Decorating Ideas for Fall

Happy Harvest! Well, almost! We’re only a few weeks away!  We are ready to welcome in the changing season with some great decorating ideas. After the heat of summer – fall offers a breath of fresh air. It’s a moment to reflect and soak up the colors around you. We’ve compiled ideas that we love, and we hope you love them too!

Put the tea kettle on, wrap up in some plaid, and get ready to celebrate the harvest! These ideas are easy, cheap, and look gorgeous!

Fall is ALL about 2 things:

  1. Being outside
  2. Bringing the outside, inside

When decorating use:

  1. Leaves
  2. Branches
  3. Acorns
  4. Corn husk
  5. Pumpkins
  6. Greenery
  7. Moss
  8. Wood

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    Making a beautiful harvest centerpiece is easy and doesn’t have to cost a lot!

Go on a walk with the kids or the dogs and gather some of the things above to decorate with.

CENTERPIECES: Put vases around the house and on your kitchen table. Fill them with what you gathered on your walk! You’ve added instant fall to your house – without the cost! You can also add bird seed or coffee beans to jars or vases for a beautiful look that warms the mood of your home! For a more rustic look, place wooden slabs on the table and arrange some moss on top of it.

Make kid-friendly centerpieces!

DOORS/ ENTRY-WAYS: Make a wreath or garland with any of the items above. You can purchase a Styrofoam/wire ring and add anything you like to it for an easy wreath! If you’re not the crafty type, simply tie some branches together with an orange or brown ribbon and put it over the door.

HOME ACCENTS: Have some old glass bottles or aluminum cans? Wash them and paint them orange, red, or brown. Place them around the house in clusters for a great pop of color. Tea lights add warmth to any corner – place them in the containers you’ve painted for a beautiful votive.

FIREPLACE/ MANTLE: Grab some string and close pins – put it across the mantle. Gather your family to write what they are thankful for on some fall colored paper. Hang them up! You can even cut them out into pumpkins or fun fall shapes. Cover the top of your mantle with acorns and place a couple candles in the middle.

That was easy, right?! We hope these ideas have got you thinking! Your home can have that touch of fall with little effort and cost involved. Here’s to nights of football, apple cider, and savoring every moment.

Happy Fall, Y’all!

Small Closet Organization Checklist

Is your closet out of control? Come on, we’re talking you can barely shut it, you wear the same jeans every day because you can’t find anything else, and you’ve got shoes from middle school. It’s okay – we’re talking from experience – our closets have been messy, too. But a small closet doesn’t have to equal small organization. Need a plan? Let’s get started!

The checklist below is in order – tackle one, then on to the next! Go over this list every season to ensure you’re keeping up with your organization.

  • Try it on! Have a little fashion show and figure out what still fits. You can also plan some outfits during this time and get ideas of what you want to keep.
  • Donate it! If it doesn’t fit or you’re not into it anymore – donate it or give it to a friend or family member.
  • Use ALL space Be sure you are utilizing every bit of space in your closet!
  • Door Start with the back of your door – add a hanging rack or an over the door organizer. You can use both sides of the door if needed. This is a great bit of space that most people forget.
  • Floor Stack shoes and place out of season shoes in the back. You can also put them in a bin somewhere else if you have the extra storage. Add a shoe rack if you’ve got a lot of shoes!
  • Hanging space Do you need to add an extra rod or dowel for storage? Doubling your hanging space is a great way to organize clothes better. Don’t forget accessories – special hangers or closet squares add space!
  • Height Check the height of your closet – are you using it? If not, you may want to consider putting in a shelf. This is a great place for out of season clothes or accessories.
  • Move it out If you’ve done all these things and you’ve still got serious clutter, move it somewhere else. Either fold some clothes and put them in drawers or get a bin that slides under your bed to store bulky items.

We hope this has helped you transform your closet and discover space you didn’t know you had! Go ahead – wear those shoes you forgot you had through the house and reward yourself! We would!

Clean Your Vinyl Siding

Outdoor Lighting for Your Mobile Home

Outdoor lighting is a great way to create some personality around your mobile home by adding convenience and ambiance to your exterior. So, if you are looking for an improvement that can help you out – especially during months with shorter days and less light – this may be the solution to consider. Outdoor lighting may not be at the top of your list when it comes to home improvement, so I’ll take a quick look at reasons why outdoor lighting may be a good idea for your home and some options to consider. Let’s jump in!

