just hang out at home and relax as a family. Depending on the age of the seniors, and mental and physical conditions, this may be the better choice than heading out to the park.

Newborns and seniors are the opposite ends of a generation. There are both beginnings and endings involved in the family, but it’s absolutely vital that both are together, in sync and cooperating. Building a valuable, lasting bond can be a huge factor in both the baby and the senior living wholesome, fulfilling lives.

Preparing Your Carpets for a New Baby

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When you’ve got a new baby on the way there is a ton of preparation that goes into getting your household ready for its newest member. One thing that often gets left off the list is making sure your carpets are clean and safe for a baby to be crawling around on. It may be sometime before your little one is crawling around the house, but it’ll be sooner than you think.

Why is it Important to Clean my Carpets?

Carpets can harbor all sorts of harmful bacteria, dust mites, and allergens that can cause health problems for adults, and even more so for a baby’s weaker immune system. Dirty carpets can cause rashes, allergy issues, and in serious cases asthma. Obviously, you want to make sure that your home is a clean, safe space for your baby, which is why a professional carpet cleaning should make it on your list for new baby preparation.

One of the best things about having your carpets professionally cleaned is the fact that you don’t really have to do anything other than schedule the appointment. Most carpet cleaning companies will take care of moving furniture and any other prep, and you can relax and let them take care of business.

A deep cleaning from a company like Curtice Chem-Dry, will eliminate allergens, dust mites, pet dander, ground in dirt, and stains from your carpets, making your home look and smell fabulous in addition to making it safer and healthier for you and your family. Make sure you choose a company that uses certified non-toxic cleaning solutions to ensure that your carpet is safe for your new baby. Chem-Dry is one of the leading brands that provides non-toxic, green certified carpet cleaning services that are completely safe for children and pets alike.

How Often Should I Get My Carpets Cleaned?

Of course carpet cleaning falls into a long list of other tasks that need to be completed in preparation for a new baby, but it remains one of the more important items on the list. The cost of a professional carpet cleaning is much less than the costs of pediatric bills to take care of rashes or asthma down the line, not to mention it will make your home significantly healthier for you as well. Since babies spend a lot of their first couple years in close contact with the floor, it’s a good idea to plan ahead and schedule cleaning appointments well in advance to make sure you’re up to date on your carpet cleaning.

Most companies recommend getting your carpets cleaned once every 6 months or so, but you could probably get away with every 10-12 months, it just depends on how many family members, pets, etc. you have in your home. If you host parties frequently, you might want to have them cleaned more often. If it’s just you and your significant other, and you are relatively clean, you could probably space them out a little more. It all just depends on your situation.

How Does it Work?

You may be asking yourself, “Why can’t I just vacuum regularly and get the same effects?” which is a reasonable question to have, especially after looking at the price of a professional carpet cleaning. The truth is, a standard consumer vacuum cleaner simply doesn’t have the suction necessary to really clean your floors. They pick up surface debris and larger crumbs and stuff, but when it comes to getting all of the ground in allergens, dirt, and dust, it just can’t compete with commercially rated cleaning equipment.

Most carpet cleaning companies use some sort of solution, in addition to stronger vacuum equipment, that breaks down any bacteria and allergens in your carpets and brings them to the surface where they can be whisked away by powerful suction. That means your carpets will take some time to dry, but many companies like Chem-Dry boast short dry times of a few hours.


In short, you want to make sure your house is as healthy as possible for your new baby. Babies are complicated enough to take care of without having the extra stress of infant allergies or a mysterious rash from crawling on the carpet. Do yourself a favor and schedule a carpet cleaning shortly before your due date to ensure that your carpets are safe from day 1. It’s as easy as picking up the phone and calling your local carpet cleaner to get a quote, and then they’ll take care of the rest! Now you just have the rest of your preparation to do list to worry about.

Keeping Your Home Comfortable

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When you are a new parent, every minute of peace and quiet counts, and any possible steps that you can take to increase those valuable minutes is extremely useful. With a new child that is experiencing the world for the firs time, it is easy for them to become uncomfortable because of the climate or environment within your home, whether it is too dry, too hot, too cold, or a mix of all of the above.

