Tag Archives: guest

The Best Paint Colors for Every Room in the House by Lisa Smalls

It’s amazing how a fresh coat of paint can completely transform a space. If the interior of your home has become “tired” in your eyes, a fresh coat of paint may be just the thing you need to spruce up your space.

Here’s the problem with vowing to update the paint colors in your house: picking out a fabulous color is overwhelming. How can you possibly sift through the thousands of shades out there? The answer is, you can’t.

To help narrow down your color choices, and to save you hours of flipping through paint color fan decks, you might consider this:

Color has a psychological effect on our brain. Yes, it’s true. Paint not only keeps your interior interesting, but it actually has the power to evoke an emotional response. Research shows color has the ability to influence things like mood, appetite, and even blood pressure.

With this in mind, choosing a wall color becomes more simple. Knowing the psychological effects behind different colors can help you match the purpose of a room to the perfect color palette.

Here are four colors to consider using in the primary rooms of the home:

1. The Kitchen

Warm colors tend to work well in the kitchen. That’s because colors in this palette are
known to stimulate appetite. If you’ve ever wondered why every fast-food restaurant
features warm hues, this is why. Contrary to popular belief, warm colors can be done
tastefully. The goal is not to replicate your kitchen after the local McDonald’s franchise.

One of our favorite warm colors, is Sherwin-Williams’ color of the year, Cavern Clay.


Source: Sherwin-Williams

Now that’s a kitchen color we can get behind.

2. The Bedroom

Unlike in the kitchen, stay away from warm colors in your bedroom. Warm colors excite,
energize, and, stimulate our brains. Rather, stick to cool blues and neutrals. Colors of this hue have been scientifically proven to relax the mind and body, bringing tranquility
rather than energy.


Source: iStock Photo. Credit svetikd.

Cool colors are important in the bedroom because they are conducive to sleep. However,
the color on the walls isn’t the only thing that promotes a good night’s sleep. To truly
make your room a sleep haven, consider the lighting, a comfortable sleeping structure
and sources of noise to get your best night’s sleep each and every night.

3. The Living Room

Next up is the living room. The room of congregation, relaxation and Hulu binges. After
a long day, there’s nothing like coming home and crashing on the couch for some R&R.
Surprisingly, a great color for the living room is green.

Here’s why:

Green is said to be the color of balance, harmony, refreshment and comfort. For one of
the most popular rooms in the house, you’ll want this space to be an inviting place to
relax and host guests. Green helps you achieve an inviting ambiance.


Source: iStock Photo

4. The Master Bath

Last, but not least, the bathroom. You can probably guess the best color for your
bathroom is white.


Source: iStock Photo. Credit runna10.

The color white represents cleanliness and offers a cool, refreshing feeling. Just walking
into a crisp, white bathroom will make you want to pop in the shower.

All in all, your paint choices should be a representation of you and your style. This is simply a guide to navigate the endless sea of color options.

You can follow Lisa on her Twitter account @smallzsaysthis


Guest Post: Improve Your Outlook on Life with Better Sleep Habits with Julie Morris


Image courtesy of Pixabay.

Did you know your mental health is linked to your sleep habits? Our brains regroup while we sleep, so of course health suffers when we don’t get enough. Here is more information about why you need a good night’s sleep for your mental wellness, and what you can do about it.

Unhealthy at Best

Most people don’t think that mental health and sleep are connected, but going without sleep is extremely unhealthy. We can get irritable when we do without, but it’s more than that. In fact, it can damage mental health. According to Newsweek, when we’re sleep deprived, crankiness is just the top layer of trouble. On top of being cranky, poor sleep habits can cause you to engage in negative thought patterns, continually mulling over bad things and focusing on what’s wrong in life. When you start digging in, some studies show a connection between too little sleep and a number of serious mental health issues. Anxiety, depression, hallucinations, and paranoia are connected with not getting enough sleep. Apparently, old-school science felt poor sleep stemmed from depression, but some newer studies show it’s the other way around. Bottom line: Sleep deprivation doesn’t stop with a rotten attitude.

How Much Is Enough?

Every mind and body is different, but there are some general guidelines for how much sleep we need. Most adults should aim for at least seven hours of sleep every night. Children generally require quite a bit more — around 12 hours or more in youngsters and up to 17 hours in infants – and older adults can require somewhat less. If you’re groggy during the day or rely on caffeine for a boost, those are indicators you should get more sleep, or the quality of your sleep could use improvement. So what can you do about that? Plenty.

Sleep Environment

Your sleep environment plays a big role in the quality of your slumber. Adding aromatherapy in restful scents like lavender or cedarwood can be a boon. Sleep patterns are inherently linked to daylight, so controlling the light in your environment can also equate to better quality sleep. One suggestion is to dim lights close to bedtime and ensure the room is completely dark for sleep. Another great way to improve sleep quality is with a new mattress, especially if you suffer with aches and pains. Don’t pick the first mattress that comes along; read reviews and choose a high-quality mattress that suits your sleeping style, whether you’re a hot sleeper, sleep on your side, or whatever your idiosyncrasies are.

