Thursday, March 29, 2012

Quick Ways to Save the Environment Part 2

Last post, I described the quick ways to lessen your electricity use and your power bill!

Today, I want to talk about water usage!

Easy Peasy- Quick'n Easy Ways

1. Turn water off when not using it! Brushing your teeth, shaving your legs? You don't need a full stream of water- turn it off. This will not seem like a lot, but it adds up over a month!

2. Don't pre-rinse dishes before the dishwasher. Most modern-day dishwashers have a grinder at the bottom that will grind minor food particles for you! Save time and water with this one!

3. Don't use a garbage disposal.
    A. it takes a lot of water to churn your unwanted food down the drain.
    B. They are loud and can get smelly over time.
    C. They wear out fast!
Why not start a mini compost? You get great, fresh fertilizer for free!

4. When doing laundry or dishes, always wash with full loads! Why waste all that water for just a few items? If you are needing something quickly, why not handwash in the sink? Takes a little elbow grease, but it will be ready quicker and several gallons of water saved!

5. No-bath week. (I can't do this one, ha!) Baths use about twice as much water as it does for a normal 10 minute shower. Take one week and instead of getting baths, take showers! Better yet, take a shower with your partner-- you will save on water and only have to wipe down the shower once!
6. Shorten your shower. How long do you normally spend in the shower? Say you stand there for a minute basking in the warmth. Then you wash your hair, then condition it, now you wash your body and shave. This takes between 15-20 minutes! If you were to change your process and wash and condition your hair while you are bathing your body and shaving, you can easily knock 5 minutes off your routine. Over a week, that's over half an hour your water is not running and over 170 gallons a week that you are saving PER PERSON!!!

7. Water grass in the early morning! This is the best time for the water to soak into the ground and not be evaporated by the sun. It also is better than watering it in the evening because it is less likely to promote fungus or weeds from growing.

8.  Put sprinklers on a timer! They now have timers that attach to the spigot and will allow you to walk away and still not over-water your grass!

9. Choose landscaping plants and trees that are local. They are used to the climate that you deal with, so you won't have to overly water or constantly maintain to keep in great shape.

10. Use mulch. Adding a layer of mulch will help ground stay moist so that you don't have to use as much water.

11. Check pools, hot tubs, ponds, spigots, hoses, etc... for leaks. During the winter months, keep covered to maintain water and to keep clean.

12. Install a rain barrel. It simply attaches to your gutters and you get free rain water for watering your plants. Here is a great place to purchase one!

Stay tuned- I will next reveal ways to save water that are not the quick fixes!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Super Excited

Expect me to be MIA for a while.

We are making our headboard, that will hopefully look like the one above, this week and my mind is spinning with all the work that it entails.

On another note...
Over the past few months, I have been toying with the idea of changing my website builder to get off of flash, but now I don't have to!!!

drum roll please....

  What does that mean? I now can make my design website flash free.  It will work on Ipads and the portfolio pictures can be pinned on Pinterest.

So my website will be down for about a week while I switch out!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Quick Ways to Save the Environment Part 1

Happy Spring!

Since today is the first day of spring (my FAVORITE season), I started thinking about the environment and all that 'green' stuff came to mind.

Whether I do or do not believe in global warming is not the issue, but why not take simple steps to help reduce our dependence and depletion of our natural resources?

Last year, I became a LEED Green Associate which simply means that I am trained in interior design that promotes healthy lifestyles that are environmentally friendly.

So here are some quick steps to save our beautiful world (and some money saving too)

1. Turn off lights, fans, tvs, etc when leaving a room. Why have things running if you aren't there to enjoy them?

2. Turn off computers. Ipads, etc. at night.

3. CFLS. If you change your lightbulbs to compact fluorescents, although the initial cost is more than a standard lightbulb, they last for many many years which means you dont waste time running to the store for bulbs and changing them so frequently. They also cost pennies on the dollar to run compared to a normal bulb.

They have come out with every type of CFL imaginable!

4. Motion Lights in hallways, pantries,and other small rooms. How many times are hallway lights left on- why do they need to stay on if no one is there?  Install a motion detector and it will turn on and off as people come and go.
 We have one in our hallway and it turns on and then it stays on 15 secs after motion stops. We love it! Especially if my hands are full, I don't have to stop and turn on/off the light.

5. Programmable Thermostat. We have one of these and it is amazing. You can set a program for weekdays and weekends. Set it to the temperature that you like while you are home and hot/cold (depending on time of year) when you are at work or traveling. You can't imagine how much this will lower your power bill!!!

6. Wash clothes in warm or cool water-- not only does this save power by not heating the water as much, it also keeps your clothes looking new even longer!
7. Keep your fireplace damper closed. Just think of all that 'bought air' just flying out of the house. Yes, I am from the south.

8. Clean your air filters! Keeping them clean means better air quality and the A/C doesn't have to work so hard to get you that fresh air!

9. Put up blinds! Windows that are uncovered allow heat and cold to pass easily through the glass. If it is covered, especially with a honeycomb blind design- it will keep your home at the right temperature much more easily!

10. Avoid chores during hot times of the day. Let's face it, cleaning is work and you get hot when you work. This means you are heating up the air as you clean. If you wait and clean when the sun is down and the rooms are cooler, your A/C has to work less to keep the rooms at desired temperature.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Nothing EVER goes according to plan.

In the last few weeks, Greg and I had planned to get our backyard ready for summer. You can read about that here. We had planned what we were going to do and when and how.

Change of plans. Ever since I was young, I have had back problems (somewhat like a pinched nerve in my very lower back). Once I had Brodie, the pain subsided for a while but it is now back with a vengeance! We currently have two queen beds in our home (ours and the guest room) both of which were ours from college and over 8 years old---worn out!
Our Guest Room Bed (mine from college)

We have been talking about a new mattress for a while, but we thought that there were other things that were more important. THAT was until last week. My back hurt more when I woke up than when I laid down the night before equaling NO sleep.

So our backyard fund turned into the " we need a bed" fund. We went shopping and finally agreed on this bad boy~ I am super pumped although we have to wait until next week to get it.

One problem--it's a king. Meaning new bed frame, headboard/bed, bedding, pillows and all that jazz.

Opening Pandora's box begins...
Although I had already been sort of planning what I wanted to eventually do in our room, this is moving way faster than planned and I hate making quick decisions!

Here is how our room looks now-- well sort of,  no bassinet anymore.

New "nightstand/chest". I have already purchased this at the January market, but won't be shipped until May, sigh.

And if you follow me on Pinterest, (if you don't you should!) then you know what is on my mind for the bed!

Upholstered headboards that I like cost about $1,500-2,250 retail..yeah I ain't paying that!

We are going to make an upholstered headboard~ I have been studying up and have bought all of our supplies and have a game plan. Pray for us- ha!

Stay tuned for the step by step process!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Lamp refresh

A few years ago I bought a lamp at an auction. It was one of those that I got caught up in the moment and bought it without really thinking about it.

So yeah, nothing special. Definitely not my style now. U-G-L-Y shade.

Here it is before the makeover.

I used a little silver metallic paint and a new lampshade from target.

And voila! Doesn't it look so much better! And for only $13.99 I have a new lamp that actually looks like it belongs in my home!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Stationery card

Modern Introduction Boy Birth Announcement
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