Going Green in the Spring

Mother Earth and I at Earth Day in Forest Park

Mother Earth and I

From purchasing green homes to being a vegetarian, going green seems to be the “thing” to do, but I’ve found it isn’t just a fad – it truly is a way of life.  This past weekend I attended Earth Day at Forest Park here in good old Saint Louis.  Seeing so many diverse groups of people with different beliefs and views on how our sweet planet should be treated really made me think about what I could do to encourage others to be kinder to Mother Earth.  Now the choice to go green may not be on your list of priorities, but doing so can help you save money and make a difference at the same time. This can be done by making household changes, or simply doing things differently in your everyday life.

One great way to go green is to conserve energy right at home. And one of the best ways to figure out how to do so is by getting a home energy assessment, also known as an energy audit. Energy audits tell you where the most energy is being used in your home. These assessments are a wonderful start to deciding on where you may want to save energy, and give you a better idea on how to do it inexpensively as well. Of course you could hire a professional to do this, but it’s also something that you can do yourself.

If you’re looking for different ways to keep energy expenses down during the different seasons, instead of subtracting what’s in your home to save energy, add to it! In the winter, put down a few rugs to keep a warmer, more insulated house. As for the summers, try energy-efficient landscaping. Believe it or not, having a few house-shading trees can cut energy costs in half and it makes your yard more environmentally friendly!

The change to going green can even be as simple as switching over to green household cleaners. Even some of the everyday food items you have in your house right now can be used to create your own cleaning supplies. And speaking of food, next time you go grocery shopping, try buying only organic items or go to a whole foods store. You just may find out that you have a wide variety of yummy selections!

Making the decision to have go green is a great one and while your reasons for doing it may be across the board, there are so many great ways to do so. Either way, is doesn’t have to be challenging. It’s truly as easy as pie – organic pie of course!

Entertaining Big in a Small Space

photo source: IKEA

Hosting a party in a small space can be a bit of a challenge. Wondering where people will sit, and how well they will mingle are just a few of the problems that present themselves. However, the task of throwing a shin dig in a smaller than desired apartment or home doesn’t have to impede your party plans altogether. Here are a few party planning tips to help you entertain big in a small way.

 

  • When determining your choice of food and drink, minimum is the way to go. You don’t have to have a wide array of food and cocktails in order for your party goers to have a good time. Just make sure whatever you do have is good!
  • Keep in mind that close quarters may mean more of an opportunity for spills. So if you have white carpet or delicate furniture, I would forego the red wine and salsa dip. I doubt you want to spend the party on your hands and knees cleaning, while having a meltdown about your floors.
  • Don’t overcrowd your party area with decorations. You don’t want your space to look too busy. Instead, add some mood lighting and decorate the walls and ceilings. If your budget allows, replace a couple of pictures with mirrors. A few mirrors always make a space look more open.
  • Having a small space you want to host a party in may mean that some things will temporarily have to go, so bulky furniture that won’t be used while entertaining can go in the bedroom. Guest coats and belongings can also go here if there isn’t enough room allowed in the coat closet. You can always keep the door closed, marking it off-limits.
  • Finally, and most important, relax and enjoy yourself! Assuming that you wouldn’t have non-friends over, no one is going to judge you if everything isn’t perfect. Sometimes things don’t go as planned, but just like with everything else in life, it’s not how many times you fall, but how many times you pick yourself back up and try again!

 

Throwing a party, whether big or small, doesn’t have to be stressful. The main thing is that you have a good time with your guests, and everyone enjoys themselves. And hey, if things fall apart at the end of the day, well…next time maybe you should hire an event planner. Happy party planning!

Everyone Could Use A Personal Assistant!

Leading a busy life, or just simply having a lot to do on a daily basis can provide for quite a bit of stress. With so many major dealings in life who has time to sweat the minor stuff? Well, a Personal Assistant would.

Whether you’re a top executive or a just a busy parent, in today’s world having a personal assistant is almost becoming a necessity, kind of like having a cell phone.  Often known as “Lifestyle Managers,” these assistants come into our hectic lives with a desire to make things a little simpler.

Yes, I know there is the worry in the back of your mind that (s)he will sleep with your significant other, and try to steal your kids. Not to mention what weird things you see in the movies or read in the tabloids about PA’s writing a tell all book about getting harassed by their bosses. But even with all of that, at the end of the day I honestly think personal assistants can truly be a big help to your everyday life.

Just think, in store operations, the manager is the one who makes sure that things goes according to plan. At times, they serve as liaisons between upper management and customers, and are heavily depended on to ensure that every aspect of the business runs smoothly. That’s what a personal assistant can be for you and more.

If you have children, your PA can also play a big part in their lives and yours, making it easier on everyone – even if only for a few hours a week. How many times do we often joke about needing assistance when faced with daily errands, picking up the children, or even something as small as making a phone call? Having a PA gives you increased flexibility, allowing you to feel more productive and spend your day doing what is most important to you. Whether that be quality time with your kiddos (key word – quality), or even the opportunity to work on your memoirs.

Bottom line, it’s OK to allow someone to help you. But get this – there are people out there who actually want to do so! And as much as we want to think we can do or handle everything ourselves, sometimes it is just too challenging (I don’t like using the word hard or impossible, even if it applies). Many times we stretch ourselves too thin, and we often find ourselves wishing there were two of us, saying “we don’t have enough time in the day.” I’m here to tell you that if you find yourself saying that just about every day, well then it may be time to invest in another you.

Now of course no one will ever be able to do what you do exactly how you do it…but I’m pretty sure you will find the right person that can come pretty close to it.

