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7 DIY Projects for a Cozy Home This Winter

decorating your apartment for winter

7 DIY Projects that Will Make Your Home Cozy This Winter

When you see signs of cold weather and less sunlight, it’s time to get ready for the freezing temperatures. As the arrival of the cold season can make your life uncomfortable most of the time due to the previous set-up of your home, you need to know these 7 DIY projects that will make your home cozy this winter.


Rearranging the furniture inside your home is one of the easiest and least expensive in making your home look cozy this winter. Try something different – move some of your furniture on the opposite wall, if your table is rectangular, switch its position. Seek the help of a friend, and try switching things up. If you’re particular with the process, use a tape measure and sketch out your plan beforehand. If you are going to move huge items, also consider the change of the position of artwork, wall hangings, and lighting.

Although rearranging things in your home may take longer, it is a simple undertaking process. If you’re set on the arrangement and your furniture looks good in one set up, try to change the position also of other things in the living room. Try to move the accessories from the living room to the dining room or move the lamp from the corner of your living room to your bedroom.

Adjust Your Room Temperature

When you fall asleep, your body temperature drops. Knowing this, you can use this to your advantage by creating a room temperature that can help facilitate the process. Your room temperature should be between 60 degrees and 67 degrees Fahrenheit to have optimum sleep. During winter, try to install a digital thermometer in your bedroom. The thermometer will not only help you assure that you’re in the recommended range, but it will also make you enjoy the exact and best sleep temperature.

Layer Your Bedding

To enjoy a truly comfortable sleep, you need to have the right set of sheets. The bedsheets next to your body should breathe, especially when you love to snuggle under a thick winter blanket or quilt. Cotton is a highly recommended bed sheet material because it breathes well and wicks away moisture. A thread count on a sheet is another consideration, a 400 thread count or less is good as it traps body heat and could cause you to sleep too hot. To get a cozy winter bed, try to put some warmer layers such as your duvet, this will help you give sound sleep.

Curb Your Exposure to Artificial Light

Your body produces a hormone called melatonin that helps regulate your sleeping patterns. The levels of melatonin can be affected by exposure to light, both artificial and natural. When we experience short days, we tend to ratchet up the use of artificial light, which has been shown to suppress melatonin production – especially the blue spectrum light emitted by pc monitors, TVs, and other electronic devices. During the winter season, when the days are shorter, try to avoid exposure to screens at least an hour before bed and shut off bedroom light before you go to sleep.

Paint Your Walls a New Shade

New colors can help you enlighten your day and can also impact the quality of your sleep. Bright colors like reds and yellows have an energizing effect, while cooler blues and greens create a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere. Take advantage of the physiological effects of new colors by incorporating calming tones on your walls. If repainting the walls can significantly diminish your savings, you can opt for accents, such as bedding and rugs, that incorporate the relaxing shades of nature. If you are renting a property, always remember to get prior approval before changing wall colors.

Light a Seasonal Scented Candle

Scents can influence our emotions. The olfactory system in our body, the area responsible for the sense of smell, has direct pathways to the emotional centers in our brain. The takeaway for a sound sleep during the cold nights is to identify your favorite scents and integrate them into your bedtime routine in the form of candles, essential oils, or other scented products.

Get artsy with decoupage

Try to get back to the trend of decoupage in the 60s and 70s. They can be surprisingly fresh and exciting ways to give new life to all sorts of items. Try to recover some clear bottles like candle jars with tissue paper and decoupage medium. The effect is surprisingly glass-like and beautiful, and it can bring out an accent color.

While many of us want to make our life comfortable during the cold season, it’s essential to know these 7 DIY projects that will make our home cozy this winter.


Is it Important to Have Renter’s Insurance

Is it Important to Get Have Renter’s Insurance?

If landlords purchase insurance to protect their property, the tenants should do the same. Tenants should get a renter’s insurance policy to protect their possessions and gets liability coverage in the event of an accident or other disasters. Here are some of the reasons why renter’s insurance is essential for every tenant.

Renter’s insurance is affordable

According to a report on 2013 by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), the average cost of renter’s insurance policy is $187 a year. The cost will depend on factors, including how much coverage you need, the type of coverage you choose, the amount of your deductible, and where you live.

The insurance covers losses to personal property.

A renter’s insurance policy protects against losses to your personal property, including clothes, jewelry, furniture, computers, and electronics. Even if you don’t own much, it can quickly add up to a lot more than you realize – and a lot more than you’d want to pay to replace everything. According to, the average renter owns about $20,000 worth of personal property.