It is important that you take the proper steps to ensure that your home is a comfortable environment for your newborn, especially if you happen to have a house that may be a little older and more worn and susceptible to the outside conditions.

Attic & Crawl Space Ventilation/Insulation

There are a few steps you can take to help keep the climate inside your home at a comfortable level, such as:

  1. Weatherproofing your home by installing seals and strips around your door gaps, and ensuring that any holes or minor seams within window panes and door frames are filled or covered. This will help immensely, and will also help regulate your utility bills when the time comes, during both the winter and summer months.
  2. An often overlooked option for older homes is to have new insulation and ventilation systems put in. When homes age, the wood within the attic, and basement, tends to warp, crack, and become prone to mold and mildew build up because of humidity and moisture. To ensure that your home is healthy and the air inside is as pure as possible for your child, it can be a great idea to reach out to an attic insulation or crawl space ventilation company to have a consultation completed, and to verify that the climate inside of your home isn’t filled with potentially harmful toxins. Choosing a great, local attic and crawl space ventilation and insulation company such as House Rangers (, can be the best choice for you.
  3. Consistently maintaining a clean area inside your home is a vital step! Taking the time to vacuum, mop, and wipe down your home’s interior will provide a huge boost in comfort immediately. It’s important to not let the dust and grime in your home get to uncontrollable levels, because then you may have to call in a company to take care of the issue.

No matter which option you may decide to pursue, keeping the interior atmosphere and environment of your home is extremely important to having a healthy, happy baby! The last thing you want to expose your newborn child to is a house full of mildew and mold-filled air. It can also be a good idea to potentially invest in an air purifier, depending on the area you live in, and your home’s air quality.

3 Great Reasons to Decorate Your Baby’s Room with Nursery Wall Decals

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Looking to brighten up your baby’s room? You need nursery wall decals with a matte vinyl finish that look like a painted artwork or words. Designing your baby’s room will never be too tough. Through wall decals or wall stickers, you can magically transform your child’s room into a pleasing and eye-catching one.

1. Decals are easy to mount

Compared to other decorative objects, wall decals are very simple to install. You don’t need additional items just to make your baby’s room more attractive. In addition, it doesn’t require any special skills, tools, and materials in installing.

Want to replace your wall themes? You can simply detach decals from nursery walls without ruining the wall paint. You new wall decorations must match the nursery curtains and nursery furniture. Compared to other posters, decals don’t require tape, tacks or nails. Their smooth and flat surface make it easy for you to clean the walls.

2. There is a wide variety of designs to choose from

Wall decals come in numerous designs such as oceanic, green forests, flowers, and many more. The most popular nursery wall stickers among parents is word designs. Through these decals, you just spell out the name of your baby on the wall. You can also post some famous nursery rhymes or lullabies.

Another great option is to use themed nursery wall decals. For boys, the suitable themes are sports, airplanes, trains, and cars. Tea party, fairy, and princess are the top themes for baby girls. Many parents also pick polka dots, hearts, and swirls as nursery wall decal designs.

Mural nursery wall decals are also very in demand. These types of decals can be used to imitate detailed and vivid murals. You can use safari themes along with monkeys, giraffes, zebras, and other designs. You can also add some adorable characters like Winnie the Pooh. These nursery walls deeply allow you to make a fantasy design and style strictly for your baby.

3. Decorating a room with decals allow you to showcase your creativity

Nursery wall decals give you a lot of room, literally, for creativity. You can create your own designs and show off your creative mind. With a wall decal design of your choice, you can add personality or character to an otherwise plain room for your little one. It’s your chance to make the room come alive without much effort!

Other great reasons to use wall decals

These designs are also repositionable and movable. If you want to change or move the stickers, you can do it in an instant. Also, these wall decors are durable enough to withstand damage. You don’t have to change the wall background in your baby’s room because they will last for a long time.

Because of these reasons, a lot of parents choose to use decals to adorn the nursery walls for their baby’s room.

Have you ever designed a baby’s room with decals? How easy or difficult was the experience for you? What’s your favorite design? Share your story in the comments below.



