Monday, January 27, 2020

How To Stay Warm and Cozy This Winter

Written by Alex Berger

The trees have lost their leaves and the weather has that cool crisp to it. That’s when you know it’s time to focus on staying warm because winter has finally arrived (something that is relatively rare for Florida). I just feel the need to stay cozy and warm and I’ll do anything to make that happen. But, at the same time, I don’t want to spend a ton of money doing so - especially right after the Christmas season. It’s easy to bump up the heat in your home, but this also bumps up the amount you are paying. Instead, find ways to stay cozy and warm, without having to shell out hundreds and hundreds of dollars that will not be well used for a long period of time. Here are some of my best tips:

Fire

There is nothing like a hot, roaring fire to keep you warm and cozy during the cold winter months. No matter if you have a gas or a wood burning fireplace, get the fire started and curl up with a book next to it. One thing I do recommend doing before you have your first fire of the year is getting your fireplace and chimney inspected. It’s very easy and not too costly to get a chimney sweep and a lot of the time, they will also clean your dryer lint trap, as well. 

Curl up on the couch or in bed

Cozy up on the couch or in bed with lots of blankets, pillows, and a movie or a book. Adding flannel sheets, full down comforters, extra blankets (maybe even a heated blanket, or heated mattress pad), and lots of pillows will definitely keep you warm and cozy. Cuddling in bed or on the couch with lots of blankets does not sound like a bad way to spend a weekend, in my opinion! 

Warm Beverages
The winter months were made for mugs full of hot chocolate and eggnog, but those drinks aren’t always the best for your health. You can only drink so much cocoa, no matter how cold you are, so you might want to think about some other healthy alternatives such as herbal tea, turmeric lattes, or even hot chai tea. It doesn’t just stop at warm beverages, though. There are so many warm food options like soups and stews that can help warm you up, as well.

Add Rugs

One thing that I love to do in order to make my home feel cozier is to add rugs to my living spaces. Even if you have carpet in bedrooms, adding rugs on top of them not only looks great, but it creates a cozier space AND it can add warmth to the room(s). When you wake up each morning, how nice would it be to step onto a warm rug instead of stepping on your cold tile or wood flooring? Let me tell you - it is VERY nice. I love shopping for Ottomanson rugs because they are high-quality, but still extremely affordable. Ottomanson products can be purchased from Amazon, Home Depot, Walmart, Overstock, Wayfair, Hayneedle, etc. One of my favorite collections that Ottomanson sells is The Paterson Collection. They are designed with an assortment of traditional and bold contemporary motifs with trendy colors. They are eye catching, so soft, and super cozy. 

Ottomanson was established in 2007 and since then, they have become one of the leading wholesalers of area rugs in the United States. They offer a variety of high-quality, heat-set, BCF, and printed area rugs in traditional and contemporary designs. They were founded with the aspiration to embellish indoor and outdoor spaces, applying a distinct taste and touch while adhering to current trends. “Ottomanson Inc. combines years of knowledge and experience within the home décor industry to best serve this aspiration. Always bearing function and fashion in mind as well as offering premium quality for a broad range of budgets, Ottomanson has reached a large scope of product line in home décor including area rugs, runner rugs, kids’ rugs, indoor/outdoor rugs, printed rugs, grass rugs, doormats, stair treads, chair mats, towels, blankets and tablecloth. Ottomanson’s mission is to further augment these competencies with the help of its professional and passionate administrative and operational staff in order to fully serve its commitment to high-quality standards and contemporary customer demands.”

Layer Up

Winter weather can be unpredictable, especially in the southern states making it a challenge to get dressed for those cold-weather days (or the cold mornings that end up to be 70 degrees in the afternoon in FL). So, how do you even go about dressing for the really cold mornings, but not so cold afternoons? There is a trick! Dress in layers so you're prepared for any temperature and occasion. Layering your clothes can also add dimension and it is a great opportunity to mix and match patterns, colors, and textures to achieve those Instagram-worthy looks.

Are you ready for winter in Florida? Let me know if you have any other ways to stay warm and cozy this winter!

*Sponsored Post

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

The Joyful Mess Children Bring

Written by a contributing writer 

When we make the decision to have children, we generally tend to think of the 10 tiny fingers and 10 little toes (that create the odd sticky fingerprints on the walls here and there). Still, sometimes it goes much further than that. Many of us have some stories from parenting that will turn your stomach. And even though being a parent can be an absolutely fantastic experience most of the time, we wouldn’t change it for the world, there are plenty of issues that crop up in our homes as a result of having children. Here are some of the things that may happen you as a result of having smaller versions of yourself running around your home.


Photo by Ricardo Viana on Unsplash


Flooring

As adults, we may choose our flooring in our homes according to taste. Some of us have wooden flooring and some of us have carpets laid. Generally, we take our shoes off and keep them as clean as possible most of the time. But when are our children become mobile the floor in our homes can get completely trashed at times. Quite often, we will find discarded food, glue, paint, other arts and crafts materials, and the odd drink spilled here and there. And while we are googling carpet cleaning companies in our local area, little children will already be moving in the next mess to create. Of course, they don’t do it on purpose, as they are just learning, but it can still be frustrating nevertheless.

That Sudocreme moment

Most parents at some point in their journey will find the children covered in cream of some kind. Sometimes it is Sudocreme...Sometimes it is an expensive face cream that we would much rather they hadn’t touched. But many parents will regale tales of that moment they found that their child had covered themselves in something. Quite often it only takes a little moment to clean up, so isn’t the end of the world, but again this can be a little inconvenient! Especially for the typically busy parent.

Permanent marker

Much like the Sudocreme, permanent markers should always be kept well out of children’s reach. This goes without saying, of course, but this may not be as easy to keep track of as you might think. Especially if you have more than one child. Children can find their way into many things, including trouble, and discovering that your little darling has taken a permanent marker to some wall coverings, your favorite dress, or even a sibling is quite a common thing. This tends to be when having parent friends comes in handy. They will know precisely how to remove these permanent stains and give you tips on redecorating when you need it. There are even Facebook pages full of families who have the wisdom and sense of humor to be able to help you with this potential issue.

Pet mess

If you didn’t have pets before you had children, then it’s only a matter of time before the younger members of the family start asking for a pet of their own. Obviously, this is a big step and you will need to be completely prepared to deal with everything that having a pet in the family throws at you. This can mean training, housing, entertainment, and food. But above all else, a mess. Even if you choose to bring a kitten into your family, they will need a litter box that requires cleaning often. Cats, dogs, and even rabbits and guinea pigs don’t care about your clean carpets and walls. So you will need to add this to your list of chores and think carefully before agreeing to expand your family. When it comes to pets, the mess doesn’t necessarily stay inside the home. You will need to be aware that dogs and cats and other outdoor pets, can cause plenty of chaos in your garden too. But that’s just part of having and taking care of your pets.

Ultimately the mess children bring into your life is a small price to pay for the joy they bring. But be prepared for some interesting smells, unusual stains, and replacing soft furnishings when it all becomes a bit much. It can add time-consuming activities and expense to your life that you may never have imagined; it may add a little more stress than you believe too. But ultimately, that’s the task we take on, and eventually, the children will be old enough to help with the chores and tidying up after themselves and their pets too.