Room Redesign on a Budget

Do you have that one room that just needs a little love? Maybe it’s a tad outdated, or maybe it just doesn’t carry the aesthetic of the rest of your home. We’d love to be able to change up, or restyle a room whenever we got the urge, but if we’re on a budget, that might not be realistic. Here’s some tips to redesign a room on a budget. Little changes can have a huge effect on the outcome of your living space.

Evaluate Your Space

  • What is this space?
  • What do I use it for now?
  • How does it make me feel?

It’s good to figure out what this space currently means to you. If this space is technically a living room, what do you consider its use? A family den, a greeting space, a place that houses your couches? It’s important to understand what this space means to you and the others in your household before you decide what it’ll eventually become. Once you evaluate the space and have your answer to those three questions, then ask yourself: what do you want this space to be and how do you want to feel when you’re in this space?

Easy Transformations

If you choose to redo a room, try first to transform it through budget friendly means. From reusing, or upcycling items you already own, to merely painting the space a new color. There are a million and one ways to spruce up your space.

  1. Paint! Painting a room is one of the simplest, more affordable ways to reimagine your room. Color has a transformative power. If you’ve already decided to change up what’s hanging on your walls, or rearranging furniture, you may want to think about taking a pause on putting anything back up before you have a chance to paint.

Room Redesign on a Budget #paint #redesign #room #house #budget #money

 

Use paint to bring a certain emotion, or presence to a room. Is there a color that makes you feel happy, studious, or calm? Don’t be afraid to get creative with your interiors, and your color schemes. If you’re going for a minimal look, but want to bring color into the space, try painting one wall with a strong accent color. If you want to bring an extra uniqueness to a room with concrete or wood floors, try painting your floors instead of your walls.

  1. Chalkboard Paint

If you’re looking for creative way to utilize your walls, try using chalkboard paint. It’s a fun and useful way to use a wall in a room. It’s excellent for children’s rooms, as they can doodle on a chalkboard wall as much as they’d like without ruining the wall itself. It’s also a great idea for decorating a front room, or kitchen on a budget. It’s a great idea if you like to have a “to-do”, or grocery list visible to everyone in your household.

 

Have Fun With Your Furnishings

Move it around! If it’s not in your budget to find brand new furniture for the room you’re redecorating, use some time to move your furnishings around. Sometimes, all it takes to look at a room in a new light is just the simple act of moving things about. There’s always that one piece of furniture that either suits a room or doesn’t. Find a clear space for it.

Room Redesign on a Budget #paint #redesign #room #house #budget #money

Upcycle & D.I.Y.

Before you go out and make a new purchase for your room, try and upcycle something you already own. Whether you’re giving a beloved piece of furniture a facelift, or take an upholstery class to update tired seating with new slipcovers.

Room Redesign on a Budget #paint #redesign #room #house #budget #money

Make It Livable

Only spend on what you know you’ll love for years to come. One of the most enjoyable things about getting to revamp a space is having a chance to change the way you experience the space. Whether you make bold choices, or simple ones; this is your chance to fall in love with a space you’ve maybe forgotten about, or even avoided. Redoing a room on a budget doesn’t lessen the work that can be done, but it does mean you should be willing to get creative.

Make sure you know where and why you’re spending your budget. If you plan to splurge on one or two items to pull your room together, do so carefully. There’s nothing worse than spending your budget on items that will never use, or items that will run out their welcome quickly. If you intend to buy instead of repurpose, make sure that you’ll love what you bring into a space many years down the road. Keep your spaces unique, but livable.

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It’s A Suite Life

It has been crazy while building my freelance business business, I was stressed out and overwhelmed wondering where I was going to find new clients and how I was going to keep my bills paid all at the same time. 

As I spoke about before I quit a full time job in early February to pursue freelancing full time. I seriously thought it was going to be way easier than it actually is. I didn’t realize how much I had on the table and what all still needed to be done. I still needed to find clients (I had two when I left my full time job), needed to build my website, learn all I could about copy then set that into action, and write all the articles requested by the two clients I had. Yup, I was overwhelmed.

