Turn Your Home Into A Smart Home On A Budget

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Turn Your Home Into A Smart Home On A Budget – t’s time to bring your home into the future! There are so many apps, tech tools and gadgets to help you manage and maintain your home while saving you money along the way. Here are just a few things you can do to turn your home into a “smart home” on a budget…

Door Locks

Did you know you can control the locks on your door with your smartphone? Yep! Never forget to lock the front door again! Using a smart door lock system like Okiokeys or Kevo Smart Lock you can lock or unlock your doors using a fob or app. Someone coming over to visit but you aren’t home? Give visitors, housekeepers or the kids a virtual key! Pretty cool.

Smart Speaker

Kind of like Siri, this speaker is voice activate, can check the weather, control a number of smart home gadgets, read you audiobooks, and even purchase things online! Check out the Amazon Echo.

Home Network

Centralize photos, music, movies, documents, surveillance footage and more using a tool like QNAP TS -x51. Consider this your own personal cloud that you can access from anywhere!

Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Detector

Yep, this too! This is a 2-in-1 device that will alert your smartphone when the alarm goes off. From the alert, you can call 911 or silence the alarm if your cooking set it off 🙂

5 Life Hacks To Use Around Your Home

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5 Life Hacks To Use Around Your Home – If you own a home, you already know that there is a new or trendy idea for everything. When it comes to unique or DIY ideas, the possibilities are really endless. Add a personalized touch with a few hacks that can work for any sized home, and will also keep you organized along the way. Here are 5 life hacks that are not only easy to do, but incredibly savvy.

A Hinged Painting

Putt hinges (instead of hooks) on a painting to cover up a thermostat. Not only will you not have to worry about an unpleasant eye-sore in the middle of your wall, but you will be able to brighten up the room with a beautiful work of art.

Differentiate Your Keys

Use different color nail polish to differentiate the sets of keys on your keychains.

Magnets

Glue a magnet to the bottom of your hammer. That way, you won’t have to fumble with nails in your mouth while you’re hammering things.

Command Hooks

Command hooks are great for everything, but there is definitely one way you’ll find them more helpful. Place them on the back of your child’s highchair to hold bibs, that way you won’t have to search for one during meal times.

Stripped Screws

Stripped screws are not fun for anyone. Use a rubber band on top of the screw to help remove it from its place.

 

For more hacks to use around your home, visit here.

5 Signs Your Home is Outdated

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5 Signs Your Home is Outdated – Sometimes features in a home can take a while to be “outdated” while others are considered trendy and can become outdated pretty quickly. Here is a list of features that can make your home seem outdated…

Popcorn Ceilings – This is a feature that was standard in new homes quite a few years ago. Today, it is considered an outdated feature. Did you know this is something that can be fixed pretty easily? Whether you want to update your ceilings yourself or hire a handyman to help out, do some research to see if this is something that makes send you, your home and your renovation agenda.

Heavy Features – By this I mean wall to wall dark wood walls or heavy/dark built-ins that make the room look smaller and well, outdated! You know what I’m talking about too! Before you spend time ripping out this feature in your home, take a step back and determine whether it just needs a fresh coat of lighter paint or a few minor modifications. This might be the time to bring in a home stager to help you make that decision.

Cheap Doors – Updated your doors to 6-panel or just a more sturdy, updated door can also give your entire home a facelift. Whether you keep that door a wood stained color or if you paint it white, think of the entire look and feel of the home.

Hardware – As you make adjustments to your home, don’t forget about door knobs, cabinet handles, faucets and drawer knobs. These can also make your home look outdated and by swapping them out for a few new options you can really transform your home.

Walls – Do you still have wall paper from 1982? Maybe the paint color is from the 90’s? What’s nice is that paint is easy to replace through the years so you don’t have to worry about this being an enormous expense to change up. Take a look at your walls and see if added a pop of color or toning it down to a neutral will update your home.

There are still ways to add your décor flavor to your home while still choosing options that will help in the resale of your home. Take a look at this list and take a look at your home. What updates will you be making this year?

6 Tips For Settling Into Your New Home Before The Holidays

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6 Tips For Settling Into Your New Home Before The Holidays – It is the most wonderful time of the year! And there is no better time than the holiday season to start making new memories in your new home. There are numerous things you can do to help get you and your family get settled in your new space. Here are six tips for settling into your new home right before the holidays.

 

Participate in Local Celebrations

Whether you are moving across the country or down the street, make sure you participate in local holiday celebrations. This will allow you to meet some new people in your area and get a good sense of the type of community around you.

 

Plan for Delays

Make sure you plan for delays before, during and after the holidays. With an increased percent of travelers on the road, your belongings could be delayed. If you plan ahead and are prepared for any type of delay, settling into your home will not be difficult.

 

Focus

You will want to focus on the most important tasks at hand. While diving into all of the fun DIY projects you’ve brainstormed sounds like a great idea, it is important to remember that the busy holiday season is almost upon us and you won’t want to start something you can’t yet finish.

