Truffles Magazine

Posts Tagged ‘Budget’

Room Functions

In House & Yard, Life, Life @ Home on November 2, 2012 at 10:25 am

Over the years houses styles have changed and room functions have as well. Most people in the USA have a home of approximately 2,500 square feet. Depending on where you live may determine the specifics (basement, attic, crawl space), however many people have moved toward more informal living arrangements and now prefer the open concept. There are pros/cons to both. If your a messy person sorry but you don’t belong in an open concept house just picture it when you open the front door it would look like one big mess had engulfed the entire space. What about rooms that didn’t exist years ago? Well many people didn’t use home offices (unless they were self employed or worked from home) moms usually paid all the bills from the kitchen table thereby eliminating an extra bedroom just for surfing the web and bill paying. The formal dining room that gets used only on Thanksgiving or Christmas is wasted space – for the regular entertainer who spends time dining with their guests its a necessity. So here are some ways to make the open living concept work for your family…and yes sometimes open concept means feeling more spacious even though there can be a lack of storage.

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A sofa table can provide great extra storage, serve as extra lighting for reading, use solid baskets to hide the stuff so shelves don’t look crowded. And during the holidays its an easy place to reach to put up some extra Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations.

For those of you who find yourself always eating in the kitchen or family room and find the dining room as the black sheep of the house then by all means try re-purposing it into something useful for your family. Here’s a few suggestions: even if your eliminating your dining room table (if you have one in the dining room) make sure to have some built ins designed for the space (whether they’re ikea or custom is up to your style/budget)

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Why the built ins? well you unless you have a massive kitchen or plenty of closet space a built in provides the extra storage for those items that can be seasonal (turkey platters, carving boards) and for all those wedding gifts that don’t have space in maybe a small kitchen. Also with the floor space freed up you still have storage so you can turn the dining room into a library (built ins are great for books) or a home office for the self employed.

Or maybe your in the opposite position and find yourself without the formal dining room and your kitchen, dining room, great room are really one big space…talk about open concept challenges. I suggest removing your kitchen set and having just a larger dining room set. If you have a table that has leaves then it can easily go from 6 people for family dinners to 10 or 12 for holidays.

Consider what rooms you use and how often and for what – ignore the labels for a moment and see if that basement can be turned into the kids playroom or that dining room into the home office for the self employed or maybe an attic can provided needed storage for a hobby room.


How to Make A New Home Yours

In House & Yard, Life, Life @ Home, Urban Dweller on September 14, 2012 at 9:00 am

Since many families move over the summer and right before school goes back I figured now was the time to share this posting. If you recently moved into a new home (or plan to in the future) here’s some advice on how to make it less new and more family feeling.

First off  congratulations on your new home many people are so excited and busy with all the packing/unpacking that they tend to ignore the little details.

  1. Go ahead and plant some flowers in the front of your house – this is a great way to add curb appeal and distinguish your house from the neighbors in large housing developments/MPCs
  2. If you have a front porch consider painting the interior ceiling a calm, blue (like the sky) it has helped many homeowners prevent bugs
  3. Why not head over to Lowe’s or Home Depot and buy some solar powered lights for your driveway – they won’t cost you anything to run since their solar so its a one time expense (and luckily won’t show up on your electric bill)
  4. If the outdoors are your thing – then try planting a veggie/fruit garden in your backyard (doesn’t have to be large just enough for your family to enjoy it) – also consider planting items like Basil, Thyme, Parsley or Oregano because they add great flavors to the dish and are so much cheaper to grow than buy (also if you end up growing a lot of herbs  consider clipping them, putting them in a ziploc bag with a paper towel and freezing them for when there not in season).
  5. Also consider hanging a clothes line this may seem dated to some of you but to me there’s no better smell than laundry from the line (sorry all the fabric fresherner just never smells that fresh)
  6. Roll out the welcome mat or my personal favorite have an area in the front hallway/foyer to remove shoes and keep your floors clean (and your new house looking new)
  7. If you have a dog and trees in your back yard connect a dog line between the two trees so they too can enjoy the outdoors
  8. Absolutely make sure to paint the interior of your home (I say this incase white or builder beige isn’t your thing) painting walls helps to define areas, personalizes it, and makes for a lived in feel
  9. I know sometime technology can be great but what about all those photos on your digital camera/memory card have you thought about going through them and picking a few to print and frame for your new space
  10. Have a moving in party with family and friends is great – why not if you plan to live in your new home for a long time have a party where you invite over the neighbors just print off a flyer (address, date, time) and have some easy food (cookies, brownies, coleslaw, hamburgers) the food doesn’t have to be expensive if your anticipating lots of people keep it simple and cheap but make it welcoming (if someone invited offers to bring something graciously accept but don’t tell them what to bring unless they ask)
  11. Enjoy your new house and make new memories in it and it will become a family home

Sand Keeper

In House & Yard, Life, Life @ Home, Travel, Urban Dweller on August 29, 2012 at 7:00 am

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So maybe you love the beach (okay I know I LOVE the beach to me there is something so amazing about being there) and yet your trying to recapture every vacation you go on. Well I came across this sand keep and I think this is one simple, cheap DIY anyone could do. All you need is a water bottle, vase and sand of course. Read more here

A Simple Tipping Guide

In Life on August 25, 2012 at 7:00 am

Ever wonder how much to tip? Ask anyone you know and you will get different answers.  Well here is a simple guide explaining each person/ situation and how much to tip. Obviously I have made some exceptions circumstances where I have tipped more or less (I have given tips that were way more than the listed percentages for exemplary service and not tipped for horribly rude and unprofessional people) it goes based on the situation.

