Posts belonging to Category General



Keeping Your Satin Fresh – How To Remove Stains & Have Peace of Mind

 It’s one of those days again. The dog jumped up on your bed after a long and messy walk. You find big, dirty stains on your beautiful, Cozy Linens satin bedspread – the last thing you needed to happen today. Luckily, with the right care, many of these can be removed with gentleness and care.

For a dirt stain, begin by brushing off the excess dirt. Doing so will ensure that you’re not rubbing the dirt deeper into the satin during the removal process. Secondly, apply soap to a damp cloth. Hand soap allowed. Using cold water to wet the cloth, rub the cloth together until the soap forms a lather. Now, try not to rub the stain. Blot it! Otherwise, the fibers in the satin can break down more quickly and wear out your material. Blotting will cause less damage as it lifts the stain from the material. As you repeat the motion with clean parts of the cloth, follow the grain of the material for a swift and smooth removal.

As for washing, you’re going to want to soak the item in cold water and mild detergent for around 3-5 minutes. Be gentle, working the material through your hands in the water to penetrate the fibers. Rinse until there are no leftover suds, and lay flat on another type of fabric to air dry. Avoid putting your satin in direct sunlight, limiting the damage to the fabric and preserving the rich color of your Cozytown linens.

Do all you can to protect your favorite bedspread – or anything satin, for that matter! We’re big satin fans around here, and we’ll be the first to say, “Satin Lives Matter.” For more information on how to remove oil stains and/or blood stains from satin, visit this article on WikiHow.

Link: https://www.wikihow.com/Clean-Satin

6 Decorating Ideas For Your Child’s Room

It can feel impossible to keep your child’s room stylish and clean. Between changing tastes and giant, creative play messes it is hard to make a space that works for you and your child. Here are a few easy decorating tips that are inexpensive and will help your child’s room feel personalized, homey and functional.

1. Metal Letters

Spell out your child’s name along a wall with inexpensive letters found at a hardware store. Hang the letters with ribbon. Old ribbon scraps you have laying around will work great and won’t cost you anything.

2. Wall Decals

Wall decals are a simple way to add a personalized touch to a room without changing the paint or wallpaper. Vinyl decals are easy to place and come off the wall without damaging paint. They are an easy way to cater to a child’s quickly changing tastes.

6 Decorating Ideas For Your Child’s Room

 

3. Geometric Painting

Canvases and acrylic paint are cheap to buy at a craft store. If you don’t have strong artistic skills, HGTV notes that geometric shapes are easy and quick to paint. You can even find forms to trace. Your kids may want to do this themselves!

4. Bulletin Boards

Bulletin boards add personality to the room, let kids express themselves and remind them of special times with friends and family. Let your child pick out his or her favorite pictures, mementos from special events, and art work to display on the board. Kids will enjoy big colorful pushpins to pin up their special treasures.

5. Chalkboard Paint

Are you tired of scrubbing crayon off the wall? Encourage your child’s creative side without all of the work. RealSimple recommends painting a designated space or even a whole wall with chalkboard paint so they can have a canvas as big as their imagination.

6. Cloth Storage Bins

Make picking up simple by placing several large cloth storage bins around the room. You can set them on bookshelves, in the closet or right on the floor. They come in all kinds of cute designs. Your kids will be encouraged to pick up when it is quick, easy and they know where everything goes. Open bins are a lot simpler than plastic containers with lids.

These six simple and inexpensive ideas will help create a space both you and your kids will enjoy. What are your favorite kid’s room decorating ideas? How do you let your kid’s personalize their space?

 

Image: “chalkboard paint!” by amy gizienski

Quick Tips For Organizing Closets and Pantries

Quick Tips For Organizing Closets and Pantries

Keep your closets neat and comfy with a few quick tips.

Closets and pantries can easily become overrun with piles of clothes, mismatched shoes, outdated boxes of cereal and every other miscellaneous thing that gets stashed out of sight. Here are some easy tips and tricks to keep your closets, pantries and other hiding spaces neat and tidy.

