Archives for 2019

Friday Favorites Linky Party – Week 499

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You can show your love for this week’s favorites by going over and commenting on the posts and by pinning or sharing!

And if you love all of this week’s favorites, please pin, share, and invite your friends to this week’s linky party! [Read more…]

Rookie Humans Fitted Crib Sheet Review

  Disclosure: I received product samples to facilitate this review. The post may contain affiliate links. The opinions are my own.

Before my son was born I shared our forest friends nursery reveal with you guys.  Unbelievably that was 2 years ago!  Even though he is almost a big two year old, Thaxton still has the same nursery theme, and we’ll be keeping it in place for the next year, if not the next two years, or longer…

Today I’m sharing a new cribsheet that we got for his room.  It is from Rookie Humans. They offer sheets that are soft and breathable; they are 100% soft cotton sateen with a 230 thread count, and they feature the most adorable scenes for your crib or toddler bed! [Read more…]

3 Tips to Ease the Transition to Your New Home

About 40 percent of Americans admit buying a new home is the most stressful event of their adult life. But while finding the perfect home and making this big purchase may be stressful, outfitting your brand new space can be even more so. Luckily, with a little planning and a few tips, you can ease the transition. Keep reading to learn more.

1. First, Agree on a Unified Style

Whether you’re moving in with a roommate or your spouse, you’re going to be blending two styles into one. Unless the two of you have similar tastes, this will inevitably lead to having to get rid of at least some of one person’s belongings.

Choosing a style you can both agree on before you start moving things in is a great way to avoid those awkward arguments about what stays and what goes. If you have two totally different styles, consider starting over with entirely new furniture and decor, with a classic or neutral style that you can agree on together.

If you are moving into your first home on your own, you’ll still have some decisions to make. The style you had in your last apartment or rental might not feel right in your new home. Choosing a new

style ahead of time will allow you to sell or donate your old stuff before your move, which means fewer things to pack.

2. Then, Set a Budget

Before you started shopping for your new home, you likely figured out a budget. You thought about how much you could spend upfront, as well as what monthly mortgage payment you could afford. You should repeat this process before you ever start outfitting your new home.

Consider the many things you’ll inevitably need to make your house a home, like a bed and a mattress, couches, a dining room table and more. Then, decide how much you can spend upfront on these items. Consider your financing options as well; in fact, financing your big-ticket furniture can help you get everything you need right away, and then allow you to pay for it with affordable monthly payments.

If you’re on a tight budget, stick to the basics first. You can always buy decorative items and accessories later on when you’ve had a chance to build up your savings.

3. Finally, Invest Where it Matters

When you need to fill an entire home with furniture, it can be tempting to buy the cheapest items you can find. Unfortunately, these will still set you back a big chunk of cash. And because they are lower quality, they will likely need to be replaced within a few months or years.

While there are areas you can save, make sure you invest in quality where it matters the most. If you’re anything like the average American, you’ll spend nearly half of your life lying in bed, so buying a comfortable, high-quality mattress is a must. If you have a big family or like to entertain, your living room furniture will also see plenty of wear and tear. Choosing a sturdy, durable couch set will help you avoid tears and lumps after a short time.

Moving into Your New Home

Turning your new house into a home doesn’t have to be a challenge. By blending styles, setting a budget, and investing in the pieces that matter most to you, you can ease the stressful transition and create a space that you’ll love living in.

Important Questions To Ask Before Your Next House Move

Are you thinking about moving home soon?

There are all kinds of reasons as to why you might be.

A house move could give you the opportunity to make a fresh start. You can position yourself nearer to your place of work or your children’s school. And especially if your current home is getting you down, for whatever reason, you will finally have the chance to live life anew in a better property.

But before you rush into any hasty decisions, there are some important questions you need to ask yourself first. While a house move could be a good idea, it might be that you need to wait a little while longer before speaking to a realtor and packing up your boxes.

#1: Can I afford to make the move?

If you’re currently struggling with money, it might be that a house move could be beneficial to you. By downsizing, you will have less to pay on your utility bills, and by moving to a new town, you might see a reduction in some of your taxes. 

However, moving home is an expensive process. Not only do you have a new mortgage to consider, but you also have to deal with legal fees, removal costs, and the expenses imposed upon you by your realtor. So, take a long hard look at your budget first. Research the expected costs of a house move. And use a house loan calculator to calculate the repayments you would be expected to make when looking at your mortgage options. 

If you can afford the move, then great. However, if money is tight and you would be better off making a few savings at home first, then hold fire until you are in a better financial position.

#2: What will I regret if I move?

