candles

Make Your Own Candles at Home: A Step by Step guide.

I am obsessed with candles and spend a lot of money on them each month; I light up a candle to meditate, to read, to relax, to take a bath, if the occasion is appropriate to light a candle, you can bet that I’m doing it. But, my bank account is not happy with all the money I spend on books and candles, so I had to be resourceful and learn how to make my candles at home, which might I say are cheaper but smell fabulous. The first couple of candles that you craft won’t be perfect, but it’s a bit like making pancakes or children, the first one is always a trial, and you never know how they will turn out. Come along with us and learn how to make your own candles in the comfort of your home. Who knows, this may become your new hobby or even something that you profit off of.

What will you need for this craft?

It is pretty simple to craft your own homemade candle; you need a few simple items that you can get at your local craft stores like Micheals or even Target. All you need is:

    • A double boiler (to heat the wax)
    • Candle wax
    • Candlewick
    • Coloring (optional, but this gives more personality to the candle)
    • Essential oil (also optional, but this is where your candle will get its odor)
    • Mason jar or container in wish your candle will be
    • Popsicle sticks, chopsticks, or skewers to hold the wick in place
    • Scissors
    • Silicone spatula

#Step 1- Get your container ready

book-

Before getting in the nitty-gritty of it all, you have to decide on the container in which you will put your candle. For me, this is the most challenging part as I am an indecisive person and want my candle jar to look aesthetically pleasing. You can get a mason jar from Target or use your favorite old candle container if you want to recycle and be more environmentally friendly. Whatever you decide to use, you need to clean it and dry it out thoroughly; before you can move on to the next step.

#Step 2- Choose the right wax

Okay, before you move on to the next step, you have to choose the wax that you will use, and yes, there is more than one kind, and they smell different and have different properties. They are:

  1. Soy wax– This one is our personal favorite and is gaining more popularity among candle makers because it is currently the most eco-friendly wax on the market. As its name suggests, it is made from soybeans, is pretty easy to clean up and is renewable. One pound of soy wax produces about 18 ounces of liquid when it is melted. It also burns slower than most of the other waxes on our list and thus lasts longer.
  2. Beeswax- It might be the wax that gives out the least amount of wax when melted, 16 ounces for one pound of beeswax, but it is the most natural wax out there and is said to have purifying qualities. Unlike paraffin wax, it doesn’t retain color or odors well, but beeswax has its fragrance, so they don’t need additional scents.

cocoa-butter

  1. Paraffin Wax– This is the most traditional wax out there and is also the only one that gives out the most amount of liquid when melted, 20 ounces for 1 pound, to be exact. It is the one we advise people to begin their candle journey with because they are the cheapest option out there, are pretty quick to melt, and are easy to scent and color. You should be careful, though, because the chemical it emits when melted can cause skin irritation.

#Step 3- Measure and melt the wax

Put a piece of parchment paper on a flat surface so that the wax doesn’t get everywhere. The wax usually comes in the shape of a brick, and you need to shave it down so that it melts more uniformly. Fill the container in which the candle will reside with the shaven wax and double this amount. This will accurately measure how much wax you need to get a full mason jar’s worth of candle.

Place water in the bottom pot of your double boiler and be careful that the water doesn’t touch the top container; the water should be one or two inches below the latter. Let the water boil, and when it gets there, add your shaven wax to the top container and let it melt, which will take about 10 to 15 minutes. Don’t leave this alone to do something else; you will have to stir it constantly so that nothing burns or sticks.

#Step 3- Add fragrance or coloring to the melted wax

essential-oils

This is where you will add the essential oil and coloring o your choice, and this all depends on you and your taste. Add only a few drops of each as a little goes a long way, and stir it well for about 30 seconds to incorporate it well. We would highly recommend this step if you use paraffin or soy wax, but you should omit it if you are using beeswax.

#Step 4- Attach the wick

To the bottom of your container/mason jar, add a little bit of melted wax and immediate place your wick and let the wax cool down completely. This will secure the bottom piece of the wick in place and give you a straight wick, allowing the candle to melt uniformly. It will take the wax about 5minutes to harden. If you don’t like waiting and are an impatient individual, you can always glue gun the wick to the bottom.