Hanging Storage Bags

DIY Home Sweet Home shows how to free up drawer or shelf space by tacking boxes of freezer bags, sandwich bags, and other small boxes directly to the pantry door or wall.

Organize Storage Container Lids

DIY Home Sweet Home recommends attaching a wire dish rack to a plastic basket with twine or clear fishing line. Use the wire slots to keep your plastic storage container lids upright and separated. You won’t have to dig through piles of lids to find the right sized tops anymore.

Magnets

Superwoman suggests placing a magnetic strip inside your closet door, medicine cabinet or even bathroom drawer. Stick bobby pins, hair clips, nail clippers and tweezers to it for easy access.

Extra Clothes Bar

This tip comes from Alex Haralson. Use rope to hang PVC pipe, a sturdy cardboard tube, or a wooden dowel for an extra bar for clothes in your closet. This is especially handy in kid’s closets so they can reach their clothes. Compression shower rods also work well for this same purpose.

Luggage Tags

Better Homes and Gardens suggests labeling bins in your closet or pantry with luggage tags. This works well for cloth bins with handles. Use a cute and colorful luggage tag to identify the items stored in each bin. Then you can find and put things away quickly and easily.

Over the Door Organizers

Pocket organizers that hang over the door in either pantries or closets are perfect for shoes, socks, tights, kitchen utensils, coupons and any other small odds and ends. Organizers with clear pockets are ideal so you can find what you are looking for right away.

A Step Stool

Place a step stool in your closet or pantry so you can reach the top shelves with ease. It is always wise to place items you don’t use regularly in the hard to reach spaces, but making it easier to get items on and off of top shelves will keep you from wasting space or ignoring useful items.

Simple, small touches can make a world of difference in your hidden places. Once you’ve organized your closets and pantry make a commitment to stick to your new system so you won’t have to organize over and over. Do you have any quick tips for organizing a closet or pantry?

 

Image: Cat in the Closet by Sam Lavy

How to Manage Summer Allergies

For some people allergies are a major problem in the summer. There are a few allergens that peak in the late summer months as the weather becomes hot and humid. Itchy eyes and throats, stuffy noses and coughs can all lead to sleepless nights. There are some precautions you can take against summer allergens that will help you feel better.summer allergies

Top Two Allergens

The two top summer allergens are pollen and mold. In late summer, pollen from weeds becomes a problem, especially from plants like ragweed. Mold becomes a problem in humid and rainy weather.

Avoiding Pollen

To avoid exposure to the offensive pollen, avoid using window box fans in your room because they can pull in pollen from outside. They also suggest showering or washing your hair before your go to sleep to get rid of any pollen that may have landed on you during the day. Exercise indoors on high pollen count days and when you exercise outdoors, do it in the morning when pollen counts are at their lowest. You can view your community’s pollen forecast at pollen.com.

Wearing a mask can also cut back the amount of allergens you inhale. WebMD suggests wearing a mask when you mow the lawn or vacuum your carpets.

Using a Neti Pot or sinus rinse to clean out pollen from your sinuses is very helpful. A Neti Pot is a tool that looks like a very small teapot that allows you to run a saline solution through your sinuses. They can be purchased at most pharmacies.

Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids such as fish and eggs may help fight inflammation that is associated with allergic reactions.

Avoiding Mold

To avoid molds be sure to repair any leaks or water damaged areas in your home. You may also need to employ a dehumidifier if you live in a particularly moist or damp area. For small areas of mold, use a 5% bleach solution to scrub it away.

By taking a few steps to avoid exposure to typical summer allergens you can be more comfortable throughout the day and sleep more soundly at night. If these precautions don’t help improve your allergy symptoms, you may want to consult a doctor.

Photo “No273 13 Oct. 2009 Sneeze” courtesy of mcfarlandmo

Tips for Painting Your Bedroom

It’s easy to add new style to your bedroom by giving it a fresh coat of paint. Here are few helpful tips to help make your project fun and rewarding.

