DIY Bathroom Designer: 11 Creative Ideas to Look Like a Pro

bathroom designerYou spend nearly two years of your life in a bathroom.

Yet a lot of time, people tend to overlook this room when they’re working on home improvements. In reality, the two rooms buyers pay the most attention to are your kitchen and your bathroom.

If you’re getting ready to sell your house (or if you just want to make a few updates), you should focus on your bathroom first.

The good news? It doesn’t have to be expensive.

Take a look at these 11 DIY bathroom ideas that’ll make you feel like a professional bathroom designer.

1. Painting and Refinishing

Refinishing your vanity is one of the best and easiest DIY bathroom projects.

All you have to do is sand off the current paint and put on your new paint. Even if the paint you choose is the same color, a fresh coat will make your vanity look brighter and cleaner.

This should be your first DIY project as a bathroom designer because it really does make a huge difference. If you don’t feel confident in your sanding abilities (or if your vanity has an excessive amount of stains), you can always choose to have a professional, like Specialized Refinishing, do the job.

2. Frame Your Mirror

There are so many different ways you can frame a mirror, and just about anything you think of could work.

One idea is to frame your mirror with wood. If you want a bit of extra space for your toothbrush and toothpaste, you can build a small shelf on the bottom to go with it. Don’t worry about buying expensive wood. You can turn things like pallet wood and old window frames into mirrors.

If you don’t like the wood look, pick up some gemstones at the dollar store and use them to line the edge of your mirror. You can even line your mirror with mosaic tiles.

Upgrading your mirror is a simple, inexpensive way to become a quick bathroom designer!

3. Hang Some Art

If it looks like your bathroom is missing something, it probably is. Your bathroom is one of the most used rooms in the house, so it shouldn’t be the one that misses out on family pictures.

A few hung pictures will instantly make your bathroom look inviting and elegant. If you’re selling your house or would rather not have family pictures on the wall of your bathroom, you can stick to beautiful scenery. Beach pictures work well in most any bathroom.

4. Install Hooks Instead of Towel Racks

You have to nicely fold your towel before you hang it on a towel rack or else it won’t dry well. Yet, a lot of towel racks are only big enough to hang one or two towels.

The solution? Install at least three towel hooks where you had one towel rack. When you’re done with your towel, you can just loop it over the rack without worrying about it drying or not.

Hooks also happen to be an easy and cheap upgrade. You can buy inexpensive hooks at a variety of stores, or if you want a more rustic look, you can make them yourself.

This upgrade is simple, but it will impress a lot of people.

5. Make Your Own Shower Curtain

Nice shower curtains can pull your bathroom look together, but they can also be really expensive. Fortunately, you can make your own without a lot of trouble or tools.

All you need are sheets and simple sewing skills. If you’re not that into sewing, you can use fabric paint and paint your own design.

Be creative and make sure the fabric is enough to cover your surface area. Long shower curtains are a great way to make the room look taller.

6. Make Your Own Shower Mat

To complete the look, you can also make your own shower mat. All you need is a cheap rug and some fabric paint. If you can’t get your hands on fabric paint, you can use other kinds of paint, like craft paint, but fabric paint works better.

Take caution to use waterproof paint that won’t smear when a wet foot steps onto it!

7. Paint Your Walls

If your bathroom walls are still a plain white, it’s time to be your own bathroom designer and make an upgrade. There are several different ways you can get creative with the walls.

Keep it a neutral color if you plan to paint all the walls. You can use brighter colors, but they make better accent colors. If your favorite color is bright yellow, consider just painting one wall and leaving the others white.

You can also paint your own designs onto the walls, like your own personal wallpaper.

Don’t worry if you can’t draw. Just use a stenciled pattern or choose a design that’s not made of perfectly straight lines.

8. Find a New Handle for Your Toilet

Installing a new toilet handle isn’t difficult, and it can make your toilet look a lot nicer. When people look at your new flusher, they’ll see an elegant toilet instead of a cheap alternative.

9. Make a Decorative Toilet Paper Holder

Piling extra rolls or toilet paper on the back of the toilet will distract from your new toilet handle.

All you need is a vase — a straight one big enough for toilet paper rolls. You can then decorate it with glass paint, gemstones, paper, or tape and set it on the vanity counter.