Sometimes, moving home seems like a sensible idea. As we suggested earlier, you might have very good reasons for wanting to move. However, you need to weigh up the pros and cons of a house move, as you might be left with regrets later on.

Will you miss your neighbors? Is there anything about your current property that you will miss? Will you have to leave your current workplace when you move? Is there anything in your town that holds appeal for you, such as your church, your hobby groups, or your friends? These are just a few of the questions you might want to ask yourself. 

Of course, if you aren’t planning on moving very far, then you might have fewer regrets. And thanks to Facebook, Skype, etc., you don’t have to lose contact with people you know and love. However, it’s still worth thinking through the consequences of a house move, because when you have finally moved, you won’t be able to return to your previous property. 

#3: Can I increase my home’s value?

If your heart is set on moving, then so be it. However, to maximize the sale of your property, you might want to make a few alterations to increase the value of your home. So, you might want to get on top of any repairs that need doing before showing people around your home. You could add smart and energy-efficient features to your property to attract more buyers. And it might be that a little bit of remodeling will do much to increase value, perhaps by increasing the size of your bathroom or by creating an extra room within your home. 

Follow our previous link for some useful advice, and then continue your research to find other ways to raise your home’s value.

#4: What do I require from a house move?

Depending on your budget, you will have a lot of choices when it comes to deciding where to live. However, considering the expense of a house move, it is important that you set criteria for what you need before signing on any dotted lines of a contract. 

So, think about the location your home should be in. You might want to be near your place of work, for example. If you have a family, having close access to local schools might also be important to you. Then there are local amenities to consider, such as shopping malls, parks, and leisure facilities.

Think about the kind of house you want to live in too. You might need extra space if you have family moving with you. You might also need extra space if you intend to work from home, or if you want to use a part of your home for your hobbies. Alternatively, you might want to move into a smaller home if you are looking to reduce your expenses. You might also favor specific features in the property, such as those smart items we suggested earlier, if you’re looking for something modern, or if you want to save money.

Before beginning your house search then, write down your criteria for the must-have and nice-to-have features for the property and the location, and use that as a checklist to help you make the right choices. 


If you are planning on moving soon, then we wish you every success and happiness with your plans. But consider our questions first, as hopefully, they will help you make the right decisions for you and your family.


Thanks for reading.


9 Dangerous Materials That Could Have Been Used To Build Your Home

House Home Site Construction Estate New Home

The building industry has boomed in recent years and with scientific advancements surely our houses can’t be harming us? Sadly, the truth is that the construction industry is full of hazardous materials, both natural and synthetic, that could be harmful to both humans and the environment.Below are 9 of the most toxic building materials as outlined by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI), a US-based sustainable building certification program. Do you have any of them in your home?

  1. Lead
    Lead is a highly toxic metal which easily crosses into the bloodstream. Found in old lead-based paints, roofing materials and even some children’s toys, a build-up of lead in the body over a few months or years can cause lead poisoning leading to severe mental and physical impairments. Most lead-based paints have been banned nowadays however some may remain in older houses. Children are most susceptible to lead poisoning as they tend to put things or their fingers in their mouths,
  2. Asbestos
    Asbestos is the name for a group of naturally occurring minerals with fibre-like structures. Asbestos is fire retardant, heat resistant, and non-conductive making it a useful material in the building industry. However, prologued exposure to asbestos has been found to be very damaging and can lead to a number of health conditions including cancer and mesothelioma.  If you’ve been diagnosed with mesethelioma then a mesothelioma attorney may be able to help you. Many countries have now banned the use of asbestos but it still remains in many old buildings.
  3. Fibreglass
    Fibreglass is a commonly used type of insulation made up of tiny fibres of glass. Fibreglass in its solid state isn’t in itself toxic but when cut and trimmed it causes dust which is easily inhaled. Of you come into contact with these tiny glass fibres through fibreglass dust they can cause irritation to the eyes, skin and throat and lead to conditions such as asthma and bronchitis. 
  4. Polyvinyl chloride – PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, is a cheap and commonly used type of plastic most often used in drainage pipes and insulation for electrical cables. PVC’s contain phthalates and dioxins which interfere with the bodies hormones and can affect the function of the thyroid, pancreas, adrenal, pituitary and reproductive glands. PVC’s are also classified as carcinogens and could lead directly to cancer.

        5. CadmiumCadmium is a soft and malleable metal which is also resistant to corrosion, this means that it is often used as a form of protection for other metals such as steel. Cadmium fumes and dust can cause fluid build-up in the lungs and high levels of cadmium exposure have been linked to cancer. 

