{Every Woman Should Know…} How to Set a Table


The number of twenty-somethings that did not know how to set a table properly surprised me.
I believe that every woman should know how to set a table…point blank and period. That is not to say that men need not learn this skill, it is just to speak to an ability that I believe everyone woman should have in her knowledge base. Whether or not you use this, is up to you, but at least you will know. This knowledge is free…. you should take itJ A friend of my called this a “wifey” skill but I just think this is something every woman should know…

Check out this Table-Setting Cheat Sheet:

Photo Credit: Style Baggage 

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Missoni for Target!

I checked out Target today and there was nothing left on the racks!

Did I mention that due to overwhelming activity, target.com is temporarily down? I guess I will have to reminisce on my older posts…

Missoni Designer Collaboration

It looks like Italian brand, Missoni, is the latest Designer Collaboration for Target. Designer Collaborations is an expansion of Target’s existing designer fashion program and each collection is available only for a limited time. This particular collaboration will only be available at select store between September 13th – October 22nd. . Designer Collaborations is a unique program that features well-established designers who draw inspiration from a collaborative partner, muse or creative element. It is a new and exciting way of delivering the latest styles to our contemporary female guests at the prices they expect from Target.

In the meantime, check some of my favs from the Missoni Brand:

Missoni Ad

Missoni Ad

Did I mention that Missoni has also tapped into knits for your home?

Missoni Pattern

Missoni

As I get more info, I will pass it along…

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4 Simple Ways to Save on Your Next Power Bill

Saving Money is a Breeze!

For the past few months, I have noticed a trend with my Georgia Power bill- It keeps going up! I’m not the only one experiencing this either. If you are looking for some ways to see a difference and keep your wallet a little fatter, check out some suggestions for simple ways to save your cents. ENERGY STAR estimates that a knowledgeable homeowner or skilled contractor can save up to 20% on heating and cooling costs (or up to 10% on their total annual energy bill) by sealing and insulating.

Air Sealing


Many air leaks and drafts – like those around windows and doors – are easy to find because they are easy to feel. But holes hidden in attics, basements, and crawlspaces are usually bigger problems. Sealing these leaks with caulk, spray foam, or weather stripping will have a great impact on improving your comfort and reducing utility bills.

Programmable Thermostat


Did You Know?

The average household spends more than $2,200 a year on energy bills – nearly half of which goes to heating and cooling. Homeowners can save about $180 a year by properly setting their programmable thermostats and maintaining those settings. When I first bought my house, I made sure that I had a programmable thermostat. However, I later found out that I was not optimizing my saving because of that temperatures I programmed the thermostat to, actually caused it to work harder. Thus, I was not saving $$$ 😕

Proper Use Guidelines for Programmable Thermostats (from Energy Star)

Through proper use of a programmable thermostat (using the four pre-programmed settings) you can save about $180* every year in energy costs.

Rules of Thumb for Proper Use:

  1. Keep the temperature set at its energy savings set-points for long periods of time (at least eight hours), for example, during the day, when no one is at home, and through the night, after bedtime.
  2. All thermostats let you temporarily make an area warmer or cooler, without erasing the pre-set programming. This override is cancelled automatically at the next program period. You use more energy (and end up paying more on energy bills) if you consistently “hold” or over-ride the pre-programmed settings.
  3. Units typically have two types of hold features: (a) hold/permanent/vacation; (b) temporary. Avoid using the hold/permanent/vacation feature to manage day to day temperature settings. “Hold” or “vacation” features are best when you’re planning to be away for an extended period. Set this feature at a constant, efficient temperature (i.e. several degrees warmer temperature in summer, several degrees cooler during winter), when going away for the weekend or on vacation. You’ll waste energy and money if you leave the “hold” feature at the comfort setting while you’re away.
  4. Cranking your unit up to 90 degrees or down to 40 degrees, for example, will not heat or cool your house any faster. Most thermostats begin to heat or cool at a set time, to reach setpoint temperatures sometime thereafter. Units with adaptive (smart/intelligent) recovery features are an exception to this rule — Adaptive recovery units are constantly calculating the amount of time required to heat or cool the house, so that it reaches that temperature when the homeowner programmed it. By “examining” the performance of the past few days the thermostat can keep track of the seasons. In this way, your house is always at the comfort levels when occupied, but saving the most energy when unoccupied.
  5. Many homes use just one thermostat to control the whole house. If your home has multiple heating or cooling zones, you’ll need a programmed setback thermostat for each zone to maximize comfort, convenience and energy savings throughout the house.
  6. If your programmable thermostat runs on batteries, don’t forget to change the batteries each year. Some units will indicate when batteries must be changed.