Renter’s policies protect against a long list of perils. A standard HO-4 policy designed for renters, for example, covers losses to personal property from risks that include damage caused by aircraft or vehicles; damage caused by explosion; falling objects; fire or lightning; riot or civil commotion; theft; vandalism or malicious mischief; volcanic eruption; weight of ice, snow or sleet, windstorm or hail; damage from water or steam from sources including household appliances, plumbing, heating, air conditioning or fire-protective sprinkler systems.

Standard policies do not cover losses resulting from earthquakes and floods. These perils require a separate system. Also, a different rider might be needed to cover wind damage in areas prone to hurricanes. And renter’s insurance policies don’t cover losses caused by your own negligence or intentional acts. For example, if you fall asleep with a lit cigarette and cause a fire, the policy most likely will not cover the damage.

Your landlord might require renter’s insurance policy

Landlord’s insurance covers the structure itself and the grounds, but not your belongings. The landlord often requires tenants to purchase their own renter’s insurance policies to cover their personal belongings. It is the landlord’s idea, or the landlord’s insurance company recommends it – the idea being that if the tenants have covered themselves, it will take away some responsibility from the landlord. If you need assistance in finding or obtaining coverage, you can ask for help from your landlord.

Insurance provides liability coverage

Standard renter’s insurance policies include liability coverage. It protects if someone is injured while in your home or if you accidentally injure someone. It pays any court judgments as well as legal expenses, up to the policy limit.

Most renter’s insurance policies provide at least $100,000 of liability coverage, and between $1,000 and $5,000 for medical-payments coverage. You can request for higher coverage limits. If you need more than $300,000 of liability coverage, ask your insurance company about an umbrella policy, it can give you an additional $1 million worth of coverage for about $150 to $300 a year.

The insurance policy covers your belongings when you travel

Renter’s insurance policy covers your personal belongings, wherever you are, in your home, car, or while you travel. Your possessions are covered from loss due to theft and other covered losses wherever you are. Check your insurance policy or ask your insurance agent for details on what constitutes “other covered losses.”

Insurance may cover additional living expenses

If your home becomes unlivable due to one of the covered perils, your renter’s insurance policy may cover “additional living expenses,” including the cost of living somewhere else temporarily, food, and more. Check with your policy to find out how long it will cover additional living expenses, and if it caps the amount the company will pay.

Personal Injury coverage

When you visit your apartment to introduce yourself, your nosy neighbor slips in your area on some raspberry yogurt and knocks herself unconscious. She hits her head on a post and needs a few stitches. Your renter’s insurance will cover your liability for her injuries. It typically provides liability coverage from $100,000 to $500,000, which is ample. If you desire more or less, you can purchase up to $2 million or as little as $50,000 in liability coverage.

Getting a renter’s insurance is essential for every tenant as it provides coverage for your personal belongings wherever you are. Besides, renter’s insurance provides liability coverage if you accidentally cause injury to someone.


Ways to Prepare for Thanksgiving Dinner





decorating your apartment for winter


Surprising Ways to Prepare Your Home for Thanksgiving Dinner

The traditional Thanksgiving Dinner will likely get everyone busy in their kitchen preparing a big meal with multiple side dishes, a turkey or several different types of meat to roast, desserts to make, not to mention, more guests than are usually seated around your dining table. So, it is always important to plan for the Thanksgiving Feast, so that when the day arrives, you’ll be able to enjoy the occasion, knowing you’re well prepared for the celebration.

Plan Your Menu and Choose Your Recipes

You’ll want to prepare the turkey, then decide what side dishes you’ll be serving and pick the recipes you want to use for each of them. Write down the menu, and keep each recipe in a safe place so that you won’t forget. If you find the recipes in your recipe book, mark it, so it’s easy for you to remember, or, if you found it online, print them out and keep them in a folder for easy reference. This list can also serve as a reference for shopping and for remembering everything that you need to do on Thanksgiving Day.

Read Up on Any Unfamiliar Cooking Techniques

You need to read up on the proper method if you are unsure of how to roast a turkey. You might need to know how to make pumpkin puree or a pie crust. If you have time, you could also find videos showing various cooking techniques like carving a turkey or even do a trial run of specific recipes or cooking methods.

Check to Make Sure You Have the Proper Cooking Equipment

Try to understand more about your recipe and visualize how the preparation is made of each dish and make sure you have the tools and cooking equipment you need to prepare each one. Knowing the essential tools for the Thanksgiving party can help determine what you might need. Be sure to see if you’re making dishes that both will require the same tools or cooking equipment; for example, do you have enough pie pans for both the pumpkin pie and pecan pie recipes you want to make? Are you going to use the same saucepan for the gravy as you will for making the mashed potatoes? If you check this in advance, you have enough time to buy or borrow any equipment that you might need.