10. Get a New Light Fixture

Pick a light fixture that will really light up the room. A room with a lot of light looks bigger.

Keep it simple and elegant. You don’t have to buy anything expensive to make the light look nice.

You can even stick with a cheap bulb to cut the costs!

11. Bathtub Tray

Nothing beats a bath, except for a bath with books, drinks, and candles.

Thankfully, a bathroom tray is super easy to make. Think of it as a TV tray for the bathtub.

Just get a piece of wood long enough to reach from one edge of the bathtub to the other and add some short feet on the bottom to make sure it can’t slide around.

Be Your Own Bathroom Designer

Upgrading your bathroom doesn’t have to drain your wallet. You can find a lot of inexpensive ideas you can make yourself. Almost everyone who enters your house uses your bathroom, so make them think you hired a professional bathroom designer when they see it.

Have a lot of windows in your bathroom? Take a look at this window blind cleaning guide!

5 Tips to Better Organize Your Holiday Storage

holiday storageThe holidays are an exciting time to decorate the house and fill it with a little extra joy.

But, a poor organization can sometimes turn this into a stressful task.

Thankfully, there are few simple holiday storage tips every mom can master. These include the best-kept secrets for anything from messy wires to tricky trees.

Check out the top five ways to keep all your holiday decor in order.

1. Separate Your Storage

As you’re pulling things out, or packing them up, try to think about where to store them in your home.

Group all the big, outdoor decorations together. Do the same for tree decorations versus tabletop details. Lastly, make a separate group for stockings and trimmings you may have hanging around the house.

This takes a little extra time as you’re setting up or breaking down.

But, once you have everything separated, you’ll be saving plenty of effort in the years to come!

2. Cut Down on Packaging

There’s no reason to keep using the bulky packaging everything comes in when there are closet organizers and simple holiday hacks available.

This is as simple as wrapping lights around pieces of cardboard so they don’t tangle. It also means taking the time to wrap fragile ornaments in tissue paper, which is less bulky than bubble wrap.

Don’t forget to keep all the hooks in one place, either. Consider putting them in a small pencil case or makeup bag.

3. Get Rid of What Is Old and Broken

If an ornament is cracked or a set of lights isn’t working anymore, you won’t have a use for it next year.

Make a little trash pile as you take everything out at the start of the holidays, and when you’re going through it all again at the end.

This makes a significant difference in the amount of space decorations take up.

4. Go Green

Trade the old fake tree you have to pull out every year for a family outing to get a fresh tree.

Or, consider getting festive holiday flower arrangements instead of putting little reusable decorations everywhere. This is a bit pricier, but nothing is worth more than your time.

Getting fresh, natural decorations each year means there are fewer things to store.

5. Wrap with Care

The less you worry about holiday storage, the more you can focus on buying gifts and wrapping them! Unless your festive packaging materials aren’t organized.

Don’t leave this out of your cleaning process. Go through all the old wrapping paper you have, as well as tape, ribbons, and tissue paper.

Designate one drawer or bin to keep everything together – big families might need a little more space.

But, the point is to only keep wrapping materials you will actually use, and to keep them tidy in one place.

Holiday Storage, Hosting, and More: How to Relax This Holiday Season

Storage is just one thing to worry about when the holidays roll around.

Between cleaning the house to have guests over and preparing big, fancy meals, it can be hard to take everything in.

We know you want to create special memories for your family, but you should be able to enjoy them too!

Click here to discover how to relax during this year’s holidays.

How to Start and Monetize an Interior Design Blog

You’re proud of the work you’ve done. And why shouldn’t you be? Your interior design skills are on another level.

If you’ve ever wondered how you can turn your portfolio into a money-making machine, you’ve come to the right place.

Today’s post is all about how to start an interior design blog and monetize it properly. Read on.

1. Upfront Costs

The first thing you’ll need to do is pay for hosting and a domain name. The combination will cost you $10 a month, give or take a few bucks.

If you don’t want to drop any cash into this venture quite yet, there are free options available for you.

You can start a Tumblr page as well as other photograph-heavy social media outlets to books views and readership. After you start to get regular readers and viewers, keep these free outlets for SEO purposes and then move on to the real deal.

