Products For Your Home You Will Love

With winter on the way, and fall finally here (thank goodness for the end of that scorching summer heat!), we are going to be spending more time indoors. Keeping that in mind, here are some interesting and useful new items that you can use year round.

Calamityware serving-ware brings whimsy and art to the dinner table. These fantastical porcelain-plates will also serve as conversation starters, with hidden pictures created by Calamityware and artist Don Moyer. These clever takes on flatware are both pretty and unique, while using a traditional blue and white color scheme. Unexpectedly decorated plates, mugs, and more are covered with depictions of sea monster creatures, giant robots, frogs, and more creatures from sci-fi.  Dishwasher and microwave safe, they are as functional as they are interesting. While they aren’t cheap- $42 for each plate, for example, they make your table a more fun place to dine. Check out all the options at  https://calamityware.com

dinner plates

Save money and single-use-plastic waste by filling and refilling water glasses and  bottles at home. Safe Home Drinking Water Test Kits help provide peace of mind, letting you know what’s in your water. Learn about your tap water with these helpful and easy to use home test kits. Test your water, and make sure that your family’s health is protected.  There is a lot of nonsense in most town’s water nowadays, find out if there is trouble with yours. 80% of the body is water, and you use it for everything- cooking, bathing, drinking, washing, and more. It’s vital to have safe water.  According to the brand, “Safe Home® and Safe Home® Pro EnviroTestKits from Environmental Laboratories, Inc. (ELI), one of North America’s largest EPA Certified Laboratories for testing drinking water, provides several testing options in three easy steps.  Upon receiving the results, you’re empowered to make appropriate decisions – for instance, installing a water treatment or filtration system or disinfecting your well system, among other solutions.”  They are easy to use, the directions take only about a minute to complete and are all but foolproof. There are options for test at home as well as sending a sample out for more detailed information. For more information, visit http://envirotestkits.com/drinking-water-test-kits/

at home testing kits

For your pets, check out HandsOn Gloves (in several colors and sizes, including for children). Get rid of all the excess hair and shedding, which will help your home as well as your allergies. Some dogs (and many cats) hate being brushed, but with the use of these gloves, it just feels like some petting and attention. You can use them in the water at bathtime, or dry. Get your kids to help out, and take care of the pets like they promised to- it’s not work and it’s very easy. It’s also effective, which many products can’t claim honestly.  They take off huge amounts of unwanted and excess fur with no pain or struggling- we were amazed by the huge clumps of fur made by our youngest dog, especially. Good for all hair types, although with very long haired pets you might want to supervise the kiddos so they don’t create knots (as with any brushing). Made with hypo-allergenic, bio-friendly components that are proven to be safe for use with humans and animals, it does it’s job by keeping everyone healthy. For more information, prices, and to choose yours, please visit https://handsongloves.com

easy to use pet brush

5 Ways to Make Your Home More ‘Green’ and Save Money

The crazy weather and horrid hurricanes and storms plaguing the entire planet are more than enough proof of the climate change. Scientists have yet to determine whether we are past the point of no return. However, one thing is perfectly clear now and it’s that reducing the carbon footprint of your home is essential. It’s the contribution everyone can make into the fight for preserving our planet’s health. It’s also a wise way of saving a bit of money, as making your house more energy-efficient will cut down your bills. To make your home more ‘green’ you’ll need to replace some appliances with a solar installation companies like Sun Rock Solar and do some minor but effective changes to the décor.

5 Steps to an Energy-Efficient Home Everyone Can Afford

Forget about your clothes dryer

There are energy-efficient variations of all important house appliances. You can check the Energy Star website to choose the best devices for your home. You’ll be able to find clothes driers there. However, the truth is that this particular appliance is never worth the energy it uses. Regardless of how little of it the device consumes.

A washing machine with a high RPM (rotation per minute) rate can ensure your clothes come out nearly dry. Therefore, unless you are living in a place where air-drying is a complete impossibility, using a dryer is always a waste of money as well as a major addition to the carbon footprint of your home. Note that it’s also not good for the majority of fabrics.

Reduce your use of an AC unit

Fans are over a dozen times more energy-efficient than air conditioning systems. The Huffington Post also brings to light some important research on how AC units can be a cause of sickness. Therefore, the best way to keep your room cool in the summer is to get a high quality stand fan. This particular type of device allows you to cool a specific area and offers you something an AC cannot, meaning a pleasant breeze.

Ceiling fans are also more efficient than air conditioning and require less maintenance. They can make an entire room cooler, but overall, their ‘effect’ is less pronounced than that of a pedestal fan.

Make your house ‘leak-proof’

The most ‘leaks’ your house has, the more energy you are wasting when cooling or warming it. If you can’t afford to renovate and add another layer of insulation or replace your windows, you can look up DIY options. There are affordable kits that will allow you to reduce the waste of heat through the windows and doors. You can find many cheap insulation materials and cut the costs further by looking for discounts. Also, don’t forget about simple things, like sealing off your chimney when it’s not in use or finding some thick curtains.