Prepare

Prep work is the key to a fantastic looking paint job. While it may not be the most fun part, you certainly don’t want to cut corners. To make your room look the best prepare it carefully. First you must choose a color.

A few helpful tools will get the job done quickly.

A few helpful tools will get the job done quickly.

Bring home samples and paint some swatches on the wall. You want to be fully satisfied with the color before you invest in the paint and sometimes it will look different at home than it did at the store.

Repair and Clean

Next, repair any cracks or holes in the wall. Fill them with spackle, then once it is dry sand it down with a fine sandpaper until it is nice and smooth. Then, RealSimple suggests wiping down the walls with mildly soapy water to remove any dust, dirt and oils.

Use Primer

If the walls were already a dark color you will want to use primer before you paint. Primer will help the paint look nice and even. Making it Lovely points out that primer will also help if you want to use a latex paint on top of an oil based paint.

Start With The Edges

When you are ready, you can use blue painters tape to protect any trim and windows. It can be faster to skip the tape and simply paint with a steady hand and a good angled brush. It is not too hard to get good clean lines without tape. Any mistakes can be removed quickly with a wet paper towel kept close at hand.

Always start with the edges and work your way in. Once you have the perimeter of the walls painted a few inches in, use a roller to fill in the big spaces. If you need to take a break, but aren’t ready to wash your roller or brushes, wrap them in a damp paper towel and place them in a plastic bag. This will keep the paint from drying out and ruining your brushes and rollers.

Clean Up

When you are finished you can clean latex paint out of brushes with water and a little mild dish soap. To clean oil based paints you will need to use mineral spirits. Addicted 2 Decorating provides detailed instructions for cleaning up oil based paint, if it something you’ve never done before.

Your Colors

Painting a small bedroom can be a quick project that will bring some new life into your home. Within a weekend you can have a fun new style.

What new colors would you like to try in your bedroom?

Image:Tools for the Trade by Keith Williamson

5 Unexpected Uses For Baking Soda

baking soda

We all know that baking soda’s uses extend well beyond cookies and other baked treats. You have probably also used it to eliminate odors in your refrigerator and for a little cleaning. Here are five uses for baking soda that you may have never heard about.

Toothpaste

Mixing baking soda with a 3 percent hydrogen peroxide solution (this is the kind typically sold in drugstores) can be used as an alternative to traditional toothpaste. Just sprinkle a little baking soda on top of your regular toothpaste for extra freshening and whitening.

Soothing Insect Bites

Baking soda can be used to relieve the itch and sting associated with mosquito bites and bee stings. Simply make a thick paste with baking soda and water and rub it over the affected area.

Cleaning the Oven

You can avoid the harsh chemicals and high temperatures of cleaning the oven by using baking soda. It sounds too good to be true, but it really works! Pour a thick layer of baking soda on the bottom of your oven. Use a spray bottle to thoroughly wet the baking soda. Allow the baking soda to sit on the oven for a few hours or overnight is even better if you have the time. Then scoop out the caked mixture and wipe the surface clean.

Remove Marks from the Wall

RealSimple suggests baking soda for removing unwanted marks on painted walls. Baking soda will even remove crayon. Just sprinkle the soda on a damp sponge and scrub the mark until it comes off. Then wipe the surface clean with a fresh damp cloth.

Freshen Stuffed Animals

Stuffed animals get dirty easily and can be tough to wash. You can remove odors and oils from your kid’s favorite stuffed toys with a little baking soda.Mom.me advises using about a tablespoon per stuffed animal and tossing them together in a pillow case. After a few minutes of tossing remove the stuffed animals and shake off the excess baking soda. Then wipe the animal down with a damp cloth to remove the rest. You can fluff the stuffed animal inside the pillowcase in the dryer set on low.

Put out Fires

Baking soda can be used to put out small grease fires in the kitchen.  When a grease fire happens in your kitchen you should never pour water on it because the vapors can spread the grease and the fire. Instead, turn off the heat source and pour baking soda on the flames. The baking soda will help smother the fire.