Monogrammed Baby Clothes: Unique and Personalized Gift Idea

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Ask parents about the baby gifts they received in the past and they would tell you how they loved the personalized gifts from friends, relatives, or officemates. Personalization means so much beyond the practical use of the gift.

If you personalize your gift for a baby, that means you put a lot of effort and thought into coming up with the gift. It also means you care much about the baby and the parents that you don’t mind spending a significant amount of time or even money just to choose, buy, and wrap the gift. Not to mention that personalized gifts are naturally one of a kind. It’s no wonder why personalized baby gifts appeal to many parents.

What are monogrammed baby clothes?

Among the most popular personalized gift items for babies are monogrammed baby clothes. These baby garments are printed, embossed, embroidered, or hand painted with special characters on them. They come in two types: those with the entire first name of the child and those with the child’s initials.

Printing or embroidering a baby’s first name into a garment adds a cute and charming touch, while traditional three-letter monograms create a classic look. Very few monogrammed clothes carry the baby’s last name such as soccer shirts, which are also designed with the name of a soccer team.

Monogrammed baby garments are a hit especially among fashion-conscious parents because these are a trendy way to dress up their babies. No doubt, fancy and bright-colored monogrammed clothes look cute on infants and toddlers. These outfits are also unique since they are designed with the child’s name. And if a baby has a monogrammed outfit, no other child will ever have the same garment. A monogrammed baby clothing is an ideal gift for baby showers, birthdays, christenings, and holidays such as Easter and Christmas.

Some tips for choosing monogrammed baby garments

A wide variety of colors and designs are available to choose from, so shopping for monogrammed baby clothes can be very fun. Many specialized outlets and stores enable their customers to choose from numerous design templates and have their chosen design printed or embroidered in baby clothes.

However, monogramming baby clothing may take time, so you cannot just pick up your order on the same day you purchased it. If you have only a little time to spare, it’s recommended that you shop for monogrammed clothes online. That way, you just browsing the web for options, choose a design, and wait for your order to arrive. Over the internet, you may also find monogrammed baby accessories such as printed bags, printed shoes, embroidered hats, to name a few.

Monogrammed baby clothes are a great idea for personalized baby gifts. For sure, you will love choosing from different eye-catching designs even if it can be time-consuming most of the time. You can’t go wrong with monogrammed clothes for babies because they are cute, creative, and one of a kind!

Have you ever bought a monogrammed baby garment? What designs do you like? Let us know in the comments!

A Step-by-Step Guide to Create Inexpensive yet Memorable Baby Shower Gift Baskets

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So, you’re going to a baby shower and you have no idea yet what gift to bring. Why don’t you create a baby shower gift basket? Because you’re going to make the gift basket yourself, it will show your thoughtfulness and generosity—especially if it’s done right and with a special touch. Creating baby shower gift baskets is fun! What’s more, you will be able to save money if you follow these steps to create a memorable gift basket for a baby shower.


1. Choose a gift basket.

You have hundreds of gift baskets to choose from. However, it will cost you a lot if you buy a basket at a specialty store. You will save more if you choose a basket from craft or discount stores.

2. Choose the goodies to fill the basket.

You have plenty of options for gift basket fillers, from baby clothes and toys to accessories for the new parents. You may want to fill the basket with lots of cute gifts. Or if you’re the practical type, you may fill it with more useful baby items.

The following are a few suggestions for gift basket goodies that will delight everyone in the baby shower:

  • Consumables – These goodies for baby shower gift baskets include baby bath products like soap and shampoo, diaper rash cream, disposable wipes, and other baby essentials. Sure, consumable baby gift items may not strike as unique gifts. But the parents of the baby will be very happy to receive them because they will always run out of baby supplies.
  • Baby bottles, bibs, and pacifiers – Like consumable items, bottles, bibs, and pacifiers are among the most frequently used baby supplies. So it never hurts to add more of them so that the parents can have them handy if they need to replace the old ones.
  • Baby garments – Clothes are also among the top baby essentials. But of course, you want to give something different since you expect the parents to receive lots of newborn clothes that the baby will quickly outgrow. So opt for baby clothes that are one size up. Also, one-piece shirts with snaps at the crotch are great fillers for baby shower gift baskets because parents can never have enough of them. You can buy them in plain white or in different colors and designs.
  • Baby food – Jelly beans, baby cookies, and other food items for the baby will be a hit at the baby shower.
  • Baby nursery items – Nursery rhyme CDs and a musical mobile with bright colors are sure to make your baby shower gift basket an impressive one at the party.