In order to cut down the panic attacks, stress, and migraines I decided a part time job would help, then I’d stress less knowing my bills would at least be paid and I could still work on growing my business.

It’s A Suite Life #dreams #motivation #lifestyle

I have social anxiety so it’s hard for me to come out of my shell, but when I’m comfortable it is easier to handle everything. I perused the internet [Facebook Jobs] and found what I thought to be a fun place to seek employment. Cue Suite Paws, it’s a Pet Resort and spa. I sat down in my interview and knew I was going to fit in, everyone was so nice and I even got to take out a few dogs. To my surprise I was hired on the spot to learn reception then cross train in the kennel.

I can’t think of a better way to spend a few days playing with dogs. The place is huge, with 2 big dog day care rooms, 2 small dog daycare rooms, a pool, walking areas, & a few areas to run and play. The kennel is used for the daycare pups but also pups that are being boarded. There’s a selection of villas and pet suits that fits for every size and all breeds. While the owners are away on business or play they can watch their dogs via webcam and the villas have DVD players or said pup can watch a nature channel. 

It’s A Suite Life #dreams #motivation #lifestyle

When their owners drop them off they’ve filled out a sheet to indicate if their pup wants cuddle time, dietary needs, & if they’d prefer their pup get an “exit” bath before being picked up.

It’s A Suite Life #dreams #motivation #lifestyle

I myself can not think of another way I’d like to spend the days. I’m hoping to lose some weight; which I don’t think I’ll have a problem with because I’ve already hit over 11 miles worth of steps in the 2 days I’ve worked this week.

I’ve found out I can’t eat whatever I want with this wretched gluten allergy because activated charcoal pills should only be used now and then. So eating better will definitely be in the works as well.

I do have new content coming up next week that I believe you all will enjoy though.

Happy Friday, what are your plans for the weekend??

How to Know to Whom You Should Be Marketing

 

The world of marketing is more complicated today than ever before. People are busy and resistant to advertising; there are so many channels that people could use for marketing and advertising, and social media (which has quickly become the most popular and successful method of marketing) is always changing. These are only a few of the hundreds of challenges that marketers are faced with as they sit down to determine their marketing and advertising campaigns.

How to Know to Whom You Should Be Marketing #marketing #business #entrepreneur #work

However, although marketing and advertising are arguably more difficult than ever, the fundamentals have not changed. In fact, the basic rules of marketing and advertising will never change, and when you are feeling overwhelmed by the seemingly endless possibilities and confusion that marketing and advertising naturally bring, you can find your footing on basic principles that aren’t going anywhere, are easy to understand, and can be applied to every aspect of marketing and advertising.

How to Know to Whom You Should Be Marketing #marketing #business

One of those fundamentals might seem obvious, but in fact, many companies run into issues because they never stop to think about it. Many companies never stop to ask this very important question: To whom should we be marketing? If companies do ask themselves that question, they are often tempted to answer with “everybody!” Of course, every company would ideally want everybody’s business. They see it as a win-win: Our customers get our products or services, and we get their money!

But the fundamental flaw in that line of thinking is that a company’s target audience is never everybody. While it might be tempting to make your target audience as broad as possible, refining your target audience and coming up with a very clear definition of exactly who it is will help your company focus on what’s most important and therefore advertise more effectively.

So now that we’ve determined that your company’s target audience isn’t everybody, it’s time to find out who it is. And that’s what this article is here to help you do. In just a few simple steps, I’ll outline a nifty trick that you’ll be able to use to help you determine who your target audience is. Once you know that, you’ll be able to create better advertisements and reach your potential customers more effectively.

Determine Who Your Ideal Customers Are

The first step in defining your target audience is to create a detailed and specific depiction of your ideal customer. When creating your ideal customer, you’ll want to be as specific as possible. Here’s a list of questions you’ll want to ask about them.

  • How old is this person?
  • What is their income?
  • How do they spend their free time?
  • Is the person a man or a woman?
  • Where is this person from?
  • What time of day would they visit your store?
  • How did they hear about your business?

