Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Tis The Season To Be Jolly – Unique Christmas Decoration Ideas For Your Home

Tis The Season To Be Jolly – Unique Christmas Decoration Ideas For Your Home

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There are only a few days left before it is Christmas Eve again. By this time, you should have your home dressed up for the holiday season and oozing with Christmas spirit. If you have not decorated your home yet and are tired of the usual, mediocre Christmas decorations, then here are some ideas to get your home in the holiday mood. You do not want your home looking like the “Grinch” of your neighborhood.

tis season jolly unique christmas Tis The Season To Be Jolly   Unique Christmas Decoration Ideas For Your Home

The Dominant Colors of Christmas

The dominant colors of Christmas are green, red, gold, silver, and white. There are meanings behind these colors.

  • Green is said to represent nature and hope. When the land is covered with the whiteness of snow, green represents life, a new beginning, and hope.
  • Red, on the other hand, symbolizes the blood Jesus shed for all mankind, so it speaks of love and warmth.
  • Gold speaks of wealth and of good health.
  • Silver not only signifies wealth like gold does, but it also represents clarity, perseverance, and brightness.
  • White represents cleanliness as well as purity.

Remember these colors when decorating your home for the holiday season. You will be using the traditional colors of Christmas, yes, but it is in the way you use them that will make your home Christmas decorations unique.

Glam Up Your Deck

When decorating your home, do not forget your deck. It is, after all, one of the parts of your home that people will first see, so you need to give it that holiday spirit as well. Of course, before you decorate it, you need to give it a good washing. You can scrub it clean or use a power washer to wash away the dirt and grime. You can rent a power washer if you do not have one. Find out more about power washer rentals online or visit your local hardware and see if they offer tool rental services.

Once your deck is clean, you can now give it that holiday cheer. Hang a wicker basket on the walls as well as the front door, but instead of using the usual Christmas decors, use red, yellow, and white flowers instead. Their green leaves will complete the whole Christmas look. You can use fake flowers if you want, since fresh flowers can be pretty expensive.

Do not forget to wrap the deck railing with the same decorations, too, for a continuation of the Christmas theme. It is also a great idea to put out Christmas lanterns decorated with the Christmas colors on the deck.

Glam up Your Mailbox

You should also decorate your mailbox with a topper made up juniper, moss, as well as fir for the greens and rosemary, lavender, and pansies for the other Christmas colors. Add some gold and silver Christmas balls to complete the look, and tie a red and gold ribbon around the mailbox. A decorated mailbox is a great way to greet people a Merry Christmas.

Glam Up the Interior of Your Home

Instead of using the usual Christmas ornaments for your home, why not hang pictures of your family instead. You can paste them on shimmery colorful cards, thread Christmas ribbons on top of the card, and hang them on your Christmas tree. You can also add some small handicrafts and artworks that your children made for the holiday season.

Jennifer Daniels is a writer for home blogs. She shares DIY tips for decorating homes.

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Explore Your Non-Western Clothing Choices: Three Unique Outfit Ideas For The Modern Woman

Explore Your Non-Western Clothing Choices: Three Unique Outfit Ideas For The Modern Woman

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Though the United States encourages the freedom of expression and the ability to wear whatever you want, in most situations, there has largely been a homogenization of fashion for women in the workplace. One of the reasons for this is that fashion companies tell women what they should want to wear, no very few women want to be ostracized for dressing in clothes that look dated or inelegant. Unfortunately this can rob women of their ability to express personality and personal taste, so there is a growing movement to bring unique styles and colors back to a woman’s wardrobe. If you are looking for something new and exciting to wear at work there are three outfit ideas that will make you look very unique.

Tunic Dresses

A tunic dress is a long sleeved top that is designed to cover the entire torso and extend past the waist to cover the buttocks. Most tunic dresses have a loose fit, so that there is plenty of room to move around while you are in them and to make sure that you do not overheat from the extra material. This style comes from traditional dress of the Middle East and Arab nations and has been a staple of women in these areas for centuries. In the United States they have not been as popular because American fashion has trended towards sexualization and exposure of a woman’s breasts, belly and hips, things that a tunic dress covers. With a tunic dress is that you can decide how formal or casual that you want to be based on the bottoms that you wear with it, and the numerous styles available at sites like Fashion Undercover provide plenty of tops to start with.

