exterior of mobile home

Prep Your Mobile Home for Summer

As summer approaches, it’s time to give your mobile home a little love! In this post, I’ll be looking at some easy ways to prepare your home to have the best season yet. Take a little time to focus on these items. Be thinking of ways to protect your home from heat, seal in the cool air, and just prep your home for all the activities in summer. Check out the ideas below to get started!

  • Try filling or patching up your driveway. Whether you have a gravel, concrete, or even an asphalt driveway – you can fix those edges and fill in dips or holes. You don’t have to do a complete overhaul, just work on the problem spots that weather and time may have disrupted. Check out options for your type of driveway!
  • Take care of the weeds in your yard. You may have already done this if you planted some new items late winter or early spring, but either way it’s a great time to spray and/ or pull weeds. Be sure you deal with the roots or recover an area with wood chips or rocks.
  • Clean and repair windows. You lose a lot of cool air if your windows aren’t sealed well. Caulk where needed and fix screens as necessary. You can also clean windows well as a housekeeping piece. Check our post to help you with your windows! Woman cleaning windows in house
  • Make sure your AC and fans are in working order. You can clean your unit. Dust those ceiling fans or if you’re in a warm climate you may already feel the need for some fans. Try installing some fans to help circulate and push the air through and keep you cool.
  • Clean your deck. Does your deck need a good pressure washing or leave in cleaner? Mine does! The rain and tree leaves can do some damage to your deck, so be sure to clean them up yearly if you’re able. It looks great and protects your deck by giving it a longer life. Could your deck use an extra layer of protection? Staining your deck is a great early summer project!
  • Set up outdoor tools if you haven’t already. Garden hoses, grills, sprinklers, lawn chairs, etc. Dust them off, spray them down, and get them clean for all those summer celebrations and projects. Needing to add some tools to your collection? – these are great ones to have for your mobile home!
  • Repair skirting. The underside of your home is an important focus when it comes to keep the air you want in and keeping unwanted critters out from under the bottom of your home. Take this time to repair your skirting, maybe add some all new, or even check out the condition of your vapor barrier.

Clean Your Vinyl Siding!

I hope this gets you thinking of other ideas and that you can make a day of projects and simple updates before summer comes! Happy prepping!

American flag

How to Support Military and Their Families this Memorial Day

After the past year/ year and a half we all need an extra hand and a little extra love. This is especially true for our veterans, active members, and military families. In this post I’ll be looking non-profits and support networks that look to help those people, and how to join them. It’s so important to give back where you can.

There are many ways to help non-profits like these.

The three most helpful ways to do so are:

  1. Donate. You can donate money directly, drop off a physical item by looking at needs lists or asking the organization what they’d benefit from at the time, plus you could also sponsor someone or donate to an event. You can also become a monthly or consistent donor.
  • Volunteer Time. Offering your time, especially continuously over time is very helpful to most organizations. This helps you learn the true heart of the organization and be able to know the fine details of their work.
  • Awareness/ Advocate. This is important for all non-profits, but definitely local organizations. More eyes, hands on deck, and donations are what keep these groups going. Anytime you find a cause you love that you know does good work – be vocal about it. It’s an easy way to make the world better. Just sharing their work, vision, and maybe why it matters to you or why you’d want others to join.

Here are some organizations I think are great:

  • Wounded Warrior
  • Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors
  • Children of Fallen Patriot’s Foundation
  • Operation Gratitude
  • Freedom Service Dogs of America
  • AAAA Scholarship Foundation, Inc.
  • Blinded American Veterans Foundation
  • National Coalition for Homeless Veterans
  • Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund
  • Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Inc.

Places you can find great non-profits to support:

I hope that this post helps to connect you to some organizations that do amazing work. Pass this on or share with a friend and consider helping your community together! To all our military men and women, thank you for your service.

More Memorial Day Ideas!

Man using tool with dog

Easy Ways to Update Your Mailbox


Updating your mailbox is a quick, easy way to add some charm to your home. It’s an opportunity to introduce your home to your guests before they even open the front door. This is a great, flexible project for all skill levels. Now, I’ll talk about some easy ways to spruce up your mailbox.

