5 Effortless Thanksgiving DIY Decor Ideas

It’s way too late for witches and skeletons and just a tad bit too early for Santa and his reindeer. We are right smack dab in that awkward holiday decorating period where you are debating on whether or not you actually want to be festive and dress up your house for Turkey Day. Not to worry, you’re not alone. Here are 5 DIY decor ideas that are SO simple and effortless, you don’t even need instructions.

 

via Pure & Simple Organizing

via Midwest Living

via homedit.com

via Bronzed Budget Bride

via PopSugar.com

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Temperatures Dropping and Home Sales Heating Up

Existing-home sales continued to increase for the second straight month, according to the National Association of Realtors October Existing-Home Sales Report. Spurred by low interest rates, improving inventory levels (the amount of homes on the market) and stabilizing price growth, sales are now above year-over-year levels for the first time since last October.

Also encouraging is the decreasing number of distressed home sales, including foreclosures and short sales. Distressed home sales represented only nine percent of total existing-home sales in October 2014, down from 10 percent in September 2014 and down 14 percent in October 2013.

The median existing-home price nationally in October was $208,300, marking the 32nd consecutive month of year-over-year price gains. Home prices rose on a year-over-year basis across the country, with the Midwest experiencing the largest year-over-year increase at seven percent.

Budge Huskey, the CEO of Coldwell Banker Real Estate, put things in perspective…

 “There is no doubt we are in a new housing cycle that is showing growth.  While many observers like to look at price and sales under a microscopic lens by month, I prefer the year-over-year figures which continue to show strong signs.  But I also believe that individual home buyers and sellers should not only focus on today’s news.  It is more important to focus on local community information.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions of real estate agents, even if your buying or selling decision isn’t immediate.”

The Midwest experienced the largest growth, with existing-home sales increasing five percent from September 2014. All of this comes on the heels of the Coldwell Banker Home Listing Report identifying Cleveland as the most affordable city in the US for 4 bedroom/2 bath homes!

Below is the region by region price comparison of median home prices. As we head into even colder months, check out these warm inviting listings from around the country!

Northeast median sales price: $246,900

924 New Scotland Rd, Albany, NY 12208

$249,900 for a 4 bedroom, 3 bath home (3,200 sq. ft.)

Midwest median sales price: $164,100

2979 Yorkshire Rd, Cleveland Heights, OH 44118

$152,500 for a 5 bedroom, 2 bath home (1,933 sq. ft.)

South median sales price: $178,000

210 Davis St, Athens, GA 30606

$174,000 for a 3 bedroom, 2 bath home (1,960 sq. ft.)

West median sales price: $296,800

3924 E Thrush Lane, Flagstaff, AZ 86004

$289,000 for a 3 bedroom, 2 bath home (2,095 sq. ft.)

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4 Entryway Organization Ideas

Your entryway is the first step in and out of the home, whether everyone’s running off to school or out to activities in the evening. If you’re scrambling to find items, you could be wasting crucial moments you would otherwise spend beating traffic. Rather than fumbling in the foyer, invest in time-saving organization options.

Key Rack

image via LJB Arch, P.C.
Instead of trying to find your keys every morning, you should have a consistent place for them by the door. You can install a custom key rack to hold more than one set for cars along with other types of keys. Clearly labeling where each set goes will help everyone remember to hang them up. You can use a piece of wood or fiberboard and cut it into a rectangular shape. Stapling or nailing it into your wall, you can drill hooks in and use a marker to label each hook.

Shelving & Storage

image via Star Painting Contractors

To declutter the entryway, install shelving to hold clothing and bins. Whether you have to hang shelves or hire a carpenter to build them, you need to optimize the space on either side of the foyer. You can use it to store shoes, backpacks, briefcases and more. If you need to optimize whose items goes where, label shelves and bins with every family member’s name so they can drop items in the designated area. You can also install hooks and hangers in the shelves for coats and scarves if you don’t have a hallway closet.