Kurtis

The South Asian variation of the tunic dress is called a kurti, and they can add color and sophistication to your wardrobe, all while making you stand out from the crowd. Most kurtis are made from a rectangular cut of fabric and the garment is draped over the body, with a slightly loose fit. The front and the sides can extend as low as mid-thigh, though most modern women will want to wear them cut a little higher. To give you some extra movement while you are wearing the kurti you can purchase one that has slits on the sides that allow the legs to move more freely and gives a wide range of motion. Kurtis typically come in vibrant colors and elegant styles that are perfect for the office or for going out with your friends. Must like the tunic dress, the ability to mix and match styles with different bottoms adds great versatility to the garment.

Palazzo Pants

explore nonwestern clothing choices three Explore Your Non Western Clothing Choices: Three Unique Outfit Ideas For The Modern WomanTo complete your ensemble you will need some bottoms to go with your new tops and palazzo pants are a throwback to an older style that is making a comeback. Palazzo pants have wide, flared legs that resemble the bellbottoms of the 1970s. The fabrics are usually exceptionally soft and flowing, so that you have the greatest range of motion, but the materials are so lightweight that you might even forget that you are wearing pants altogether. The design of the pants has a slimming effect and you will find that the pants really enhance your profile when you have them on.

A unique style helps to make you stand out from those around you and helps people to remember who you are. When you add some clothing options that pull from non-Western sources you can help to find more choices that highlight your special personality.

I am Melanie Al Hamir and I have been a fashion advisor for ten years. When women come to me for advice I like to recommend that they explore Eastern fashions to find styles and colors that they might like, because these designs are likely to be more unique than something we would find at a mainstream department store.



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2 Spring Ideas For Reinventing Your Front And Backyard

2 Spring Ideas For Reinventing Your Front And Backyard

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Warm and balmy spring weather calls for a lot of days and nights staying outdoors, on the front porch or in the backyard patio. Make it time well-spent with a relaxing and cozy ambiance that you can achieve with a little redecorating. And when you’ve completed your project, watch neighbors and passers-by do a double take when they see the spectacular transformation of your outdoor space.

spring ideas for reinventing front 2 Spring Ideas For Reinventing Your Front And Backyard

Here are easy to do decorating ideas that you can do to enhance curb appeal and make your veranda or garden look like a landscaping masterpiece.

Make a Paved Walkway

Give new life to the path that leads to your front door by installing new pavers to replace the grass or broken old ones. Pavers are sold in different kinds, colors and sizes and you can have a straight path from the edge of the road to your door or a curving one. There are so many ideas and decorating tips to come up with an attractive paver walkway that will improve the look of your front entrance.

Choose your paving material from concrete, asphalt, grave, bricks or stones. Each one has its own advantages and disadvantages in features, cost, durability, maintenance and flexibility to changing weather conditions. You can decorate the sides with plants, or line them up with stones or grass. Here are the basic steps you’ll do when making a paved walkway whatever material you use:

  1. Choose a level area to make the work easier when putting in the pavers. Then slope it by about ¼” to so rainwater flows away from your house. Use stakes and strings along the outer edges to mark the walkway path.
  2. Excavate soil from the area in the amount that is equal to the depth of the pavers, including sand and gravel base if you will be using them. Level the area after excavation and take out roots and rocks.
  3. Put in 4 inches of aggregate gravel, and then 2 inches of sand over the gravel. According to Kloepfer Inc. , a paving specialist in Idaho, gravel and sand should be tamped down firmly and should be level to keep the pavers from shifting position.
  4. Put in the pavers but don’t push them down into the sand as this will create an uneven surface. For curved walkways, cut the pavers that are in the curving arc using a diamond coated blade.
  5. Fill in the gaps with sand and finish with a sealer.