6. Silica – Silica is a naturally occurring substance found in most rocks including sand and clay. Silica dust can be very dangerous and can be released as a result of any process which breaks up rocks or stone. If silica dust is inhaled over a long period of time then it can lead to lung infections and lung cancer. Volatile organic compounds

7. Volatile organic compounds or VOC’s are man-made or natural substances with a low boiling point, which means that a lot of their molecules evaporate into the air. In construction VOC’s are most commonly found in solvents, paints, adhesives and coatings. VOC Testing in California helps to find these compounds in your home so that you can help keep your family safe. If inhaled, these compounds can cause memory loss, irritation to the lungs and damage to the kidneys, liver and central nervous system.

8. Halogenated flame retardants- Halogenated flame retardants are incorporated into building materials to stop the spread of fire. When exposed to heat halogenated flame retardants turn into toxic substances that can enter the body through the respiratory system leading to the disruption of the bodies hormones. 

9. Creosotes – Creosotes are often applied to wooded materials to help preserve them for longer periods of time. They can also help to prevent the wood from rotting under wet or damp conditions. Coal-tar creosote is one of the most commonly used types of creosote and is also the most toxic, having been proven to directly cause cancer. 

Many of these compounds are only harmful if inhaled or ingested and so as long as they remain in their solid-state within your home, you are not at risk. The people most at risk from these materials are builders who have to work with them on a daily basis, demolition experts who risk disrupting their solid state and maintenance workers who may need to cut and disturb materials in order to make repairs. If you need to deal with any of these materials then be sure to wear the correct protective clothing, including gloves, goggles and a respiratory mask. 

Tinkering Labs Electric Motor Catalyst STEM Kit

We plan to homeschool our son, and although he’s just a toddler, I think it’s never too soon to research curriculum and other school materials. Recently I had the chance to review Tinkering Labs Electric Motor Catalyst STEM Kit.  My stepson had the chance to do robotics in school, and my husband is also very mechanically inclined, so this is definitely the kind of thing I’m interested in doing for our science labs.  Today I’m going to show you a quick unboxing and review of the kit.

The kit is designed to introduce your kids to engineering and robotics.  With the kid, you kids will about building doodling Robots, power electric model cars, add motors to Legos, and more!  And it is designed for elementary and junior high aged kids.

[Read more…]

5 Tips for Decluttering Your House and Keeping It That Way

Clutter throughout your home can make it feel smaller and cramped, no matter how much space you started with. In addition to this, clutter can become a danger to anyone living in the home, especially kids and pets. If you’d like to cut down on the clutter so you can live more comfortably and safely, then the tips below can help. They’re some of the easiest ways to boost your organization and get the mess out.

  1. Use Storage Bins

Storage bins can easily be packed and labeled to keep things stored together and moved out of the way. You can keep these in closets, underneath beds, or on shelves inside of your garage. These come in a wide variety of sizes, so you should easily be able to find some that fit in the space you have available. However, it’s important to always make sure you label these so you can retrieve what you need without having to search through several bins.

  1. Sell, Keep, and Donate

Go through each room in your home and decide which items you’ll keep, sell, or donate for someone else to use. By doing this with everything that is taking up space, you’ll be able to get rid of more than you might think. While it might be difficult to let some things go, remember that they’re not benefiting you by taking up space. Most things can easily go to homes where they’ll be much more useful.

  1. Find a Place to Store

Many people live in homes with very little extra space available for storage. Those in this situation should consider renting a self storage unit. These are available in a variety of sizes, so you can choose which works best for the number of things you need to store. Storage units are also beneficial because they are secure, easy to access, and can be climate controlled. With one of these, you bring belongings in and take them out as often as you would like.

  1. Install Garage Shelves

The space inside of your garage can be used to keep storage containers, large pieces of decor, paint cans, and other items that just don’t fit inside of your home. To prevent damage, it’s recommended to install shelving along the walls of the garage. This will allow everything to be safely stacked in the most secure manner possible. What’s even better is that you’ll be using vertical space instead of floor space, so you can still have a place to park your car.

  1. Find Functional Storage Furniture

Functional storage furniture is crucial for homes that have a lot of stuff without adequate space to keep it. Storage ottomans are among the most useful, as these can keep shoes, blankets, pillows, and other small items off of the floor. Fabric storage baskets kept in cubed organization shelves are also excellent for storage. You can use these in each room to keep everything from toys to clothes out of the way. Last, but not least, beds that are higher off the ground can offer a lot of storage space underneath them. You can use this to keep off-season clothing, decor, pillows, or toys.