Those are only a few of the questions you should be asking, but you can probably see what’s happening here—you’re creating a very specific outline of your ideal customer. After you’ve asked yourselves those questions, you should be able to write down exactly who your ideal customer is. Here’s an example:

“Our average customer is a 50-year-old caucasian woman from San Francisco, California. She is from a middle-class family and is married with children. She has an active lifestyle and loves the outdoors.”

Determine Who Your Current Customers Are

Once you have created a depiction of exactly who your ideal customer is, you’ll want to ask the same questions, but this time about your current customers. Take a look at your data and determine your average customer’s age, income, gender, etc. and then write down exactly who your average customer is, just like you did with your ideal customer.

Compare and Contrast the Two

Once you have an accurate depiction of your ideal customer and an accurate depiction of your average customer, you’ll need to compare the two and see which aspects of them are similar and which are different. This exercise is especially helpful because it shows you the disconnect between who you want to be serving and who you are serving.

How to Know to Whom You Should Be Marketing #marketing #business

If, for example, you want to advertise to teenagers but your main customers are in their early thirties, you’ll know that something is wrong with your marketing efforts. Maybe you need to make your advertisements less formal to attract a younger audience. Maybe you need to stop advertising on Facebook and start putting more emphasis on Instagram or Twitter. This is just one example of how this method can help you determine who your target audience is and create better content for them. I hope you found this helpful!

Tips to Spring Clean Your Budget

Now that spring is here, it’s time to take a look at your budget and see some ways that you can cut down on how much you are spending, on a month by month basis. If you don’t already have a budget, then make one! If you do, then pull it out and take a look at some simple ways you can cut down on the money you routinely spend…

Tips to Spring Clean Your Budget #spring #budget #money #lifestyle #savings

 

Use Public Transit (or Other Methods to Drive Less)

Cutting down transportation costs is one of the best and quickest ways to lower your monthly expenses significantly. If your area has sufficient public transportation to get you where you need to go, don’t hesitate to use it. You’ll be surprised at the fortune you save on gas.

Again, anything you can do to cut down on transportation costs will make a huge difference. Another option you have is to ride a bike. Making a bike your primary mode of transportation will also be good for the environment and improve your health. If you’re looking to cycle to work, but don’t have the budget for a brand new bike, check the inventory at secondhand stores and check yard sales too.

Tips to Spring Clean Your Budget #spring #budget #money #lifestyle #savings

Get Rid of Unused Gym Memberships

Cancel your gym membership and head to your local park to get the same workout for free. Use the natural layout of the park, trails, playground equipment, and benches to create a comprehensive workout routine. Not only will you save on gym membership fees, but you will also enjoy some time in the sun.

Tips to Spring Clean Your Budget #spring #budget #money #lifestyle #savings

Cut Back on Subscriptions

Whether it’s the newspaper, magazines, or even an internet streaming service like Netflix, subscriptions are usually things you can easily live without. If you’re really looking to cut monthly expenses this summer, cut all subscriptions and spend more time outdoors.

Be a Smart Driver

You’d be surprised at how much money you can save merely by changing some simple driving habits. Let up on the gas pedal just a little when accelerating, cut down on speeding, and try walking to destinations that are reasonably close. Even if you can’t completely live without a car, chances are you can whittle down your gas expenses significantly.

Eat Less Meat

It may be difficult to BBQ less and cut down on the number of steaks you grill this summer, but the fact is meat is expensive. Take the opportunity to learn some new recipes and cook some refreshing vegetarian dishes. If you grow a garden, you can use your own vegetables and save even more on meals than you ever thought possible.

Partake in Free Events

Summer is a great time to get out into the action of your hometown. If you’re looking for some budget-friendly excitement to mix up your summer, go to a free concert or local outdoor event. Taking advantage of these seasonal events may provide your family with a free or inexpensive experience that would normally cost a lot more to enjoy.

Tips to Spring Clean Your Budget #spring #budget #money #lifestyle #savings

Update to LED Lightbulbs

LED lightbulbs are becoming a popular alternative light source in contemporary homes. Not only do they last longer than traditional light bulbs, they are also more energy efficient, more versatile, and completely silent. Switching over to LED lightbulbs will cost some money upfront, but will prove to be a saving investment in the long run.