Taking on your Cabinets – New Finish

In House & Yard, Life @ Home, Urban Dweller on August 16, 2012 at 7:00 am

One of the MOST expensive renovations can include kitchens and baths in a home, but most people overlook why. Did you know the majority of most kitchen reno budgets goes to the cabinets and installing them. Yes, most people spend the bulk of the money on buying these new cabinets and then paying a lot to have them installed only to find out most cabinets today are not solid wood – hell neither are most door. So instead of using up the bulk of your reno budget why not try re-doing your cabinets. If you cabinets are in fine working shape and aren’t chipped, cracked, or split and its more a cosmetic issue (I like espresso or cherry finish not oak) then here is a simple remedy. In case you have never tackled a project like this before I thought this was a great article and DIY instruction.) 

WebSites You Should Know About But Probably Don’t

In Beauty, Fashion, Hair, House & Yard, Life, Life @ Home, Make-up, Skincare, Urban Dweller on July 24, 2012 at 9:55 am

Here’s some websites that aren’t quite famous yet (ala Amazon and Ebay)  but I thought that it might interest you and if you shop online (like I do regularly i LOVE Amazon) you too will be happy to have extra sites to check out. I have found personally that some of my local stores don’t carry X brand and so I have to resort to online or that the cost even with shipping is sometimes cheaper. I also wanted to share this for another reason if you have ever known anybody homebound you know they will appreciate it regardless of their age (whether is a new mommy or an elderly grandparent – they will feel a level of independence by being able to shop at home for themselves) also there’s some great deals which I LOVE to share (who couldn’t use a great deal in this economy)

Casa – for all things home

Wag – lets be honest where would we be without our pets? I lost my pet of 14 years not too long ago and so I hope to get a pet again very soon)  – Free shipping on ALL orders over $49 and deliveries are very quickly (p.s. this place has stuff for a lot more than dogs)

Soap – Here’s everything you ever ran out of the house for and made that extra errand because you forgot. All products are delivered in 1-2 days for FREE!

Beauty Bar – For all of us who love to shop for skincare, make up, men, fragrances, & natural products. 3 FREE samples with every order!

YoYo – Just as the name implies this is a site all about Toys

Diapers – Yes for all you parents out there has everything to do with the babies in your life (I highly recommend this also for grand parents, aunts, uncles, etc. Huge variety and might I add its easy to go online to Babies R Us and compare prices to get the best deals) Free shipping on $49 or above

I really hope you enjoy this list the above websites are all part of Quidsi a Latin term for “What If” – these 6 wesbites allow you to checkout with 1 shopping cart and save money by shopping 2 sites or more and Spend $39  you earn Free Shipping.

Also If your a NEW customer to these sites there is a banner with a code to save 10% at Checkout!  Plus the fixed banner has other specials advertised (like today as I type this has 10% off purchases for 1st and 2nd time buyers just type in the appropriate code at checkout!)




10 Budet Friendly Inclusive Vacations

In Travel on July 18, 2012 at 10:11 am

Today’s posting is short and sweet since I know everyone is really busy with summer activities. Here is the list for 10 Budget All Inclusive Resorts. These include room, meals drinks (sodas  and alcohol) and even certain activities!

Repuroposing Ideas – Other ways to use Hydrogen Peroxide

In House & Yard, Life, Life @ Home, Urban Dweller on July 8, 2012 at 9:00 am

Next time your looking at that bottle of hydrogen peroxide (H202) and wondering what else can I use this for other than my scrapes and cuts these suggestions might surprise you. I personally have many uses for it (I use it as a teeth whitener with some baking soda on a toothbrush right before bed – it really will help remove stains / yellowing.)

Cheap Wall Art Solution

In House & Yard, Life @ Home, Urban Dweller on June 28, 2012 at 9:52 am

Sometimes your walls look a little…empty…bare…no maybe there just missing some framed artwork. Artwork though can be expensive in some stores and for paintings or photos that are virtually worthless (I’m talking resale here- unless there Van Gogh or Monet well its not like resale really is gonna matter.) So think of something you really like and would fit your decorating style and decor of your home. Awhile back my bathroom had a ocean motif the colors chosen were to make me feel as if I was always at the ocean (don’t I wish!) now type that word into your search engine then hit image search. Example: type “ocean” image search it then find one you like, print it (on photo paper is ideal) and then frame it. Simple cheap framed art!

Another cheap solution if you have a nice camera go outside take some beautiful photos of that thing you would love to have as an art piece in your home: flowers, building, ocean, trees, etc. then take it to a Kinko’s or Printing shop and ask them to blow up the image to your desired size (depending obviously on the wall your placing.) I have seen this method done before and it works great so my suggestion is let your imagination run wild take some photos and you never know which one might work for your home.

Planting a Summer Garden

In Food, Going Green, Green Scene, House & Yard, Life @ Home, Urban Dweller on June 7, 2012 at 7:00 am

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For those of you who didn’t plant a garden in the spring the summer can be a perfect time to do so. You can plant them and as they grow use them for some of summer’s tastiest meals. If you’ve never planted a garden before consider planting 3 vegetables and 3 fruits of your favorite kind.

If you live in a city don’t worry start with some balcony friendly plants (think of all the herbs you could grow fresh, save money on and would add delightful flavor to your dishes) try parsley, mint and basil. Just because you live in a city doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all the gardening fun, go ahead and buy smaller pots and grow some items just less of them try to start with: tomatoes, spinach or strawberries.  Obviously if your going to grow your own plants you will need seeds here the rule: Organic and Non GMO. If you want to learn more about which companies to avoid and which ones to consider read this link

Here are some brands to consider these brands are G.M. free seeds and are part of the Council for Responsible Genetics’ Safe Seed List.