Reorganize your home (if necessary)

Sometimes, to make your home more energy-efficient you only need to move the furniture. Make sure none of the vents are obstructed by anything. Lift the curtains up or away from the radiators. Place big pieces of furniture near the walls so they don’t obstruct the air circulation.

You also need to make sure that your fridge isn’t located anywhere near the stove. Even if your kitchen is very small, try to have at least one cupboard between them.

Get a dishwasher

Even when you are on a tight budget, you should consider buying a dishwasher as soon as you are able. Studying your water bills should inspire you to do this as using this appliance. Think that washing a load of dishes by hand might use up 27 gallons of water.

An Energy Star approved dishwasher will need about 3 gallons per one load. This difference easily makes up for the bit of electricity used by the appliance and still allows you to save money in the long run.

Qualities to Look for in the Best electrician

There is a lot to think about when you need to hire an electrician. You need to think about your budget, the work that needs done, whether you need to the work done now or whether you want to wait, and so on. Added to this is the extra burden that not everybody who labels themselves as an electrician is qualified to do so, which can leave you in a worse position than you started out from. These people take the money and word-of-mouth recommendations which should by rights go to an actual electrician.

Certification

A qualified electrician will be able to show his certification if you ask for it. Aside from being able to ask him or her to specifically show you certificates which say that they are proficient in the skills you need, they are usually legally required to show such certification on their websites or promotional material. The certificates show that governing bodies have seen fit to say that the person you have engaged for your electricity work is actually capable of the job.

Price

The old adage that you get what you pay for is still very true when it comes to industries that involve electricians. If someone is asking an amount of money in payment for their work which seems too good to be true, assume that it is. Prices vary within the electricians – this is why you should get quotes from at least three different people before making a decision on what to do – but in general the prices should be reasonable for the work you actually need done. This can mean that it is a bit higher than you might otherwise have thought.

Recommendations

This can mean word-of-mouth recommendations, but this is also how fake electricians get their work, so tread carefully. Reviews and recommendations are now available in various places online – so long as the electrician has an online presence, you should be able to find some reviews about them online. These reviews can lead you towards or away from certain electricians, depending on how good the service was.

Another way to use recommendations is to ask the electrician themselves to give you letters of recommendation from previous customers.

It can be difficult to see how anybody could tell the difference between an actual electrician and one who is just running a scam, especially since anybody can set up an online presence these days. But there are ways to ensure that you get a properly qualified electrician, and while this article is only the start of how to go about that, it is definitely a good place to start, and a good place to get some ideas for how to proceed in finding more information. Finding a good electrician can take a lot of work, but it is something that is entirely worth the effort, as good electrical work can last a lifetime, while bad work can be something which leads to your entire house being put in danger.

Decorating Your Outdoors for the Holidays

Getting ready for the holidays? These decorations are super fast and easy to put up- as someone who isn’t the tallest person in the world, I can appreciate non-strand-light holiday lights, LOL.

Say goodbye to tangled Christmas lights and giant inflatables that deflate into a messy heap on your front lawn. These two Christmas décor/lighting products for the home that are a snap to install and low-maintenance.

Star Shower Window Wonderland is a projector that transforms your windows into animated holiday displays. Place the projector near any window, hang the included screen, and choose from six included holiday movies to play with the touch of a button. Turn dreary windows on dark wintery nights into colorful, entertaining exhibits in minutes. This product is also great for apartment-dwellers. (Video: https://tinyurl.com/ybvsqe2n.)

Next, use Star Shower Slideshow to transform the entire front of your home into a merry canvas of dazzling color. Setup is easy—choose the slide you want to use, insert it into the unit, and watch it play. Star Shower slideshow is safe for use in wet winter weather and covers up to 3200 square feet with colorful, LED light images of snowflakes, bows, trees and more—and can be adapted for indoor use as well. (Video: https://tinyurl.com/y9doevqz.)

These very easy to use, easy to set up decorations are great for the winter holiday season- and for other holidays, as well. And they aren’t expensive at all, so you will definitely get your money back on use.  Depending on where you buy them, I have seen them online and in stores as low as $20, so you really can’t go wrong. Check it out for yourself!

Happy holidays, Seasons Greetings- and enjoy your decorations.

How to Avoid the Creepiest Spring Pests with Natural Pest Repellant

Spring is finally here! By now you may have started to see the first signs of winter coming to an end such as warmer weather, flowers blooming and even the return of a few unwanted guests that have been hiding away all winter long. Spring brings out the pests, which makes the beginning of this season the perfect time to prevent an infestation before it begins, and doing so doesn’t have to mean exposing your household to dangerous toxins. Fortunately, Stay Away® by EarthKind® offers natural pest repellants that are both safe and effective.

