Christmas decoration. Candles safely placed on votives on a log with slots for votives.

Quick Holiday Safety Tips

It’s time to decorate for those that celebrate! Holiday decorating adds a lot to our homes and brightens the dark nights. Between travel and all these new elements in our home we want to be sure we are taking precautions to keep everyone safe. This will help to avoid fires, injury, or further damage. Below we’ve included tips to help keep you safe!

Décor Tips:

The National Safety Council has a lot of great ideas on how to stay safe this season. Check out some of their tips!

Electrical Tips:

  • Check lights before using. This will ensure there’s no broken bulbs or frayed wires, while also letting you know if they still work before you wrap them around your tree.
  • Use smart plugs or timers to make for easy automated shut off or have the ability to turn off lights you left on accidentally.
  • Keep outlets and plugs far and away from your tree base if you have a real tree to keep away from water.

Natural Décor Tips:

  • Be wary of poinsettias, mistletoe, and holly as they are poisonous to dogs, cats, and/or harmful to babies. Avoid them in your home or keep them secured out of reach or in an unvisited part of your homes’ exterior.
  • Keep your tree watered and away from fireplaces and radiators.
Candlesticks being blown out.

Candle Tips:

  • Make sure candles are secure and fit will in their containers.
  • Don’t mix loose candles with flammable décor. Use tea lights or votives in holders that are larger than the candle to protect your home from fire.
  • Try flameless candles!
Man taking pie out of the oven with two rags.

Kitchen Safety:

  • Keep timers running. maybe even two! Entertaining can distract from the oven and things you have cooking. Be sure not to get distracted.
  • Be mindful of pressure cookers and air fryers in holiday prep. Be careful not to multi-task cooking with these items unless you have an additional adult to help.
  • Keep an eye on mulling spices / potpourri that you boil for the scent. Lower the heat to low after you get a simmer going and keep ample water in the pot to avoid burning.

We hope this can serve as a quick checklist for your home and helps you make adjustments as needed for your and your families’ safety. Protecting your home and the people in it is the most important. Check out our post for holiday décor ideas that are simple and safe!


Cozy living room with dog sleeping by family on couch

Make Your Home the Coziest with These 5 Tips

One of the most important elements of home is that it makes you feel you like you can relax. Everywhere else in the world may be a place of work, progress, etc., but home should be your sacred space, your place to be without formality, your place where time pauses almost. All of this is what it means to be cozy in your home. For many, it’s a welcoming atmosphere for others an interesting space that makes them want to linger.

Adding comfort to your home doesn’t require a large space or anything fancy. It’s about choosing items that inspire warmth and choosing what’s practical for your home. Cater what cozy means to you, to your space. If something doesn’t work in your house don’t feel you have to include it, you decide ultimately what’s good for your home. So how can you make your home cozy, or maybe just a little bit cozier?

Lean into seasonal queues. The feeling of cozy comes from fitting the season. It’s not just a cold weather mood. Your home can be cozy in the warm seasons, too. All you have to do is bring in flower/plants of the season, cook with what is being harvested, or take from colors/celebrations that are coming up. Likely, fall and winter are well understood in how they inspire coziness. Remember to incorporate organics and natural elements.

  • For example, in the spring bring in pastels, create a bouquet with daffodils and tulips, and use light colored wood to decorate. You might even bring in some fake grass to make a centerpiece or a terrarium.
  • In summer, cozy might be sunflowers, light breezy curtains/blankets, touches of linen and bright colors.
bathroom with plants around the tub, a rug, and towels on a chair.

Less, Not More. Clutter isn’t necessarily cozy. Now that’s not to say your trinket corner has to go, or that maximalists are unable to have a welcoming space. It just means that the space is inviting and gives you an obvious place to fill. So, if you’ve got a small space, try keeping décor and furniture minimal. You don’t have to fill everything up. Same goes for a bigger home. Cozy is an open chair. It’s simple really.

Dim it down. Natural lighting, lamps, dimmers etc. all add soft lighting that makes your home all the more inviting. Avoid overhead lighting or any lighting that is harsh and makes you feel like it’s time to focus and not relax. Try adding some lamps, string lights, (or my favorite) candles to your home for an undeniable ambiance.