Add some color. Have an old mailbox? Give it new life by sanding it and adding some paint. You can paint the base as well or stain it if it’s wood. You may have to prime the mailbox depending on the material. Want an easier route? Grab some spray paint, painters’ tape, a few old sheets to protect your grass or curb, and there you go.

Add some color to your mailbox!
  • Count it out. Is your home hard to find? Make it a little easier to find by adding large statement numbers to the base. You can add them directly to the base or you can add them to a flat base and then lean it up against the mailbox or nail it on.
  • Do some landscaping. Want to add a garden around your mailbox? Start by measuring how big you want your garden or flower bed to be by laying string or spray painting your lines in the grass. Choose the shape you want and try to make everything even and symmetrical. You can then lay rocks or whatever you like for edging. Next, you can till the top layer of land a little bit or you can lay gardeners’ fabric, then lay the soil. Lastly, you can plant your items as directed. Chose the plants based on the sun amount needed and what fits your climate best. Additionally, you can add wood chips if you like, once the flowers are planted. If you want something a little easier you can add a hook to your base and hang a flower basket or purchase a small flowerpot sling to go over your mailbox.
  • Stick to brick. Want to take it up a notch? Fake brick or real brick can make your mailbox sturdy and look super sophisticated. This can be a harder project as it involves more time and skill. Especially if you use real bricks. Here’s some help with this project if you’re wanting to use real brick. If it were me, I’d just keep it simple and apply fake bricks. You can get panels that can easily cover wood or metal bases. Usually, you can just cut them to size and bolt them in. You may also use a strong adhesive.

Freshen Up Your Curb Appeal!

What ideas do you have? I hope that these ideas get you started thinking on how you can personalize your mailbox.

Some of My Favorite Mobile Home Features and Décor Ideas

I’ve seen a lot of mobile home listings and interiors in my time here. It’s fun to look through the various layouts and see the styles/models throughout the years. Mobile homes really do have so much personality and can fit a variety of lifestyles and preferences.

With that in mind, I want to share some of my favorite features and décor within mobile homes, similar to those that can be found in our inventory.

Check Out Our Inventory!

Features:

Built-ins are always one of my favorite features. They add practical storage to any space and can save you money on furniture by keeping you from needing it. They are also great for organization and make beautiful focal points in your home. You can fill them photos and memories to display for your company.  


built-in
Built-ins are such a powerful organization tool.

Modern, rectangular tubs – Garden tubs are traditional in mobile homes that are a bit older, but these tubs are the new trend, and I’m here for it. I like how they have their own nook, complete with shelves and room for candles. Plus, that ledge is perfect to prop up your phone, watch your favorite show and enjoy a few snacks to unwind for a bit.

bathtub
Make some time for yourself to take it slow.

Command central kitchen islands – Mobile home kitchens are super practical, spacious, and have efficient counterspace. This feature is no different. I love these huge islands that let everyone cook together with the sink and dishwasher accessible. Of course this space is made complete with the built-in chalk board!  

kitchen with island
This kitchen layout is an entertainers’ dream!

Décor ideas:

A colored accent wall – Paint changes everything, and a striking wall or pop of color when you walk into a mobile home is the best welcome. It’s an easy project that adds an interesting element.

mobile home accent wall
This accent wall draws the eye in and creates character for the room.

A nautical touch – Maybe it’s just the part of me that is landlocked, but I love a bit of the ocean in a house. This big whale art piece and rug, are the perfect touch to make you relax into the ebb and flow of the ocean you can imagine while enjoying this room.

nautical themed room
A nautical room is a great way to incorporate fun and whimsy to your décor.

Glass Jar Pantry – The trend of glass or clear containers in your kitchen is so tasteful to me. It’s much more appealing than the branding on a ton of different boxes. To be honest, maintaining the effort to keep everything in a container or buying in a bulk, would be hard for me, but it is pretty and could be worth the time!

glass jars of food
These glass jars make for a beautiful, ecofriendly alternative.

What’s your favorite feature in your mobile home, or your potential home? What about décor ideas? What trend do you fall for old or new? While you are dreaming, visit vmfhomes.com today and make that dream come true in your home.

The Hidden Benefits of Houseplants

Houseplants probably aren’t the first thing that comes to mind for most when it comes to home maintenance. Surprisingly, these little plants add more than aesthetics to anyone’s decor. So, what are the benefits of having them and how can they aide in home maintenance?