3. Do the finishing touch.

Once you have put everything together in your gift basket, it’s time to top it up with a ribbon and a bow. That’s it! You now have a baby shower gift basket! When everyone sees your gift basket, they will appreciate the effort and creativity you have put into it.

Isn’t it exciting to create a baby gift basket? Aside from the baby items and products, you’re filling it with lots of love and care, too.


Top 4 Recommended Gifts for a Baby Boy

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Choosing a new baby boy gift is a lot easier than it seems. While it is true that buying gifts for baby girls is easier than for boys, the options for baby boy gifts are plenty these days. The following are some examples of new baby boy gift ideas that make great symbols for welcoming that cute little boy:

Little Man Gift Set

Packed in a handsome keepsake box, put together a gift set that includes all the clothes for the little boy. Some variations of this gift package even include photo albums and other keepsake items that are useful for preserving the sweet memories of the baby boy.

Customized Sail Boat

Any gift item personalized with the baby boy’s name on it will surely be a great surprise for the parents. Some gifts for newborn boys come in nautical themes and can be used as decors for the nursery room. Other themes suitable for baby boys include superheroes, comic characters, animals, and many others.

Baby Boy Beddings

The new prince in the family needs a comfortable crib complete with beddings for a good night’s sleep. And nothing compares to a luxurious set of comforters, pillows, blankets, quilts that are fit for a little king. A new baby boy gift set consisting of beddings is a very practical present for proud parents of a baby boy.

Diaper Package

Who says diapers don’t make lovely presents for babies? Babies pee several times in a day, and for sure, parents will run out of diaper supplies. Save them from the headache of having to buy another pack of diapers by gifting them with a package of diapers along with other baby essentials such as toys and grooming items.

Are you ready to buy a new baby boy gift now? Make sure that you choose something that’s useful and suitable for a baby boy.

What to Give to a Baby Girl: 5 Gift Ideas Fit for a Tiny Princess

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Newborn girls deserve nothing less than special. These little princesses are a heaven-sent gift for their parents, and it’s a great idea to give them cute and useful baby girl gifts. If you have a friend who’s recently given birth to a baby girl, why not join the celebration for the newborn? Giving the little one a memorable baby girl gift is enough to show your thoughtfulness.

Looking for baby girl gifts? If you want something unique, here are a few suggestions:

Classic baby bodysuits
Also known as onesies, these baby garments make a great new baby girl presents because parents could not have enough clothes for their baby girl. Classic baby bodysuits are a must in every wardrobe of baby girls, as they provide comfort by keeping the lower back and stomach protected from cold air.

Baby bunch bouquets
These lovely gifts resemble a bouquet of flowers, consisting of different garments for baby girls that form the shapes of flowers. They make interesting gifts for baby showers.

Designer diaper cakes
Essentially, these new baby girl gifts are made up of diapers layered and designed to form a cake. Aside from diapers, such multi-layered “cakes” may contain other baby essentials for little girls such as dolls, soaps, lotions, pacifiers, and other baby girl accessories.

Personalized kid’s wall art
If you have enough money to spare, it’s good to give something that can be used to decorate the nursery walls of the little princess. You can order canvas wall art pieces and have them customized according to your taste. Without a doubt, wall art pieces are a unique baby gift that any parent just couldn’t resist.

Bathtub baby gift basket for girls
A baby girl should always stay fresh and clean. Help the parents achieve this by giving them a cute girl-themed bathtub baby gift basket that’s filled with all the essential bath products and accessories, including toys.

What makes these new baby girl gifts extremely special is the uniqueness that comes with them. Give one of them as a gift, and make the proud parents even happier.