These are just a few fun and helpful uses for baking soda. The list of all the uses for baking soda is truly endless.

How do you use baking soda in your home?

 

Image: “Chemical Reaction” by Kate Ter Haar

Tips for Cleaning Trouble Spots in Your Bedroom

tips for cleaning trouble spots in your bedroomIt is time for spring cleaning! This is the time of year when everyone starts to dream about getting organized and deep cleaning neglected areas of the house.

The sooner you get started, the sooner you will finish and have time to be outside in warmer weather.

The bedroom is a great place to start for spring cleaning. It often gets neglected while other more visible areas of the house are more routinely cleaned. You may find a few trouble spots as you freshen your room. Here are a five tricks to help you out.

WD-40 for Crayon

Young children in the house almost always means crayon will end up somewhere other than paper. When you find crayon on your wall or just about any other surface, Real Simple recommends spraying a little WD-40 over it and then rubbing it with a cloth.

Walnut for Wood

This tip also comes from Real Simple. Wood floors in your bedroom easily collect small scratches. These scratches can be hidden by rubbing shelled walnuts into them.

Lemon to Remove Hard Water Stains

This tip doesn’t necessarily apply to your bedroom, but if you have a bathroom attached to your bedroom, it is too good to leave out.  An article from Broccoli Cupcake suggests that all you need to do is cut a lemon in half and rub it on the hard water stains. Then rinse and your fixtures will look as good as new.

Carpet Stain Remover

When you discover old stains on your carpet try this trick for pulling them out. Picklee recommends mixing equal parts ammonia and hot water. Pour the mixture over the stain. Cover the area with a clean white towel. Then iron the towel. The stain will lift from the carpet into the towel.

Carpet Freshener

Once your carpet is nice and clean you may want to freshen it a bit to remove old odors. This is especially helpful if you have pets. One Good Thing shares this homemade powder for freshening your carpets: Combine 1/2 cup each of baking soda and borax then add 20 drops of essential oils such as lavender or a teaspoon of spices like cinnamon. One Good Thing warns to use oil instead of spice if you have light colored carpet. Shake this mix evenly over the carpet. Let it sit for 20 minutes and then vacuum.

These five tips can help you tackle your spring cleaning. Have fun rejuvenating your home starting with the bedroom. Do you have any household cleaning tips to share?

Photo “My Green Cleaning Kit” courtesy of go_greener_oz’s

5 Things Every Teenager’s Bedroom Needs

Is your teenager ready to graduate into a more grown up room? Redecorating can be a fun time of bonding for you and your teen. Just be sure to listen to their ideas and allow them some space to create, even if it isn’t exactly your taste. If you are ready to help your teenager decorate their room, here are 5 things to make sure you include.

Help your teenager create their dream room!

Help your teenager create their dream room!

Bookshelf

The best way to encourage teenagers to read is to make books accessible. Having a place to keep their favorites right in their room will make it easy to grab a book, relax and read. Over time having a bookshelf in their room rather than a TV will help develop healthier life long habits.

Desk

Teenagers have plenty of homework to do, but they also need space to be creative. A desk in their room will provide quiet and private space where your teenager do homework, journal, or do art. If you choose to let your teenager have a computer in their room, make sure you know how they are spending their time on it.

Their Own Touch

Decorating the room is a perfect way to give teenagers some independence and ownership. Give your teenager a budget and let them choose paint colors, bedding and other decor. If your teenager is into art, have some of their own work framed to hang in their room. Allowing your teenager to have some say in their room decor may help them take ownership and even keep their room clean.

Storage

Teenagers can accumulate plenty of clothes, awards, pictures and other items they may want to display or stash away. Under the bed boxes, shelves, drawers and other ways to store items will help keep their room from getting cluttered.

Cool Lighting

An easy to reach bedside lamp will also encourage reading and is convenient to have. Adding a fun light fixture can be an inexpensive way to add personality to the room. Even a string of christmas lights can add character and make the room warm and inviting.