Step 5- Pour the melted wax.

Prior to pouring the wax, let it sit a bit because hot wax will ruin the previous step; if you have a thermometer at hand, the perfect temperature to pour it in the container is 140 degrees, but you can also do it by feels if you don’t have a thermometer. Hold the wax and slowly pour the wax into the jar, and fill it to the top.

Step 6- Final touches

candle

To prevent the wick from moving and staying in place, use our trustee chopsticks and sandwich the wax between them. Allow the wax to cool down for at least 4 hours at room temperature, but this may take more or less time depending on the weather of where you live and the season. After the wax has set, cut the wick to your desired length, which should be an inch or less above the wax, and voila, you have your own homemade candle.

Sound off in the comments section below and tell us if you want to make your own candle after reading this extensive how-to.

Collecting Insects: A Brief Account of Equipment and Methods

Collecting Insects: A Brief Account of Equipment and Methods

There are endless numbers and varieties of insects and there is much about them that we do not know. Even amateur collectors may make worthwhile contributions to our knowledge of these fascinating little creatures. That is one reason why the collecting of insects is such a gratifying hobby. But that is not the whole story by any means. You have the privilege of seeing your specimens alive, observing when and where each insect is found. You will note, perhaps how it lives and behaves, what it eats, how it grows and changes, how it finds a mate and breeds.

You may notice whether the insect was out in the heat of the day or in the cool of morning or evening, in sun or shade, in a moist or dry location – whether it was lively or sluggish, alone or in a group. If you carry a little notebook for your observations, the stories that go with your specimens will make them more interesting.

What You Will Need

Collecting Insects:

The equipment you will need for collecting depends upon what kinds of insects interest you most and what methods you want to use. You can make a good deal of equipment yourself with help from some competent person such as a biology teacher or from directions in the books listed at the end of this article. A few items will have to be bought from drugstores or biological supply companies.

To collect butterflies and other flying insects you will need a net of light but strong material such as nylon or best-quality mosquito netting. The mesh must be fine enough to prevent the escape of tiny insects but easy to see through. A short, sturdy handle such as a three-foot piece of broomstick, is best for the general collector. Long handles are hard to swing with swiftness and accuracy. The bag is rounded at the bottom, not pointed and it must be deep enough so that when you have captured an insect you can turn the hoop to lie against the side of the net. Your prize will then not be able to get away.

The hoop may be fashioned from #9 wire, such as clothesline wire. An easy way of making the hoop is to straighten out the hook of a sturdy wire coat hanger and to stretch the rest of the hanger from the usual triangular shape to a circular shape. The handle may be a portion of a broomstick or a heavy dowel rod. The wire hoop may be fastened to the handle by wiring the straightened portion of the hanger to the handle. Heavy tape such as friction tape or adhesive tape may be used. The net should be from two to three times as long as the hoop is wide.

The simplest way to fasten the bag to the rim is to place the open mouth of the bag on the inside of the rim with about three inches to turn back over the rim. Turn the net back all the way around, making a slot for the handle. Now sew the doubled-back part of the net to the main part. If you sew it two times around, it will last longer. The rim of the bag which covers the heavy wire hoop will get the hardest wear. To give it longer life, it can be made of heavy muslin or light canvas. The lighter net used to make the bad is then seeded to the muslin of the rim.

Because most insects fly or crawl upward when disturbed, you should generally swing your net sideways and downward. Some kinds dart sideways or drop straight down, however. With experience, you will learn what to expect from the various kinds and how to catch them.

 

Ecology Experiments You Can Try at Home – Examining the Environment of Living Things (Part 2)

Ecology Experiments You Can Try at Home – Examining the Environment of Living Things (Part 2)

 The environment has a profound impact on all living things, plants, and animals, including water, heat, light, soil, and other plants and animals.

Did you know that with some easily constructed experiments, you can see how the environment affects living things?

How Do Changes in the Environment Affect Living Things?

How Do Changes in the Environment Affect Living Things?

Ecologists have made many studies of the effects of changing environments on plant and animal life. Here is a project that will illustrate these effects dramatically.

