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Staying Healthy for the Holidays

Posted by admin on December 17th, 2012 in Wellness

Staying healthy during the holiday season can feel like a monumental task. Image from here.

Staying healthy during the holiday season can feel like a monumental task. Image from here.

Very soon, regardless of how or what you do or don’t celebrate, you’ll likely have some time off and be spending the majority of it indoors with family in that warm and dry, recycled air filled with their bacteria. Mmm. It’s usually only a matter of time in the winter before someone gets the flu or a terrible cold, and naturally everyone else in the family panics about getting it, especially if there are small children or a pregnant family member in the house. Beyond physical sicknesses, there’s always someone that buys bags of chocolate candies and double fudge-covered cookies to keep you occupied. Clean eating becomes inevitably more difficult during the holidays.

Instead of just leaving you and your family’s health to chance, there are some things you can do to ensure your holidays are full of health. Read more »



Pin review: DIY Dollar Store Moisturizing Lotion Gift

Posted by admin on December 11th, 2012 in Crafting, DIY

The original post / idea is by One Good Thing by Jillee, using baby lotion, vitamin E cream & coconut oil to make a simple DIY moisturizing lotion.

The original post / idea is by One Good Thing by Jillee, using baby lotion, vitamin E cream & coconut oil to make a simple DIY moisturizing lotion.

It’s almost the holidays! Now that exams are nearly over, it’s time for me to start scrambling to make some inexpensive handmade gifts to show the people I care about them despite being on a small budget. Today the pin that I am reviewing is a soft, pink handmade lotion with vitamin E, coconut oil, and baby lotion. Winter is the worst time of year for dry skin and rough feet so moisturizing lotion didn’t seem like a bad idea for a holiday gift. So now…it’s time to make some lotion! Read more »



5 secrets to seeing through sneaky sales schemes to become a savvy shopper

Posted by admin on December 3rd, 2012 in Shopping, Style

Wouldn’t it be great to be a savvy consumer who always gets the best deals? It only takes a little preparation to shop with purpose and walk out of the store with what you want every time.

Wouldn’t it be great to be a savvy consumer who always gets the best deals? It only takes a little preparation to shop with purpose and walk out of the store with what you want every time.

We all want to get good value for your our money, whether buying a car, hiring a contractor, or purchasing a new vacuum or dehumidifier. Whenever you enter a store or office that is selling a product or service, you immediately become a selling target. Actually, in the age of the internet, we are all constantly sales targets with ads, commercials, email marketing, and direct mail. Everyone on the internet seems to have an agenda; even things that are “free” seem to have ulterior goals. Wouldn’t it be nice if when you went to the store, people always told you the truth? Or we already knew the value of the product? With groceries and style, this may not be as hard for you, but with big ticket items and appliances, it’s easy to get lost in a sea of specs and jargon. Here are our top 5 tips for becoming that savvy shopper who walks in knowing what they want: Read more »



Top 10 Creative DIY Holiday Gifts

Posted by admin on November 29th, 2012 in Crafting, DIY, Shopping

The life of sustainability and ingenious crafting – many of us want it, few of us actually feel we have time for it.

A popular trend this holiday season, with the advent of Pinterest, has been making your own gifts for friends and family. A unique aspect of homemade gifts is that they often used recycled materials or natural materials you already have on hand! Here are our top affordable and creative DIY gifts this holiday season from a variety of creative crafting bloggers, if you’re looking for ideas:

Idea from Sparkle & Hay

Idea from Sparkle & Hay

1. DIY Printed Candles – While stamp sets aren’t free (most of the ones I saw were around $14), this project is my top pick; there’s no denying that this project just looks plain cool. I feel like candles are a gift that are kind of bland on their own (you don’t see “candles” on the top of most Christmas lists), but in putting a little thought and customization into them they make a way better gift! Read more »



Why quality products matter – and can be found online

Posted by admin on November 20th, 2012 in Shopping, Style

I got this blooming tea set off Amazon last Christmas for about $20. It was really cool and fun and ended up being a great gift! As you can see, the quality is great. Online products often have reviews so you know exactly what kind of experience to expect.

I got this blooming tea set off Amazon last Christmas for about $20. It was really cool and fun and ended up being a great gift! As you can see, the quality is great. Online products often have reviews so you know exactly what kind of experience to expect.

