A home is where the heart is, but a house might not really feel like a home in the beginning. Moving to a new home, whether it’s through buying a house or renting an apartment, is a big deal and can be draining in the beginning. Once the dust has settled and everything is unpacked, use these tips to help make the house a home you’re going to love.
Make the Home Feel Cozy
Cozy is key when taking a house and making it a home. Think about different ways to make the home feel a little bit cozier. The right furniture is comfortable and adds to how the home feels. Use throw blankets and pillows on the sofa for a place to cuddle when it’s cold outside or look into fireplaces like those from Ultimate Fires to create an inviting space to use when it’s chilly. The cozier a home feels throughout the year, the more it’s going to feel like a home instead of just a house.
Add the Right Artwork and Décor
To create a home, choose the right décor and artwork for each of the rooms. Art can be just about anything, and artwork doesn’t just need to be hung on the wall. Instead, look around for things that have a personal meaning and that can be displayed throughout the house. Use a cohesive theme in the entire house or pick a theme for each room for a more eclectic feeling. When you add some artwork and décor that has meaning, it’s going to make the house feel more like home.
Add Extra Lighting
Most homes don’t really have enough light during the evening. Change out lightbulbs for ones that have a warmer white and add more lighting throughout the home. Create an area with warm lights near a fireplace for a cozy spot to read a book or add candles around the home for a soft light that’s perfect in the evening. Use different types of lights throughout the home for a customized lighting scheme. Consider how dark the room is when there’s no natural light inside and make sure every room can be well-lit when needed. Play around with different lighting options to choose the right ones to brighten a room or set the mood throughout the home.
Think About the Floors
Hardwood, tile and laminate flooring options can lead to gorgeous floors, but they can feel a bit bare. Instead of leaving the floors empty, consider adding in small area rugs around some of the furniture. This helps to make the home feel more comfortable overall and has other benefits like sound dampening. It also can help add more color to a room and make the room feel a bit softer. Choose natural colored carpets for a more subdued look or play around with colors and patterns to use the rug to make a statement.
A house just isn’t comfortable until it becomes home. It doesn’t take a lot to make a house a home, but it may take a little bit for you to figure out what works for you. When you’re moving to a new home, use the tips here to work on how your home looks and feels so you’ll start to see it as the perfect home, not just a place to live.
Staying healthy in the summer might seem easy enough as it’s not the season for cold and flu, sore throats and blocked noses. Summer is the season for fun, carefree days in the sun, the beach, barbecues, and swimming, however, more health risks are lurking around than you might think so you do need to have your wits about you to stay and here’s how:
Look After Your Skin
Sunburn is no fun for anyone, and odd tan lines don’t look good either, so make sure you apply sunscreen, not just to prevent sunburn and skin cancer, but it has also been proven to help slow down your skin’s aging process. Severe sunburn and sunstroke are dangerous and can also lead to extreme dehydration. Not only do you want to apply a high factor of sunscreen (at least factor 30) and apply it every two hours and after swimming or sweating, but you should also cover up when you are out in the sun with long sleeves and a wide-brimmed hat to protect as much skin as possible. Protect your eyes as well with sunglasses and make sure they block at least 99% of UV light. Also try and seek as much shade as you can and limit your direct exposure to the sun, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when UV rays are most active.
Water is the best possible summer beverage. Of course, you can still enjoy the occasional cocktail, but you need to drink more water if you are going to be out in the sun for more than a few hours. For every hour that you are out in the sun, you should try to drink at least one or two glasses to prevent dehydration. This will replenish your energy levels while you soak up the rays.
You obviously want to make sure that you have everything you need when you’re going away; however, it is essential that you pack light. While it’s not the most popular thing people think of when you mention summer injury, but actually, it is quite common. You can prevent injuries by packing light as heavy luggage can causes strains, pulls, and tears. However, if you do need to pack more because you are going on a more extended trip, make sure you bend at the knees, and use your leg muscles, and avoid twisting or rotating your spine.
Allergies and Pests
Hay fever is a popular one but summer is also rife for other allergies such as Home Fever which is mainly caused by house dust mites which are commonly found in carpets, upholstered furniture and fabrics and furry toys, and while they are entirely harmless to most people, in some they can trigger an allergic reaction in others. As the weather warms, insects and wildlife emerge from their winter slumbers and begin their search for food. This means that there are more nuisance pests around such as mosquitoes which are the most common. But there could be more than that, such as ticks in your pets or ants are very common during the summer months. If this is the case for you, then you might want to call pest control as there could be something more serious causing your allergies such as the ants or even roaches or termites.
All too often, people forget to or don’t want to eat breakfast in the morning before heading out for the day. Without an excellent nutritious meal first thing in the morning, your body can wilt in the summer sun, which can potentially lead to dehydration, fainting or heat overexposure. Eat a breakfast high in protein, such as eggs, with a side of fruit or whole grains; this will also jump-start your metabolism.