Select a square grassy area 2 feet on a side and set markers on the corners. Carefully record the types of animals and plants which you can observe in the selected area. Next, cover a section of the grass with a board about 1 foot by 1 foot. After four days observe the life around the board and under the board. Record your observations and then carefully replace the board in the same position. Repeat your observations every four days for 24 days, recording the life that you observe under the board and around it. What changes have taken place?

You see, I carried out an observation of this type during the spring and summer. Before setting the board in place, he identified various kinds of grasses, weeds, beetles, ants, spiders and mites in the selected area. After the board was set down, the grass and weeds until it turned yellow and began to decay. Pill bugs, millipedes, earthworms and the larvae of beetles and insects were found. Various fungus growths also developed. Now, compare your observations with mine.

Observations of Changing Environments

Observations of Changing Environments

Seashores, riverbeds, mountains, sand dunes, lakes and ponds are undergoing constant change and as they change they influence the lives of plants and animals. Perhaps some of these natural features are close enough to your home so that you can observe them.

The small bodies of water called ponds provide a particularly good opportunity to observe the changes taking place in land and water environments and the corresponding changes in plant and animal life. Ponds are formed by water filling a depression. The varieties of life that exist in the pond will depend upon the source of the water and the other kinds of life in the pond.

You will be able to distinguish between several life zones as you carry out your observations. The center of the pond, usually consisting of open water, contains plants life without roots such as algae as well as a variety of animals. As one move toward the shore, one finds a second zone in which plants are rooted and either completely or largely covered by water. A third zone, as one moves shoreward, is composed of plants that are rooted and that have floating leaves. Typical plants are water lilies. In the fourth zone, one finds plants such as cattails and bulrushes which are rooted and which extend above the water. They form the growth along the edge of the pond and provide food and shelter for various amphibious (land-and-water) animals, including muskrats.

As the pond continues to fill with sediments from plants, animals and nonliving materials deposited in the area, a swamp may result. With the continued change, the swamp will become dry land. Different plants and animals will then take over.

Life in the pond is greatly influenced by the temperature of the water. You will find it interesting to make comparisons of microscopic life in water samples from the same location at different times of the year. The following instructions will be helpful. Select several specific locations in the pond. Record the temperature of the pond water and collect samples of the water in clean bottles. Examine each sample as soon as you can. First, shake the bottle in which it is contained – this will distribute the organisms, which may have settled to the bottom. Using a medicine dropper, place a drop of water from the bottle on a microscope slide. Observe the water sample under medium power and draw a general picture of each type of living organism you observe. The area observed under the microscope is called the field. Move the slide so that you observe three different fields. Count the total number of each kind of organism that you observe in the three fields.

 

 

Lips care

Lips Care 101 (DIY lips exfoliator).

Do your lips crack and dry out very often? Are you tired of buying a new lip balm and feeling moisturized for a few days, only for the issues to resurface after a few days?
Don’t wait for them to crack and hurt! Moisturize them the right way. In this article, we’ll walk you through step-by-step how to care for your lips with the right products and even create your own lip scrub and balm like a pro!

How do our lips work?

Our skin is composed of three layers: the epidermis, the dermis and the hypodermis. The skin is the barrier between the internal organs and the environment, and its function is to maintain the balance between the interior and exterior. So, if we think about our lips, they need to breathe, be hydrated, and be nourished. Moreover, the skin of our lips is in constant renewal to resist the big changes of temperature, the sun, and the digestive enzymes in our saliva. It is, therefore, necessary to help it get rid of dead skin.
Here are our tips for you…

Do not:
Expose yourself to the sun for too long
Lick your lips
Use lip balms with allergenic fragrances.
Use lip balms made with petroleum (even if it protects the lips, it doesn’t let them breathe, and you have to admit that petroleum on your skin doesn’t have any good properties).

persons face with red lipstick
Guide To Taking Care Of Your Lips.

What to do:
Exfoliate your lips once or twice a week to remove dead skin that would interfere with exchanges with the outside.
Remember to moisturize them, protect them from the sun and extreme temperatures on very cold or hot days.
Don’t forget to drink water. Water is even more important on dry days and when you eat salty or spicy foods.
To start a good routine, you can always use a natural exfoliant like sugar mixed with the oil of your choice and honey.
You can protect them from dehydration with shea butter (deodorized if you don’t like the smell), castor oil or lanolin. Using these oils, butters and fats is very good and can even be sufficient, but we know that it might not be pleasant for everyone.