Candles in brass holders with pine branches around them

Layers. This one is pretty obvious. More blankets, pillows, and textures make a place super comfy. You can make this fit seasonally as well by choosing to put out fabrics that work with the weather. It’s great to have plenty of options when it comes to creating a snuggly spot.

 Brass/Copper/Gold-Colored. There’s something about these warm elements that bring any room together in the name of comfort. Different from stainless steel, these elements add a natural shine while also still feeling natural. Dark wood is also a good accent to make your home more cozy. Using each of these materials interchangeably makes for a beautiful, interesting space.

Are you imagining your living room or bedroom redesigned with some of these elements? Incorporating cozy doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. Start small with a corner of a room and notice the change it creates. Also, make sure it’s still you and the designs you like. We hope you find a blend that fit you. Cheers to making your home cozy!


Thrift for your cozy!

Mobile Home Upgrades That May Improve Value

There are some relatively easy upgrades you can add to your home for little cost. One of the great things about mobile homes is that there is so much you can do with them, and often a little research and how-to knowledge is all you need to achieve the look or project you desire. Let’s check out some ideas!

Insulation is a great upgrade for your mobile home. It not only will regulate your temperatures, but it may also possibly help lower your energy bills. Plus, there are plenty of options that won’t even inconvenience you while it’s being added!

Painting the walls in your mobile home can add the personal touch you’ve been wanting. Most mobile homes have vinyl-on-gypsum wall panels, which means the walls are coated and will probably need some sanding or a paint with primer to stick properly. Get all the details about painting your mobile home walls.

Spruce up your home by updating your kitchen cabinets. From knobs to paint color, all it takes is a little embellishment. Get started on painting your cabinets with a kit today!

You can also work on making your home more energy efficient. This may mean a smart thermostat that fluctuates throughout the day, new windows, sealing your roof, etc. These upgrades usually help regulate the temperature within your home as well. Don’t stop there, there are tons of easy ways to save energy in your home without spending money. Get energy saving tips!

Lastly, Landscaping can add tons of charm to your home. You can choose a color scheme or just unique plants, the choice is yours! Not only will landscaping look great, but it can absorb water and keep your home dry, too! Try some of our landscaping ideas to improve drainage!

There are many more updates out there, including upgrades you can look into that won’t cost much for your home. It’s really about knowing your home and yourself enough to know what you’d benefit from as well as what you’re willing to keep up with!

Simple Ways to Prep Your Yard/Exterior for Fall

When I became a homeowner I learned that fall really is the most important time for your lawn. It’s when you put in the most work (or should) and it’s finally not a million degrees, so you can linger in your yard to get some things done. Dig out the gloves, borrow a ladder, free up some storage space, and let’s get busy making your yard ready for autumn!

  • Start your landscaping/gardening. Fall is usually the best time to plant flowers, trees, and some veggies. Check the Farmer’s Almanac for your area. Seasons of planting vary by weather, last frost, and soil type.
  • Another thing to do late summer, early fall is aerate your land. You can usually pay someone to do this, or rent a machine yourself.
  • This is also a great time to start a compost bin. Want less waste, and richer soil? You may just like composting. Follow this easy home magazine to learn more and get some information to help you create your compost station!
  • Clean those gutters. You want them to drain right for the coming season.
  • Also, try putting your tools away. From buckets to water hoses, you’ll want to store anything that can freeze away for now.
  • Sweep off your deck/driveway. Rain and leaves will stain these areas and leave them in a mess. Keep the mess at bay by sweeping off leaves and debris. Same goes for your lawn. Keep them off the grass or mow over them.

    Duran Family_The Ranch Model 43ERZ30764GH17_Texas_2019-57
    Keep your deck space looking great!
  • Fix that slippery spot. Lay down some seed for muddy places, stepping stones for uneven areas, etc. It will get worse when it freezes in winter, so best to address it now.

Seasonal maintenance can add longevity to your home, and beauty and safety to your lawn. Take some time this weekend to take care a couple of these items. The long term is worth it!

Now Add Some Flair!

A Quick Guide to Staining Your Deck

Staining your deck adds major curb appeal to your home, while also preserving your deck. It’s relatively easy to stain your deck; there are just some important aspects you want to remember. Let’s discover some helpful tips!

Where do I start?

With cleaning! You’ll need to sweep your deck thoroughly to begin.