For the rest of the hot summer’s day, it’s the perfect time to enjoy outdoor meals with friends and family, celebrating and enjoying the long light evenings. Delicious salads, melons, and berries add color and flavor to picnics and barbecues but remember that warmer temperatures can quickly spoil food, so you’ll need to be extra careful. Make sure you wash all the utensils, containers, work surfaces and of course your hands before handling food. Cook food the same day as you go on a picnic, rather than in advance as this will give bacteria less time to grow. Also remember to wash fruit and vegetables before cutting, in case bacteria are present on the rind or peel and keep mayonnaise-based foods and other cold foods in an insulated cooler with plenty of ice or frozen gel packs. Always throw out leftovers that have been sitting out for more than two hours, or one hour if the temperature is over 90°F.
If you have a barbecue, then make sure you know about healthy grilling, for example, you want to serve more fish, chicken, and vegetables, and cut back on minced beef, pork, and sausages. Defrost food in the refrigerator, marinate foods in the fridge too and don’t reuse marinade that has touched raw meat or poultry unless you boil it first. Always bring one set of plates and utensils for handling raw foods and another for cooked foods to prevent cross-contamination. Remember to bring a food thermometer to be sure that grilled foods are cooked enough. Hamburgers should be prepared to at least 160°F and chicken breasts to 165°F and make sure you clean charred bits off your grill before you start cooking and from your food before you eat it. Line your grill with foil poked with holes so that the fat will drip off, but the smoke won’t reach the meat.
Avoid Getting Drunk
It’s understandable and very common for the sunny days to bring out your fun side, they make you happy, and you want to have a good time. However, it is essential that you watch how alcoholic beverages you have if you are going to be outside for more than a few hours. Drinking alcohol in the sun, dehydrates you further, causing you to sweat and urinate more, so it’s crucial that you drink water between alcoholic beverages.
Stay active, but stay coolRegular physical activity is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle no matter what the season is. The hot summer weather can make it easy and appealing to exercise outdoors and to get the whole family involved. It is better to exercise in the morning or evening when it’s likely to be cooler outdoors. If it’s too hot to go outside and exercise, still go to the gym, or walk laps or climb stairs inside an air-conditioned building or even better go for a swim where you can really cool down. Make sure you drink plenty of water and don’t wait until you’re thirsty, you can help your body to sweat and cool down by drinking water frequently. Wear lightweight, light-colored, and loose-fitting clothing as this will help perspiration evaporate and keep you cooler. If possible, wear a light-colored, wide-brimmed hat. Also, involve the whole family because physical activity is essential for everyone. Take children and even older family members to the park for a nice walk or play a game of ball. When you’re planning a holiday, you could also plan an active one such as camping, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, scuba diving, and snorkeling as these are all great ways to spend time at one with nature at the same time as getting exercise. If you’re on holiday, then you can get some great exercise while exploring by renting bicycles or going on a walking tour.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review. All opinions remain my own and weren’t influenced. My opinions may differ from those of others as well as the author/publisher. Some of the links on the following page are “affiliate links” and I may be compensated if you click on these links.
An icy road. A car crash.
A family changed forever.
Hannah Josephson had always been the “perfect” daughter. Kiera couldn’t live up to her before, and she certainly can’t now that her older sister has died in a car accident. But the image she carried resentfully of Hannah is challenged when she finds her dead sister’s diary and begins to read. Apparently Hannah’s final year wasn’t as perfect as everyone thought.
Caught in a pattern of blaming each other, the Josephson family is falling apart. Their father has left, their mother is mixing opiates and alcohol, little sister Maddie has been shipped off to spend the whole summer with their grandmother, and Kiera feels utterly alone with her grief and anger. A summer job helping at a park in a poor section of town provides a friend and a purpose.
But it’s Hannah’s diary that fills her thoughts. For the first time in years, she feels close to the sister she’s lost. But can the knowledge she gleans about her possibly help her patch back together the family that seems determined to implode?
Melody Carlson stole my heart a long time ago and ever since I’ve been collecting up her reads. When I saw Gone Too Soon, I knew I had to have it. Carlson has a way of drawing her readers in with the perfect balance of intrigue, drama, compatibility, and hope. Gone Too Soon was an emotional read that is full of family drama. The sibling rivalry is easily relatable. It will have you thinking of your own and wanting to squash any petty disagreements. I love that the book has a strong message to show readers that nobody is immune to weakness. We all have our faults and can work through them. I highly recommend this read to others. I found it to be a relatable, rewarding read.
To celebrate her tour, Melody is giving away a grand prize of paperback copy of Gone Too Soon and a matching journal!!
Hurry on over to Amazon to grab this book! *Remember that Amazon pricing is subject to change at any time with or without notice. Please double check pricing before purchasing.
Melody Carlson has written more than 200 books (with sales around 6.5 million) for teens, women, and children. That’s a lot of books, but mostly she considers herself a “storyteller.” Her young adult novels (Diary of a Teenage Girl, True Colors etc.) appeal to teenage girls around the world. Her annual Christmas novellas become more popular each year. She’s won a number of awards (including RT’s Career Achievement Award, the Rita, and the Gold medallion) and some of her books have been optioned for film/TV. Carlson has two grown sons and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and yellow Lab dog.