For this reason, we end up using our conventional lip balms with pleasant smells and textures. That’s why it’s important to learn how to choose products for our lips so that we don’t harm them.

The natural exfoliator
Find a container that you like to use your exfoliator in.
Wash the containers and utensils you will use (especially the storage container).

Fill the storage container with the sugar of your choice
Put the sugar in the bowl to mix.
Add vegetable oil of your choice and the honey and mix until you get the desired texture (you don’t want it to be too oily). I recommend adding half a teaspoon at a time.
Add coloring or flavoring, if you like, and mix it all.
Pour the mixture into your container and now you are ready to use it.
This recipe is very easy and can be easily modified. The sugar will help to gently remove the dead skin on your lips and the oil with the honey will leave your lips silky smooth. You can always do it with either honey or oil, but the two together are always a plus!

Lips, Seduction, Sexy, Elicit, Erotic, Entice, Mouth
Lips Care 101

Which products to choose from?

I chose deodorized shea butter (so filtered with clay) because I don’t like the smell of shea butter, especially when wearing the mask, but that’s up to each person! Otherwise, I use the other ingredients because:
Shea butter is very rich, it protects, softens and restructures the skin. It can be used for the lips, the body and the hair.
The coconut oil will protect our lips and will make them soft while bringing a good smell.
Sweet almond oil is very popular for massages because of its beautiful light texture and its soothing and softening properties when dry and delicate skin. So it is perfect for our lips.

Well, now that you know the importance of taking care of your lips, you can do your routine with a homemade lip scrub and lip balm and let us know!

Beadboard

How to Hide Seams in Beadboard

The most cost-effective beadboard material you can find is 4X8 paneling sheets found at most home improvement stores. If 8′ isn’t tall enough, you have to install multiple pieces and the seam is pretty apparent. Generally, you can hide the seam with a trim but there are occasions when you just want a seamless beadboard. It requires a bit of work to hide the seam but it is possible.

Make Sure Beads and Grooves Line Up

When installing multiple pieces of beadboard vertically, the most important thing is that the grooves and beads line up as perfectly as possible. There can be a difference from one sheet to another, so take some time to select beadboard panels that match.

Attach Beadboard Firmly to Surface

When attaching beadboard to the cabinet, wall or another surface, in addition to nails, use caulk as adhesive. It may not be necessary to use adhesive on the entire panel but apply it to the area where the seam is being created. The objective is to prevent future movement and to crack in the wood putty and reveal the seam.
Make sure the beads and grooves line up as perfectly as you can get them and drive nails wherever you need them to pull the panel flat against the surface.

Apply Wood Putty

Beadboard
Beadboard

Apply your favorite wood putty generously, making sure to press it into the grooves. To build up a strong patch over the seam, spread on an ample supply of wood putty. Then use a wide putty knife to feather it out, spreading a portion of putty both above and below the seam. Feathering it out and applying the wood putty over a larger area will help hide the seam.

Clean Wood Putty Out of Grooves

Use the corner of a putty knife to scrape the putty out of the grooves. In some areas, you may find that this action reveals the seam. If this happens, reapply putty in that area and take less out when scraping the groove. You may have to use your fingers to shape and round the wood putty over the beads.

Sand Face and Grooves

Face

Wait for the putty to be completely dry before sanding. The flat face of the beadboard can be sanded with a fine grit sanding block or using an orbital sander. Either way, use gentle pressure and only take off a little at a time, so you don’t remove too much putty and reveal the seam.

Beads and Grooves

To create a thin, stiff, and flat sanding block, you can wrap a putty knife in sandpaper. (Start with 120 grit sandpaper followed by 220 grit.) Using a gentle up and down motion, sand all the beads and grooves. You’ll probably have to reposition the sandpaper frequently because there is such a small area of sandpaper surface being used.

Decide if You Can Move Forward or Need to Repeat a Few Steps

Once the whole seam is sanded smooth, look at it with a critical eye from multiple directions. Decide if it looks good or needs another coat of wood putty. If it needs another coat, go back and repeat.

