There’s nothing like being outdoors. It soothes the soul, calms the spirit and delights the senses. Most of us can’t spend as much time as we’d like outside, but many clever methods can bring the serenity and beauty of nature into your home. Take a look at a few of the innovative ways that you can introduce nature’s beauty, from a lush garden to a spectacular rocky coastline, into your interior spaces.
(BPT) - The countdown to this year’s holiday season has begun. Department stores have decked the halls. Families are scheduling trips to visit far-away loved ones. And hosts everywhere are stressing about entertaining family and friends during this frantic season of peace and good will.
(BPT) - Every holiday party is as individual as the hosts and interesting as the guests. Yet whether you plan a sophisticated dinner party or an afternoon buffet, all parties do have one thing in common: the need for entertaining space.
(StatePoint) Creative decorating solutions are needed when decorating your rental space. Make sure you are complying with the rental rules and regulations.
(StatePoint) There is no better place to entertain on a warm sunny day than in your own backyard. But before the parties start, make sure your outdoor space is a place where people want to spend time.
(StatePoint) Is updating your flooring on your home improvement to-do list this season? From color to style to performance, there’s a lot to consider. Learn how to find flooring that fits your lifestyle and reflects your family’s personality.
(NAPSI)—Runoff of agricultural fertilizers into streams, rivers and watersheds is a major environmental concern, but U.S. farmers are aggressively adopting more environmentally sound crop production methods and technologies that address this problem.
(BPT) - With the onset of cooler weather, now is the ideal time for homeowners to consider the efficiency of their heating systems. Drafts, gaps and poor insulation throughout the building envelope can significantly contribute to the efficiency of a home’s heating system, the comfort of occupants and the household budget.
(StatePoint) There’s nothing like spending time outdoors in the woods. With some simple steps, you can make your woodlands a paradise for flora and fauna by creating a space for wildlife to thrive.
(StatePoint) October, which is Energy Action Month, is a great time to learn more about how your home uses energy. By making more energy efficient choices, you can increase the comfort of your home, reduce your energy bills, breathe healthier air indoors and help the environment.
(NewsUSA) - Recycling plastic water bottles is great, but, unfortunately, many of these bottles don't make it to the recycling bin, and end up in landfills instead. Alkame Water is addressing this problem and is making it easier to "think green" when buying bottled water. Their patented new water bottle is designed to be biodegradable in landfills as well as recyclable with other plastics.
(NAPSI)—Just about every American farm family includes an unsung hero: the “farm mom.” Doing everything from keeping the books to combining the fields, 30 percent of today’s primary farm operators are women. They grow our food, our economy and our way of life—while also growing the next generation. The America’s Farmers Mom of the Year contest recognizes these amazing women.
(StatePoint) Recycling is crucial to running a green home. It’s also an easy and effective way to reduce your weekly contribution to the local landfill.
(NAPSI)—Here’s good news, for a change, about our environment: Americans have more than tripled the amount of materials they recycled in the 1980s—more than a third of the country’s household waste—thanks to technological advances by the waste industry that collects, sorts and processes America’s recyclables.
(NewsUSA) - Some engineering experts believe mechanical engineers are advocates for international sustainability. At the very least, while some fully embrace and others cautiously test the waters, a sustainable consciousness is surfacing in the occupation.
(StatePoint) Whether you are motivated to help the planet or simply want to slash home energy and water bills, there are easy steps to reduce your home’s carbon footprint.
(Family Features) - Christmas tree-related fires are too often a sad part of holiday news coverage.
(Family Features) - If it seems like you're constantly doing laundry, you're not alone. According to the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, the average American family does 8 to 10 loads of laundry each week. And from wash to dry, a single load takes about an hour and a half to complete.
(Family Features) - As temperatures dip and snow flakes start to fall, your home will require extra maintenance to keep it in shape throughout the winter.
(Family Features) - Kathie Bond-Borie, Guest Columnist - If you're looking for a plant with year-round appeal, holly belongs near the top. No matter where you live, hollies offer shiny red, orange, or yellow berries, and many varieties have characteristic waxy leaves that cloth the plant in all seasons. There are thousands of different varieties (the main distinctions being either evergreen or deciduous), and they all prefer similar growing conditions. Here are some tips to keeping hollies healthy and full of fruits.
