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2019 Interior Design Trends


Everyone is ready to change something big in the new year! If your big change happens to be your home’s interior this year, here are some of the top design trends for 2019 to inspire you!

 

The Color Green as an Interior Design Element

Kermit got it wrong, it’s so easy being green. The color of tranquility and ambition has been seen a lot in designs leading up to the new year and may even take over 2019! Many say it also helps remind people to be eco-friendly and live a life of sustainability. Whether you choose to paint an entire room, or to add a pop of color with some accent pillows, green is where it’s at.

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Organizing Your Home For 2019


 

 

 

Out with the old, in with the new! If you’re ready for a new year and a new you, putting your holiday decorations away once the festivities are over, cleaning thoroughly, and getting organized can get your new year’s resolutions off to a great start. Making sure everything has a place to be put away is the first step to a clean and organized home.

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Keeping Your Kids Safe Through the Holidays


 

From the yummy treats of Thanksgiving time, to the wonders of the Christmas season, the holidays can be a wonderful time for children—but they can also be dangerous. From poisonous plants to electrical hazards, fun holiday festivities can pose potential dangers for your kids, especially younger ones.  

 

Here are some simple steps to keep children safe during the holiday season:

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Five Quick DIY Halloween Costume Ideas for your Kids


 

So it’s the week before Halloween, and you just got invited to a costume party with no time to prep costumes for yourself, let alone your kids. Don’t panic! There are loads of quick last-minute costumes that you can throw together in a pinch, with just the items you have in your closet already. Your kids will love the creativity, and you’ll save money in the long run!

 

Here’s our top 5 picks for simple DIY Halloween costumes your kids will love:

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Kids Headed off to College? It Might be Time to Downsize


 

If your children have left for college or maybe to start families of their own, your home might be suddenly quieter and better organized than it’s been in years. Now that you can finally hear yourself think, you may have realized that you have more space in that big house than you know what to do with. If you’ve found yourself with an empty nest, downsizing might be the perfect solution for your new lifestyle needs.

 

Here are five things to consider when thinking about downsizing:

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Back to School Tips for Parents

Back to School

 

It’s that time of year again, and parents everywhere are starting to round up the little ones from their romps in the great outdoors, and rope them into backpacks, uniforms, and shoes. Your older kids may be used to this, but your little ones may need some help adjusting to their new schedule. We may not be Pinterest, but we’ve got some suggestions for five easy ways to transition your kiddos into the new school year.

 

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Five Reasons Summer is the Best Time to Move

Five Reasons Summer is the Best Time to Move

Are you planning to move soon? If so, now’s just the right time of the year to make the leap. Summertime is the best time to relocate, whether it’s across the country or just across the neighborhood. The sun is shining, the kids are out of school, and the future looks nothing but promising. If you weren’t convinced yet, here are five more great reasons that summertime is the best time to move.

 

1. Summer is the best time to sell your home

Statistically speaking, summer is the best time of year to sell your house. June, July, August, and even September are when houses really start to move off the market, and selling your current home is pretty integral to moving into a new one.

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5 Easy Staging Tips to Sell Your Home

5 Easy Staging Tips to Sell Your Home

 

Planning to sell your home soon? To sell your home quickly and get your asking price, it’s imperative that you prepare your home for showings with staging. However, deciding to stage your home doesn’t mean you have to blow your budget. If you don’t have the time or budget to hire professional stagers, try our easy staging tips to get your home ready to hit the market!

 

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2018 Home Design Trends You’ll Want Included in Your Home

Move Up America

 

The arrival of Spring might make you feel inspired to tackle that spring cleaning list or - it may leave you wanting to breathe new life into your home’s interior design. By adding new design trends, revamping your home’s interior design can keep you feeling refreshed and excited.

 

While décor and design trends like all-white kitchens and neutrals quickly become a fad you’ll need to forget in order to stay on top of current trends, you’ll want to embrace these unique 2018 home design trends with open arms. 