Prime

Beadboard
Beadboard

If it looks great, prime it. The primer will accentuate any and all imperfections. If any flaws are revealed that you don’t want to live with, repeat the necessary steps to hide the seam to standards you can live with.

Paint

Once you decide the hidden seam looks great, go ahead and paint the beadboard.

Tip: If you see a visible hairline crack after painting, scraping the paint with a one-sided razor blade might do the trick. Hold the blade at close to a 90-degree angle and gently rub across the crack/seam. If the first pass doesn’t do anything, try again with a little more pressure. This trick only works with very small seams.

 

Let us know in the comments below if you have ever tried to hide seams in beadboard.

Candles

Candles to Treat Anxiety.

Whether it was mild anxiety before speaking in front of an audience or severe anxiety that led to a panic attack, we have all experienced a certain level of anxiety at some point in our lives. Either way, it is important that you know how to calm yourself because an accelerated heart rate and difficulty breathing are not pleasurable.

While it is important to seek professional advice, your therapist, unfortunately, won’t be available 24-hour. There are different methods that you can use at home to help you feel relaxed. In this article, we will talk about therapeutic candles that may help you whenever you are feeling a bit anxious.

Candles are known to set the mood, so whether it is at home or in your office, they will help you establish a calm environment.

Meditate, Woman, Yoga, Zen, Meditating, Relax, Relaxing
For relaxation.

Scents For Anxiety…

It is known that you can use grounding techniques to relieve your anxiety. What do I mean by grounding techniques? This technique allows you to stay away from negative thoughts by staying in the present. One of my favourite grounding techniques is using your five senses to resolve unwanted anxiety. Here we are talking about ‘smell’, where lighting a scented candle will help you to stay grounded.

We have listed some scents that are well-known for calming anxiety and stress.

Lavender: Lavender has been well-known to help us sleep, but do you know why? Because lavender actually calms our nerves making more easier for us to sleep. Some use it as bath soaks, others as a body mist. Either way, it is very useful. I prefer it in the form of a candle, as it releases the scent slowly, giving me time to focus on my breathing and immerse myself in relaxation.

Rosemary: The benefits of rosemary are unlimited but we will focus on its stress reliever benefit. Rosemary essential oil can help you to decrease cortisol, which is the stress hormone in our body.

Vanilla: Who does not love vanilla flavour? It is the basis of everything and you cannot go wrong with vanilla flavour, right? For me, the scent of vanilla reminds me of my childhood when I come back from school and smell the vanilla scent from the muffin my mom baked for me. Vanilla aroma contains relaxing properties, which is why they are often used in bath products as they promote peaceful sleep.

This DIY project will help you decorate your house with candles that will also promote a relaxing atmosphere.

What you’ll need:

 

  • Wax
  • Candle Wicks
  • One of the aforementioned fragrance oils
  • A spatula
  • A heat-proof glass container
  • A pan

Steps:

 

  • Melt your wax into the pan for 10 to 20 minutes.
  • Add your fragrance.
  • Put the wick in the heatproof container.
  • Let the wax sit for 3 to 5 min.
  • Pour the wax
Candles, Light, Burn, Burning Candles, Blur, Burning
DIY candles.

Allow it to set completely for a minimum of 4 hours.

Light one candle up as soon as you come home, but please do not ever leave a candle unattended as it may potentially cause a home fire. Make sure to put your candles in a safe place, far from curtains. You can do some research as there are plenty of other scents known to relieve anxiety.

Be aware that some essential oils are toxic to pets and children so I would suggest you store your essential oils out of your children’s reach.

Aromatherapy candles will help set the mood, to help you relax but if you have chronic anxiety I suggest you go onto therapy rather than relying on aromatherapy candles. Let us know in the comments which scents you prefer…

Ecology Experiments You Can Try at Home – Examining the Environment of Living Things

Ecology Experiments You Can Try at Home – Examining the Environment of Living Things

All living things, plants, animals are all deeply influenced by the environment – by factors like water, heat, light, soil and other plants and animals.

Did you know that you can observe the effects of the environment upon living things?

How Does a Change in Temperature Affect Animals?