If you are afraid of spiders, here’s a creepy thought- during the spring is when the spider population multiplies! Spiders mate in the fall and their baby eggs hatch in the spring. To prevent spiders and their babies from infesting your home, Kari Warberg Block, pest prevention expert and founder of EarthKind® , recommends the following:

  • Use a spray made of half a cup of water, half a cup of vinegar, two tablespoons of liquid dish soap and 20 drops of thyme oil. The scented mixture has been used to prevent them from attaching their silk to sprayed surfaces.
  • Invest in a natural spider repellent, like Stay Away® Spiders. Made with Citronella, Lemongrass and Rosemary, Stay Away® Spiders disrupts a spider’s sophisticated senses, keeping them out of treated areas with a scent pleasant to people, but offensive to the insects  that spiders eat. No food, no spiders! Use one pouch anywhere webs or spiders are noticed, such as basements, closets and attics, increasing the number of pouches until desired results are obtained.

A recent entomological survey of North Carolina homes found spiders in 100 percent of them, including 68 percent of bathrooms and more than three-quarters of bedrooms. If you live in an area with a warmer climate, chances are you have at least one creepy crawler lurking around your home.

Not afraid of spiders? Finding a moving box of rice inside your pantry might be enough to make your skin crawl. The pantry moth is considered to be the true definition of the word pest. These pests can affect everyone no matter where you live or how clean your home may be. Pantry moths live in dry food products throughout the United States such as cereal, flour, grains and even pet food. It only takes one female to enter your home and she can quickly cause an infestation with her ability to lay 300 eggs at a time. Once the eggs hatch, they will feed on and infest all the dry food in your pantry. Kari has the following tips to prevent pantry moths from making themselves home in your food this spring:

  • Check all packages inside and out for small holes, cocoon webbing, or off-white moth larvae.
  • Store foods in airtight glass, metal, or plastic containers.
  • Place a non-toxic Stay Away ® Moths pouch in your pantry to prevent any moths you may have brought home from reproducing. Stay Away® Moths works by using a unique blend of essential oils that smell offensive to moths, but pleasant to people. It’s safe for your family, the environment and your food.

Stay Away® products are available for purchase online and at your local Lowe’s and  in select ACE locations nationwide.

Sharks and Ninjas to Help You Clean Up Your 2017

Now that the holidays are done and gone, what do you do with all the leftovers? Cleaning up after the festivities can be quite a project. Here are some of our favorite finds to clean up our acts in 2017.

Everyone has been in and out of your home for months now. The floors are a mess, and you could really use a deep cleaning.  From winter mud and snow and salt to all the random foods prep and holiday wrapping and decorations, there is just more mess then usual. The Shark Rocket Complete  is beast of a vacuum, with two powered brush rolls to make sure all the debris is picked up.  It’s good for hard floors or carpets, as well. The soft roll and gets into things by grabbing large, small, or stuck on items off hard flooring while grabbing large particles and piles on carpets.  The second brush roll has a bristle head, which on hard flooring accelerates large, small, and stuck on particles into the vacuum while on carpet deep cleans and pulls stuck on and small particles into the vacuum.  These two brush rolls working together make short work of just about any dry mess you can think of as well as regular vacuuming around the house.  It really gets in there, and you can tell the difference. About $200 on http://direct.sharkclean.com

For those sealed hard floor messes which a vacuum isn’t built for, check out the Shark Genius Steam Pocket Mop System.  This mop system is built to deep clean your floors using steam as the main agitator. The steam releases most messes and spills with minimal effort through the pad, lifting away the mess without you every having to touch it.  The stem can also be delivered directly to the floor with the Steam Blaster, which was created for stuck on or greasy messes, where steam is applied directly to the mess and can be wiped away with the pad secondarily.  The pad itself grabs 99.9% of common household bacteria (according to the manufacturer).  The best part is the amazing clean you get- the second best is the hands off approach to cleaning it gives you.  The pad detaches right into the laundry without ever having to get your hands dirty with a simple button push. That’s the third best part- no more pads to buy. About $120 on http://direct.sharkclean.com

If you are looking to clean up your eating habits as well, you might want a Ninja. Not only useful, but it’s fun to mess around with. The Nutri Ninja Nutri bowl Duo is an all in one blender, fusion machine for food prep, and processor. It can break down whole foods, seeds, ice, nuts, and more.  The dual usage for this machine will have you grabbing for it more often then you’d expect.  Plus, like I mentioned- it’s fun. Addicting, even. The Nutrient & Vitamin Extraction and Pro Extractor Blades® Assembly makes amazing smoothies and shakes as well as pops and purees, whatever your pleasure might be.  It can also make dough. The included recipe book is a great start for inspiration, and has some fun ideas as well.  Once you get the hang of using these devices (which won’t take long)  it will become second nature to grab fairly constantly.  About $140 on Amazon.