Why outdoor lighting?

Safety
There are many reasons you may benefit from lighting: whether your driveway is hard to see from the road, you have pets that roam around outside unseen, or friends have a hard time finding your place for a visit – adding light could make all of these issues go away. A flood light that turns on during motion could also discourage intruders.

Extends your home
Lights also make your porch into a room at night. They add space and create more room for parties, late night heart to hearts, or chasing lighting bugs with kids. You can extend shorter days in the fall by adding outdoor lighting! Your day doesn’t have to end when its dark outside. Create a space with lighting that will let you fully enjoy all the seasons.

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Adding a little light creates such a comfy space.

What lighting options should you consider?

• Path lighting
• String lights
• Flood lights
• Porch light
• Step lights
• Tiki torches
• Battery operated candles in lanterns

Extra ideas to make your lighting perfect

• Use solar paneled path and stair lights (ecofriendly!)
• Try a timer that will set lights to come on. You’ll look like you’re home and it could save you some cash on your electricity bill.

I hope this helps you create a lighting plan for your exterior! Here’s to loving your whole home – even the outside!

Keep Updating Your Outdoor Space!

7 Low-cost Ways to Update Your Kitchen

“The kitchen is the heart of the house.” You’ve heard it said, and it’s true. It’s where you sit down to fuel up and talk about your day. It’s the unloading and the pickup zone. Let’s make that space special.

If you feel bored of your kitchen, need a change of pace, or just want to create a space you love to cook in – here are some ideas for you.

  1. Add space – Think organizers! Try shelving for your drawers or refrigerator. Add lid organizers, utensil holders, or a hanging pots and pans display.
  2.  Add mats or rugs – If the floor is a little worn out or you want to hide damage, place a mat in front of the sink. You can also add runners for a decorative touch.
  3.  Embellish with a pop of color – This is easy. Use one bright color to decorate your kitchen. Try towels, vases, plates, and soap holders of one color. You can paint some of the items you have to cut the cost.
  4.  Show off the season – Bring a bit of the season inside! It’s summer so display flowers, fruits/veggies, and herbs.
  5.  Add a chalkboard – Be better about planning meals by using the chalkboard for a weeknight menu. You can also make it decorative, use it to display photos, or write a weekly quote on it.
  6.  Switch up the seating – Do you have a sizable island? Consider adding stools. Tired of your table? Try something new, swap with a family member, or add a tablecloth.
  7.  Add some warm lighting – Trying placing a lamp on the island. Add candles to open counter space.

Want something a little more involved?

Try Painting Your Kitchen Cabinets

 

How to Start Building Your Fire Pit

There are few things more rewarding and enjoyable than a fire pit on a fresh, spring night. Fire pits quickly transform your backyard into a vacation spot with little effort and cost if you research your options. Plus, if you do it well a fire-pit you make yourself can last much longer than one you purchase. Let’s explore some options for you to have the ultimate backyard fire pit!

Find the perfect spot in your yard. You’ll need a moderately flat area for a fire pit. If you have such a place, you’ll want to level it out as best you can. Be sure to dial 811 or visit call811.com for information about underground utilities in your area. This is recommended before digging to ensure no buried lines are hit. Also, be sure and ask your local city officials about the local fire code.

Outline and Level You’ll want to outline the fire pit area. Do you want a circle, square, etc.? Do you need to cut it out with a small shovel, make a mold, etc.? Be sure to measure well and completely level the area you have measured by digging out grass or covering with special gravel, fire rock, or sand. Be sure the area you have selected is far away from any structures, bushes or trees.

Plan and plot Draw out what you want the area to look like and think of measurements. Layout sticks to the shape and size where you’ll place your materials. If you have a brick or one piece of the final material you want to use to enclose your fire pit, try sizing with that.

Choose you material There are tons of options when it comes to what material you want to use. Consider using brick, gravel, stone, concrete, etc. Be sure you ask a professional if the materials you plan on using are made to tolerate high heat. Check out options to find the look and efforts you want for your fire pit!