Unless your deck was just built, you’ll need to clean it. Pressure washing is an option but it soaks the wood so you’ll have to wait ample time for the wood to dry. You can also try a deck cleaner, which is more cost effective at about $10-20 a bottle. If needed, sand rough or uneven areas of the decking before staining. Fix any blemishes and/or replace rotted or broken deck planks, etc. Deck cleaners also take time to dry, often the best bet is a combo of pressure washing and a cleaner.

What if my deck has been stained previously?

You’ll want to apply a deck stripper first or use a scraping method if only little remains, then you’ll clean as mentioned above. It is not recommended to just apply over top of old stain.

When should I stain my deck?

Warm seasons are your best bet. Late spring and early summer are ideal. However, consider your area’s rainy season. Your deck will need about two days to dry after being cleaned and then about two days to dry from the stain. Keep in mind the time frame, too. Projects always take longer than you expect. Give yourself a whole day for this project.

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Preserve your deck today!

What supplies do I need?

  • Experts recommend using a paint pad attached to a pole (I recommend two for quicker coverage or if one breaks) for the easiest and most even application. You can use a hand brush, but at the expense of your back. You could also try a roller. Or if you really want the job to go quickly, you can purchase a sprayer.
  • Don’t forget your stain! You’ll want a stain over a sealant as they offer better protection. Measure your area and try to estimate how much paint you’ll need. You can even select a paint color if you’d rather. Keep in mind for stains you may want to reapply yearly. However, most people reapply ever 3 – 5 years.
  • Also having plastic and tape or a tarp of some kind to cover the side of your home with will be helpful to avoid stain getting on it.
  • Rags for any mistakes!

Now throw the stain on?

Not quite. You’ll want to tape off any areas that could easily be stained due to close proximity to your deck. If your deck has had time to dry and you’ve checked the weather for two dry days during application – you’re ready to start!

What strategy should I use?

Start with the tops of railings and move down, painting the walking surface last. Be sure to paint underneath railing. Experts recommend laying a cloth drop with a paint pad container on it as you work through the staining process.

That’s it!

Now that you’ve stained your deck allow at least 2-3 days for it to dry completely. It may need an extra coat or touch ups so take care of those as needed. Enjoy your deck and the sunshine! Now throw a party and invite your neighbors and show off that deck!

Play Summer Games With the Family!

woman looking through clothes in her closet

How to Reuse 5 Everyday Items

We have so many options with recycling. You might have a recycling bin at your house that your city picks up. Or you might have your own bin you take to a recycling center. With gently used items, you can always donate them to a local resale store or to someone you know would get good use out of them. But what about the items that don’t fit into either category?

It can be hard to figure out what to do with those items. So, we’ll be looking at how to reuse items that you can’t recycle but aren’t good for the trash either.

Some items can’t be tossed due to a chemical or chemicals in their makeup. For these items many recyclers and re-users recommend not burning items you can’t throw away because burning usually releases the chemicals quickly into the air. So what can you do with these objects?

Reusing is a good alternative as it allows the product to stay intact and not fill a landfill. Check out these solution suggestions for 5 common items on how to reuse them!

  1. Tires. Tires are a necessity if you have a car and if you don’t want to pay to have them collected, you’ll probably be left with some over time. Instead of just letting them pile up, why not find a creative way to give them new life? Check out some of these fun ideas:
    Teeter totter, tree swing, climbers, etc.
    Ottomans (outdoor)
    Flower planter
    Outdoor stairs / edging for garden
  2. Old clothes and/or towels (that aren’t donatable). If your clothes are too old to donate, but you don’t want to throw them away – these solutions may be good for you!
    • Cut them up into rags for cleaning/ various projects
    • Make them into blankets
    Make reusable bags out them
  3. Scrap wood. Reusing wood is a great idea, especially for outside projects. Depending on age and if the wood is treated or not can dictate what project you reuse it for. Typically, most woods are fine to be reused outside for a project.
    • Outdoor bench / table
    • Planter box for flowers
  4. Mirrors. These are a great way to add perceived space or light. Whether broken (wear gloves and take care using) or whole mirrors can add personality to any space.
    • Use various sizes and tie them or hook them along your fence or outdoor space for added flair
    • Make a mosaic (concreate steppers, on flower pots)
    More great ideas
  5. Hardback books. Old books or ones you’re not interested in reading or donating can be a perfect project! They require a little more creativity, but you can find a good use for them!
    • Paint the pages and reuse it as a journal
    • Use pages as a garland
    Tons of more projects here!