Winter Clothing Space

image via Home Source Construction

For the winter months, you might need additional room for your heavy coats, scarves and gloves. Install a standing coat rack by the door or next to the shelves to hold clothing and keep other items dry. You can also avoid puddles by laying down a mat or pebble-filled tray underneath the coat rack. It allows the rain and snow to puddle in it rather than on the floor, though you’ll need to wash it out every now and again. You can also buy an umbrella stand, so they dry off without getting water on your floor.

Last, but certainly not lease, limit the clutter!

If you need additional items, just remember to keep the clutter down. Don’t add so many items you’re bumping into things. For example, you probably don’t need a table to hold your keys if you have a key rack. You can also get a professional organizer to help if it seems overwhelming. Here are some additional items that might help with the decluttering process:

● Sitting space: A short bench is good for taking layers of clothing or shoes off and additional storage. You might consider a wall-mounted bench in particular because it saves space and has understorage.
● Sorting area: A basket, tray or rack helps sort mail, though you need multiples for junk, bills and other types of mail.
● Rug: Having a rug by the front door keeps the dirt isolated to the front area and prevents slips and falls.

Andrea Davis is the editor at HomeAdvisor, which connects homeowners with home improvement professionals in their area for free. Connect with Andrea on Google+

Cover Image 9098 Tartan Fields Drive Dublin, OH

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Sweet Ideas for What to Do With Leftover Halloween Candy

It’s Wednesday which means we are halfway to PayDay! If you need to take 5 from your busy work week, you’ve come to the right place for a fast break. If you have mounds of candy leftover at home from Halloween, we have ideas that will please even the most sour patch kids. Now at this point I hopefully made you snicker and laffy at all of my sweets puns. Or perhaps you just think I am an airhead from Mars. Anyway here are some of the best ideas for leftover candy from across the milkyway...well actually just the internet. Enjoy!

Candy Cookie Cake

Combining Cookies AND Candy?! Stop the madness! Get the recipe for this sinful creation from Baker by Nature.

Snickers Ice Cream Popsicles 

Summer may be over but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a decadent popsicle. Get the recipe for this frozen treat from A Pumpkin & A Princess.

 

Candy Caramel Apple Pie

Have leftover snickers? This caramel apple pie is a total party pleaser. Get the recipe from iheartnaptime here.

 

Don’t feel like you can possibly consume even one more sweet morsel of Halloween goodies? Here are some other ideas:

  • Bring it to the office (your co-workers may not like you for this)
  • Stuff a pinata (because kids totally need more sugar after their Halloween binge)
  • Donate it to the troops (by far the best idea of all)

Image above via http://blog.playdrhutch.com/

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13 Spook-Free Safety Tips to Keep Your Kids & Pets Safe this Halloween

Halloween is full of tricks, treats, ghoulish games, frightening frocks, cute costumes, glowing Jack O’ Lanterns, pumpkin packed parties, and of course spookiness! Unfortunately, all of the frightening fun has dangers lurking behind them. Whether you are a parent of two-legged loved ones or four-legged furry loved ones, it is critical to be aware of the true spookiness that is hiding behind all the ghostly fun. So I called upon two experts that have simple tips for a safe, scare-free Halloween to keep your children and pets safe.

First up are the experts in keeping your little pumpkins safe. They may have “boo” in their name, but there is nothing scary about Boo Boo Busters. As a leading professional childproofing service they know a thing or two about keeping your kids safe. Following, are Halloween safety tips for your pets from Dr. Anthony George, doctor of veterinary medicine and certified veterinary acupuncturist. He has been taking care of all kinds of pets for over 20 years and his tips are sure to keep you furry friends from howling at the moon.

Kid Halloween Safety Tips

1) Choking Hazards

As a good rule of thumb, a choking hazard could be considered as anything that can pass through a cardboard toilet paper roll holder unobstructed. So, taking that into consideration, look closely at all the items that you are putting out to display. From bats and ghosts to pumpkins you roast. Hazards lurk everywhere!

2) Flashlights

Child safe flashlights should have a child safe battery door on them that is secured by a screw to prevent removal of the battery, thus preventing a choking hazard. Use flashlights or electric candles to light up your pumpkin too, flames and kids don’t mix.