Unplug Unused Electronics

It may be a task so simple that it never crossed your mind. Or, it may seem so menial that you haven’t actually gone through with it. Either way, now is the time to try it out. Unplugging all electrical devices you aren’t currently using them can save significantly on monthly electric expenses.

Ask About Loan Modifications

If loan payments are becoming more than you can handle from month to month, you might want to look into getting a loan modification. Making a permanent change in one or more items on your loan can be a huge help in giving you some leeway on your monthly budget. Not to mention your loan payments will feel less daunting.

Do Specific Chores Yourself

For some chores, you may be tempted to use a professional service, but you can save hundreds of dollars just by doing it yourself. For example: lawn mowing! Use a non-electric push mower and turn a boring activity into a time of connection with the outdoors. Mowing with a push mower will save you the money you would have otherwise spent on gas for an electric one.

Another example is car washes. Now that the weather is warming up, it is the perfect time to wash the car in your own driveway and complete a chore while having some family fun too. Grab some cleaning supplies and head to the driveway when the heat of the summer strikes.

The Life-Changing Effects of Nature Therapy

We have come a long way in a relatively short period of time. What I mean by that is that it wasn’t very long ago that humans were spending the majority of their time outside farming, hunting, gathering, and traveling. Of course, we have come a long way since then, and now studies have shown that the average American spends around 96% of their life indoors. Between houses, buildings, and automobiles, people usually spend as little time outdoors as they can, only using their outdoor time to move between buildings and automobiles.

Most people would agree that this change has been for the better—we no longer need to worry very much about severe weather, such as snow or wind, and we are able to regulate the temperatures of our surroundings to make us more comfortable. While there are a lot of benefits that come with living indoors, humans are naturally outdoor creatures. There is a part of us that longs to be outdoors, and spending more time outside can be very beneficial.
The Life-Changing Effects of Nature Therapy

The benefits that come from spending time outdoors are significant and beneficial enough that some forms of therapy incorporate spending time in nature into their treatment programs. Nature therapy offers some incredible benefits that are not found elsewhere. There is something about spending time outdoors that is therapeutic. Here are some of the life-changing effects of nature therapy.

The Life-Changing Effects of Nature Therapy #therapy #nature #selfcare #lifestyle

Lowers Levels of Stress, Depression, and Anxiety

Spending time in nature can have significant impacts on mental health. Nature therapy has been shown to decrease levels of stress, depression, and anxiety by lowering levels of cortisol, a chemical that has been linked to stress. Additionally, there are essential oils and certain scents that are found in nature that have a calming and uplifting effect on the body as well. Lavender is one of these. Lavender is often used in aromatherapy to relax the body and induce sleep.The Life-Changing Effects of Nature Therapy

Teaches New Skills

Nature therapy does not consist solely of standing outside doing nothing. Often, nature therapy programs consist of outdoor activities and adventures that teach the participants new skills. Some of these skills include skiing, horseback riding, archery, mountaineering, and more. Learning new skills has been shown to increase happiness and confidence, as well as strengthening a person’s determination.
The Life-Changing Effects of Nature Therapy

Replaces Bad Habits

It is well-known that the best way to rid oneself of a bad habit is to replace it with a good habit. Because of this, substance abuse rehabilitation programs often use adventure therapy as part of their treatment modalities. Not only does spending time outdoors prevent the recovering addicts from abusing substances, but it also acts as a replacement habit that they can use to cope with their emotions without needing to depend on drugs or alcohol.

Fosters Good Qualities

People who engage in nature therapy and the outdoor activities that are a part of nature therapy naturally develop good qualities. Integrity, dependability, and maturity are some of these. The challenges they face during their adventures are real and demanding, and they often require teamwork, thoughtfulness, creativity, and determination to solve. Because the participants are engaging in real-world activities that test their grit, they naturally develop or strengthen many other good qualities that will benefit other aspects of their lives as well.