We hope that this post helps you think through how to creatively reuse some stubborn items. However, more than that, we hope this helps you get into the mindset of thinking through what you purchase and how you can use it long term when the original function is no longer applicable. Thinking this way helps us all to be resourceful consumers.

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Make Your Kitchen Sustainable

6 Shade Ideas for Your Yard This Summer

We’ve entered the part of summer that is just hot no matter what you do. You may have spent the season hoping for some relief, but it’s not too late to make a dream relaxation spot in your yard! I’ll be looking at some shade ideas that you can do yourself or purchase. Not only can shades be great for you and your family outside, but they can also potentially save energy if they cover part of your home, too!

Let’s check out some cool ways to stay shaded!

Sun sailSun sails are a cute, modern way to protect an area from the sun. They are rather inexpensive but offer decent protection. Check out some options here. The trick to making one is getting your measurements right for the area that needs fabric and researching what fabric would do best. Here’s a sun sail how to you might be interested in.

Sun sails add a touch of relaxation!
Sun sails add a touch of relaxation!

Palapa – If you’re in a coastal area, this is perfect –  Palapa has that island vibe. You can find it at most home improvement stores. Palapas umbrellas are popular. You could make your own, or add palapas to whatever shade project you’re interested in.

Trees – Obviously these take time to grow, but you can choose something that grows fast or purchase something that’s already grown to a certain size. This can provide some good shade that will only grow.

Plants with trellis – A trellis is a great idea for gardeners. The trellis itself will block some of the sunlight, but you can look up vines or plans that climb so that it will cover them well. Here are some great options for climbing plants! Be careful not to put the trellis too close to your home, as it may encourage the vine/ plant to grow onto your home. Though vines look lovely on a home, they are actually bad for the siding on your home and can attract bugs to your home.

Patio curtains – There are many ways to implement curtain shades. You can hang them from anywhere vertically to help the angle of the sun. You can hang them from a deck, a pergola, or install your own base and hang them from there.

Pergola – Thesecan be expensive but make a great atmosphere in your yard. Though they are a little bit more involved, they can make a great project! Try on of these free pergola plans!

Keep Cool With This Post!

I hope these ideas inspire you to choose an option and maybe even make it a project for you and your family! Stay cool!

How to Thrift for Decor

Decorating your manufactured home is one of the best things about homeownership. It’s so fun to make a space your own and reflect the things you love. However, furniture and décor can get expensive, but you shouldn’t have to limit your creativity. That’s where thrifting comes in. You can spend less and set your home up for comfortable living for you and your family. You have the freedom to leave the item as is or make a project out of it to fit your style. It can be as simple as a coat of paint, or you can reinvent the wheel.

Let’s dig into the process and some tips for how to thrift for décor. First, we’ll start with what to think through before you even hit the stores.

Before you go

  • Consider the style of your mobile home.
    • Walk around your house and try to see what unique characteristics stand out. Maybe your home has modern, industrial, or farmhouse details. Look to your kitchen, living space, or exterior for inspiration.
    • Next, consider what goes along with the style that you like and that reflects your interests.
  • Think goals and problem solving.
    • What do you want to achieve in your home? Whether you have a blank canvas with an empty home, or are looking to add more, or alter your space – think of how you want to feel in your home. Do you want to be relaxed, energized, or encouraged? There are so many things you can achieve through furniture and décor.
    • Next, think about any opportunity areas you want to solve with some creativity in your home. Maybe your space feels cluttered, and you need organization desperately. Perhaps your space is small, and you think outside the box to find ways to make storage in your home. You may have wall batten strips and want to find lightweight material décor to hang instead of heavy items that are hard on the walls.
  • Keep a list.
    • Now that you’ve thought through your home, style, and needs you can make a list of items you want and need. That way when you go shopping you have an idea of what you’re looking for and are ready to shop. Some popular recommended items to look out for are: complete lamps, mirrors, bookshelves, baskets, trays, etc.
Books, a planter with plant, and an hour glass in view.