Better Routine

Do you tend to stay up late some nights watching favorite shows or lingering over social media, then try to make up for it other nights by going to bed early or by napping? It turns out that habit can contribute to poor slumber. HuffPost suggests setting a schedule to improve your sleep habits. Going to bed at the same time every night and getting up at the same time every day can help your body develop a healthy rhythm.

Drop the Bedtime Snack

Many of us enjoy a late-evening snack before turning in, but it turns out it could be a contributing factor in poor sleep quality. If you do grab a little something before bed, choose a light snack and steer clear of fatty, spicy, or deep-fried foods. Also, avoid caffeine late in the day since the stimulant effect can be counterproductive.

Sleep Well

With a handful of good habits, you can improve your sleep and your mental health. Next time you’re feeling cranky, consider how you’re sleeping and look for ways to improve. Better slumber can mean a healthier mind.


Guest Post with Julie Morris: What to Put on Your Wishlist for Positive Life Changes

Want to Make Some Positive Life Changes? Here’s What to Put on Your Wish List

Sometimes, all we need to make a positive life change is a little push – or maybe some material motivation. As the holidays roll around and you’re creating your wish list for friends and family, you may want to consider how the gifts you receive can spur you into making some life improvements. Here’s what to wish for if you want to focus on self-betterment this holiday season.

If you want to stop eating junk

Is it boring to structure your holiday wish list around eating healthier? Maybe a little bit. But the dramatic improvement in your mind and body you’ll experience when you begin to focus on a healthy diet is anything but. Think about adding a subscription to a food delivery service to your wish list. Blue Apron is a popular choice, as are Plated and HelloFresh. These companies deliver pre-portioned, fresh ingredients to your door with easy-to-follow recipes. It’s the easiest way to cook from home. Not only will you be able to forgo the fast food, but you’ll also save a lot of time that would be spent scouring the internet for healthy recipes and shopping at the grocery. Here’s a solid guide to all the meal kit companies out there.

If you want to work some mindfulness into your life

We could all stand to be a little more mindful – or put another way, live in the present. We spend so much time stressed out and worried about the past and future, we often forget to take time to relax in the now. If you want to be a mindful person, you can wish list some things to help.

Try asking for some adult coloring books (or kids’, for that matter). Coloring is a stress-reducing hobby that lets you disconnect from technology and focus on yourself – if just for a little while. Here are some more mindfulness benefits of coloring.

You can also wish for some books to help you get on a mindful path. Make Peace with Your Mind, The Power of Off, and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance are some perennial favorites (here are some more). Really, making your home life more comfortable in general is one great way to de-stress. Check here for some items that will make being at home more fun.

If you want to get more organized

Being organized is one of those things that can positively impact many other areas of your life. It all starts with having your stuff together. Your wish list should include closet hangers and organizational cubes, maybe one of these nice Moleskine planners, and even a tracking tag that you can put on commonly-misplaced items for easy location (it works with Bluetooth!). Check here for more great organizational ideas.

If you want to save a little bit of money here and there

It’s not on a gift-giver to help you with your overall finances. That’s a year-round task for you and you alone. But they can give you the gift of incremental, but still worthwhile, savings. Think about ways to save money throughout the year – LED lighting options for your home, rechargeable batteries and battery docks, and long-lasting beeswax candles come to mind. Here are some more ideas.

Gone are the days where you just hope and pray that someone gets you something that you may like during the holidays. Be smart about your wish list. Don’t just pick whimsical items because they are free (to you at least). Make that wish list count, and fill it with items and services that can help you reach your self-improvement goals.

 

Photo Credit: Pixabay.com


Valentine Accessory Styling with Penny Snark

Well hi there! I’m Penny Snark, and I’ll be your guest poster today. On my blog, The Sconnie Sling, I write about pinup fashion, tiki bars, and all things vintage and fabulous. When Julie and I decided to collaborate, it was obvious that the theme should be the holiday that’s on everyone’s mind: Valentine’s Day.

Now, I have a (somewhat ironic, I suppose) love/hate relationship with Valentine’s Day. On one hand, I love all things pink and cute and sparkly, and I’m quite fond of hearts as a motif. Julie and I had agreed that styling an accessory in our own ways would be the perfect swap post, and I think we both got some major heart-eyes over the glittery ombre heart headbands from BeauXOXO . But Valentine’s can be rough for the uncoupled…there’s a reason they call it “Singles Awareness Day”!

So I couldn’t resist a bit of a snarky take on the Valentine’s Day outfit, which really should be expected considering my name. I wanted to create a look that was flirty and feminine, but with a bit of an edge to it. My Havana Nights dress paired with an argyle cardigan paired with punky accessories gave me the “cute but dangerous” vibe I was going for. Though I guess handcuffs and spikes are romantic in their own way 😉 I actually have plans on V-Day for once; a friend and I are going to see a magic show, and who knows. Maybe one of the magicians can pull a boyfriend out of a hat for me.

Don’t forget to head over to The Sconnie Sling to see how Julie styled this adorable headband and hear about her Valentine’s Day plans!