Houseplants have been found to reduce dust and mold in your environment, which means less dusting for you and better air quality! Speaking of air quality, house plants can purify and add moisture to your air.

Your home’s environment and air aren’t the only receivers of the benefits, you are too! Adding plants to your space can boost your mood, relieve stress, and help provide restful sleep. Adding plants to a variety of rooms in your home will expand the benefits you can receive.

If you are a beginner at caring for plants, you may need to do some research to find the right ones for you. It’s a good idea to factor in the time you have to care for a plant. For example, a plant that doesn’t need a lot of watering, like a cactus, would be ideal if you are busy, travel often, or tend to forget about plants. A snake plant would be a good option if your home doesn’t get much natural light.

Some great plants to consider for beginners and are easy to care for are:

  • Aloe Vera
  • Christmas Cactus
  • Lucky Bamboo
  • Succulents
  • Snake Plant
  • Spider Plant
  • Cacti

Certain plants can provide added benefits compared to others. For example, you can use the aloe plant to help with skin issues and sunburns. Be sure to research which plants work best for what benefit you are looking for!

All in all, incorporating plants into your space can offer more than just decoration by providing health benefits and improving your home’s environment. Who knew bringing a little outside to the inside of your home could provide such an array of benefits!

Keep Going Green!

Sources:

https://www.swansonsnursery.com/blog/health-benefits-of-houseplants

https://www.nbcnews.com/better/health/indoor-plants-can-instantly-boost-your-health-happiness-ncna781806

https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/ss/slideshow-health-benefits-houseplants

How to Make and Master Your New Year’s Resolutions

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.” – Neil Gaiman

Let’s be honest. New Year’s resolutions are a joke to most people. This is not because it’s silly to set goals and improve your character or lifestyle – it’s not. But rather the issue is we make these lofty, vague goals with no staying power. We run for the first week of January, hate ourselves for most of February, and resolve to being a quitter come March.

To begin, when making your resolutions try to think about them for at least a week. That’s right. No quick, thoughtless goals for you. Sit down, light a candle, and brainstorm. Write down five things that have been hard for you in 2020. This could be anything. It does not have to be an obstacle – it can be something you want to do better at, or something new you want to be more acquainted with. From there consider your relationships, hobbies, and personal health. How can you combat your five difficulties?

Try making resolutions that respond directly to issues or pain points within your life. This will make them both specific, personal and therefore powerful. Make resolutions that directly correlate to your life by either improving or finding a solution for problems you face daily. Those are the type of resolutions you’ll be motivated to keep.

Sprinkle in some easy resolutions like drink more water, cook more, etc. These will boost your confidence and give you some easy wins.

Next, once you’ve finalized your resolutions (we recommend six tops), read them to a friend. Tell them your ideas and allow them to help you perfect and tweak your resolutions until they are the best they can be. Ask your friend to keep you accountable by texting you reminders or spending time with you every few weeks to talk about how you’re doing.

Be open to a break time. Some resolutions are hard to stick to. You might struggle or break your resolution for a day or a week. Get back up, don’t give in. Change takes time. You’re trying to break a cycle you may have been in your whole life. Give yourself some grace. If you drop off a little, accept it, learn from it and start again. That mistake or shortcoming may be the break that allows you stick with your resolution long term.

Tape up your resolution with a motivational word or quote. Put it on your desk at work, make it your phone background, or put a post-it note in your car. Keeping your goals in front of you – keeps it fresh on your mind.

Lastly, celebrate your progress. Kept with most of your resolutions after 4 months? Write it down, share it, make yourself a pie – whatever says, “I’ve got this!” to you is the perfect celebration. The discouragement we feel during change often leads us to quit because we forget to look at our growth. We only highlight our failure instead of being grateful for what we have learned.

2021 isn’t your year. It’s been your year all your life. Maybe you just haven’t seized it. Start today. Break the cycle. Change looks good on you.

Need some ideas for a resolution still? Give your pocket book a little love by paying off some debt.

How to Be Present: Capturing and Making Memories with Family

There are times when I sit back and get the joy of taking in the moment while it is happening. When this occurs, I ask myself why this can’t always be the case. I know it’s a practice. I know there are things I can do to live in the moment, remember it well, and situations that can aid in both. Memories with family are so important, and I want you to be able to have them to hold on to and savor. Let’s jump in!