A room redo is the perfect time to let your child’s creative abilities shine. Help them create a space they love. Not only is redecorating a room fun, but a good opportunity to let your teenager exercise their decision making skills. What do you think a teenager’s room absolutely needs?

 

Image: “Turquoise Bedroom” by PoshSurfside.com

What is Satin?

Satin, rather than being a type of fiber, is a type of weave. It is the weave that creates the characteristic shiny look and the incredibly smooth feel of satin. Satin is typically woven from silk, polyester, or other synthetic material.

The Weave

To understand how satin works, it is important to know how materials are woven. WiseGeek.com describes two important terms, warp and weft.  satinThe warp strands run vertically and the weft strands run horizontally. There are many different ways to weave together the warp and weft strands to create different feels and appearances. In a regular weave, the warp and weft strands are woven singly, one over the top of each other. In a satin weave, at least four warp strands must be woven over the top of every weft strand. This is called “floating.” Floating the four strands gives the material a very smooth feel and one shiny side.  This smooth, silky feel, makes satin sheets perfect for hot summer nights,  making your bed a cool, and comfortable. This weave also makes satin sheets very durable.

 

Silk vs. Synthetic

Wikipedia explains that the most commonly known silk comes from the cocoons of the mulberry silkworm. Silk must be harvested and transformed into fibers in a process that is very involved. This is usually reflected in its price, silk being much more expensive than many other fibers.

Satin sheets made of silk are usually very expensive and also difficult to care for. As a natural fabric, silk is prone to shrinking and can be easily discolored. For this reason, they most often must be dry cleaned. According to Doityourself.com, polyester and other synthetic satin can usually be washed on the gentle cycle, with cold water in your washing machine. They can also be dried on low or no heat settings in your dryer.  This ease of care, and lower cost make polyester satin sheets more feasible for everyday use.

Luxury

Satin sheets or even a satin comforter can give your bedroom a luxurious look and feel. They can also give you a cool and comfortable night of sleep. With the availability of synthetic satin sheets, there are a number of affordable options, so you can enjoy luxury satin in your home.

 

Photo “Purple Satin Fabric” courtesy of Sherrie Thai

Should you be counting sheep?

Can occupying your mind with sheep help you fall asleep?

Can occupying your mind with sheep help you fall asleep?

 

Have you ever laid in bed watching the minutes tick by, knowing the alarm is set for early in the morning and you just can’t drift off? Counting sheep is a timeless suggestion to help you fall asleep, but where does it come from and does it really help?

The History

Sheep counting may go back to very early shepherds. These shepherds would have needed to literally count their sheep to make sure they were all safe before they could go to sleep.

Why it Doesn’t Work

Sleep specialist Michael Decker PhD, says that counting actually activates parts of the brain that processes information. Putting this part of the brain to work may stimulate you rather than help you fall asleep.

Alternatives

Other studies suggest you should try a different method.  A study performed by Oxford researchers that found people who were told to visualize a relaxing scene such as a beach, waterfall or walk in the woods fell asleep on average twenty minutes faster than those who were given no instruction.

The idea is that you can occupy your mind with something relaxing so that you are not thinking about tasks, relationships or other worries that might cause stress instead of help you fall asleep. These relaxing scenes are enough to keep you busy without stimulating your brain.

Try Again

If you can’t fall asleep after thirty minutes, you should get up. Move to a different room and read or listen to relaxing music until you feel sleepy. Then return to bed and try again. Try not to read or do other activities in bed. Doing so can help train your body to stay awake in bed.

Worth a Try

While the research shows counting sheep may not be the best option for drifting off to sleep, it certainly doesn’t hurt to try. Picturing relaxing scenes or counting sheep will not have any of the side effects of sleeping pills or other medications.

If your insomnia is not severe or it is related to a short terms stress, feel free to try any at home tricks to help you drift off. However, if your sleeplessness is interfering with your day to day activities, counting sheep certainly won’t help. See a doctor so that you can get some rest and feel healthy again.

 

Image: Counting Sheep by Amen Clinic