Articles from April 2015

Preparing a Nursery

There are so many exciting plans and preparations when welcoming a new baby into a home. One of the most fun projects can be decorating a nursery. With so many options available it can also be overwhelming. Here are a few tips and ideas to create a fun nursery you and your baby will love.

preparing a nurseryStyle and Colors

As you start out, you should choose a style you enjoy and that is comfortable for you. Your baby probably won’t have an opinion about the decor for a few more years. Choose colors and patterns that you like. Many colors beyond the traditional pastel pinks and blues are popular right now. Try combinations like grey and orange, neutral browns and greens, and bright orange and turquoise.


Plan several options for lighting. There will be times you want the nursery to be bright and to encourage play. Other times you will want the nursery dim and quiet. Be sure to find soft lamps to accompany any overhead lighting.

Framed Art

Babies love to look at pictures; faces, bold shapes and patterns in contrasting colors are particularly stimulating. You can easily cut pictures out of old story books, use patterned scrapbook paper, or blow up pictures of family and frame them to hang on the nursery wall. Bulletin boards are also fun to hang up pictures of friends, family, special places, and cards.


Wall decals are particularly popular right now. They are an easy way to add a personal touch to a wall. They are also removable once your child becomes old enough to want something different.


Mobiles are also an attractive addition that can stimulate your baby in the crib or on the changing table. There are all kinds of do it yourself mobile ideas available, like using colorful pictures from magazines cut into shapes and strung on fishing line or colorful ribbon. offers some mobile safety tips to keep in mind as you craft your mobile.

Just Right for You

Ultimately, your baby’s nursery should be just right for you and your family. Make sure you have everything you need easily accessible, from diapers to bedtime stories. Invest in comfortable and safe furniture and decorations. Sleepless nights might be more bearable when you are cuddling your baby in a room you love.

Photo “Baby’s Nursery” courtesy of Caleb Zahnd


6 Ways to Save Energy in Your Bedroom

5 Ways to Save Energy in Your Bedroom

There are many ways that you can reduce your energy bill for your home. Here are six simple things you can do just in your bedroom to save a bit on energy costs.

1) Close Your Blinds During the Summer

Keep all window coverings closed during the hottest parts of the day. Keeping out the light will help retain cooler temperatures. Likewise, in the winter, opening up the blinds on a sunny day can help warm the house. Thick window coverings will also insulate the house from either hot or cold temperatures.

2) Close Your Closet

You do not need to heat or cool your closet. Keeping the door shut to prevent your heating and cooling systems from working to regulate temperature in spaces that don’t need to maintain a comfortable environment. You will see the most significant difference when your closet is on an outside wall.

3) Don’t Block Vents

To help heating and cooling systems work more efficiently, move any furniture that may be blocking vents. Vents that allow the air to flow freely will be more effective at heating and cooling your home.

4) Use Your Fan

Ceiling fans use significantly less energy than a central heating or cooling system. Running your fan will allow you to turn up the temperature on your thermostat while still staying cool. Did you know you can also use fans during the winter? Most fans have a switch that changes the direction of the fan. Fans should run slowly and clockwise during the winter to keep warm air circulating.

5) Use Insulated Bedding

Bedding that acts as insulators such as wool or down will help you stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter. These insulators trap the air around your body preventing hot air from seeping out in the summer and warm air from escaping during the winter. If you have bedding that keeps your body temperature comfortable, you can adjust the thermostat so that your heat and air don’t run as often during the night.

6) Unplug Electrical Devices

Do you have a computer, TV, stereo and other appliances plugged in in your bedroom? These devices use power even if they are not turned on. An easy way to address this problem is to place all of your devices on a power strip. Turn off the power strip when you leave the bedroom in the morning.

These simple tips can save you a few dollars on each energy bill, which can add up to a lot of savings in the long run. Make small changes one at a time to make a big difference.

Image: “Random: Power Supply” by semihundido


What Bedding Should You Have on Hand?

What Bedding Should You Have on HandHow much bedding you should keep in your linen closet can be a very subjective debate. A lot will depend on how many and what kind of beds you have, how often you like to change your sheets, as well as how drastic your seasonal weather changes are.

Changing Sheets

The general rule is that sheets should be changed about once a week. It is important to wash your sheets in warm water regularly to get rid of any bacteria or dust mites. You may want to do this more often if you suffer from allergies. If you want to be able to make your bed again quickly, before your sheets have made it all the way through the wash, you may want to have at least two sets of sheets per bed. That way you can make the bed with a new set and fold up the clean ones for the following week. You may want to change your pillowcases more often especially if you are allergic to dust-mites, so having a few extra oh hand for a quick replacement is very helpful.

Children’s beds and crib sheets may require more frequent washing. If you want to wait to do a full load of laundry before you wash them you may want to have three or four sets on hand.


Don’t forget about your guests. If you have an air mattress, sofa bed, or guest bed you want to have the appropriate bedding on hand for them. You don’t have to have a comforter if you don’t want to but a few extra blankets are nice. Guest beds generally require only one set of sheets because you are not likely to change them during their stay.

Seasonal Bedding

Next, you should consider changing your bedding material according to the season. Think about having a cool, light weight sheet set for the summer, and warm, cozy flannel sheets for the winter. An extra blanket might also be important to add to your bed for the winter months. If you live in an extremely cold climate, consider investing in an electric blanket or heated mattress pad.

Quality Sheets

Most likely, you will want to have between three and four sets of sheets per bed; two summer sets of sheets and two winter sets. Buying quality sheet sets will help your sheets last longer and be more comfortable. If you like to change your decor regularly, choose neutral colors like white or off white which will go with anything. Determine exactly what you want to have on hand and what will make your life easiest then invest in the right bedding for each season.

Photo “Bed Linen” courtesy of 3 Objectives Photography