The Ninja Coffee Bar System has become a fast favorite in our house, and completely wow-ing my very picky husband. If you are a coffee lover, or perhaps spend more time or money then you want to in a coffee house, this is a great way to keep more money in your wallet and time in your calendar. This is a full system that is neither so huge it takes up the entire counter, nor so expensive you will need a loan to purchase it. Better yet, it’s not complicated to use, and it doesn’t require the use of expensive and wasteful (and environmentally unfriendly) pods.  Make multiple sizes, types, even iced coffees. It includes a milk frother (which you will love more then you think) and  theNinja exclusive Café Forte to amplify the flavors of your drinks. It also comes with drink recipes, which are interesting to try.  About $180 at http://direct.ninjakitchen.com

The 8 Things You Need to Design an Amazing Bathroom

If you’re thinking about redecorating your bathroom (or starting from scratch and designing the best bathroom you can imagine), you’ll want to take a look at the 8 tips below to start. Designing a bathroom can be a daunting task, but with the right ideas, wherewithal and resolve, you can design an amazing room with moderate effort.

  1. Geometric shapes

Geometry is a great design element because it plays tricks on our eyes and creates optical illusions that we can use to our favor. For example, designing a white bathroom with an overlapping square pattern that starts on the floor and moves up the walls can promote continuity in the room and create the effect of receding walls. In addition to having a very “Alice in Wonderland” feel, it creates an illusion that makes a small bathroom appear larger than it is.

  1. Rethink the sink

The sink is probably the most-used feature of any bathroom. The one you choose doesn’t have to be run-of-the-mill or standard or boring. There are plenty of vintage sinks available at local garage sales or secondhand hardware shops that you can refinish or even repurpose for your unique bathroom. You can get commercial sinks or even repurpose an old metal wash tub to get an earthy rustic vibe.

  1. Go elegant

The bathroom is not always the most glamorous of rooms but that doesn’t mean it can’t be. You can add elements of class, glamour, style and elegance to any bathroom by adding a few significant accent pieces. For example, adding an oversized mirror or one with very ornate framing can add a Victorian-esque flavor to the room. An added benefit is that a large mirror can also make a small bathroom appear larger.

  1. Get artsy with it

Adding a bunch of art to the walls (or floors or ceiling) can add a lot of personality to your bathroom. Choosing different – or similar – frames can be fun and an easy way to complement the rest of the room, regardless of the overarching style you choose. Another idea is to save shopping bags from your favorite designers (Chanel, Prada, etc.), cut them into squares and then frame them. Voila! You have custom art that oozes class.

  1. Embrace regional style

Give your bathroom a style of its own by assigning a regional décor. You can add southwest flair with some terra cotta flooring, a clay vanity and warm colors throughout the room. If you can wrangle up a steer skull decoration from a local vendor, it also adds that southwestern style.

  1. Neutralize

Neutral tones are often an overlooked element that can add a cool, calm and collected look to any room. Browns, tans, greys and beiges are a nice touch to keep things simple yet stated. Making beige or an eggshell tone the base color and then accenting with deep browns and greys can add flavor to your bathroom without going overboard.

  1. Bring the outdoors in

There’s no better place to merge outdoors concepts with inside design than in the bathroom. Whether you add wood-framed pine branches, a majestic palm tree or just some maple branches in a vase, adding some green to the room literally freshens it up. Don’t be afraid to get creative with the types of plants and flowers you feature in your bathroom.

  1. Mix white with light

The best combination for any bathroom is white and light. While adding color is never a bad thing when designing a room, keeping it all white can be a nice touch, too. This is especially true if your bathroom gets lots of natural light. By pairing that natural light with a white background, you are actually emphasizing two elements that can make a small bathroom appear larger.

Choosing the style in which to redecorate your bathroom doesn’t have to be difficult. Use one or all of the ideas above to transform a blasé bathroom into an amazing space. If you have a cramped bathroom, some of these tips can make that bathroom look larger. If you have a basic bathroom that needs sprucing up, you can use more than one of the tips above to add character and class.

Orkin Bed Bug Home Prevention Prize Pack Giveaway

Disclosure- I have received nothing for this post.  All information was provided by the sponsor.  Have Sippy Will Travel is not responsible for the prize or shipping thereof.

Bed bugs have come back strong over the last decade, keeping more and more people from sleeping tight. Now is the time to take control with a smart action plan – before the bed bugs bite.

Bed bugs reproduce quickly, so it’s critical to detect and treat an infestation early. Take the “Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite” QUIZ and download the “5 Must-Know Facts” PDF for a few tips on how to spot a budding bed bug problem.
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