Indoor plants make a good gift

Browsing through previous blog posts I found this “lucky bamboo” pic. We bought the plant as gift to hubby.

If you are still thinking of what to give those in your Christmas list, indoor plants are a good gift idea this season. Indoor plants are not expensive and give positive energy to anyone exposed to them.

And if you happen to grow indoor plants, selling them can be a good source of earning extra this Christmas.

Green indoor plants give calming or soothing effect. They also improve the air we breathe at home and the workplace as they absorb harmful gases present in the air.

Practical ways to save on Christmas expenses

As a homemaker, one of the many practical things you can do to stretch you budget for the Christmas season is through recycling. You can start with reusing Christmas ornaments that are just collecting dust in your cabinet or stockroom. A little cleaning would make them look as if they were brand new. You can also try a little experiment by mixing and matching the designs to give it a fresh perspective.

If you have a penchant for do-it-yourself projects, you can try your hand on some DIY Christmas decors. Why would you spend on something that you can actually create by using available materials at home? With a little creativity, you can make your own gift tags, gift wrapper, and yes, even set up your own Christmas tree out of old newspapers and magazines. I’ve seen a blogger friend made this and they look so cute.

To get you started, you can check for numerous DIY projects on the internet. You can copy the designs as is or create your own version. Possibilities are endless. There are more practical means to save and stretch your budget for the holidays besides recycling Christmas ornaments.

How about you? What are the money-saving tips that have been proven to work for you?

Image credit: http://www.trendhunter.com/slideshow/diy-christmas-decor-ideas

Tips for Decorating Your Outdoor Area

Outdoor areas are a fantastic way to increase the size of your home. Using the outdoors as an area to relax, dine, entertain and chat with the family, extends the borders of your home as well as providing a unique space with fresh air and a different look and feel to indoors.

Many people are locked into the idea of an outdoor area being a somewhat Spartan affair, with heavy outdoor furniture, a few obligatory plants and not much else. But often well-used, much-loved outdoor areas are more of an extension of what is within the home, bringing the indoors outside almost.

Rugs, soft sofas, cheerful throws and eye-catching cushions can easily be added to any waterproof outdoor area to wonderful effect. An outdoor area that is truly inviting will be used often. So, in planning your outdoor area, keep in mind that you want the area to be very welcoming and comfortable.

If all this sounds difficult and like you might need an interior decorator to make it happen, think again. It can be incredibly simple; remember your outdoor area is an extension of your indoors, it should just flow naturally out your back door… with a few obvious allowances for outdoor conditions. It is your style, your taste, what you enjoy, just outside the door!

A few handy Tips

  1. Add a rug – One of the simplest and most effective ways of creating instant cosy to your outdoor area is by adding a rug. And this does not have to cost a fortune. If you need inspiration, take a wander through a Rugs a Millionrug store and check out their range. You will find all manner of sizes and shapes and definitely something to fit your budget. Keep in mind colour – a brightly coloured rug can become the feature of your outdoor area and lift the mood of the space instantly. Look for durability and be bold with size. A rug can be the first building block of your outdoor area. Choose something you love and decorate around it!
  1. Make the seating comfortable – If you really want your outdoor area to become the family space to hang out and relax then comfortable seating is a must. Think recliners, soft lounges, and if you will be eating outdoors, an outdoor dining setting that is big enough for your needs – and check the seats. Sit down in them for a while; make sure there is enough back support; that the seats are wide and soft enough so you can enjoy hours of outdoor dining with family and friends. Add some colourful throws and cushions and you outdoor area will already be a winner.
  1. All things green – Plants are the final ingredient to make your outdoor area a place you will really enjoy. Visit your nursery and ask for advice. If you are do not have a green thumb, tell them. There are lots of hardy plants out there made for people just like you! Add beautiful pots and plants and hey presto, your outdoor area is ready to be enjoyed. Depending on your budget you may even consider a water feature; the sound of running water can be very enchanting.

It’s not hard. It doesn’t have to be expensive. The world of outdoor living awaits. Enjoy!