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5 Easy Steps to Make Your Home Ready to Sell in Spring


Spring is often an optimal time to list your home for sale and to start looking at what’s on the market. Many families begin their search for a new place to call home during this time because more homes are listed on the market and families are eager to move into a new space by the summer. While you can’t reasonably expect someone to buy your home as soon as they walk through the door, you can take the following steps to make your home an attractive option on the market. 

 

 

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When is it Time to Move Up, Downsize, or Buy Your First Home?


The homes we choose are not always perfect for forever. Situations and circumstances can change very quickly. For the time being, your home might be the perfect size for you and your family…until it’s not. At a certain point in your life, you’ll outgrow your home.

 

Whether this means you need something larger or opt to downsize to a smaller home with newer amenities or even buy your first home, we’re here to help you figure out which option is best for you!

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Survival Tips for Moving During the Holidays


Moving can be stressful during any time of the year, but even more so with the added chaos of the holiday season. You’ve got holiday parties, baking, dinners to plan, presents to wrap and lights to hang – but all with the added stress of packing your belongings and making sure your utilities are turned on in time and your decorations go up before Christmas. With our tips, you can get organized to move into your new home and enjoy the best of the holiday season.  

1. Combine your new address cards with your holiday cards 

Instead of dealing with the stress of placing two orders of cards this season, include your new ‘we’ve moved’ message on your holiday cards, with your new address. This can save you time, money, and the hassle of sending out twice the amount of holiday mail. 

2. Pack and label your holiday décor separately

When moving just before or during the holiday season, be sure to pack your holiday decorations and décor separately. Label the boxes clearly and have your movers place them in the living room once you arrive at your new home. This way, you can unpack and hang your holiday décor as soon as you get to your new home! 

3. Find out the federal and state holiday schedules 

If you’re moving in close to Christmas, check with your electric and gas company to determine which days they’ll be closed over the holiday season. You want to avoid moving into your new home with no lights and no heat during the winter season. Make sure you plan for potential weather delays, too! If you’re moving to a new state, stay tuned to the weather ahead of time. 

4. Order a Christmas dinner dish instead of baking 

Christmas dinner is exhausting work for hosts. If you’re not hosting this year, opt to pick up a dish or dessert from a local store or bakery instead of baking. Your baking dishes will likely be in one of the dozens of packed boxes and will be difficult to find anyway. If you’re stuck hosting this year, ask your guests to bring certain dishes or sides to alleviate the majority of the cooking from you. Alternatively, you can order much of your holiday dinner from local bakeries, restaurants, and more. 

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Unique Holiday Décor Ideas for Your Home


When we think about the traditional Christmas or holiday experience, we often envision a big green tree, never-ending strands of tinsel and an overwhelming number of Santa decorations. While these decorations might bring you cheery nostalgia of holidays past, it can be hard to steer away from the traditional holiday decor to make the holidays reflect your own unique style. With these unique holiday décor ideas, you can create a stylish and sophisticated holiday look that stands out from traditional.  

Skip the traditional ornaments

Does the interior of your home have an aesthetic you don’t want to shy away from? You can incorporate your holiday décor into your home by matching the aesthetic you’ve created. How? Choose unique decor that embodies your family’s style. Or just choose décor that best reflects your family’s values. You can do this by adding unique ornaments that represent special moments or your family’s interests such as picture frame ornaments, specialty ornaments or even customized ornaments. You can also go out of the box with tree ornaments by creating your own. 

Go beyond red and green

When you think of the holiday season, flashes of the traditional red and green color combination typically come to mind. Go beyond these Christmas color expectations and opt for something bold, yet wintry, such as Amethyst or a Midnight Blue. These colors will fit well into almost any winter theme and add a unique and sophisticated style to any home. You don’t have to stick to the traditional decorations in these colors – buy vases, candles and other home decor in these colors to complement your specific style.

Leave the fabric and tinsel garlands in the attic this year 

While tinsel garlands and ribbon garlands might bring back memories of your childhood Christmas tree, there are other unique ways to deviate from traditional and take a unique approach. Try a burlap garland or even a floral garland. Originally, Christmas trees were decorated with floral garlands, but newer and brighter floral garland decorations give an updated feel to your tree. You can try your hand at making your own floral garland and incorporate several different kinds of flowers to complement your tree. By making your own you can choose types of flowers and colors to match your décor. 