Create a Fragrant Flower Garden

Flowering plants are perennial favorites and a welcome sight for tired souls and harassed minds. The size of your area is a factor in your garden design. For smaller spaces that won’t accommodate a flower bed, use hanging planters, pots and containers that come in many designs, sizes and colors. Choose from a variety of blooms. Petunias, daisies, geraniums and sunflowers are great annuals to plant. Include the perennials – day lilies, irises, peonies; the choices are varied. Plant your bulbs in autumn so that they bloom when spring comes. Add foliage with shrubs and vines.

Putting different flowers together can be a daunting task for the newbie gardener. Here are some great ideas you can try:

  • The same specie of plant in different colors, i.e., a collection of hostas in yellows and greens along the border o
  • Different plants with the same colors, i.e., lilies with cultivars of the yarrow plant in the same color with foliage and texture providing a contrast o
  • The same shade of color of different plants, grown in patches in other areas of the garden. An example is a pink-purple-chartreuse combination of flowers that have similar light and water needs

Marie Miller loves to decorate houses and writes about the projects she has one.

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Haunted Vacation Beach Ideas For The South Bay Area

Haunted Vacation Beach Ideas For The South Bay Area

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Each year as the frightfully fun Halloween season approaches, several South Bay area haunted houses go into full steam providing some of the most frightfully delightful entertainment venues of the season, with tricks and treats for kids of all ages. There are many area attractions better suited for older children and adults as well as venues perfectly suited for the whole family. One of the more notable haunted houses in the Venice area, Eternal Rest Cemetery, provides free frights and chills for the Halloween fiend in every family. Each year this group of makeup artists and chill seekers create a ghoulish spectacle that will scare you half to death. The undead lurk around every corner as they make their way from the great beyond to terrorize visitors eager to catch a glimpse of this spectacle. While this may be a more PG-13 variety of haunted house visitors will love knowing they can enter free of charge.

haunted vacation beach ideas for Haunted Vacation Beach Ideas For The South Bay Area

And if one haunted house isn’t enough to quench your thirst for the macabre, there are many more haunted vacation destinations in the area for the thrills and chills that only the South Bay area can provide. Another nearby Halloween attraction, also free of charge, is the House At Haunted Hill. This Woodland Hills haunted house is put on by movie industry professionals and is one of the more high tech haunted houses the area has to offer. This cast of frightening characters and the creators truly love Halloween and have made this very family friendly.

Mangler’s Haunted Asylum

Mangler’s Haunted Asylum is yet another spot that draws many to its doors each and every year. This attraction is modeled after a series of grisly murders that gripped residents of the LA area more than 20 years ago that are still yet to be solved. Today this tale of unsolved murder and mayhem is fuel for one of the area’s most frightful haunted house attractions. Zombies patrol the grounds and lurk around every corner ready to scare you out of your skin. The dead bodies that serve as proof of the Mangler’s penchant for violence and death litter the grounds and await your discovery as you navigate the narrow passageways that connect the torture chambers and cells that once housed the unsuspecting victims at Mangler’s Haunted Asylum. Tickets can be purchased for a mere $20, and this haunted house is better suited for those 14 and over.

Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios

For those seeking a more realistic look and feel, the creators of Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios have put together one of the most frightening haunted houses in the area. With 19 total nights of showings between September 27- November 2nd,there is plenty of time to get your tickets and enjoy some of the Halloween fun and excitement only Universal Studios can provide. Tickets to this attraction can range from $44 to $74 for general admission, $119 – $139 for Front of the Line passes and day/night combo tickets can be purchased for around the same price. But if you are seeking a VIP experience, VIP tickets are available from between $209-$239.