Maintain As you use your fire pit you may realize you want to secure stones or turn the material inside the fire pit. Be sure to maintain your space well and update it as needed. Be sure to pay attention to safety options you could add if you have kids or animals that will be near the fire pit.

Get to Gardening!

5 Attitudes to Help Keep Your Financial Info Safe in the Digital Age

Today’s society is a digital one. It’s hard to escape – even when you want to. We trust the internet with a large amount of information about us, especially our finances. It makes sense – who doesn’t love online shopping? Performing financial transactions online is quicker, environmentally-friendly, and less to keep up with versus handling in person or via paper, which is not always convenient. You can’t pay with a check if you buy something online, after all. However, with the internet being the storehouse for all our bank transactions and financial processes, we have to be careful with how we interact online and what we share.

So, how can we use the internet and keep our finances safe? Let’s look at 5 attitudes that will help you deal safely on the internet:

Be a skeptic – If you sign up for a card, account, or loan ask how your info will be used and who will have to ability to see it. Read paperwork or online terms that you sign or agree to and ask questions about what confuses you. If someone on the phone, through email, or text asks for personal info – do not provide it without reason. If you did not contact them first, ask to see them in person or to see paperwork before sharing personal information. No one dealing legally with finances will demand personal information or ask for it immediately.

Be knowledgeable– Don’t be the one who doesn’t catch fraud because you never check your accounts. Log in at least weekly and be sure you can account for charges and that proper deposits have been made. Alert your financial institution immediately if you lose a payment card or fear illegal activity.

Be selective – When shopping online, don’t just buy something from a site you’ve never heard of or researched. Read reviews and research brands or companies online. If you don’t find any information, or you find bad information – don’t purchase from them. Never have your payment card information stored in a store’s website – even if you trust it.

Be thorough – Change your passwords regularly, and make them complex. Update security questions regularly as well.  Try to use multi-factor authentication to log into your accounts and applications where it is available – this means that you will have to take an additional step to gain access after entering your login credentials. Set up alerts on  your accounts and devices to notify you of sign-in activity that happens in uncommon locations versus your usual location. These steps may feel annoying, but they can discourage hackers.

Be unpredictable– Be aware of the patterns in your log in or spending activity and try to change it up from time to time where you can. Log out of email, social media sites, and other sites and applications after browsing sessions. Don’t post or list where you bank or live.

Adopt just one of these attitudes and you’re on your way to being safer online. Read more below!

Keep Your Info Safe!

Painting Vinyl on Gypsum Walls in Your Mobile Home

Some mobile homes will have vinyl walls. Typically, they will be vinyl on/over gypsum (VOG) or paper on/over vinyl (POG). It’s important to understand what you’re working with – especially if you’ve never painted this type of wall before. Adding a new paint job is a great, affordable facelift. I’ll show you some of the steps to help you do a great, lasting paint job!

Sources, like this one, stress the importance of proper technique when painting vinyl on gypsum walls. These walls are (as you are probably aware) –  a waxy, smooth texture because they are made to resist water. Read more on the home maintenance site about VOG walls and why they are such a practical choice for mobile homes.

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Find your perfect color scheme!

It’s important to note that before starting any new home project, you should always consult with a professional.

  1. Clean. You’ll need a safe, gentle cleaner and a rag or sponge to wipe down the entire wall area where you are wanting to paint. You may need to give it a few passes with the cleaner. You can let it air dry or go back through with a dry cloth. Either way, you want to make sure you give ample drying time.
  2. Quality. When it comes to selecting primer, paint, and application gear you’re going to want to pick the best you can. Many sites that give a tutorial for this project, recommend selecting the highest quality you can. This is because VOG walls may not hold your paint as well as other walls – so getting something that’s high quality ensures a better outcome. You MUST get primer for these types of walls. Keep that in mind when pricing things out before you shop. There is a 2 in 1 option, but ask the paint professionals what best fits you. Don’t forget to get good quality brushes and rollers as well.
  3. Prep.
  • Fill in holes in the walls
  • Tape off the area so you don’t get paint on the ceiling or trim.
  • Lay down old sheets or tarps to protect your flooring.