It’s easy to skimp on things because of money. In the real world, we have a limited budget and competing needs, desires and priorities. But we’ve all had a bad experience where we’ve bought something cheap and it didn’t work out too well for us. As the saying goes, “you get what you pay for” and sometimes cheap products become more of a hassle and you end up losing money on them between repairs and replacing them. From researching product reviews, it seems that most people find it more worthwhile to buy a higher quality product as long as the value is reasonable than mess with a faulty one. Read more »



Pin Review: Oversize Engineering Prints as Gallery Wraps

Posted by admin on November 16th, 2012 in Crafting, DIY, Style

Make a cheaper DIY gallery wrap with a Staples engineering print and foamboard. Original pin idea from dearlillieblog.blogspot.com

Make a cheaper DIY gallery wrap with a Staples engineering print and foamboard. Original pin idea from dearlillieblog.blogspot.com

Another pin I thought I would try. As a photographer myself, I love large, gorgeous prints as home decor. However, high quality gallery wraps are usually $50-200. Recently I’d been hearing of this new trend of getting “engineering prints” done at office supplies stores for really cheap (under $10) instead. I was kind of skeptical. Are you really going to get high quality prints using some secret other method? Though of course I had to try it out of curiosity, too. Read more »



Air Quality Q&A with experienced published HVAC instructor

Posted by admin on November 13th, 2012 in Going Green, Wellness

You may be losing money and wasting energy on heating and air conditioning and might not even know it. Today we have a Happy Havens Q & A with someone who literally wrote the textbooks on this topic: Ronnie J. Auvil, featured in this photo with his book Indoor Air Quality Solutions.

You may be losing money and wasting energy on heating and air conditioning and might not even know it. Today we have a Happy Havens Q & A with someone who literally wrote the textbooks on this topic: Ronnie J. Auvil, featured in this photo with his book Indoor Air Quality Solutions.

Air quality is important in every home, but it can be difficult to understand how to make an effective system that saves both energy and money. And most of us don’t usually have any kind of heating and air professional or air quality specialist to help us in making these decisions for free. ”HVAC” is short for heating, ventilating, and air conditioning. After working in the field for over 30 years, Ron Auvil has some sound advice for controlling air and saving money as homeowners along with some cutting edge technologies. Read more »



Pin Review: DIY Colored Ink Coasters

Posted by admin on November 8th, 2012 in Crafting, DIY, Style

Have you ever seen a pin you thought was really cool but weren’t sure if it was legit? Tell us about it in the comments and we’ll blog about it!

In high school AP art, I found my calling with colored inks and watercolors. They dry quickly and there’s so many cool effects you can do – wax resist, sprinkled salt to look like snowflakes or stars, flicking the paint off the brush to make it look like random spray, using rubbing alcohol to make “craters,” etc. Well, you can imagine my enthusiasm when I found this pin on Pinterest. Read more »



Common dehumidifier questions answered in lieu of hurricane disaster

Posted by admin on November 6th, 2012 in Going Green, Wellness

Did you know? Dehumidifiers are often used for disaster relief due to flooding. This large commercial dehumidifier was used when the IRS building in Washington D.C. was flooded to help it dry faster. Many people also use them indoors after painting a room to make it dry faster.

Did you know? Dehumidifiers are often used for disaster relief due to flooding. This large commercial dehumidifier was used when the IRS building in Washington D.C. was flooded to help it dry faster. Many people also use them indoors after painting a room to make it dry faster.

With the tragic onslaught of Hurricane Sandy, there going to be a lot of flooding, mold and water damage. Many of us have seen the shocking photos of flooded Manhattan and New Jersey. While safety and emergency evacuations are the highest priorities, many are now looking ahead to the monumental task of rebuilding and repairing their cities. Heavy-duty commercial dehumidification is a crucial first step in removing flood and water damage. This post is dedicated to recovery and rebuilding for the victims of 2012′s Hurricane Sandy, also known as the “Frankenstorm.” Read more »



Landscape Architecture Q&A with DFC&A

Posted by admin on November 1st, 2012 in DIY, Going Green, Style

Duane F. Christopher, a professional landscape architect working in Rock Hill, SC is our guest for today.

Duane F. Christopher, a professional landscape architect working in Rock Hill, SC is our guest for today.

Ever wish you could gain some professional insight in how to make a liveable and environmentally-friendly space and garden? Today we have a special Q&A with a local professional landscape architect who is a graduate of the prestigious Cornell University, an Ivy League research school in Ithaca, NY. Duane F. Christopher currently owns his own practice in South Carolina and is experienced in sustainability, gardens, residential design, and land planning. Read more »