Queen Mary Haunted Hotel Ship

But if you are seeking a more authentic and realistic haunted experience, a great place for chills and thrills is the truly frightening location now known as the Queen Mary Hotel. This once stately and innovative sea vessel fit for a king, and so named for his queen, found itself in full service to the military during WWII where many souls were lost. It has since has been featured on television shows dealing with the paranormal and is now of one of the most visited haunted places in the United States. A truly stunning former ocean liner now turned haunted hotel, this historic ship is considered to be one of the most frightening places in the area. Visitors can spend the evening in one of the many guest rooms and experience a frightful rest with the dead that still roam the this once majestic ship. Families also enjoy spending the Halloween Holiday touring this ghoulishly fantastic attraction for the Dark Harbor exhibition the staff of the Queen Mary put on each year. With the undead staff and performers roaming the ship in its entirety, fear and horror await all who come here.  Tickets to this frightfully fun family experience can be purchased starting at around $20.

The World Famous Pumpkin Race Festival

But not all of the Halloween attractions of the area are so frightening that the whole family can’t enjoy them. The World Famous Pumpkin Race Festival of Manhattan Beach will provide hours of family fun and enjoyment for children of all ages. In fact, this year marks the 23rd annual running of the World Famous Pumpkin Race. This family oriented Halloween celebration will offer an endless array of activities and Halloween fun. Families can purchase racing pumpkin kits for around $20 and get in on the competition, or simply sit back and enjoy the festivities that surround this fun filled Halloween spectacle. While the event itself is free to enter there are plenty of vendors and retailers with a vast array of Halloween treats available for sale.

Don Stevens works in communications, representing several companies throughout the U.S. and Canada. He suggests you visit the South Bay area, which is rich with history, culture, and attractions for the whole family. If you fall in love with the area, The South Bay Residential Team can help you find a spectacular place in South Bay, or the surrounding area. They are dedicated to bring you updated listings in the area to help you decide to make the move.

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5 Gift Ideas For The Outdoors Enthusiast

5 Gift Ideas For The Outdoors Enthusiast

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Chances are you have an outdoor enthusiast on your Christmas list this year. Here are some gift ideas sure to delight any adventurous wilderness lover.

1. National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass – $80

Our national parks encompass some of the most beautiful, rugged, awe-inspiring terrain our country has to offer, and there’s no doubt the outdoor enthusiast in your life has a deep and abiding love for these areas of wild splendor. The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands annual pass offered by the National Parks Service allows the holder and everyone in their vehicle access to any of the 2,000 federal recreation sites in the United States, including national wildlife refuges, Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation lands, and, of course, national parks.

http://www.nps.gov/findapark/passes.htm

2. SteriPEN Adventurer Opti Water Purifier – $89.95

Getting enough water can be a constant challenge for outdoor enthusiasts. You generally have to carry your own water out into the wilderness, the weight and bulkiness of which adds up quickly. Help ease this burden with the gift of this portable water purifier, which uses the power of ultra-violet light to zap viruses, bacteria and protozoa, rendering the water safe to drink. This magic wand doesn’t alter the taste of the water either, which means your outdoor enthusiast will be able to drink from crystal clear mountain streams and savor its refreshing taste.

http://www.rei.com/product/799003/steripen-adventurer-opti-water-purifier

3. Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS4 – $249

Regular digital cameras are just too fragile for the rigors of outdoor adventuring. This is where rugged waterproof and shockproof cameras come in. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS4 is waterproof up to 40 feet below the surface and shockproof from a height of 6.6 feet. It also resists fine dust particles, which can accumulate fast when spending time outdoors, and performs in temperatures all the way down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit. As a bonus, the camera features GPS, a compass, an altimeter, and an underwater depth indicator, all features sure to get any outdoor enthusiast salivating with delight.

http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-Waterproof-Digital-Camera-Optical/dp/B00728ZC1A/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

4. Victorinox Swiss Army “Camper” Knife – $34

A Swiss Army knife is the quintessential multi-purpose tool, and for outdoor enthusiasts their compact versatility makes them indispensible. The “Camper” model Swiss Army knife features tools specifically geared toward outdoor enthusiast, including two blades, can and bottle openers, and a wood saw. All Swiss Army knives offer a lifetime warranty and stainless steel implements, both of which are sure to keep the outdoor enthusiast on your list well equipped for a very long time.