Set up your Christmas display outdoors 

Have a cozy outdoor patio or fireplace? Take the Christmas setting outdoors this season and set up your tree and décor in your outdoor space. Use the outdoor mantle to decorate and adorn the space with twinkling lights. This can create the perfect space to celebrate the holiday cheer outdoors where you can enjoy hot cocoa, warm cookies and toast marshmallows by the fire. If you live in the south, spending Christmas outdoors probably won’t be unbearable, considering snow and freezing temperatures usually aren’t frequent.   

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5 Texas Events You Can’t Miss for Family Fun in the Fall


Fall is a favorite season for many. The colorful foliage, décor, comforting smells of pumpkins and apples bring a delightful and familiar comfort to many that adore the fall season. In addition to the smells and colors of fall, the cooler weather often lures people outdoors in search of events that can offer fun and bring the whole family together.

1.State Fair of Texas

Dallas, TX

September 29 – October 22

For only 23 days out of the whole year, the State Fair of Texas opens its doors to welcome patrons with open arms. Visitors from near and far travel to enjoy unique finds, like their unusual foods and beverages, only found at the State Fair. Enjoy carnival rides, live entertainment, kids activities and shows, and much more. With over 100 attractions featured each day of the fair, you’re bound to find fun for the whole family. Learn about the fair and get your tickets here: https://bigtex.com/

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How to Settle into a New Community After Moving


Settling somewhere new isn’t always easy. For everyone in your family, moving away from familiar places and people can leave you with feelings of discomfort and fear. After you uproot your family out of your familiar neighborhood and community, it’s important to leave your comfort zone in order to plant your family’s roots in a new community. Establishing connections and forming relationships with your community can help to make your new home – well, feel like home.

   1. Get to know your neighbors

Many people don’t take the time now to get to know who their neighbors are. Take the time to introduce yourself and learn more about them. You never know the kinds of relationships you can form with someone living right next door – or when you might need their help in a pinch. If they don’t beat you to it, take the time to bring your family next door and introduce yourself.

   2. Join online neighborhood and community groups

Nowadays, there’s a lot less walking door-to-door to talk to your neighbors and more jumping into online forums or groups. There are plenty of neighborhood and community groups formed online these days. One of the popular online neighborhood networking platforms is Nextdoor, a private social networking for your community. Many neighborhoods and communities also establish an online presence by forming a Facebook group.

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Backyard Entertaining Ideas You’ll Want to Steal This Summer


From the long sunny days to the evenings buzzing with fireflies and families enjoying the outdoor weather, summer is an ideal time to host a get-together with family, friends, and neighbors. With the flexibility that summer offers, it’s also one of the easiest times to plan family fun, so why not host the entertainment right from your own backyard? We have a few ideas for backyard entertainment so fabulous you’ll wish you’d thought of them yourself!

Host an outdoor picnic or dinner party

Have you stocked up on summer recipes? Plan an afternoon garden party with friends or arrange a picnic right in your backyard! Avoid the hotter day temperatures and opt to host a dinner party at dusk. Include refreshing drinks, jazzy tunes, captivating games and delightful conversation and you’ve got yourself a thrilling backyard party! You can also create a sparkling atmosphere and string some outdoor lights or lanterns from your trees!

Put your game face on

Think games can only be played on a console or at the kitchen table? Think again! Bring the competition outdoors this summer and play entertaining games made for the outdoors like life-size Jenga or Backyard Twister. You could also host a game of charades around a small campfire! Bring friends, family, and even the neighbors to get in on the competition.

Outdoor Movie Night

Break away from your routine of hosting movie night in the living room and take it all outdoors! In the warm summer air, one thing you won’t have to worry about is getting cold. Connect PVC piping or use other materials, hang a sheet to cast a projector onto and watch your favorite movies right from your own backyard. Set up a popcorn bar by including various add-ins and toppings and don’t forget to invite the neighbors! If you have a pool in your backyard, hang on to some floaties for an extra fun experience!