3) Halloween Lights

Look for Halloween light strings that have tamper resistant bulbs that can’t be removed easily and remember cords pose a strangulation hazard. All cords should be kept short and tight. Consider taking the excess that you might leave hanging and bind it up with a zip tie.

4) Pumpkin Carving

Remember to only use child safe cutting tools while carving pumpkins, even as an adult. Kids learn by watching you, so if you use real knives you must know that they will want to do the same. As soon as you turn around to grab something you forgot… little hands wander.

5) Costumes

As a kid it’s mandatory to dress up. Our job is to make sure dress up is safe. Costumes should never obstruct movement, never cause visual impairment and never pose a trip hazard. Stick to material that is form fitting. If it’s loose, baggy or long it could create a trip hazard. Avoid masks that can impair vision. Face painting is the safest mask.

6) Glow at Night

Make sure your child’s costume is visible or is is equipped with something that makes them visible. Glow sticks are great and kids love them, but remember, never hang anything around their little necks unless you are using a child safe breakaway lanyard. A couple glow sticks secured to shoes can be seen from a long way away. Flashlights are a good addition as well.

7) Halloween Treats

Remember to make sure you go through and check all the candy that you are keeping. The candy should be in name brand with sealed packages. For candy bars, be sure you cut them into small pieces that are easy to chew. This also helps to ensure it hasn’t been tampered with. Unfortunately, ghouls are sometimes disguised as regular people.

Pet Halloween Safety Tips

1) Pet Costumes

Yes, your pet looks absolutely adorable in that costume! Keep in mind, your fuzzy family member might not be as thrilled with the outfit. Feel free to get that amazing photo, but respect the fact that your pet may want to get out of those duds as soon as possible. Make sure the outfit is comfortable, and pay special attention to straps that may impinge upon the neck and areas where the extremities meet the body. Never leave a pet unaccompanied in a costume to avoid any “wardrobe malfunctions!”

2) NO chocolate

Most people know chocolate is toxic to their pets. Chocolate contains methyl xanthine, which can cause a variety of symptoms ranging from stomach upset to tremors, hyperthermia and seizures. At high doses, chocolate can lead to collapse and even death. Generally speaking, the darker and more concentrated the chocolate, the more dangerous it can be. There are helpful charts available (for instance, petMD.com) that can tell you what doses are dangerous for your pooch. If in doubt, always best to contact your veterinarian to see if treatment is indicated.

3) Sugar Free Danger

Xylitol, an artificial sweetener found commonly in sugar-free gum as well as other products, can be extremely toxic to dogs. When ingested, it can cause a significant release of insulin, which can lead to extremely low blood sugars. At high doses, it can also lead to liver failure. If your pup has ingested this substance, always best to contact your veterinarian as your pet may likely need treatment and supportive care.

4) Healthy Treat Dangers

If you’re offering healthy alternatives this Halloween, keep in mind that grapes and raisins can be extremely toxic to dogs. Some pets are more sensitive than others. In some animals, the toxin can lead to stomach upset initially, followed by kidney failure within 24 hours. It is always prudent to contact your veterinarian immediately if you suspect your pet has ingested these substances.

5) Burning Jack O’ Lanterns

Flames and Fur don’t mix. Just as you do for kids safety, consider replacing that Jack-O-Lantern candle with a flickering LED light.

6) Trick-or-Treating

During trick-or-treating it is best to keep your pet inside, safe from all of the scary costumes, noises and lights that might frighten your pooch or feline. You might even want to consider locking your sweet little pal in a room so they don’t get spooked and run out the door when your trick or treaters arrive.