How Does a Change in Temperature Affect Animals?

During the summer season, temperatures may vary in many areas between the day and night. But, how do these changes influence living things?

If you want to discover the striking effects of temperature on animals, try the following experiment:

Place a small goldfish in a pint jar filled with water to within about an inch of the top. Record the temperature of the water. Then, count the number of times the gill cover moves per minute. Next, place the jar in a shallow pan or bowl. Next, place the jar in a shallow pan or bowl and fill it with ice water. Record the temperature and then count the number of movements of the gill cover per minute. Empty the pan and keep filling it with water at different temperatures ranging up to about 100 °F. Count the gill cover movements per minute at each different temperature after recording the thermometer reading. For greater accuracy, make three counts at each temperature and average them.

So, how did the movement of the gills vary with temperature? Not all animals of the same species have equal respiration rates. Does a large goldfish have a different rate from that of a small goldfish at equal temperature?

What Are Some Factors That Limit Population?

What Are Some Factors That Limit Population?

Populations of various kinds of animals and plants exist on earth and these populations vary in kind and number from location to location and month to month. One important characteristic here is the density of the population.

Here is a population experiment carried out with fruit flyDrosophila, widely used by scientists for research. Fruit flies are ideal for your experiment because they are small, easily obtained and easy to maintain and also because they reproduce in from 10 to 12 days. It is possible to breed many generations of these flies within a short period of time.

You can collect fruit flies by placing a large piece of banana in an open jar and placing the jar outside. After several of the flies have made their way inside the jar, cover it with cheesecloth and bring the jar inside the house and leave it there for about 15 days or until a number of fruit flies have been observed.

Now, place a piece of banana of about ¾ of an inch in length in the bottom of each 2 pint jars and two pieces of banana of equal size in each of 2 other pint jars. Cut strips of paper toweling ¾ of an inch by 3 inches and place them over the bananas. The fruit flies will be able to attach themselves to the paper and feed on the banana, without sticking to the latter.

Place 4 fruit flies in each of the 4 jars. A fine-mesh cheesecloth should be used to cover the jars so as to allow oxygen to enter and to prevent the flies from escaping. Place the jars in a location at room temperature. Let 10 days elapse. Then observe the jars every 5 days for 30 days and record the approximate number of living and dead flies in each jar.

Compare the different counts of dead and living flies for each jar. What are some of the possible reasons for the differences? Would the total number of flies be greater if you used quart jars instead of pint jars? Would the number of flies be greater if you provided more food?

So, which experiment would you carry out first?

 

DIY Home Improvements

9 Easy-to-Ambitious DIY Projects to Improve Your Home

Like many homeowners, you may have contemplated a home improvement project but lacked inspiration or time.
Don’t beat yourself up; nearly half (43%) of all homeowners say their biggest challenge in deciding on a home improvement project is finding time which may explain why the same percentage of people say they have unfinished home improvement projects.
Here’s a selection of projects you can tackle on your own.

Beginner Projects

New Faucets

Faucets
Faucets

Attention to detail is key to this project – you don’t want to flood your kitchen because you forgot to turn off the water valve – but no previous plumbing skills are required and a shiny new faucet can generate a lot of day-to-day pleasure for a bit of effort.

Light Fixtures and Switches

Few things can change the mood of a room as quickly as lighting. Replacing an old light fixture with a new one – or an on-off switch with a dimmer – can change the atmosphere for any occasion. Switches use the same wires, so you can handle a switch if you can swap a fixture.

Fire Pit

This is a great task to do with kids. Celebrate once done with a s’mores party. Based to a Zillow analysis of thousands of real estate listings and sales prices, the price premium for homes with fireplaces is 2.8%.

Smart Tech Upgrade

There are countless smart home products to choose from and some require more than plugging in a device or changing a light bulb. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Smart Doorbell/Camera

    The installation is similar to replacing a light switch. To do this, you need to remove your old doorbell and connect the device to your Wi-Fi.

  • Smart Locks

    Do you have a family member who constantly loses their house key? Substituting a traditional door lock with a keyless system that you operate via a smartphone app or touchpad is a simple solution.