(Family Features) Every chef knows a properly outfitted kitchen is a must in order to create culinary masterpieces. This year, make sure the special food lover in your life has everything he or she needs to stir their passion for food and drink. Expand their culinary library with a book that serves up helpful food tips and original recipes. Let them prepare their favorite recipes with a set of ergonomic and innovative knives. Perk up their mornings with a coffee maker that quickly brews a customized cup at the touch of a button. Or, help them serve up delightful dishes by keeping their pantry stocked with superior quality olive oil. This guide will help you find unique gifts for every kitchen connoisseur on your list.
(Family Features) With cold temperatures, dreary skies and bare winter landscapes, it's easy to feel a touch of the winter blues. But there are three ways you can bring some cheer to the inside of your home, no matter what it looks like outside.
When considering general lighting needs, even light distribution and flexibility are essential. Consider recessed fixtures spaced evenly throughout the kitchen, with additional lighting positioned above islands, working countertops, sinks and ranges.
(Family Features) What comes to mind when considering safety hazards around the home? Do you think of electrical safety, fire prevention and reducing the risk of electrical shock? Often times, our quest for new kitchen cabinets and hardwood floors takes priority, while the projects to increase home safety are put on the back burner. One project, however, that should not be put off is evaluating the electrical safety of your home.
(Family Features) - According to the Farmers' Almanac, this winter will see an increase in "shivery conditions," where temperatures will average below normal for about three-quarters of the nation and snowfall will be significant. Are you and your family winter ready?
(Family Features) For most Americans, the holiday season is the busiest and most demanding time of the year. From social engagements and travel to buying gifts and baking, it's often hard to juggle competing commitments. In fact, 80 percent of Americans anticipate stress during the holiday season, according to the American Psychological Association.
(BPT) - Household chores are a never-ending reality of life. In fact, on average women spend more than two hours a day on household activities, which include housework and cooking, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Time Use Survey. Yet, keeping up with kids, pets and a hectic schedule make it seem like there's still always something to clean. Tackle your home’s dirtiest rooms with these quick tips to make chores easier and more effective so you can have a tidy, sparkling home in no time.
(BPT) - Fake and faux are far apart. Fake is meant to deceive, but faux is intended as a tribute or a toast to something great or beautiful.
(BPT) - Many people are already familiar with the benefits of soft water for their skin and hair and how it significantly reduces energy consumption and increases the life of heaters, appliances and home plumbing. But what most people are totally unaware of is the ability for soft water to prevent microbial contamination in plumbing, thus minimizing the consumer’s exposure to pathogenic bacteria such as Legionella, which can cause Legionnaire’s disease. This research was discovered by the School of Sustainable Engineering at Arizona State University.
(BPT) - No matter what time of year it is, the kitchen is always the busiest room in the home. That’s especially the case during the holiday season. With the added stress of planning the perfect menu and creating the ideal holiday atmosphere for your guests, it’s no surprise that many people feel overwhelmed with the planning process.
(BPT) - Remodeling the kitchen. When you decide to tackle this daunting undertaking, you want to do it right. And, you’re not alone. Forty-nine percent of homeowners plan to completely gut their existing kitchen and start with a clean state, according to a recent survey by Houzz.com. Regardless of the scope of your project, if you’re itchin’ to update your kitchen, follow these five steps to design the space you’ve been dreaming about.
(BPT) - Home decor can convey many different emotions - from warmth and comfort on cold and dreary winter days to elegance and festiveness during the holiday season. The colors and materials you use set the stage; everything from the textures that appear in the accessories, the arrangement of the furniture and even how sound reverberates in a room.
(BPT) - Mattress shopping isn’t a matter to take lying down. The average American spends three full years sleeping on each mattress they buy. A mattress is the single most important factor in achieving the quality sleep that is crucial to a high quality of life.
(BPT) - “A kitchen provides physical and spiritual nourishment, and for many homes is now the heart and soul of family life.” That’s how Terence Conran opened his classic Kitchen Book 20 years ago, and it’s probably even truer today. The kitchen’s central importance in most households means that Americans are paying more attention than ever to the design and decoration of this vital space - a search for functionality, comfort and beauty that’s reflected in current trends in hardwood kitchen cabinetry.
(BPT) - You do it every day ... and sometimes more than once a day ... but, how often do you actually think about your shower routine? And, is it living up to its potential? Follow these seven simple steps and soon your daily shower escape can become sensational and safe – all with only a minimal investment.
(StatePoint) Kitchen remodeling can significantly increase home value. However this can get extremely expensive. But simple kitchen fix-ups can add both value and comfort to your space.
Belton Senior Activity Center’s annual Christmas party is from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Dec. 19 at 842 S. Mitchell St., Belton.