At the store(s)

  • Go often and check in at obscure times.
    • Thrift stores have different inventory all the time. So, it’s important to keep a steady eye on them, especially seasonally as people clean out their homes. As much as you can with your schedule, it’s recommended to visit during the day on Mondays and Tuesdays, this is after the weekends when most people purge.
  • Keep a creative mind.
    • Don’t be limited by what you see. If you like some aspect of an item, keep in mind all the ways you could alter it. Stick to your list, but also leave a space for spontaneity – you might just find and create your perfect piece.
Cleaning supplies, spray bottle, limes, oranges, scrubber, and handheld broom.

When you get home

  • Prepping your items to enter your mobile home.
    • There are many methods for cleaning your newly thrifted items. There are three main things to consider: airing the items out, reducing/ ridding odor from the item, and cleaning the item. 
    • The easiest way to start is to put your items outside in the sun for a bit or in a garage/ covered area to let the item breathe. This will help to air the item out and get rid of any potential bugs. Try to keep your items dry and free from tight, humid places. Once you’ve done this you can separate items by what material they are made of, as certain materials will need different cleaning methods.
    • Next, if you have stronger, deep set-in smells that didn’t dissipate from the suggestion above, many thrifters put a bowl of baking soda in an item or if it’s the right material – mix it into the surface and scrub it in.
    • Lastly, it’s time to clean the items. The best bet for many materials is to wash it with an old rag, hot water, and a natural soap or vinegar. You might even soak some items in a bucket of hot water and let them sit. For items that are fabric in some capacity – you can spot clean the item. Some people suggest enzyme cleaners. A few other options are a steam cleaner and/ or a vacuum for things like drawers or cabinets. Once you’ve done this, if the item can go in the washer or the dishwasher, go ahead and give it a heavy-duty wash.
  • Making items your own. Now it’s time to make these items all your own if you so choose. Check out our Pinterest account for inspiration. We hope you love the final product from your thrifting finds!

Has this got you thinking that your mobile home can be the place you see in magazines? It can! It just takes some planning, creativity, and follow through. We hope that this has you interested in starting your home projects or finishing your last one!


Furniture Painting Inspiration!

Things to Consider When Buying a Used Mobile Home

Many people shy away from buying used homes in general. They are intimidated by the work that could potentially go into fixing up a home or living in a place that may have exceeded its warranty. These are valid hesitancies, however buying used also opens the door to many positive possibilities. We’re going to explore a little bit about what it means to buy a used mobile home. It may be more of an exciting journey than you were expecting!

You can make it all your own – Personalization is such an important factor in homeownership. It really is true in the world of manufactured homes today that you can create the home you want. Mobile homes are versatile in more ways than one. If you purchase a fixer upper, you can start from scratch essentially and make the home into a place of your dreams.

Check the data plate – All mobile homes have a data plate located within their interiors. It’s usually under the kitchen sink, in the master bedroom closet, or utility room electrical panel.
You want to check this out in any home you consider. It tells you information about how the home was manufactured, including important information like the wind zone, roof load, and other items you need to know as a buyer.

Enjoy your dream location – Mobile homes are after all – mobile. If you don’t want to be confined by what’s already been built or a specific location, then this may be a good option. As long as the home’s condition does not prevent relocation and relocating the home will satisfy local requirements, you could place your home by a lake, in a holler on the mountains, and anywhere in-between. Many people also like the ability to place a home on family land. You should be aware that moving a mobile home could be costly – local movers in your area should be able to provide estimates.

Beautiful kitchen in a manufactured home

Set up and delivery – You want to be sure to find out what the seller offers, if anything, in the way of set up and delivery. Sometimes it’s included in the cost and sometimes it’s separate. It’s also important to use a reputable professional mover. Do your research, especially if you choose your own.

Price difference/ fit your budget – There’s no doubt one of the perks of mobile homes is the price. They typically cost less than site-built homes per square foot, especially when used. They won’t hit your wallet quite as hard, and instead of always resorting to renting – they offer the ability to own a home and stay in budget.

Less money to fix up/ maintain – Since mobile homes are manufactured that means usually that they are built with more economical materials, meaning that they may be less expensive to repair or maintain. This will all depend on your specific model, but will usually ring true.

Rental power – You might be considering a mobile home as secondary housing or as an investment opportunity. In this case you could purchase a mobile home to rent out to friends or tenants.

Check Out First-time Home Buyer Tips!

A used mobile home may be the choice for you or it may not be, but it’s always smart to evaluate all your options when purchasing.

 

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