Ideas for making memories:

  • Cooking – Make mealtime a process of love. Have each member of the family help. This encourages your family to learn together and work towards a common goal. Plus, it teaches your kids they can always pitch in.
  • Reading/ story time – This timeless classic makes the list every time for a reason. It’s just a great way to get off screens, practice a skill, and let your imagination and listening get some time to run free. This is perfect for kids, but it’s not limited to them. You could read comics, history books, or interesting biographies to engage teenagers. Don’t skip on stories you like too!
  • Help someone out – Random acts of kindness are a beautiful way to keep your family thinking of others. Look around for friends, family, or community efforts that could use your time, creativity, or resources and spend that time together.
  • Learn a new skill together – Pick something obscure you’ve all never done, or something one person has done and work together to learn a new skill. Try to pick a skill that can have different level so the whole family can find interest in it. Try things like: indoor rock climbing, bread making, sewing, alcohol ink painting, household maintenance/projects, etc..
  • Research/teach your family history – It’s important to know where you came from and the people that went before you. This will help you and your family appreciate your heritage and hopefully know a little more about the world. Research on your own, let kids interview grandparents, do a story night with extended family, try a DNA service, etc.
  • Visit a national park – Getting outside and having the chance to learn something new is a great combo. Take a small trip and discover a place you didn’t know before.

All of these ideas focus on memory making ideas that force you to pay attention. They use steps, listening, learning, and new experiences to keep you on your toes. They make you proactive instead of just responding or going through the motions. Press into that and see what follows.

Ways to capture/remember those memories:

  • Create traditions – Repetition will help you have a marker for memories, and it will give you something to look forward to. Plus, you can compare years and pass down the traditions.
  • Instant cameras – I don’t like to take pictures. When I’m in the moment they can feel planned or arduous or just for social media. I got an instant camera and it helps me just capture the important times, and then I instantly have a photo I can physically keep. I recommend this for people who don’t do photos often.
  • Scrap book/shared memory journal/photo book If you love photos, scrap books are an old favorite. A memory journal can be fun for storytellers. You could make a family blog, or buy a big journal and let everyone record their memories as they see fit. You could even have a photo printed on a puzzle and give to a member of the family.
  • Collect maps/ map journaling – For those of us that love a location – maps can be a great memory marker! You can write the date on them and what you did in the area. You can even organize them like a journal or in a journal and keep all the places with you!
  • Postcards – This is similar to the previous ideas. You can send them to others, send them to yourself, or just keep them in an album.
  • Encourage the sensory – I love this idea! Whenever you’re making memories take mental notes on the senses. With kids, help them focus on as many senses as possible. Note smells or make something with a great scent. Focus on touch through textures – feel sand, grass, water, etc. Try a unique treat from wherever you are. Play a song and dance. Listen hard to the rhythm of the day around you. Sight is pretty simple, but share what you notice.

Make a Holiday Memory!

I hope this post inspires you to be strategic about how you spend time and encourages you to try something new. Plus, I hope that it helps you really see the beauty of the moments as you’re in them.

Affordable Holiday Gifts That You Can Add Your Own Flair To

It’s true that the thoughtfulness of the gift is what makes the impact. With that in mind, it makes me think of how adding a little time and personal touches to your gift does just that. I’ll be looking at things people enjoy getting, are practical, or just add some pizzazz to everyday life. Of course you know who you are gifting better than me, so go with your gut if these ideas don’t fit.

All the ideas below you can embellish, personalize, or make from scratch. Pinterest has tons of ‘how tos’ surrounding each idea. Or you can just follow your own inspiration. Here are some personalization ideas:

Lifestyle Q1 2019 - Home Office -13

• Add some color with paint/washi tape
• Monogram it
• Add patches
• Add stickers/vinyl
• Stamp it
• Add photos
• Add ribbons

Here are some gift idea categories:

Kitchen gifts: If you’ve got a friend or family member that’s a new homeowner or a new renter – a gift for their kitchen can be fun and useful! You also can’t go wrong unless they don’t love cooking and even in that case you could make something that makes their life easier and inspires them in the kitchen.