*The $180 savings assumes a typical, single-family home with a 10 hour daytime setback of 8° F in winter and setup of 7° F in summer, and an 8 hour nighttime setback of 8° F in winter and a setup of 4° F in summer.

Lighting


Change to compact florescent light bulbs. They provide bright warm light while using 75% less energy than standard lighting – they also generate 75% less heat and last up to 10 times longer. Replacing a 100-watt incandescent bulb with a 23-watt compact fluorescent bulb can save you up to $30 in energy costs over the life of the bulb. Learn more about ENERGY STAR lighting products.

Power Strips


Use a power strip as a central “turn off” point when you are done using equipment. Even when turned off, electronic and IT equipment often use a small amount of electricity. U.S. households spend approximately $100 per year to power devices while they are in a low power mode, roughly 8 percent of household electricity costs. Using a power strip for your computer and all peripheral equipment allows you to completely disconnect the power supply from the power source, eliminating standby power consumption.

I was watching The View not too long ago, and they had a surge protector that had a timer on it. The timer turns the outlet off after a pre-selected time. According to the show, charging your cell phone and other electronic devices overnight kills the battery. The power strip with the timer will not only save you on energy cost, but will also lengthen the life of your electronic devices.

Want More Ways to Save, Check out these tips from ENERGY STAR


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Missoni for Target!

This is a sneak peek so…this is all the information I have.

Missoni Designer Collaboration

It looks like Italian brand, Missoni, is the latest Designer Collaboration for Target. Designer Collaborations is an expansion of Target’s existing designer fashion program and each collection is available only for a limited time. This particular collaboration will only be available at select store between September 12th – October 22nd. . Designer Collaborations is a unique program that features well-established designers who draw inspiration from a collaborative partner, muse or creative element. It is a new and exciting way of delivering the latest styles to our contemporary female guests at the prices they expect from Target.

In the meantime, check some of my favs from the Missoni Brand:

Missoni Ad

Missoni Ad

Did I mention that Missoni has also tapped into knits for your home?

Missoni Pattern

Missoni

As I get more info, I will pass it along…

FOLLOW: FACEBOOK, TWITTER, RSS Feed,

Email SMC: shemakescents@gmail.com

Vamp Up Your Home on A Budget!

I believe that one’s home should be a reflection of one’s personality. It should be a place that you want to come home to, hang out in, and entertain in. A friend of mine from high school gave me one of the greatest design compliments when he told me that my house was so me. So how do we help make your house more you? Here are some of my suggestions…

  1. Know when to splurge and when to save. I discussed this regarding fashion in an earlier post, but the same advice rings true here. Splurge on the bones of the room: like your sofa, bed, closet systems, and chairs (Disclaimer: I have a serious addiction to chairs. I have three in my bedroom alone). Save on the fun things like trendy throw pillows and other decorative accessories.


  1. Have a Signature Scent. I believe a woman should never leave the house without a scent. I find it very feminine, alluring, and sexy to do so. The same goes for your home. Find a candle, air wick, or incense to fill your home with a scent that you love.

  2. Make Every Inch Count. Most people opt out of using their vertical space. Find storage solutions that make the most of your space.


  3. Make and Break Your Own Rules. Just because the floor plan labels a room something doesn’t mean that’s how you have to keep it. In a house I was doing, I moved a closet to another bedroom and put the home office into the closet. Most people would make their extra bedroom into an office. However, I thought it would be a better use of space to move the home office into the closet because it was just a desk, chair, and storage. Whereas one’s closet consist of clothes for all seasons and occasions, accessories, shoes, large mirror, etc. times two if your share your closet with your significant other. Why try to stuff all of your clothes and accessories into a standard walk in closet when you can take an entire bedroom?