Tell Guests What to Bring, If Anything

It’s a good idea to tell guests what to bring. This way, you can be sure that there aren’t duplicate dishes or, worse, the omission of an essential dish of the party. Make sure everyone knows what they’re bringing, if anything, and try to understand from guests how many servings their dish can make.

Think Through How to Serve the Meal

Make sure you have enough place settings for all the dishes you’ll be serving, have the right serving pieces, and determine the number of guests attending. Decide what kind of serving portion you’ll use for each dish. It’s a good idea to put a sticky note on the underside of each serving piece to remind you what should go in each meal. Remember that oven-to-table bakers and casserole dishes can be both used as cooking vessels and serving dishes, and that’s one less dish to wash. When you follow this plan, you can be sure that come to Thanksgiving Day; you won’t be short on serving bowls for all the side dishes.

Decide on Decorations

Putting some decorations during this occasion might not be so important for homeowners, but it’s a good idea to decorate your home for Thanksgiving as it gives guests a welcoming and inviting atmosphere. So it’s better to buy or make anything for decoration that you can do in advance. A week or two before Thanksgiving is an excellent time for you to work on DIY crafts that you can use at the table, such as napkin rings, centerpieces, or place cards.

Start Shopping

Before you go to the grocery store to do some shopping, check your first shopping list and make sure you have enough freezer and pantry storage. If there’s something in your list that you can’t find in-store, or you forget something, be sure to add it to your second list to buy in the day or two before Thanksgiving. As you shop, don’t forget the extras you’ll need, such as paper napkins, and paper towels, food storage containers, and other staples.

After you have purchased everything you need for the Thanksgiving party, you can be sure to enjoy some relaxation, knowing you can prepare the Thanksgiving meal with less stress and far more enjoyable.


Cost Effective Ways to Prepare Your Home for Winter



5 Cost-Effective Ways To Prepare Your Home for Winter

When you do some essential home maintenance or repairs before the winter chill sets in, you could avoid more serious remedial work. You can easily make some fixes that are available at a lower price than you can imagine. Check out these five cost-effective ways to prepare your home for winter so you will feel more comfortable.

1. Take a look at your windows

If your windows are already old and drafty, it will add more chill to your house, and you’ll spend your hard-earned money through the cracks each time you put your heat on. You don’t need to get new windows; there is a cheaper way by using plastic shrink wrap. Covering your windows in shrink wrap can make your home cozier and reduce heating costs. You will find many kits at hardware stores that make the process easy.

If you’re hoping to save on heating costs, don’t just think about the rooms you sit in. You need to winterize the windows of your house that are rarely used, such as the basement and spare rooms. When you’re thinking of the coming years, consider whether new doors and windows are in your budget. They can often increase the value of your home.

2. Shut down the pool and the sprinkler system and drain outside faucets

A cost-effective way to prepare your home for winter is to make sure your pool is properly shut down. Even if you think you can do it yourself for the rest of the year, it’s worth to get an expert to inspect and shut down the system during October. Pool contractors tend to get busy during the last month of fall. Most sprinkler systems need the lines to be blown out. So, it’s always a good idea to seek the service of a professional. A professional winterizing is way more economical than replacing a bunch of broken lines next spring.

You need to protect your outside water faucet from the elements. It will freeze over the winter, and it could split the water line well inside the home, flooding the basement. In less extreme cases, outdoor faucets develop bad leaks. You have to work on draining the line, or you can shut off the water valve to your outside spigot, then go outside and open the exterior spigot valve and let the water drain out of the line.

3. Paint, caulk and seal exterior wood

You need to protect from the elements all of the wood trim on the exterior of your home. The wood on your deck is typically a pressure-treated or rot-resistant species of timber. Still, the wood trim around your exterior doors and windows is just a one-inch-thick board that deteriorates quickly if not protected.

Replacing this trim can be expensive. Painting and caulking is the best thing to do, which is a job most people do if they stay on top of it.

Once the wood is rotted and requires replacement, then you’re probably going to need to hire a good trim carpenter to tackle the job. Workaround your home and make sure that none of the caulk is cracking, and your paint is not chipping and flaking away. If it is, scrape away the lousy paint or caulk and apply fresh.

4. Clear your gutters

Cleaning your gutters can help you avoid major issues during the cold season. You need to clean your gutters before the temperature drops so you can prevent ice dams, which form when melted snow pools and refreezes at roof edges and eaves. Those ice dams can cause leaky roofs. If you live somewhere without ice and snow, gutter maintenance is still essential. No matter what the season, leaves fill the gutter, and this can cause leaks that damage your home and lead to mold growth.