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5 Tips to Prepare Your Home for the Kids During Summer Break


Temperatures are rising and schools are out, which can only mean one thing: Summer has officially arrived. While your kids are likely looking forward to three months of glorious free time, as a parent you’re probably wondering what on earth you’re going to do to prepare your home for the lengthy routine-less days of summer. Whether you’re a working parent or have the summers off, take stock of these home preparation ideas that’ll keep the kids busy and safe during the summer.

Stock up on library books and keep them around the house

Keep your kids busy this summer and keep their brains active by encouraging them to read books throughout the summer. Help your kids create a summer reading list based on their unique interests and head to the local library. Not sure what to include on their summer reading list? Find out what’s on the academic reading list for the new school year or find out what’s popular among your child’s age group. You could also explore lists of classic, must-read books suitable for your child’s age.

Buy healthy snacks so they’re not tempted by junk food

More than likely when your children tag along to the grocery store, they’re eager to pick out snacks that are tasty but not filling and most likely not at all nutritious. Make a list of healthy snack choices to leave for your kids – especially if you’re not at home during the day to supervise snack time – and head out to the store exclusively for these snacks. You can include a non-nutritious snack or two. It is summer, after all.

Create a list of chores

Want to encourage your kids to develop a chore routine or help out around the house? Design a chore chart for the kids when they’re home during the summer days. Simple chores for kids can include unloading the dishwasher, wiping off counters, taking out the trash, feeding the pets, and cleaning their rooms. For parents with kids who are addicted to using internet devices, parents can reset the WiFi code in the morning and kids can retrieve the code from you when they finish their chores.

Invest in home security monitoring

If you’re worried about solicitors or strangers stopping by while your kids are at home, it might be a good idea to invest in a security system that includes video monitoring. Popular systems involve a doorbell camera, where you can see and chat with someone at the front door without being at home. This is also an excellent time to teach your children about home safety and what they should or shouldn’t do if someone comes to the door. Although your kids may know what to do, a home security system might give you more peace of mind when you’re unable to be at home.

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7 Best Camping Destinations in Texas


The summer season brings warmer weather and the burning desire to get out of the house and experience the nature and beauty Texas has to offer. With the large number of parks and nature areas to camp in Texas, how will you choose? We’re all about saving you time and money, so don’t hire a travel agent – check out our list of the must-see camping destinations in Texas. So get out there and enjoy the clear, blue skies and wide open country that is Texas.

1. Inks Lake State Park

A short drive from the bustling city and cozy suburbs of Austin and into the gorgeous nature of the Texas Hill Country lies a hidden gem with activities the whole family can enjoy. Inks Lake State Park is a popular favorite among families native to the area and each summer it’s filled with visitors who occupy one of the 200 campsites or 22 cabins. Spend your summer days here kayaking, swimming or canoeing in the brisk Colorado River.

What makes Inks Lake a family favorite? There something for everyone and any age! Along with water activities, you can also spend the days fishing for sunfish, catfish and bass. Swim or hike to the legendary scenic spot, the Devil’s Waterhole. Daring cliff divers flock to this stunning spot and when the Valley Spring Creek is running, head upstream to experience and explore scenic waterfalls you won’t find anywhere else.

 2. Colorado Bend State Park

This destination is a must-visit for outdoor enthusiasts. Colorado Bend State Park is a prime spot for “primitive” camping – you know, where you build and sleep in your own tent. Spend time pursuing traditional outdoor activities like hiking, biking, fishing, swimming, wildlife viewing or join one of the guided tours they offer in the park. If those don’t hit your sweet spot for adventure, explore underground caves on one of the Wild Cave Tours offered. You can crawl, slide, and climb through tight crevices and experience canyons few people have visited before. Don’t be afraid to get dirty and possibly drenched on these tours – they aren’t kidding about the crawling!

If you plan to stay above ground during your visit, join the Gormal Falls Tours. A two-hour guided tour includes a 1.5 mile round-trip hike through the rugged, yet beautiful canyonlands to the stunning main attraction of the state park, where chilly water spills over a limestone cliff and into a serene grotto. It’s a quiet, one-of-a-kind spot you can’t miss!