When we start talking about “real deal” blogging, we’re talking about WordPress, which currently is powering nearly one-third of the internet.

2. Why WordPress?

It’s incredibly easy to use. You can set yourself up with a basic blog in about an hour.

After deciding on and paying for hosting, you will pick a theme. This is your layout and it’s important to pick something that looks great without distracting your readers. You can choose from thousands of free and premium themes.

One of the greatest things about WordPress is the plugins. There are thousands of freebies and premium tools to help your site. They do everything from linking Amazon products to your blog to help make the site faster.

3. Create Content

Like any other site on the internet, interior design blogs need content. Create a schedule and stick to it. Especially in the beginning, you’ll be using your social media accounts to promote your content.

Make sure you have internal and external links as well as a call to action somewhere in your posts.

4. Monetization of Your Interior Design Blog

One of the easiest, but least profitable ways to monetize is your blog is to throw up some ads. While this will likely only bring in a couple of dollars a month, as viewership increases, you can use higher-quality ad networks to increase revenue.

Do you have ideas for products of your own? Maybe it’s a planner or a downloadable guide?

Give a little taste of these items by using them as incentives to generate your email list. As your subscriber list grows, create advanced or better products that require payment.

Affiliate marketing is a popular way for an interior design blog to make money. You recommend products on your blog and when people click on your link and make a purchase, you receive a commission on the sale.

It’s simple in theory, difficult in practice, but it can be done and you can make some nice money from it.

Wrapping It Up

You need to make sure you’re writing and creating content for yourself. This is your diary. Your passion.

A close second should be making readers and Google happy, as they’ll be the one sending traffic to your site.

If you enjoyed today’s post, you’ll find this one on tips to get more blogging traffic helpful as well.

How Smart Blinds Can Make Your Life Easier

smart blindsAre you thinking about getting smart blinds in your home?

Smart technology is transforming homes across the nation. Smart homes are energy efficient, convenient, and even cost effective!

You don’t have to give your home a complete makeover if you want to go smart. You can start out by bringing in just a handful of smart capabilities, such as automated blinds.

Smart blinds can make your life easier in a variety of ways. Read on to learn how!

1. Invite in The Morning Without Getting Out of Bed

Electric blinds first and foremost reduce basic labor in your home. This means that you can open and close the blinds in any room while you’re sitting comfortably in that armchair or still lounging in bed.

No more mornings of having to slip on a robe and slippers and shuffle over to the window. Automated blinds are synced with your phone, iPad, or a convenient remote so all you have to do is press a button to invite in the sunshine or keep it out.

Some blinds are voice-automated!

2. Boost Your Home Security

Every homeowner uses blinds at some point to help with home security. Certain blinds are built with safety features in place, while homeowners will leave blinds open during the day when they are at work to give the appearance of people at home.

You can open and close blinds even when you aren’t at home, with the touch of a button. Forgo the home security alarms. You can give potential thieves the image of an occupied home in seconds.

3. Smart Blinds are Cost-Effective

When people think of electric blinds, they assume that only very wealthy people or businesses can afford them.

But actually, automated blinds are cost-effective because they replace manual blinds that may break often or need to be reserviced in their lifetime. Electric blinds rarely need to be replaced, and you don’t have to worry about them splintering, breaking, or warping.

4. Choose Energy Efficiency with One Tap

Electric blinds are designed with efficiency in mind. This means that you don’t have to spend time or effort implementing energy saving methods or devices in every room. Simply install your automated blinds and open and close them depending on the temperature.

Close your blinds with a tap of a finger to keep cool air in and heat out, or vice versa.

5. Enjoy Options

If you are thinking about bringing automated blinds into your home, you’ll have the luxury of choosing from a variety of options.

You can get blinds for literally any shape of window, in any fabric and style. You can even get sample fabric swatches from providers. Homeowners can opt for different types of operation control via apps, remotes, or voice.

How Automated Blinds Make Your Life Easier

Automated blinds are an amazing form of smart home technology that can triple the convenience of your home.

You can open and close blinds with the touch of an app to save labor and keep out intruders. Electric blinds improve your home’s energy efficiency and can even save you money in the long run.