 

 

 

 

Add Pizazz To Your Place…Inexpensively of Course!

pizzaz-your-place-inexpensively

copyright 2014 Tiffany Wade

There are many savvy ideas out there for the budget, and time conscious decorator. However, not knowing where to start can be a little stressful. Additionally, if you are a renter,  living in an apartment or temporary situation may impede on your designer dreams. As a single mom, I totally understand that your home is your haven, but at times you may not be in the perfect financial position to completely decorate your place “as seen on HGTV.” So to get you started, I figured I would share some things I have done that you can do as well to make your domain a happy one, and not at your total expense. Here are just a few simple ideas:

  • If a high end look is what you are seeking, narrow down your search at a specialty antiques store. Now some people hear the word antique and instantly think “high dollar” or just plain old, but this isn’t always the case. You can honestly find great buys there, and it could be for a lot less than you think. Adding a personal touch with a classic piece can make your already furnished apartment feel more like home.
  • Rugs can be the glue that holds your space together! Aside from bringing a pop of color to any room, they can also provide for a great design inspiration. Once you have an affordable good-sized rug picked out, you can start arranging your furniture and choosing decor around it.
  • Covering a wall is an excellent way to spice up a room and add some life to it. Wall art is a great way to transform your new (or not-so-new) home into a familiar, cozy, space.  If buying pictures is beyond your budget, try creating your own! Canvas paintings have always been popular, but they have really been trending in interior design lately. Make a little trip to your local art supply store and pick up a canvas, some paint and put on your not-so-Sunday’s-best, then go to town.
  • Don’t be afraid of DIY projects. Get creative! Aside from the fact that DIY projects are a great way to decorate your home while saving money, you get a chance to explore your artistic side and create something new and exciting! Whether it’s an idea or inspired piece, you can’t go wrong with painting an old table or reupholstering that funky chair you found behind your neighbors dumpster. Yup, I know about that.
  • New hardware goes a long way in a new place. If you’re a renter, t’s one of the easiest fixes to make when trying to personalize your apartment/house. Also, it’s not hard to return it to its original state when you’re ready to move out. Exchanging the knobs on your kitchen cabinets, or the light switch plates in your bedroom or bathroom helps to give an upgraded feel for less. Not to mention, with so many options this simple fix allows you such flexibility that you could even change with your mood or season if necessary.

Bottom line, no one wants to feel as though their home isn’t “homey.”  And with a little bit of creativity, you can totally revamp your place in an inexpensive way while getting the look you love! Happy decorating!

 

 

 

 

Make the Most of Pantone’s Color of the Year!

pantone.com

pantone.com

A few months ago, the wonderful color experts at Pantone came out with the 2014 color of the year, Radiant Orchid (Pantone 18-3224).

What is Radiant Orchid? Well it’s somewhere between magenta and violet, fused with pink. Well, that’s the best way I can describe it at least. I was so excited about this color because of its softness and femininity.  With its ability to pair beautifully with pastels and bold colors alike, it’s just an all-around feel good color. It’s perfect for wearing in the winter and will be extra flirty in the summer, it truly is a year round color.  Radiant Orchid is also said to spark the imagination, as well as inspire confidence. Dallas native Tristen Paige, CEO and Founder of nonprofit organization Turning Paiges, says she had already begun taking advantage of the new color, both in and outside of the office.

“I was deciding on what color to use for my winter apparel, and it just so happened right before I decided on one, I’d heard that Pantone had announced their color of the year.” Paige said. “As cliche as it sounds, I was immediately inspired.”

With its growing popularity, Radiant Orchid is already a hit in Hollywood, especially at award shows. However, you don’t have to be a celebrity to wear this color, or decorate your home with it. Radiant Orchid is one of those colors that looks good against just about every skin tone, and can be easily incorporated in your home, without a hefty price tag. Let’s take a look at how this color may work for you:

 

Home Decor:

radiantorchidroom

found on: giraffesgarlicglamour.com

How exciting this color is for the home! You can totally have fun with it in many ways, especially when it comes to girls’ rooms. Simple touches go a long way, so something as easy as putting up a few wall decals are excellent ways to liven up her room without going overboard. If you’re more of a risk taker and prefer a bolder look, then doing a Radiant Orchid accent wall, with a white bedspread and a few accent pillows would do the trick.

As for the rest of your home, think about the description of the color, Radiant Orchid. What better way to decorate your kitchen or living room, than actually adding an orchid or two? Add that with a gorgeous plum colored rug and switch out the lampshades, and you’ll have yourself one fancy room.

 

 

Beauty:

liptint

found on: chicprofile.com

I absolutely love a purple smokey eye, and Laura Mercier has one of my favorite palettes to create one for this year’s Radiant Orchid trend. The Petite Baked Eye Colour Bonbons Multi-Finish in Amethyst Trio makes for a mesmerizing look, and goes great with a nude lip. If you want to go for something a bit simpler, try Benefit’s Candy-Orchid Tint for lips and cheeks – its smudge and smooch proof!

 

Fashion:

Source: 12:48 Neckwear

Source: 12:48 Neckwear

Women love pinks and deep purples because they are an excellent pop of color to any outfit.  The good thing about this color is that it looks great against any skin tone.  Pairing a great winter white top with dark blue jeans and orchid and gold accessories are a great way to incorporate this color in your wardrobe. Even something as simple as a top and a headband does just fine.

Men, you should be excited about the color too! Even though Radiant Orchid may seem like a feminine color, that doesn’t mean it’s just for women. Designer Jamil Tucker is the owner of 12:48 Neckwear, and says men can easily pull off wearing it, even if your taste in clothing isn’t that daring.

“I suggest a man wear it in his tie or pocket square, with a blue or grey suit to soften it.” He said.

I think most women would absolutely agree. There is almost nothing more attractive than a man who is fashionable, and especially one who knows how to wear Radiant Orchid!