  • Smart Lights

    This project is as easy as installing light bulbs. However, the setup requires coordination with a smart home system, as each system has its own controls and requirements. If you already have a home system, make sure the bulbs you choose are compatible. If you are thinking of buying a new system, remember that it must work in harmony with the products you already have.

Intermediate Projects

Cabinet Refresh

Updating your kitchen doesn’t have to involve significant renovations. You can have an entirely new look by changing the door and drawer handles, painting your cabinets or removing cabinet doors to create an open shelving effect. If you have lots of wall space and not enough cabinets, you can also easily create open shelving. A bonus: homes with open shelving sell for 4.2% more than expected.

Barn Door

Sliding Barn Wood Door
Sliding Barn Wood Door

By replacing a traditional overhead door or enclosed slider with a barn door that slides on a rail, you can give your room an eye-catching look, increase the space, and change the furniture arrangement options. And your effort could pay off in other ways, too: barn doors come with a 5% price premium.

Advanced Projects

Board & Batten

You may not be accustomed to the term but you’ve probably seen this classic design element in several homes. Precision is required here and that means you need the right tools, namely a level, tape measure and miter saw. But if you can envision a 3D element on your drywall, you’re ready to go.

Garden Shed

Garden Shed
Garden Shed

If you know how to build a garden shed, you can find numerous instructions and plans on the internet to suit your taste. If you do not feel up to the challenge, you can improve your existing unit or buy a garden shed and design it according to your ideas. First, consider whether you need the shed for storage or additional living or work space and then go from there. Houses with a “she shed” are associated with a price premium of 3.6%.

Heated Floors

This is the kind of project you can attempt if you missed your real job and ended up in a desk job. It’s labor-intensive and calls for the confidence of an experienced handyman (and some math skills), but if you manage to warm up your home from the ground up, you’ll become a hero or heroine in your own home. This project is ideal if you have already planned to replace the flooring in a room and have the opportunity to install a heating element. Houses with this equipment sell 4.9% more expensive than expected.

 

Let us know in the comment section below if you are going to try these DIY ideas.

bullet journal

Bullet Journaling 101: A Beginner’s Guide.

Bullet journaling has become very popular on social media for being ‘aesthetic’, with more and more people picking up the hobby and making it part of their daily routine. Are you looking to dive in as well? This article covers everything you need to know to join the wonderfully creative world of bullet journaling.

Before starting, keep in mind that everyone’s bullet journal is different. Yours does not have to be like the ones on Pinterest. It has to be yours, a space where you feel comfortable writing and can therefore be as simple or as fancy as you want…

Bullet, Journal, Closed, Exterior, Grey, Pens, Tombow
You Will Need Some Basics.

All you really need to get started is a notebook and a pen. You can grab a few colouring pens or crayons if you want to add a splash of personality to the whole thing, or you prefer stickers and glitter, those are also options.

Now that you are all set and ready to start journaling, what are you actually going to write about? In a bullet journal, you can log your weekly or monthly goals, the current projects you are working on or your to-do lists. At the end of the day, it is your bullet journal you can add whatever you want. Since I like mine to be a little bit more interesting, here are some of my favourite bullet journal logs.

Goals

As I mentioned above, you can log your weekly and monthly goals, but you can also log your weight goals, food or water intake goals. Once you’ve prioritized your goals, break them down into smaller, more achievable steps.

I suggest you write down your bucket list in your bullet journal, too—things you want to accomplish by the end of the year. Every time you open your journal, it will automatically remind you to work towards your goals.

white ceramic mug on white paper
Log Ideas….

Gratitude

These journals are used to jot down at least one or two things you are grateful for, which will help you be more conscious and cheerful. Gratitude logs might help you find pleasure and tranquillity. I suggest you do that daily before going to bed. It will help you relax and focus on the positive rather than on a load of tasks that may be waiting for you tomorrow.

Along with gratitude, you can also log some affirmations. Write down your positive thoughts for a better life.

Budget

One of the most difficult things to keep track of is one’s finances. If you don’t learn how to manage it, it may be a source of tension and anxiety.

A simple and efficient method to stay on track is by using a financial tracker bullet journal layout to keep track of your finances. You can opt for a budgeting plan and log your monthly expenses into your journal to have a clearer idea.