Teaches Responsibility

Nature therapy is often used for behavioral reformation programs that work with teenagers and young adults. Part of the reason is that it teaches responsibility. Many teenagers and young adults do not understand responsibility or refuse to take responsibility for their actions. Nature therapy is a way for them to learn the importance of responsibility in a fun and non-threatening way.

Strengthens Interpersonal Skills

Many people have problems with developing and/or maintaining interpersonal relationships. People with mental health problems or substance abuse addictions are especially impaired in this department. Because the activities that nature therapies organize involve so much teamwork and communication, participating in nature therapy strengthens interpersonal skills. This is an incredible benefit because interpersonal skills are important to have for every aspect of a person’s life.

Gluten Free Banana Nut Bread

**This post contains affiliate links, you may read the full disclosure**

Over the weekend i was feeling so crappy, Mother Nature came with my monthly subscription and sucker punched me. It was worse this month than the last couple months and I was nauseous, not hungry, moody, tired, just the works. Bleh.

I had a serious craving for something sweet and crunchy when I noticed the bananas that were overly ripe. My very first thought was “BANANA BREAD!”. I ran the idea by Christopher and he agreed we needed walnut banana bread in our life. I have been eating gluten free for a few months now and I feel so much better. I’m not toppled over in pain, not bloated from inflammation, and lesser migraines. 

Despite the pain and anxiety I was experiencing I decided to tackle the grocery store by myself (HUGE deal) because it was 9:43am, how crowded could Lowe’s Foods be? I picked up the ingredients needed and a few extras like the Starburst jelly beans then made my way back to Christopher’s. Ya know, I’ve never been a jelly bean kinda girl, but the Starburst jelly beans satisfy my soul. 

The Best Gluten Free Banana Bread Recipe #glutenfree #dessert #breakfast #recipe #foodie #food #banana

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium ripe bananas (3 bananas yield ~1 1/2 cups or 337 g)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 whole egg
  • 3 Tbsp avocado or coconut oil oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed organic brown sugar
  • 2-3 Tbsp maple syrup (depending on ripeness of bananas // or sub honey)
  • 3 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond or dairy-free milk
  • 1 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1 1/4 cup gluten-free flour blend
  • 1 1/4 cup gluten-free oats 

Make it:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, line a 9×5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. Mash banana in a large bowl. Add all ingredients through almond milk and whisk vigorously to combine. Last add almond meal, gluten free flour blend, walnuts, and oats then stir.
  3. Bake for 1 hour – 1 hour 15 minutes. When ready, it should feel firm and be crackly and golden brown on top.
  4. Let cool completely before cutting or it will be fall apart from being too tender.

The Best Gluten Free Banana Bread Recipe #glutenfree #dessert #breakfast #recipe #foodie #food #banana

The loaf can be put in the freezer for up to a month but trust me, it will definitely get eaten before then. You can eat the slices of banana nut bread with honey too, which is equally delicious.

I’m still new to the gluten free lifestyle so if you have any recipes I’d love for you to share them! It can be a little overwhelming with all of the labels and hidden words, so know what I can have is half the battle. 

Minimizing the risks of fire in your home

Every home should be a safe place for families to grow and thrive together. In addition to taking steps to ensure that our homes are free of judgment and frequent arguments, it is also important that we do all we can to eliminate the threat of physical danger as well. Every home has a number of safety hazards that could potentially cause some serious damage if steps are not taken to prevent them. When we are at home enjoying time with our family, somebody accidentally getting hurt is usually the last thing on our minds. But statistics have shown that accidents do happen—usually when we least expect them.

Unfortunately, accidents in the home are responsible for causing more than 18,000 lives each year in the United States alone. They also account for more than 21 million medical visits each year, which amounts to around $200 billion dollars annually. Perhaps the worst thing about all of these accidents is that they are preventable with some planning and preparation. Here is a guide to make you aware of common home safety hazards and what you can do to prevent them.

Fires

Just over 3,000 Americans are killed each year due to house fires, making it the third most dangerous safety threat as far as home accidents are concerned. In addition to being physically dangerous, they also do a lot of damage to the home and valuable possessions within it. Here’s how you can avoid fires in your home.