Creating a More Comfortable Space

By cleaning out your home and implementing the storage solutions above, you can get rid of quite a bit of clutter. This can make it easier to walk around and safer for pets and kids to play. In addition to this, it can ensure you don’t have an overwhelming amount of “stuff” in your home that you won’t ever touch.

Luxurious and Meaningful Ways to Pamper Your Pooch

In his or her own way your dog tries every day to shower you with unconditional love and affection. From wetting your cheeks with sloppy kisses to running around and making you laugh, your pet strives every day to spoil you. Though it would be hard to put a value on the love and happiness they bring to your life, it doesn’t mean you can’t show them just how appreciative you are on occasion. 

Dogs love attention and affection which is probably why owners will go to great lengths to shower them with some of the finer things in life. Below, are a few ways to pamper your pooch. 

Designer Pet Clothes and Accessories

Pet fashion has really upped the ante over the past few years. Designers from Chanel to Prada and Gucci have started designing the cutest and most dapper outfits for dogs of all sizes. Perhaps your pooch would look great in a new wardrobe or an accessory like a diamond-studded collar. 

Pet Parties

You’d be surprised to learn how many owners throw their dog parties to celebrate special occasions. Is it your dog’s birthday? Are they expecting a liter? Perhaps they’re getting married? Whatever the case is, a party is a fun way to pamper your pooch. The socialization with other dogs is really beneficial for their wellbeing. It’s also a lot of fun to choose a theme, decide on a menu and order pet food online, select activities, and so much more. 

Doggy Spa Day

Humans aren’t the only ones who need a little spa treatment to unwind on occasion. Your dog will enjoy a day at a spa for pets. While each facility offers something different, there are services including doggy massages, saunas, and even aromatherapy treatments. 

Pet Salon

Rather than taking your pooch to a traditional groomer this week why not take them to the salon? They’ll enjoy getting pampered from the moment they walk in as they get a fresh cut, and, at some salons, even a manicure. 

Dinner Date

In an effort to appeal to a larger demographic, restaurants have really been doing more for dog owners. There are lots of establishments now that are pet-friendly where you and your pooch could sit and have a delicious meal together. 

Luxury Dog House

Pamper your dog by upgrading their dog house. Instead of a traditional small house with a hole cut out, you can build a dream home for your pooch. There are contractors that can work wonders and build your dog a mansion complete with enough space for all of his or her belongings. If not a luxury dog house, you might also consider designating a room for your dog and having an interior decorator come and add some style and decor. 

A Gym Membership

Yes, you read that right! There are actually dog gyms and indoor dog parks where you can take your pet to get their daily dose of physical fitness and socialization. There are obstacle courses and even personal dog trainers available to help your pooch reach their ultimate health and fitness goals. It’s a great way for you to take a break while your pooch works up a sweat and has a fun time. 

Plan a Luxurious Pet Vacation

Thinking of planning a vacation? Well, you don’t have to leave your pooch at home with the sitter. Thanks to pet-friendly establishments, there are lots of exotic and adventurous places to travel with your dog. You can check your pooch into their own hotel where they receive room service, grooming, and other services. Or, you can find a pet-friendly resort where you can all vacation as a family. Either way, your dog will love getting out of the house and getting just a taste of the finer things in life. 

Chances are you had no idea that there were all of these innovative ways to pamper and spoil your dog with the finer things in life. While it can be expensive to do all the time, showering your pooch with love here and there, is worthwhile and a lot of fun. Hopefully, you’ve got some good ideas on how to spread the love and a bit of luxury with your furry friend. 

Cooking Vegan at Home: It’s Easier Than You Think

Whether you’ve decided to take the jump or if you’re still on the fence about being vegan, maybe trying it a few nights at home will help you make your choice. It’s a serious life change and it doesn’t have to be a burden if you come into it with an open mind and, more importantly, a hungry tummy. Think fresh ingredients, prepared simply and with outstanding results. Get ready to get your socks knocked off!

The Ingredients

When it comes to eating vegan, you’ll need to find new and inventive ways to enjoy meals you have long consumed. Ingredients including beans, grains, nuts and dried fruits will be your go-to with a few additional items. These items will include soy-based products, tofu, and tempeh. As for liquids, your go-to will be plant milks. Almond, cashew, and oat milk are all easy to prepare from home or you can purchase your favorite from your local market. Fresh veggies are a vital source of nutrition when it comes to being vegan and you have plenty of options available. Simply pick up your favorites, research some recipes or try your hand at your own and taste the results. 