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6 Money Saving Tips for New Homeowners


Buying a new home is a major accomplishment for many people. While reaching a new milestone and beginning a new chapter of their life is exciting, a new home can also mean new and potentially unexpected expenses for homeowners. New homeowners, utilize these money-saving tips for both inside and outside of the home!

Spruce up old or existing furniture

Purchasing a new home incites the feeling of starting over or beginning a brand new chapter. Many new homeowners feel inspired to buy all new furniture when moving into a brand new home, but furniture can add an expensive tab on top of new home costs. Instead of adding new furniture, bring new life to your décor by opting to repurpose your current furniture. If you really desire a fresh look, you can purchase used furniture to repurpose or keep as is and still save money.  

Install energy-saving appliances

Although most brand new homes are now built from the floor up with energy efficient products, you can do even more to save on energy costs. Consider purchasing energy-efficient appliances for your new home, like energy-efficient washing machines and dishwashers. For heating and cooling, programmable thermostats help regulate the air in your home while preventing fluctuating temperature and energy cost. Additionally, installing LED light bulbs throughout your home can save on the cost of replacement as well as reducing heat and saving hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in the long-run.

Purposeful planting to lower maintenance and energy cost

When new homeowners think about saving energy and maintenance costs inside the home, they don’t often think about doing it from the outside. By using purposeful planting strategies, new homeowners can plant shade trees near sides of the home where heat often affects them the most to keep cool air in during the hotter summer months. Keep lawn maintenance and landscaping costs at bay by reducing the number of bushes and flowerbeds in your yard as well as planting low-maintenance bushes and other plants, like succulents.

Organize maintenance lists, manuals, and receipts

Thorough inspections and deep cleaning appliances or other items in your household may seem time-consuming when you’re busy. However, proactive inspections and maintenance ensures your appliances and household products are in good working condition. Keeping a record of your major appliances and how often they’re cleaned and maintained – as well as warranty information, will help new homeowners ease the burden and headache of having to repair or replace it in the future. New homeowners should also properly store manuals and receipts in a place they can easily find them. This way, when something goes amiss, owners can attempt to repair the problem themselves, instead of hiring an outside professional, which can cost a pretty penny just to diagnose the issue.

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Best Safety Practices For Family-Friendly Homes


Before you dive head-first into the spiral of spring cleaning and sprucing, you should take time to evaluate the safety practices within your home. Keeping your home safe for you and your family should be at the top of your priority list. Ensure your family is utilizing the best practices for safety within your home, and make our best safety tips the first items on your spring to-do lists.

Keep items out of reach from young children

Having young children in the home requires a particular level of thinking and planning in order to stay ahead of keeping them safe and away from breakables and household products that could harm them. Examples of basic safety tips to keep your home family-friendly:

Keep your medicine in child-proof bottles and away in high cabinets Turn off and unplug hot tools – this includes hair styling tools in the bathroom as well as cooking tools in the kitchen that may remain hot after use Store heavy tools and hardware in the garage – if you can’t store it in the garage, at the top of a closet or cabinet could work Be cautious when storing cleaning products under the sink or any place where children and pets can find themSafety on the staircases

For children, adults and even household pets, the staircase can become a hot spot for mishaps and accidents. A good precaution to take is to install small night lights that illuminate each stair step at night. If there are railings on the staircase, it’s also a good idea to measure the space between the rails and spindles so that a young child or pet cannot squeeze through them. If you want to keep children and pets off the stairs altogether, you could invest in a small gate that stays secure and locked at the top and the bottom of the staircase.

Backyard and pool

When spring time rolls around, you and your family will find yourselves spending more time out in the backyard. The warmer weather tends to bring uninvited guests to your yard, such as weeds and insects. In the front and back yard, you may be using products to eliminate pesky weeds and insects. If you have pets or small children that like to roam free throughout the yard, make sure you read the instructions and safety warnings on the product you use if you need to keep pets and children away.

If you have a pool in your backyard, you should follow proper maintenance guidelines for keeping it clean and chemically balanced. If you have children or pets you’d like to keep out of the pool when you’re not around, you could install a barrier or gate around the pool.

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