Ideas:
• Wooden spoons
• Mugs
• Cannisters
• Food mix (hot chocolate/soup/dip)
• Spices (mix up your own blend)
• Aprons
• Soaps
• Reusable grocery tote bag

Accessory gifts: Everyone likes something that helps them keep their stuff together and/or gives them some flair. These ideas are great for the organizer, teenagers, or just someone you want to treat with something fun!

Ideas:
• Ring holders
• Jewelry
• Lotion
• Wallet / money clip
• Keychain
• Notebook
• Tie clip

Home gifts: Every home needs a little warming. These gifts are perfect for the homebody and the one who loves to entertain in their home.

Ideas:
• Blankets
• Coasters
• Magnets
• Flower / plant pot with plant

Try Something From Our Pinterest Board!

There are endless options – these are just a few to get you started. I hope these help you brainstorm on some amazing gifts you can give this year without the big price tag.

How to Make Homemade Caramel Apples

Nothing says fall quite like pumpkins and apples. There are so many wonderful recipes that create great Autumn smells in your kitchen! One of my favorite things is caramel apples. Usually people will find them at fairs or if you are lucky, a good one in the grocery store.   You might not realize this is an easy thing to make right in your own home!

First, make sure you set all your ingredients and tools.

What you need:

  • Caramel
  • Apples
  • Sticks
  • Double Boiler/sauce pan/microwaveable bowl
  • Big Spoon
  • Cookie Tray
  • Parchment paper/Tin foil
  • Cooking spray/Butter
  • Crushed nuts or other toppings (optional)
  1. Prepare the apples:

Before you start anything, you will want to make sure your apples are ready to go.

Wash your apples thoroughly to make sure all the wax and dirt is removed. Once done, fully dry the apples. Any moisture will prevent the caramel from sticking properly.

The next thing you’ll want to do is destem the apples and add sticks to them. You can use which ever kind of sticks you like. Pointed sticks do make it easier to add the stick to the apple rather than a duller stick.

After your caramel is ready, you won’t want to worry about it hardening or burning depending on how you are warming your caramel.

2. Prepare your station:

After you prepare your apples to be dunked, you will want to make sure you have a place to put them once you are done covering them. Take a cookie sheet and line it with parchment paper or tin foil. Since caramel can be so sticky, you will also want to grease the surface. You can spray it with a cooking spray or use butter. You can grease your cookie sheet directly, but cleaning up will be easier if you use some kind of liner in case any caramel does get left behind.

3. Warm up your caramel:

You can always make your caramel from scratch or you can use store-bought candies. This time, I used the store-bought candies. If you use them, you will want to follow the directions to add about 2TBS of milk, heavy whipping cream, or water (whatever the candy recommends) to the caramel and stir. If you are warming this on the stove top, make sure to stand by it and keep the heat low to medium to prevent burning.

When your caramel is melted, it should still be thick and gooey. If it is too runny, your apples won’t cover well. You will want to make sure that the caramel is smooth when stirring. If your caramel is still too thick after adding the 2TBS, you can add 1TBS at a time to have it get to the right consistency.

4. Ready to dip!

Once your caramel is ready, start dipping your apples! Submerge your apple as much as possible to allow for the best coverage. I like to use a big cooking spoonto add caramel to the top and then spin the bottom of the apple on the spoon to remove the excess caramel while keeping it coated. When dipping the apple, turn the apple in the caramel, this will allow for even coating.

5. Add toppings:

I prefer to add crushed nuts to my apples, but you can add anything you like. You can even drizzle them with chocolate. Whichever topping you decide to use, make sure they are small.

Immediately after coating your caramel apple, twirl the apple around in your topping and then place on your tray for the caramel to set.

6. Repeat:

Keep repeating this process until all your caramel is gone or until you have made enough caramel apples. Work quickly, but don’t worry, you can always warm your caramel back up if it starts hardening before you are done dipping.

Keep the apples refrigerated if you don’t plan on eating them right away. If you do keep them at room temperature, don’t place them in direct sunlight so the caramel won’t start melting.

7. Enjoy and share!

Once you are done and the mess is cleaned up, enjoy your fresh caramel apple and share with your family and friends (or don’t because they are just that good)!

Keep Celebrating!