 

Prioritize Unpacking

It is easy to get sucked into the fun that comes with holiday activities, but make sure to finish your unpacking before it starts! You do not necessarily have to have everything unpacked, but doing the majority of it will cut down on your stress later on.

 

Get the Word Out

When you move, you want to let people know where you have gone. Use your holiday cards to let friends and family know about your move. Hopefully, you will get some cards in return, which will definitely make you feel right at home.

 

Decorate

Last but certainly not least, do not forget to decorate your new home with the festive looks of the season. Holiday decor is some of the most beautiful decor of the year, and adding holiday candles will help your new home look and smell like home.

For more tips on settling into your new home, visit here.

Cider And Drink Recipes For The Holidays

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Cider and Drink Recipes For The Holidays – While you’re getting together with family and friends during this holiday season, bring something new to the mix: a delicious drink that everyone will like. Whether you are looking for something for every age, or just for the 21+ crowd, you have plenty of options. Here are ten cider and drink recipes for this holiday season.

 

Spiced Apple Cider

This non-alcoholic treat is perfect on a cold winter evening. You can also prepare it and bring it to your next family gathering for everyone to enjoy.

 

Bourbon and Dark Rum Eggnog

For your next adults-only gathering, make this eggnog and everyone will be impressed with your beverage-making skills.

 

Ultra-Rich Hot Chocolate

This fresh take on classic hot chocolate will be your go-to recipe this holiday season. It is made better with as many mini marshmallows as you can fit into your mug.

 

Four Spirits

Cognac, dark rum, brandy and applejack, plus a few additional ingredients are all your going to need to make the beverage that everyone will be talking about until next year.

 

Frothy Eggnog

Treat your kids and young ones to this delicious eggnog on their first snow day of the season.

 

Candy Cane Cocktail

This festive treat is not only easy to make, but it is also incredibly delicious.

 

Brown Sugar-Caramel Latte

For a delicious pick-me-up with all of the tastes of the season, make this incredible latte.

 

Gingerbread Martini

While this may be one of the more complex drink to prepare, it is well worth it for your next holiday get together!

 

Christmas Wassail

This sweet treat will warm everyone up throughout this freezing, holiday season.

 

Holiday Mimosa

For a holiday spin on your favorite brunch treat, make this tasty Holiday Mimosa.

 

For more delicious holiday cider and drink recipes, visit here.

How To Get Your Fireplace Ready For Winter Weather

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How To Get Your Fireplace Ready For Winter Weather – Winter is coming very soon! The simple thought in your head of bundling up and staying cozy by a warm fire during the freezing cold months will soon become a reality. There are numerous things you will need to do to ensure that your fireplace is prepared to handle the heat. Here are five tips to help you get your fireplace ready for winter weather.

Exterior

Go outside your house and check out your chimney to ensure it is not damaged or leaning a certain way. Search for corrosion, stains, or anything that might need to be repaired before you begin using it again.

Clean It

This is not always a DIY project, but you can use your own judgment based on your knowledge of appropriate fireplace and chimney cleaning. You should consider hiring a professional cleaner to ensure your fireplace is in good, clean shape for the winter months.

Be Prepared

It is very important with the winter months approaching that you are prepared with the best wood if you have a wood-burning fireplace. Softwoods such as pine and fir often spark excessively, which creates a potential fire hazard. Choose hardwoods such as oak and cherry instead and make sure the wood is dry.

Replace Batteries

If your fireplace is a gas-burning fireplace, then make sure to replace the batteries in any optional remote transmitters.  It is never a good feeling when you want to turn on your fire, but do not have any batteries on hand for the remote.

Test Smoke Detectors

Whether you have a gas or wood burning fireplace, you will want to double check all of the smoke detectors in your home. Remember safety is more important than anything else.  And while fireplaces are wonderful in the winter months, you want to make sure all of the safety precautions are met before starting your fireplace.

For more information and tips on getting your fireplace ready for the winter weather, visit here.

5 Things Homeowners Waste Money On

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5 Things Homeowners Waste Money On – As a homeowner, there are many responsibilities that fall on your plate, and those responsibilities can be expensive. The trick is determining what you should splurge on and what you do not need to waste money on. Here are five things homeowners waste money on, to help you save money.

Extended Warranties

When you purchase a new appliance, sales people will tend to persuade you to buy the extended warranty. Do not fall for it! Your appliance likely will not break down during the duration of the extended warranty anyway.

Outdated Insurance

You should always be shopping around to find the best insurance policy for your current situation. The one you purchased a long time ago, probably no longer meets your needs now.

Furnishing Your Home

When you become a homeowner and throughout the time that you’re living in your home, your interior preferences change. Do not immediately furnish your home within a month of living there. Give your home some time and let your style develop.

Energy Inefficiencies

Energy inefficiency is an expense you do not want to pay, but will have to deal with when you move into a home. Perform an energy audit on your home to make sure you are not wasting your money.

Private Mortgage Insurance

The best possible time to overpay on your mortgage is the first couple of years. While the 20 percent down payment is promising at the beginning, you often overpaying as much as $100 per month.

For more information about things homeowners waste their money on, and to help you avoid those mistakes, visit here.