Have experience using smart blinds in your home? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

9 Important Tips for Hiring a Chimney Sweep

chimney sweepWhat pops into your head when you hear ‘chimney sweep’? Tiny British children covered in soot?

It’s okay, you’re not alone. That image is almost impossible to escape when hearing the term.

Charles Dickens and Dick Van Dyke share some of the blame for perpetuating this image. However, the real-life fear of scammers does nothing to dispel the notion.

Don’t be fooled by this combination of soot-covered jackanapes and mustache-twirling brigands. Despite all of this lingering imagery, chimney sweeps serve an essential purpose and provide a necessary service.

To avoid getting burned by a scam, or out in the cold with heating issues, follow these 9 important tips to hire a chimney sweep.

The Chimney Sweep Calling

Even though some unreputable contractors and would-be service personnel offer something they don’t provide, chimney cleaning serves a purpose.

Chimneys attached to wood burning stoves, gas fireplaces, or pellet and coal furnaces all work to keep the flow of air and heat stable.

Dirty and crumbling chimneys present real dangers of fire backing up into the home. They also can leak smoke and carbon monoxide. The reality of these fears emboldens scammers to push their agenda.

The reality of these fears also pushes the professional chimney sweep service people. These hard-working service personnel want to protect homes and families. More so, they are ready to get dirty doing it.

Follow these 9 tips to secure good service and understand what good service will entail.

1. Avoid Solicitation

Because homes require chimney cleaning and repair periodically, a real chimney sweep won’t call or drop by out of nowhere. Like any other service industry, they advertise deals and make their name known.

What they don’t do is go door to door.

Most times a person works to sell you on something, it’s something you don’t need.

Though it may have been a few years, homeowners insurance and fire insurance policies will specify terms for the upkeep of chimneys and fireplaces. Follow those guidelines and get regular inspections.

2. Check for Professional Organization Credentials

If now is the time to get a chimney serviced, checking the credentials of the business you hire is just solid sense.

Even though no government regulation exists for the chimney sweep industry, professionals form guilds and agencies to monitor quality and protect consumers.

Organizations such as NFI (National Fireplace Institute) and the National Chimney Sweep Guild (NCSG) show an ongoing relationship with the technology and industry behind chimney sweeping.

The Chimney Sweep Institute of America (CSIA) provides certifications for privately owned and operated companies. They set guidelines and best practices.

3. Verify References

Ask for references and testimonials from local work. Professional service people like to show off their work. This provides an opportunity for them to ensure their quality, and you to see samples of the work.

It isn’t uncommon to ask a house painter to see photos of their previous work. It’s no different with a chimney sweep.

4. Bonded and Insured

Going back to homeowners insurance, professionally licensed repair and service companies provide guarantees of work.

This helps homeowners in two ways.

  • Replacement and repair
  • Insurance claims

Solid work only needs to be done once. In the case of unforeseen consequences, companies offer warranties for replacement and repair. A company that offers nothing on this front establishes a lack of trust.

Insurance claims for damage to a house don’t go over well when repairs and necessary upkeep are not kept. Know your policies and ask for verifications for these purposes from any service and repair company.

5. The Question of Chimney Liners

Chimney liners add safety and value to a home. They protect against issues of creosote permeating joints. They also help to insulate and provide fuel and heat efficiency.

Made from clay, chimney liners also seal gaps that mortar joints alone can miss. This prevents exhaust from leaking into the home. Ask if a Chimney Liner Pro chimney liner would work for your needs.

Older chimneys tend to not have these useful additions. A rustic stove-pipe style fireplace will not have one.

6. Firm Work Windows

A professional company serves the public. A company that you trust with your home and family can also be trusted to keep an appointment.

A company that gives vague windows for the start and duration of work sends up red flags. A firm timetable and a solid window for the work to begin shows dedication.

A wide, non-commital work window screams scam.

7. Professional Accoutrement

Professional service and craftspeople wear professional attire. They arrive in vehicles with logos and often sport uniforms with the same branding.

These professional accouterments show that your chimney sweep believes in what they do. They also hope you will spread their name around and provide word-of-mouth advertising to friends and neighbors.

Someone hoping you won’t remember them will be dressed to forget. Someone promoting a business will show their intent in the dress and manner.