Guest Post: Table Setting Rules

Let’s face it: summer is prime party time, and throwing together a chic sorree can get a bit daunting; fortunately the lovely people at FTD have your back. Here’s some tips from them to help you set your next table like a boss.

Whether you’re throwing a formal affair or a hosting a casual dinner party with friends, it’s important to follow basic table setting rules. This is because knowing what dishware, silverware and glassware to set your table with will make allow you to provide a memorable dining experience for your guests.

That’s why FTD created these guides that illustrate different table setting rules including: formal, casual, and buffet. Ever wonder where the salad fork or dessert spoon goes? Each guide features a list of everything you need to set the proper table including an illustration of where each item should be placed. Use these guides to help you determine which table setting is best one for your event!

BT1

Photography by: Jen Wojcik
Basic Table Setting Elements:

Center

  • Charger – The charger is the center stage of the table setting. As various courses come and go, they are set on top of the charger, including the salad course, soup course, and fish course. When the dinner course arrives, the charger is taken away.
  • Service plate – The service plate, or entrée plate, is placed on top of the charger (if one is provided), and is usually taken away before the next course.
  • Napkin – The napkin is folded and placed on top of the plate before service begins.
  • Menu card – The menu card can either be placed on top of the napkin or inserted into the folds of the napkin for a more formal display.

Left-side

  • Salad fork – Salad is the second course that is served, so the salad fork is placed at the outer left edge of the table setting. The salad fork is usually smaller than the dinner fork.Dinner fork – The dinner fork is placed to the immediate left of the charger or service plate. The dinner fork is typically the largest fork.

Right-side

  • Soup spoon – Soup is typically the first course that is served. Therefore, the soup spoon is placed on the outer edge of the right side.
  • Dinner knife – The dinner knife is placed to the immediate right of the service plate, corresponding with the placement of the dinner fork.

Top

  • Water glass – This glass is the largest of the glasses.
  • Wine glass – A single wine glass is all that’s needed for the informal table setting.

BT2

Photography by: Peaches and Mint
Buffet Table Setting Elements:

Center

  • Napkin – The napkin is folded and placed on top of the plate before service begins. Napkins can also be placed at the buffet table near the utensils.
  • Menu card – The menu card can either be placed on top of the napkin or inserted into the folds of the napkin for a more formal display.

Left-side

  • Salad fork – Salad is the second course that is served, so the salad fork is placed at the outer left edge of the table setting. The salad fork is usually smaller than the dinner fork.
  • Dinner fork – The dinner fork is placed to the immediate left of the charger or service plate. The dinner fork is typically the largest fork.

Right-side

  • Soup spoon – Soup is typically the first course so the soup spoon is placed on the outer right edge of the table setting.
  • Dinner knife – The dinner knife is placed to the immediate right of the service plate, corresponding with the placement of the dinner fork.

Top

  • Water glass – This glass is the largest of the glasses.
  • Wine glass – A single wine glass is all that’s needed for the buffet table setting.

BT3

Photography by: Lane Dittoe
Formal Table Setting Elements

Center

  • Charger – The charger is the center stage of the table setting. As various courses come and go, they are set on top of the charger, including the salad course, soup course, and fish course. When the dinner course arrives, the charger is taken away.
  • Service plate – The service plate, or entrée plate, is placed on top of the charger, and is usually taken away before the next course.
  • Napkin – The napkin is folded and placed on top of the charger before service begins.
  • Menu card – The menu card can either be placed on top of the napkin or inserted into the folds of the napkin for a more formal display.

Left-side

  • Salad fork – Salad is the second course that is served, so the salad fork is placed at the outer left edge of the table setting. The salad fork is usually smaller than the dinner fork.
  • Fish fork – Next to the salad fork is the fish fork. In a formal setting, the fish or seafood course is served after the salad. Traditionally, the shape of the fish fork is designed to optimally lift the flesh away from the bones. In a dinner without a seafood course, the fish fork is used as the second course fork.
  • Dinner fork – The dinner fork is placed to the immediate left of the charger or service plate. The dinner fork is usually the largest of the three forks.

Right-side

  • Soup spoon – In a formal service, soup is the first course that is served. Therefore, the soup spoon is placed on the outer edge of the right side.
  • Salad knife – The salad is served after the soup, therefore the corresponding knife is placed to the left of the soup spoon.
  • Dinner knife – The dinner knife is placed to the immediate right of the service plate, corresponding with the placement of the dinner fork.

Top

  • Butter plate – This plate is placed to the top left corner of the place setting.
  • Butter knife – This is placed on top of the butter plate, pointing left and the blade facing down so that the handle is towards the guest.
  • Dessert teaspoon – Placed above the entrée plate, this is the smallest of the spoons.
  • Dessert fork – Placed beneath the desert teaspoon, and can be used for the fruit course.
  • White wine glass – The white wine glass is placed closer to the guest, as it is usually served before the red wine — along with the second course.
  • Red wine glass – The red wine glass is larger and taller than the white wine glass.
  • Champagne flute – The champagne flute is placed to the outer right of the glasses, because it accompanies the first toast.
  • Water glass – This glass is the largest of the glasses, and is placed closest to the guest directly above the knives.