Laura McHolm is an organizational, moving & storage expert and co-founder of NorthStar Moving Company. NorthStar Moving Company is an award winning, “A+” rated company, which specializes in providing eco-luxury moving and storage services. www.northstarmoving.com

Image via http://unityanimalhospital.com

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Unique DIY Headboard Ideas That Are Downright Dreamy

Want to update the look of your bed without spending a fortune on a new headboard? Here are three easy, affordable and unique ideas:

Two Doors Make One Beautiful (And Affordable) Headboard

Learn how to DIY here: http://bit.ly/1ygBx9r

 

Change Up The Look Of Your Headboard On The Fly With a Chalkboard

Learn more about this look here: http://bit.ly/1x5KGjY

Styrofoam Ceiling Tiles Are A Surprisingly Sweet Headboard Material

Learn how to DIY here: http://bit.ly/1CRDwlk

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We’d Like to Propose A Toast to This $1,000 Kitchen Appliance

When was the last time you heard about a “game changer” in the toaster category? Yup, that’s what I thought. Well my friends, the time has come, Bugatti (not affiliated with the car company) has finally done it! They have revolutionized the toaster as we know it.

The Bugatti Noun is a ceramic glass toaster that not only produces the perfect piece of toast but can also cook steak, shrimp and many other types of food that you normally might throw on the grill.

Take a look:

When I first saw the price tag I thought ya right, no way would anyone spend a grand on a toaster. However, after watching the video and learning about the Bugatti Noun’s technology and its other cooking capabilites it makes the price tag a bit easier to swallow.

This product will be avaible in the US in 2015.

Cover Photo www.ibtimes.co.uk

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Welcome Fall! What You Need to Know about the September Housing Numbers

This past September proved to be a successful month for existing-home sales. After a slight decline in August, sales reached their highest pace of the year in September, according to the National Association of Realtors September Existing-Home Sales Report. With steady price gains and continued low interest rates, sales have been able to carry their spring momentum into the fall. The median existing-home price for all housing types in September was $209,700, 5.6 percent above September 2013. Last month marked the 31st consecutive month of year-over-year price gains.

Only 14 percent of homes purchased last month were purchased by investors, down from 19 percent in September 2013. This is good news for traditional buyers as they face a less competitive market with low interest rates and steady price gains. Buyers looking to purchase a home this fall should be aware of tight inventory that generally occurs during the winter months.

With exception of the Midwest, all major regions of the country experienced gains this September. See below for a breakdown of the median price of homes sold in each region this past month. As we experience more and more crisp autumn days, check out the following listings currently on the market. All of which include beautiful fireplaces, perfect for curling up on the couch with a good book.

 

Northeast median sales price: $249,800

84 Grove Ave, Leominster, MA 01453

 $300,000 for a 5 bedroom, 2.5 bath home (3,379 sq. ft.)

Midwest median sales price: $165,100

1550 E Irving Pl, Milwaukee, WI 53202

 $197,000 for a 4 bedroom, 1.5 bath home (2,536 sq. ft.)

South median sales price: $180,900

30 Glascow Way, Hampton, VA 23669

$149,999 for a 3 bedroom, 2 bath home (1,607 sq. ft.)

West median sales price: $294,200

4868 Deerfield Place, Mukilteo, WA 98275

$299,950 for a 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath home (1,484 sq. ft.)

The post Welcome Fall! What You Need to Know about the September Housing Numbers appeared first on Coldwell Banker Blue Matter.

Why Are People Putting Teal Pumpkins Out for Halloween?

Halloween is one of the most anticipated events of the year for children. However, for those children with food allergies, trick or treating can be frustrating and even dangerous. In an effort to make Halloween more enjoyable and safer Food Alergy & Education (FARE) is encouraging communities to start a new tradition called Teal Pumpkin Project.

“This campaign encourages people to raise awareness of food allergies by providing non-food treats for trick-or-treaters and painting a pumpkin teal – the color of food allergy awareness – to place in front of their house along with a free printable sign from FARE to indicate they have non-food treats available.” (FARE)

I am absolutely thrilled to learn about such a great campaign for children with allergies and can really relate in my neighborhood. When I moved into my new home last October I was so excited to meet all of our neighbors. While introducing ourselves to the neighbors to the right, I noticed their daughter was wearing an allergy bracelet. I was informed that Danielle has severe allergies to latex and dairy. Being so close to Halloween I knew I wanted to make trick or treating special for Danielle so I found out her favorite non-dairy candies and had them all ready for her on Halloween night. I started thinking about how difficult it must be for children with food allergies to go trick or treating and was thrilled this year to learn about The Teal Pumpkin Project that is sweeping the country.