Minimizing the risks of fire in your home #safe #family #home

  • Install smoke detectors in each bedroom, the kitchen, living room, and any other large room.
  • Test your smoke detectors each month and replace their batteries every six months.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher in your home and make sure it is easily accessible.
  • Have a fire safety plan that everybody in your home knows and understands.

Falls

Falling is the most dangerous household accident, claiming over one-third of all home fatalities. Elderly people are most likely to fall and be seriously injured afterward. However, falls can happen to anybody, so it will be well worth it to take some simple steps to reduce the risk.

Minimizing the risks of fire in your home #safe #family #home

    • Install safety gates at the bottom and top of staircases to prevent anybody (especially small children) from accidentally falling down them.
    • Place rubber mats in all showers and bathrooms.
    • Wipe up any spills or wet floors immediately.
    • Make sure all stairs both inside and outside the house are stable and in good condition.

Poisoning

Consuming poisonous materials claims the lives of over 5,000 Americans annually. Young children are most likely to succumb to this kind of accident. Here’s what you can do to lower the chances of your children being poisoned.

      • Keep all cleaning products that contain dangerous chemicals in high places, out of children’s reach.
      • Store paints, pesticides, and other dangerous chemicals behind locked doors or cabinets.
      • Never leave your children unattended in the kitchen, garage, or anywhere else where they might be exposed to dangerous chemicals.
      • Keep the number for poison control readily available in your phone or posted somewhere in your house.

Carbon Monoxide

Perhaps one of the scariest household threats is carbon monoxide. It is impossible to rely on our senses to detect dangerous levels of carbon monoxide, which is part of the reason why it takes so many lives every year. The most important step you can take to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning is to install carbon monoxide detectors in your home and test them regularly.

Drowning

Around 800 Americans die from drowning in their homes each year—most of them are children ages one to four. It does not take much water to drown a small child (two inches is plenty), so it is essential that you take steps to minimize the risk. Here’s how.

Minimizing the risks of fire in your home #safe #family #home

      • Never leave children unattended in a bath tub, no matter how much water is inside of it.
      • Keep all toilet lids and bathroom doors closed when they are not in use.
      • All swimming pools, ponds, and other outdoor bodies of water should be protected by a gate that is only accessible intentionally.

Following these simple steps will help you greatly reduce the risk of accidents happening in your home. All of these things can be done in one week and will help to keep your home a safe place for you and your loved ones for years to come.

It’s Time To Chime

It’s been about 3 weeks since I left my full time job to become a full time freelance writer, between thoughts of losing everyday and days where I bust out 6-7 articles I’m still trying to keep money in mind. I still have a lot of bills that need paying on a weekly basis, so there shouldn’t be any downtime for me; for a while anyway.

It’s Time To Chime #banking #freelancer #business #smallbusiness

I’m trying to figure it all out, still working out the kinks but I know this is a learning curve as I’ve never worked for myself before. I knew I needed to have a separate account for my freelance writing business so I started to look around, I found Chime which is a mobile banking app. Everything i was reading was exactly what i needed, with Chime there is no monthly fees, no overdraft fees, no minimum balance requirements, and no transfer fees. Chime also helps me save with the round up transfers when I shop or get paid, which will come in handy for a new laptop! They recently created a graphic with some tips on how to save money this year. Check it out it below.

It’s Time To Chime #banking #freelancer #business #smallbusiness

I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited and scared simultaneously in my life, it’s truly exhilarating. My anxiety rings in from time to time to make sure I know it’s still around but I try and brush it off. If I get too overwhelmed with my tasks I will take a break, go for a walk, or scroll through Twitter. I always set an alarm though, which has pretty much become my life. I set alarms for all kinds of things now like to wake me up in the morning, to keep up with the articles I write so I can stay on schedule, while I’m taking a walk, and even one to let me know it’s bedtime. Each sounds different so I don’t drive myself crazy but they’re there like little ticking time bombs.

If you work for yourself how do you keep track of your spending/expenses? What do you do during your workday do you don’t get burnt out? (so you don’t get burnt out)