Pro Tip: Add up your receipts so that you know exactly where your money has gone at the end of the month.

black pencil on top of ruled paper
Log In Your Budget, Mood or Goals.

Mood Tracker

Do you want to discover if your good days exceed your bad days? Mood trackers are a fun and effective way to keep track of your feelings throughout the day. The mood tracker can also be used to assist you in discovering mood-altering factors throughout the day.

What I love about the mood tracker is that you can be as creative as you want. Sometimes I am lazy and keep it as simple as colouring small squares, but sometimes I draw flowers, mandalas or leaves where each part represents a day.

You can have a creative and colourful bullet journal or a plain one with only black and white designs. It depends on how much time you can devote to this activity. Let us know in the comments below if you have a bullet journal or if you are now thinking about having one.

DIY Home Improvements

DIY Home Improvement Projects to Try While You’re Stuck at Home

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in us staying at home more often. Even if social distancing policies are removed, it is clearly going to be a different summer than most of us were probably anticipating at the beginning of the year. Why not take the opportunity to improve your surroundings with a DIY project? Even if you’ve never tried a home improvement project before, bear in mind that it doesn’t take developed skills or a lot of experience to make a substantial design impact. It’s also something the whole family can get behind. Here are the best DIY projects for all levels.

Swap Out Hardware

Swap Out Hardware
Swap Out Hardware

Anyone who knows how to use a screwdriver can transform a room simply by changing the knobs and pulls on cupboards and drawers. It’s one of the few projects that requires zero skill. A serious kitchen and bathroom game-changer – even renters can do it. Just keep your old hardware and replace it when you move out.
It’s also a great project that can be done on a budget. The gold color is sophisticated and goes beyond the standard knobs and pulls that many of us have in our kitchens. You can also swap out the hardware on furniture, such as media centers and tables, to instantly upgrade pieces. Adding designer pulls and knobs is also an easy way to upgrade an inexpensive piece of furniture.

Install a New Kitchen Backsplash in Minutes

Is your backsplash outdated or old? Peel and stick tiles are an affordable and simple solution. If you can get them applied on nicely, you can probably get the project done. Like replacing hardware, it is also a great idea for renters who feel stuck in their kitchens. You can find a well-curated selection of peel and stick tiles in some of today’s most popular styles, including Carrara marble, quatrefoil and classic subway tiles.
These high-quality tiles are packaged in sheets that can be easily cut with a razor or box cutter. They stay in place without damaging the underlying surface. When you’re ready to move or change things around, just peel them off. No one will be able to differentiate between regular and peel and stick tiles.

Add an Interesting Focal Point With Wallpaper

Tiles are not the only thing you can stick. Peel and stick wallpaper is simple to lay if you have the patience and time. Designers have lots of beautiful options in every style, including Novogratz, Bobby Berk and Cynthia Rowley. Peel and stick wallpaper can be used to decorate an entire room or just as an accent in the bedroom, bathroom or home office. Children’s rooms are great spaces for peel and stick wallpaper because the style will change as they grow.

Paint Walls in a New Way

Lime Paint
Lime Paint

Paint can have a big impact, but lime paint can take a room to a whole new level. This type of paint gives the space a rich look reminiscent of a Mediterranean hotel, with color variations that traditional paint cannot offer. It can be used on a wide range of surfaces, including plasterboard, plaster, brick, cement and stucco.
Remember that lime wash should be applied with a brush, not a roller. Brushing helps to achieve a soft, patchy appearance. Two coats of lime wash should be applied with the brush in overlapping strokes. It is important to keep the edges wet during application to avoid ‘wavy’ lines.
This paint should also be sealed in high traffic areas such as kitchens, hallways or bathrooms.

Paint Trims and Moldings

Another great way to use paint is to skip the whole wall and just paint the trim around the doors and moldings. This can work in any room. It is also a more manageable project than painting a whole wall. Just be sure to use plenty of painter’s tape.
Then choose a semi-gloss paint or a paint specifically formulated for this purpose. You can choose a bright shade like pink, black or blue to make moldings pop and create an entirely different look.

 

Let us know in the comment section if you are looking to improve your house while being at home.