Love this campaign as well and want to spread the word? FARE created these great social graphics:

You can even change your profile picture or add this graphic to your blog:

Need some ideas for trick or treaters looking to participate in this new tradition? FARE suggests the following creative ideas:

  • Glow sticks, bracelets, or necklaces
  • Pencils, pens, crayons or markers
  • Bubbles
  • Halloween erasers or pencil toppers
  • Mini Slinkies
  • Whistles, kazoos, or noisemakers
  • Bouncy balls
  • Finger puppets or novelty toys
  • Coins
  • Spider rings
  • Vampire fangs
  • Mini notepads
  • Playing cards
  • Bookmarks
  • Stickers
  • Stencils

Do you plan on participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project this year?

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Miami’s Most Expensive Property — 6.9 Waterfront Acres in Coconut Grove

By Jennifer McGuire

He’s done it again. Last month, William P.D. Pierce listed America’s most expensive property at $139 million, and today he’s listed Miami-Dade’s most expensive property on the market. At $65 million, La Brisa is a rare 6.9-acre tract of waterfront land in the heart of Coconut Grove that has not been subdivided since it was created in 1886, with fully restored and renovated 1920s era mansion. In a town where waterfront property has been snatched up and developed for decades, a property of this size with more than 200-feet of bay-front is extremely rare. The truth is: properties like this just don’t exist.

It’s located in one of Miami’s coolest parts of town, Coconut Grove, which has attracted business tycoons, artists, novelists and celebrities since the late 1800s. Today, it’s is a laid-back enclave of sidewalk cafes, bars, boutiques, art galleries, lush parks and picturesque streets. But as you pass through the gates of La Brisa, all of that disappears and it feels like you’ve traveled back in time.

The mansion sits on an ancient coral reef 23 feet above sea level, and features 13,803 square feet “under air” plus an additional 3,338 square feet of outdoor living space, for a total square footage of 17,141. Nearly every room flows into an outdoor space, whether it’s one of the many balconies or walkways, or through direct access to the pool patio.  Not too shabby.

Reportedly, the outdoor space alone easily fits 250 for a poolside party, which is an important selling point in a party town like Miami.

The mansion was designed by famed Miami architects Kiehnel and Elliott, known for their Mediterranean Revival style using pastel stucco walls, red-tile roofs, wrought iron details and elaborate accents along entryways, rooflines and windows. The team produced some of Miami’s most notable buildings including El Jardin and the Coconut Grove Playhouse.

It’s a stunning building, but the grounds are what’s really impressive. The property is dotted with mature trees including towering centenary Canarian Date Palms, royal palms, royal poincianas, mahogany, oak and gumbo limbo trees, some which are nearly as old as the house itself, some much older, as well as a stately banyan tree that straddles the property and a hidden cobblestone path.

A huge lawn stretches down to a protected 536-foot long canal bordering the northern side of the property, which includes a private port to accommodate your 70-foot yacht. The waterfront is protected by a copse of mangroves, with an elevated walkway leading to an octagonal viewing deck over the bay.

Even beyond its relaxed beauty, La Brisa boasts a colorful history that dates back to the early settlers of Miami. The land was first deeded in 1886 to Kirk Munroe, a noted author of children’s adventure novels and books about Florida, and his wife Mary Barr Munroe.  Munroe played a big role in the area’s history: He introduced the first legislation in Florida to protect an animal after an injured manatee washed onto the property, built South Florida’s first tennis court and hosted the first game of tennis in 1892, and founded the Biscayne Bay Yacht Club. During the Spanish-American War, he supplied water from La Brisa’s spring – which still exists today and feeds a natural pool – was transported 120 miles south for the American troops anchored in Key West. Reportedly, a box of Florida orange blossoms from the Munroe property that was shipped to Henry Flagler convinced him to bring his railroad south to Miami.

History buffs and billionaires alike will be clamoring to see this truly spectacular property. See more of this property at coldwellbanker.com.

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