  4. Don’t be afraid to display what you love. My sister has her collectors Barbie dolls on display in her house. I have ballet figurines and pictures of people I love displayed in various places in my house. It is all about what you love.
    Photo Credit: Danielle Boler “Ballet”

    Photo Credit: Danielle Boler “People I Love”
  5. Don’t be afraid to color outside of the lines. I have wanted to paint a wall black since I was about 16 years old. When I finally got my place, I had no one telling me that I couldn’t do it. People said that it would make the room feel smaller, creepy, and a little goth, but I thought it I could make it fun or sophisticated. My BFFSLFG (Best Friend Forever Since Like First Grade) suggested that I use chalkboard paint so that people could write on the wall. BEST ADVICE EVER!!! People love coming over and writing little notes and I love discovering new messages on the wall.
    Photo Credit: Danielle Boler “My Wall”

  6. Only buy what you love. If you like chandeliers, bling it out! I saw a big giraffe while shopping with my mentee Dana and thought, who would put this in their house. Then I saw something similar in a friend’s house and thought, wow…that looks awesome. I like nail trimmed furniture and almost anything tufted. In my opinion, those are two very classic design features that can go in a traditional, eclectic, or gender neutral room. Buying what you love will also help keep your wallet fatter, as you will see in the next point.
    Dana & the Giraffe

  7. Shop Within Your House. Instead of buying new things to redecorate when you are bored with your space, shop within your own stuff. Tired of seeing those same throw pillows on your sofa, put them in a bedroom for a new punch of color or print. I have justified my chair addiction to some of my family members by explaining that when I am tired of my fuchsia chairs in my living room, I will just move them to the guest room. Viola, your rooms will look totally different without you having to spend any extra cash.
  8. Stop Saving. No, I don’t mean stop saving money. Stop saving things for a special moment. Make ordinary moments special. I was reading a memoir by Gretchen Rubin called The Happiness Project and she discussed how she wanted to stop saving the good china for special occasions because it never got used. It made me think of my mother, who is always saving something and never using it. A few years ago, I gave my mother a beautiful jewelry box and yet she still puts her jewelry in some Popsicle stick creation I made when I was 7 years old- all because she is saving the nicer box for when she can organize and update the pieces she already owns. I stopped saving the good stuff and I am enjoying the good life.
  9. Know when to shop. Everyone has their own special style and taste, but how do you find items in your budget. To get exactly what you want on your budget takes time and patience. I wanted a button tufted headboard  or a nice floor lamp for my bedroom but I was not willing to play an arm and a leg for it. So, I did my research and waited until a holiday to make my big purchase. Holidays are always a good time to shop because you can usually find a discount on the item or free shipping.
    Inspiration for my bed
    My Tufted Headboard

    BONUS

Don’t be afraid to go outside of your comfort zone. Venture outside of the traditional big furniture chain stores. You don’t want someone walking in your house and say, oh wow, we have that too. Try Overstock.com (my fav). The prices are reasonable but you will not beat their shipping fees anywhere. HomeGoods is another favorite. I have become such a regular in there that I even know the days they get a new truck in…lol. HomeGoods is the place that has fostered my chair addiction, by the way. Craigslist is another good option, just remember that the same rules for safe shopping for Craigslist cars applies here. Check out the safety reminders, here. Lastly, antique markets. It sounds old and lame and something a fab twenty something like myself would not be into, but I have found some really cool stuff in vintage and antique markets. #imjustsaying

 

 

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This post contains a sponsored link from Hinkley Lighting.

Buy vs. DIY: Wallpaper vs. Stencils

Click here to see the finished product of my guest bathroom!


People who know me well, know that I take extreme pleasure in de-cluttering, designing, and decorating residential spaces; specifically my own.  Currently, I am obsessed with large print wallpaper that I would love to put in my own home.  Here are a few examples of my latest home décor obsession:

Polished Beauty Lounge

Graham & Brown- Purple Damask

Graham & Brown Diva Wallpaper

At roughly $70.00 per roll, is it in your budget? Is it something you will still be in LOVE with in five years? If not, here are a few options with less commitment that won’t break the bank.  Two words for you…. WALL STENCILS.  Yes, they take time, effort, and most of all patience, but are they worth it.  Here are some of my inspiration pictures:

Wall Stencil

Stencil-2064-Grand-Damask

All you need for this project is the actual stencil, a pencil, some paint (I like metallic paint), and I would suggest some repositional spray adhesive.  To see my guest  bathroom transform from boring to my favorite wallpaper look for less, stay tuned.

What do you think?  Would you BUY the wallpaper or DIY the wall stencil?  We would love to hear from you!