4. Battens – to keep or not to keep. Many VOG walls have battens that hold the vinyl       panels together where they join. These can be removed for painting and then filled           and smoothed over. It gives a fancy final look but adds a lot of extra time and work           unless you are used to this process. You can also simply paint over the battens. They           are visible still, but it will look nice, too.

5. Start with light coats. When applying both primer and paint use thin, light coats.          More than likely, you’ll need 2 or 3 coats to cover the wall, so over applying is                      something to be sure to avoid. This makes for easy application and quick drying!

For a little different order on the process and some more tips, check out this home site’s recommendations. You may find their approach more fitting for you. I hope this helps you get acquainted with the process and gives you confidence to keep researching and start your own painting project. For a little inspiration, check out the quiz below. This can help you find your perfect color pallet!

Easy Summer Outdoor Games

We’re taking a twist on some classics. We’ve put together this collection of games you can add to your evening to liven things up. Great for all ages, these games have just gotten better! We’re using stuff you have around the house and everyday items. We want to save you that trip to the store! Check out the games below to get started!

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Spend some quality time with the family and try some of these games!
  1. Washer Toss
  • Place a thin wooden board on the grass in a level area, place two recycled coffee containers on the board. You can also use old cups or recycled glass jars. You may have to tape containers down if they move.
  • If you’ve got old washers lying around use those. You can also toss old keys or pennies for the same effect.
  • If you’d like to do something different than the board, you can dig two small holes in the ground to throw the washers into. If you’d like a border around the holes, cut two squares out of cardboard and place them around it. Simply try and toss washers, etc. in the containers.

2. Tic-Tac-Toe

  • Grab some flat rocks and paint x’s and o’s, or two different patterns, on them. Paint the lines on a piece of wood or cut some rope and lay them out in the tic-tac-toe grid.
  • You can also use soda bottle lids instead of rocks, or cut out paper shapes.

3. Quick Water

  • This is the simple water game you’ve played before. It’s great for kids or to combat some serious humidity. All you need is at least two buckets or bowls. Then you can use a large sponge, another bucket, or cup.
  • Put everyone in a line with either a bucket at the end or beginning, or buckets throughout. Have players pass the full bucket or sponge to the end of the line and empty in the bucket. Mark a line on the bucket at the end. The first person to reach it wins! [The object is to pass the bucket as fast as possible without spilling!]

 4. Pool noodle limbo

  • Yes, it’s that easy. We recommend taping two noodles side by side and holding them up. Great for kids, they can do it themselves.

5. Three-legged race

  • Tie a bandana around the two runner’s middle leg. Mark off a finish line and start the race!

6. Don’t Spill the Beans

  • Have two or more teams race each other with a bowl or cup of beans!
  • The catch is the cup or bowl must be placed in another bigger cup or bowl of water. You can spill all the water you want but not the beans! The one with the most beans in a bucket at the end of the race, wins!

Get More Family Activity Ideas!

Mobile Home Skirting Options and Maintenance

Skirting may be the last item on your mind when thinking about your mobile home. However, it protects many important aspects of your home by wrapping around the bottom of the home. It keeps animals out from under the home, protects the piping and plumbing that runs underneath your home, and it keeps the cold out. It’s not just a style choice.

Whether you are considering the cost, durability, or appearance of skirting, there are tons of options for mobile home skirting.

Options

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Vinyl

 

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Concrete

 

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Brick/ Imitation Brick
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Lattice

If the skirting on your home becomes damaged, you should repair it or have it repaired by a contractor. It can be pretty easy to fix holes in skirting or to take preventative measures to avoid damage to it altogether.

Vinyl Skirting Repair

Vinyl skirting usually gets roughed up by weed eater lines. To avoid this try a skirt guard. This clips into the bottom of the skirting and protects the bottom edge from being torn or damaged by yard tools. There are different types with varying lengths – choose what fits your needs.

If your skirting is damaged you may try repairing small damaged areas yourself pretty easily by using either weather resistant tape or tape made for outdoor use.

You can also purchase skirting panels to replace a damaged section instead of having to replace the whole.

For brick, concrete, or lattice skirting, you’ll probably want to consult a professional as these may involve a little more effort. Vinyl skirting is traditional and can be easier to repair.

We hope this helps you decide on a change for your siding or picking a certain kind!

More Repair Tips!

Oakbur Quill Co.