5. Protect your plumbing

Pipes and plumbing are vulnerable to cold temperatures, and fixing them can be costly. One way to avoid pipes freezing is to turn them off for the winter. It’s essential to shut down and drain all outdoor faucets and piping. If you have pipes that run through non-isolated areas, like the garage or basement, you may want to consider insulating them to avoid freezes during the winter months.

Preparing your home for winter can take much of your time and money, but when you do, these tips during the fall months could save you hundreds of dollars this winter.


Branson is a Great Place to Call Home




More People Choose to Live in Branson Right Now and Here are the Reasons Why

Branson is widely recognized as one of the most vibrant communities in the United States where many people find it an ideal place to live, start a business or enjoy retirement. Citizens who are already living in this popular vacation spot in the Midwest enjoy numerous recreational activities, scenic beauty, and mild climates, making Branson a unique and fun place to live.

The moderate cost of living in Branson is one of the reasons why more people choose to live in this most visited vacation destination in the Midwest. The income of Branson mostly derives from tourism which helps keeps city taxes low. The cost of living in Branson is roughly 6 percent below the national average. Throughout the Tri-lakes area, you will find a wide variety of cozy homes. From multi-million dollar lakefront properties to moderately priced single-family homes, you can find the right home for you. Especially if you choose Thousand Hills Real Estate company to assist with your home search.

Branson is blessed with four distinct seasons, offering spectacular views of wooded valleys and lakes. The Tri-Lakes area features clean air and clean water, scenic highways and fantastic hiking trails that draw visitors all year round. During the spring season, you will find it great to view blooming dogwoods and redbuds as well as colorful foliage during the autumn season.

Branson is abundant with wildlife flowers and animals including foxes, coyotes, deer, bobcats and many kinds of birds. There are many businesses in Branson that are open year-round. Each year, more and more people come to Branson during the holiday season.

More people choose to live in Branson because of its great location in the Ozark Mountains and it also gives locals and visitors alike easy access to pristine lakes. This makes Branson great for outdoor activities and water adventures where you can enjoy a broad range of outdoor activities such as biking, hiking, camping, picnicking, boating, fishing, canoeing, and other water sports adventures. You will also find in Branson many nature parks that are spread throughout the area as well as ten world-class golf courses. There are also outdoor theaters that provide plenty of drama under the stars.

Branson is also a great place to enjoy water activities at Table Rock Lake that include swimming, jet skiing, parasailing, snorkeling, tubing, and more. You’ll see plenty of locals and visitors alike living it up through great recreational water activities. You will also find along with the lake cozy weekend resorts that are tucked away in coves. Table Rock Lake is also widely known for its awesome bass fishing, becoming it more popular as a fishing tournament site as well.

Lake Taneycomo is a cold-water lake that offers year-round rainbow trout fishing straight from the hatchery. The lake is an excellent environment for trout, which attracts many anglers to fish throughout the year, making it a number one fishing lake in Missouri. Bull Shoals Lake offers much of the same recreational water activities as Table Rock but in a less populated and developed environment. Bull Shoals is a great place to enjoy water skiing and scuba diving.

World-class live entertainment shows that are regularly held in many theaters in Branson and many exciting attractions are also good reasons why more people choose to live in Branson right now. Branson offers a vast amount of entertainment with more than 45 theaters and 100 shows that feature great music, magic, comedy, tribute, and concert shows. Branson offers many forms of musical entertainment including country, gospel, pop, rock ‘n roll, swing, classical, and Broadway.

Shepherd of the Hills Homestead and Outdoor Theater is home to the nation’s largest outdoor historical drama. Named after the most read novels in publishing history, Harold Bell Wright’s “The Shepherd of the Hills,” the story is re-enacted nightly by a cast of native players in a huge outdoor amphitheater. You will find it great to visit the Homestead as it offers crafts, music, shops, games, trail rides and other entertainment during daytime hours, as well as the 230-foot Inspiration Tower.

Shopping and dining opportunities in Branson abound at any time of the year, making the city a good reason to enjoy better living. You will find here many factory outlet stores that all offer fantastic shopping. One example is Branson Landing where you can find hundreds of unique shops that offer large discounts on a variety of shopping items including housewares, luggage, jewelry, shoes, and many restaurants that offer delicious cuisines.

More people choose to live in Branson right now because this favorite vacation destination features many great things making it a unique and fun place to live.


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