http://www.swissarmy.com/us/product/Swiss-Army-Knives/Category/Everyday-Use/Camper/53301

5. Petzl E97 Tikka Plus 2 Headlamp – $39.95

Headlamps, with their ability to provide a portable light source while allowing for full use of both hands, are an essential tool in any outdoor enthusiast’s arsenal. The Petzl 197 Tkka Plus 2 Headlamp is an impressive option, featuring an LED light with three white and two red lighting modes, between 55 and 140 hours of light, a comfortable headband, and an easy-to-use battery pack requiring AAA batteries. The light beam can also be aimed, which will prevent the wearer from temporarily blinding the people around them.

http://www.amazon.com/Petzl-E97-Tikka-Plus-Headlamp/dp/B002BWQ4I2/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

To get the best deal on these or any other gifts you buy online this holiday season, make sure to do some price comparisons before you hit “Buy” on that shopping cart software platform. Your pocketbook will thank you, and your gift recipient will never know the difference!

Born and raised in the northern Sierra Nevadas, Madeline Marshall is an avid outdoor enthusiast who also happens to do freelance writing.

national park 5 Gift Ideas For The Outdoors Enthusiast

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Fall Outdoor Decoration Theme Ideas

Fall Outdoor Decoration Theme Ideas

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With the arrival of autumn’s cooling winds, landscapes explode into glorious hues of gold, crimson and tangerine. In recent years, decorating for the fall season has become just as popular as decking the halls for Christmastime. By adding focal points of autumnal scenery, your home will emanate a warming welcome to your guests throughout the duration of the season.

Make the most of the front entry to your home. Select an adornment for the door, such as a bunch of dried Indian corn tied together with raffia or a seasonal colored ribbon. A festive fall wreath studded with pinecones, silk leaves and blooms in autumnal hues provides another option for highlighting your front door. If there are steps that lead the way to your door, arrange potted mums or pumpkins along the sides of each step. Homes whose front entryway is framed by a porch railing have the perfect venue for exhibiting a row of pumpkins. Flank each end of the railing with cornstalks. A seated scarecrow on a porch chair makes a heartwarming and whimsical sentry. For an additional decorative touch that can be swapped out with each season, consider erecting a garden flag post, perhaps curbside at the mailbox, to display a flag of autumn graphics.

Be sure to decorate the patio or deck for backyard barbecues and cocktail entertaining around the fire pit. Home and garden centers are treasure troves for your patio decorating needs. Outdoor furniture cushions, toss pillows and table umbrellas are now marked down for clearance. Select seating cushions and pillows for the chairs and benches in colors or patterns that showcase the fall palette, which includes orange, yellow, red, maroon, purple and earth tones. Matching table umbrellas will extend the look upwards. Terra cotta pots brimming with pinecones create simple, inexpensive and low maintenance centerpieces for the tables. Baskets or wooden bowls filled with apples provide edible seasonal decorations during entertaining.

Arrange clusters of potted plants in the corners of conversational areas and around the borders of the patio or deck. Boldly colored mums, purple asters and Montauk daisies are popular seasonal choices. Fountain grasses that are now sprouting forth their purple plumes add height and dimension to the arrangement; ornamental cabbage and kale provide texture. Pumpkins, which are now available in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors that include the trendy white hue, can also be grouped with the plants. A decorative iron rack will ensure that extra firewood stands ready for feeding the fire pit. When the daytime barbecue extends into a chilly evening of conversation around the fire, keep a few throw blankets in solid fall colors on hand to offer guests. For added evening ambience, drape strings of miniature orange lights around the perimeter of the patio.

Your local home and garden center and craft superstore offer all of the inspiration that you need to embrace the season by setting the mood to celebrate autumn, from its first welcomed appearance in September all the way through the Thanksgiving holiday in November.

porch chair Fall Outdoor Decoration Theme Ideas

Photo Credit: Chris McClanahan (CC BY-SA 2.0)



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