Why Don’t I Just Do It Myself?

8. Avoid the DIY Mess

Think back to the beginning of this post, that imagery of children covered in soot comes from a real place.

Chimneys get dirty. They get covered in substances so black that a whole series of art supplies get made from whats left. Supplies used to make black and white drawings.

If you have ever cleared the ash from a fireplace you know how quickly things can get out of hand. A professional chimney sweep also comes equipped with professional cleaning equipment.

Don’t be too in a rush to DIY or you might also get to do yourself some new carpeting, curtains, and/or dining room fixtures. Soot gets places, and it tends to stick where it lands.

9. Safety is a Must

Before you decide to get up there and check things out for yourself, remember falls from roofs count for nearly 1/3 of all construction fatalities.

Professional chimney sweep services have specialized equipment and know-how for working on roofs.

Read More

If you learned something from this, consider checking out other helpful hints and tips for your home at our blogs.

Save Money on HIPP Combiotic Formula From Sources You Can Trust

combioticIt’s always difficult when you can’t breastfeed. Breast milk is every mother’s ‘go to’ when they have a growing baby on their hands. However, several factors contribute to the inability to breastfeed.

Formula becomes necessary.

But formula can be untrustworthy. You probably read the facts on different mommy blogs, and it’s scary.

Most formula doesn’t contain the necessary vitamins and fatty oils necessary for your baby to grow. And have you read the ingredients? All of the preservatives and artificial ingredients are every mother’s worst nightmare.

Fortunately, HiPP Formula has your back. Hailing from Germany, HiPP abides by the EU’s strict formula regulations. HiPP also makes formula for babies of all ages.

However, HiPP is very expensive. Here’s some advice on how to save when buying HiPP Combiotic Formula.

Why You Should Buy HiPP

A lot of formulas in the United States are filled with additives and are sweetened with ingredients such as brown sugar syrup rather than lactose, which is the sweetener found in breast milk.

HiPP Combiotic Formula doesn’t contain any of these ingredients. HiPP is organic and follows the EU’s strict regulations regarding what to add to infant formula. HiPP also makes their formula with essential prebiotics and omegas.

HiPP also uses milk with no GMOs. The cows graze on grass not tainted with chemical pesticides.

Here are the vitamins and minerals in HiPP formula:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Prebiotic oligosaccharides (GOS)
  • Omega 3 and 6 LCPs (DHA and AA)
  • Iron

All of these vitamins help your baby develop a healthy brain and a healthy immune system. The prebiotic also aids in digestion. You can supplement and even replace breastfeeding with HiPP formula.

HiPP formula is available in Stage 1 (0-12 months), Stage 2 (6-12 months), Stage 3 (1-2 years), Stage 4 (2+ years), Good Night Milks (6+ months), and even baby food.

Choose a Store You Can Trust

So many mothers are raving about HiPP Combiotic Formula. It is expensive, but you know every extra penny is worth it when you consider the well-being of your child.

So the most important fact is choosing a store you can trust.

Choose one that always has HiPP in stock and you can rely on for shipping and other factors. This is especially important for American parents, very few American retailers sell HiPP Organic Formula and you can only find HiPP online.

How Long Does HiPP Formula Last?

HiPP Combiotic Formula lasts about two and a half weeks if used every day. It comes in a box, and the formula in this box can be reusable.

Are you breastfeeding and only use the formula every so often? Have formula on-hand. Unopened boxes last a year after shipped, or you can read the expiration date printed on the box.

If already opened, wrap the formula in tin foil and keep the formula in a cool place, such as the pantry. Don’t store in the refrigerator, this will be too cold. The opened formula shouldn’t be used after two weeks.

Always keep in mind how much your baby needs and serving sizes recommended by their pediatrician. These numbers are estimates — always discuss feeding with your pediatrician.

Buy in Bulk

You’ll be using a lot of this product. Buying in bulk is smart in general, but it could also save you lots of money.

Certain retailers have discounts when you buy in bulk. Others offer perks such as free shipping or even a gift or sample.

When you look at the price tag and compare buying in bulk to buying a few, you may opt for buying a few. Depending on how food your baby needs, buying in bulk could save you money.

