How to Take Great Sparkler Pictures with Your Phone

Sparkler pictures - writing with light
Photo: Amber Dickson

Sparklers pictures are a fun and festive part of any 4th of July gathering.  Find out how you can document the day by taking long exposure photographs on your smartphone.  Your Instagram feed is going to shine!           

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Sparklers in hands
Photo: Amber Dickson

Safety First When Creating Sparkler Pictures

The most important step is insuring your safety and that of the people around you.  Always make sure any children are closely supervised.  Sparklers can reach temperatures above 1800 degrees Fahrenheit and need to be handled carefully.  Continue Reading

What’s in a Tradition? 15 Stories of Holiday Habits

Holiday traditions
ShutterstockZivica Kerkez

Have you ever wondered why traditions are so prevalent and feel so important around the holidays? As it turns out, traditions reinforce important belief structures. They comfort us with a sense of belonging, and help us express gratitude! Traditions cement existing bonds, and create new ones. If those aren’t reason enough for you to hop on board the Tradition Train, consider it this way: traditions usually involve food, and are usually just plain fun. Continue Reading

How to Throw an Office Holiday Party Your Co-Workers Will Be Talking About into the New Year

office holiday party
Photo: RawPixel/Shutterstock

Are you in charge of throwing the office Christmas party? What a great opportunity!  After all, if it goes well, you can expect plenty of appreciation and accolades. Make sure you don’t skimp on the planning, though. If the event is boring and awkward, the party will be remembered for all the wrong reasons. Looking for work Christmas party ideas? Read on for tips and ideas sure to make your office party fun, delicious, and full of holiday spirit.      Continue Reading

Vintage Eye Candy: 70s Interiors That’ll Make You Say, “Groovy, Baby!”

1970s interior design
Photo: Unknown

The distinct colors, shapes, and textures of the 1970s give interiors from that era a unique energy. Currently, the decade's distinct vibe is coming back, and influencing current trends in a big way. Yes, 70s style might be considered over-the-top now, but comb through examples from that era and you will find pieces and inspiration that will bring new liveliness to your space all while fitting in to your current decor. Keep scrolling for some rad eye candy!            Continue Reading

Fall Style Guide: The Cutest and Coziest Fingerless Gloves

Fingerless Gloves
Source: Martha Stewart

When the air starts to crisp up, wearing layers is key to being comfortable.  Fingerless gloves can be a fun and practical addition to your fall wardrobe.  They add warmth, style, and keep your fingers free for devices and other dexterous tasks.  Read on for a roundup of DIY, buy, and up-cycled options.  You will want to get this kind of cozy into your life.        

knit pattern fingerless gloves
Source: Ravelry

1. Ravelry offers a free pattern for these knit onesContinue Reading

How to Create the Best Autumn Bucket List Ever

Autumn bucket list

Even if the weather where you live is still summer-like, the calendar is telling us that now is the time to transition into an autumn mindset. Use the fresh start of this new season to reset and plan. Make yourself an autumn bucket list and have the best fall ever! 

 

Relishing pumpkin-spiced drinks, wearing plaid, and finding new places to display decorative gourds are important, but your autumn bucket list can be more than a catalog of happy fall activities.  Continue Reading

Save Money, Get Fit: How You Can Achieve Both Fiscal and Physical Fitness at the Same Time

Yoga mat and participant
Photo: RawPixel/Pexels

Generally speaking, we all want to be physically healthier, and we all want to be more financially fit. Gains in both those spheres really boost our enjoyment of life, but attaining both those goals at the same time can seem intimidating. Can you save money and stay healthy? Do the two go hand-in-hand, or do they butt heads? Read on to learn about ways that will help you improve both your bodily and fiscal fitness. Continue Reading

Paint Stripping Head-to-Head: Which is the Best Finish Remover?

Deck stripper head to head: Which product removes finish better?
Photo: Amber Dickson

 My family moved into our current home last year and knew that come summer, the deck would need some attention. The whole surface was in rough shape.  The latex deck coating had flaked off in large areas and in the places where the finish was still present, it was not well-adhered to the surface. This project was going to require more than a quick clean and re-coat, so I decided to find out which deck stripper would do the best job. Continue Reading

Forget What You Know About Nautical Decor: The Complete Guide to Coastal Design

Nautical Decor Design Guide
Photo: Chipper Hatter for CM Natural Design

The widespread appeal of nautical and coastal decor makes a lot of sense when you consider the primal and ancient connection humans have to the sea. Being attracted to the water is hardwired into our very cells. Scientific studies have proven what we already know anecdotally: spending time near, on, or in lakes and oceans make us happier and healthier. It's no wonder that so many of us respond to the colors, clean lines, and natural elements of coastal, beach, and nautical decor.  Continue Reading

Make This: Oversized Wood Bead Garland

Over-sized wood bead garland
Photo: Amber Dickson

Wood bead garland is receiving a lot of love at the moment, and for good reason! It introduces texture and interest, but is neutral enough not to clutter your space. It’s suitable decor for minimalists and maximailists alike! One way to update this trend is to play with scale and supersize your beads.         

 

The beads on this large-scale garland are made from a wooden table leg and a wooden dowel.  Each are easily sourced at the hardware store or anywhere you find small architectural salvage for sale. Continue Reading