Stock Goes a Long Way

While being vegan is all about cutting out animal products, it’s not about losing flavor because of it. A great way to bolster the flavor in your homemade dishes is by using herbs to pack in more flavor per square bite than you thought possible. One way to do this is with stock–veggie stock to be precise. Here you can truly experiment with ingredient combinations. If you’re looking for a quick and easy solution without all the trial and error, here is a vegetable stock that is rich in flavor. Having a few handy stock recipes under your belt will give you the freedom to cook as you like without limitations. You can use your favorite combo to bring life to an old lentil or minestrone soup and to enhance the flavor of your rice dishes. 

Meal Ideas in a Pinch

Feeding your family a hearty meal in a hurry is a primary concern for many families. Vegan families are no different and it’s always good to have a few aces up your sleeve when the time comes. A great option that can be made in a pinch and is packed with flavor, is…drum roll, please… Chili. Yes, good old chili can be made quickly in a big cast iron dutch oven in about 15 to 20 minutes. But the base for chili is meat, you say? If you look deeper, the dish is heavily focused on tomatoes. Chopped, diced and/or crushed tomatoes in a tomato sauce fills the pot. Then your favorite veggies, herbs, and seasonings are added. It’s cooked for a short time and chili is born. Don’t believe it, try this vegan chili recipe and just taste the results. 

The same can be said for tacos and many pasta dishes. Just take a moment and remove the meat from the equation and look for an alternative to your dairy situation and new meals can be formed in a matter of minutes. Plus, don’t forget about pizza right? There are many vegan cheese options on the market to suit your needs so you can create wonderful homemade pizza everyone will surely enjoy. 

Being able to feed your family and yourself great tasting food with a healthy base is a great feeling. Providing for your children and keeping them safe is paramount. With food comes inspiration and with inspiration you can exceed any expectations put in front of you. Having a family inspires you to be better and to grow as a person. 

Quick Note: The steps you take to becoming vegan can go hand in hand with not only caring for the planet but others as well. So, if not only for your children but also the children around the world, take your new-found love and inspiration and focus part of that energy toward making the world a safer place for kids with child abuse prevention awareness. As you look to improve your personal health and life, be sure to lend a hand when possible for those that need it most and are unable to help themselves, the children. 

Bring Warmth To Your Home This Winter Without Raising Your Energy Bills

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay

The winter chill is something that half the people in the U.S. have to deal with every year, and it can put a perma-chill around your heart. That doesn’t mean that you have to have your winter cheer frozen within your home. Keeping the cold outside is about more than just cranking up the temperature on your thermostat.

There are many ways to keep the warmth in and the cold out without raising your heating bill. Even your decor can have an effect on how cozy and inviting your home is during the winter and all year. Your comfort is the most important part of enjoying those chilly winter evenings with your family.

When you protect the structure of your house with home insurance by Allstate or any other insurance company, you can have some peace of mind that your home will be protected during

the toughest parts of winter. To enjoy some indoor peace during the chilly winter nights without raising your bills, try a few of these cozy tips.

Use Your Fireplace

If you have a wood fireplace there is no time like a chilly night to get a blaze going. Wood fires bring a wonderful dry warm and glorious smell to your home. Wood fuel is a cheap way to heat your home and give your furnace a bit of a break.

You can install a micro stove to any room and run it on wood pellets to add heat to rooms that often feel cooler in the winter. A great tip for maximizing the heat from your fireplace is to turn on the fan feature to your furnace to help circulate the warm air from room to room.


The delicate and warm light of a candle can add a cozy and inviting touch to any room. You might be surprised to know that just a single candle burning can actually help to heat up the area that you are in. Candles set in groupings, whether they are scented or not can add a dramatic and warm glow to your home.

Throw Blankets

Choose a colorful and luxurious throw blanket to lay on the back of your couch or favorite chair. Nothing is more comfortable than cuddling up with a book and a hot tea wrapped in a soft and furry blanket.

Heavier Curtains

During the summer and spring, you probably don’t use your drapes at all. In the winter, you can switch out your light fabric drapes for something a bit heavier and substantial. The extra insulation will help to keep the radiating cold of your glass windows out of your room and block any drafts.


Nothing is worse than walking on a freezing cold floor in the winter. If you have wood or tiled floors you can add plush area rugs and runners around your home to help give you some underfoot comfort and warmth. A sassy area rug can make a bold statement and give your feet a break in any room.

Flannel Bedding

Slipping into a warm and soft bed and covering up with a bunch of heavy blankets is one of the perks of a cold winter night. Put your favorite set of flannel blankets and sheets on your bed to slip off into dreamland in comfort.


When the temperatures start to drop there is no reason that your energy bills should start to rise. Using some of these toasty warm tips to keep you more comfortable in the winter can help you save money and stay cozy all season lon