If you’re just switching your baby over, then you buy a few to make sure the food works for your baby. You can also buy little at a time if you’re also breastfeeding, but it’s still better to buy in bulk.

Keep Storage in Mind

Since HiPP is made without additives, it can spoil easily. One of the main tasks of additives is to preserve the formula longer. Since HiPP doesn’t contain additives, they’re strict on storage.

The formula should not be stored above 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celcius).

If the formula is stored in an area that’s too hot, it can ruin the consistency. High temperatures can even ruin the taste, color, and aroma, ruining your infant’s appetite.

Even if it’s left in these extreme temperatures for a short period of time, it could cause severe changes. Try and keep the formula between 55 and 75 degrees.

If you want to increase storage, keep the formula in an airtight container. However, don’t use the formula beyond three weeks.

It would be a shame if you spend a lot of money on the formula and having to throw it out. If you’re ever unsure about the way you’re storing the formula, contact the company, retailer, and your pediatrician.

Make Sure You’re Preparing the Formula Correctly

Mothers, especially American mothers, are confused that you need to boil the water first before mixing in the formula. American formula doesn’t require this; rather, only asks to mix the formula in water or in a water bottle.

As we stated previously, American formula is different than European formula — American formula is filled with additives to kill bacteria and European formula isn’t made with these additives.

Therefore, the powder can be a growth area for bacteria.

Boiling the water helps to kill bacteria. The lack of sterilization and the chance of bacterial growth, specifically Cronobacter sakazakii, can make your baby sick.

Make sure you follow all preparation instructions. You don’t want to spend the money to result in your baby being sick. If you have any questions about preparation, call the brand or retailer.

Time to Buy HiPP Organic Combiotic Formula

HiPP sent 50 years devising their quality formula. HiPP makes their formula without additives, GMOs, and sugar substitutes. Their formula is made with essential vitamins, cows treated humanely, and even prebiotic.

If you’re looking for other parenting tips and savings advice, take a look through our articles.

How You Can Earn a Living From Home as a Freelance Medical Writer

freelance medical writerAre you looking to become a freelance medical writer?

Breaking into the medical niche is a bit challenging, but not impossible. It requires some level of experience and expertise, but also hard work and discipline.

The medical field is a broad one, so you’ll need to decide on a niche first. For example, you can write about new medical discoveries, studies, health care or cover medical news. Another option is to specialize as a dental writer and write for a specific set of clients.

Besides the experience, you should also have excellent grammar and language skills.

Keep reading to discover how you can become a medical writer and find your first client.

Get Some Experience

To become a freelance medical writer, you need to gain some experience in the field.

For example, if you’ve worked in the medical field or went to medical school, you’re already familiar with the industry terminology.

Next, find successful medical writers. Study their articles to see how they write and where they’re published.

Do not copy another writer’s style. To be in demand, you have to develop your own style and be unique.

Write Guest Posts

As a beginner freelance medical writer, you need a portfolio to display your writing to potential clients.

You can do this by writing a few samples and publishing them on your own website. Another way is to write guest posts for medical journals, publications or blogs.

This is a great way to gain exposure and have your article read by a lot of people.

Pitch Clients

After you’ve published a few guest posts, it’s time to find your first paid client.

You can do this by signing up for freelancing platforms or contacting the clients directly.

For example, if you’re a dental writer, go online and search for dental offices in your area or state.

Let’s say you land on the website verdepointedentalassociates.com. Find their contact form and send them a message. State your expertise and offer them your writing services. If you don’t get a reply within a few days, feel free to follow up.

Start a Blog

Any writer needs to improve their writing on a daily basis. The best way to do so is to start your own blog.

You can write medical articles, opinions, news, reviews or client-directed pieces. The content you publish must be of great quality if you want to gain a big audience and land good clients.

Remember to optimize your content for the search engines and use quality images.

Learn Every Day

No matter what medical niche you chose, you should strive to learn new things every day.

Find ways to improve your writing. Read as much as you can, and if necessary, take a few writing courses.

The industry is changing every day and if you want to have a steady flow of clients, you need to stay on top of the trends.

Now You Know How to Become a Freelance Medical Writer

You can earn a decent living as a professional medical writer if you follow our tips.

Need more inspiration for starting a new career? Visit our blog for more business tips and useful articles.