How to Use Color to Brighten Your Home at Mill Commons

It’s not uncommon for renters to have restrictions when it comes to making changes to the look of the unit; however, there are a number of other ways to brighten up your space without the use of paint. Here are just a few!

  1. Add a pop of color in the kitchen by mixing and matching brightly hued chairs with a neutral table. Paint your existing set in a bright yellow, rich navy blue, or trendy turquoise.
  2. Set out vases of fresh flowers throughout your home for an all-natural burst of color. Think daisies, hydrangeas, and tulips in equally colorful vases.
  3. Top your bed and sofa with a variety of mismatched throw pillows in complementary hues. While they don’t all have to match completely, choosing one color scheme will help you to keep things looking stylish.
  4. Add artwork from local thrift stores and home decor shops housed in painted frames. You can also try a “dipped” look by painting the entire bottom half of the painting and frame in one bright shade.
  5. Add removable wallpaper that you can easily peel off when your lease is up. Use a floral or striped style on one accent wall for a magazine-worthy look.

20 Ways to Add Color to Your Home Without Painting [Brit + Co]
Top 10 Tips for Adding Color to Your Space [HGTV]
7 Ways to Add Color to Your Dining Room [Dwell]

How to Decorate Using the Principles of Feng Shui

Feng shui is an ancient Chinese belief that states that the way your home is organized will, in turn, influence everything else in your life. From your finances to your inner happiness, the aspects that feng shui influences are limitless. If you want to decorate your home in a way that better serves your feng shui, use these basic principles.

  • Keep things minimal. First and foremost, improve your home’s feng shui by getting rid of everything that you don’t need—including furniture, clothing and even kitchen supplies. This will leave you with more space for movement, creativity, and positive energy.
  • Maximize natural light. Take down heavy drapes and blinds and replace them with sheer curtains that allow in as much natural light as possible.
  • Add plants. Feng shui emphasizes the importance of having green plants to clean your home’s air and add a peaceful look to every room. Try options like jade plants and aloe plants that require little maintenance.
  • Leave entryways clear. Feng shui says that the doors allow positive energy to flow into your home, so be sure to leave yours clear.
  • Face the doors. Important pieces of furniture, such as your desk and your bed, should always face the door of the room without sitting directly in front of it.

Feng Shui 101 for Your Living Space [Wonder How To]
10 Easy Feng Shui Rules You Should Follow [Kris Carr]
Feng Shui Decorating Tips [Real Simple]

Elegant Appetizer Recipes for Your Holiday Party

Just because you’re throwing a holiday party at home doesn’t mean that it has to be plain and casual. Add a bit of class to this year’s soiree by serving elegant appetizers that are just as artistic as they are tasty. Here are three great ideas that are so delicious, your guests will think you had the party catered.

Baked Prosciutto and Brie with Apple Butter [Cooking Channel TV]
The salty taste of prosciutto, the gooey texture of brie, and the sweet tang of apple butter all mingle seamlessly in these appetizer toasts. Best of all, there’s no cooking involved in the preparation, so you can throw these together right before your guests arrive.

Spinach and Goat Cheese Tartlets [Food Network]
Phyllo dough is a very popular base for many types of appetizers because it’s so versatile and easy to work with, and these tartlets are a great example. The dough forms a small cup that’s filled with goat cheese, spinach, and a number of herbs and spices that’s perfectly light and cheesy omeprazole dr 20mg capsule.

Mexican Shrimp Cocktail [My Recipes]
Instead of the usual creamy shrimp dip, make this cool, refreshing alternative with an adventurous Mexican fare flavor. Serve it with tortilla chips and a freshly ground pepper garnish.

How to Make Holiday Travel Less Stressful

So you plan on travelling to a loved one’s house for the holidays, but unfortunately so did everyone else in the country. Holiday travel is undeniably stressful, but there are a few simple ways to make it a bit more bearable. Here are some tips to help navigate your airplane ride or road trip in a smart and savvy way.

  1. Book ahead of time. Instead of scrambling to book your trip at the last minute (and paying the inevitable high fees), book as far ahead of time as possible. This ensures that you’ll be able to get the flight or bus that you want, and it will likely save you a great deal of money along the way.
  2. Leave extra travel time. Whether you’re navigating crowds at the airport or fighting traffic on the highway, leaving good deal of extra time to allow for delays is always a good idea.
  3. Pack light. Since you likely have to bring presents with you on your journey, try to pack your suitcase as light as possible.
  4. Bring some entertainment along for the ride. If you’re driving home for the holidays, an audio book or a list of car games are some great options for passing the time. If you’ll be flying or taking a bus, try downloading a movie onto your phone or tablet.

Holiday Travel: Tips to Make It Less Stressful [Medicine Net]
Holiday Travel Slideshow: 10 Tips to Cut Stress [WebMD]
15 Tips for Healthy, Stress Reduced Holiday Travel [CNCA Health]

<a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2 omeprazole otc.0/” target=”_blank”>CC-BY-2.0/Flickr/epSos .de

Delicious Uses for Thanksgiving Leftovers

If you’ve ever made a turkey sandwich from Thanksgiving turkey, you know that the leftovers are almost as good as the meal itself. Here are a few new ways to use Thanksgiving leftovers in creative and delicious ways.

Thanks Benedict on Stuffing Cakes with Sage Hollandaise [Food Network]
If the long name on this one leaves you scratching your head, you’ll understand once you see this breakfast dish in action. Thanksgiving stuffing is molded into small, flat cakes and toped with pancetta and poached eggs to create a new version of eggs Benedict using mostly holiday leftovers.

Cranberry Sauce Over Pound Cake A la Mode [Rachael Ray]
If your dinner guests leave behind an excess of cranberry sauce, use it as a topping on this delicious seasonal dessert. You can also use pre-packaged pound cake to make the whole thing even easier.

Turkey Banh Mi [Martha Stewart]
Instead of your usual day-after turkey sandwich, get a bit global by creating a traditional Vietnamese banh mi with the leftover Thanksgiving turkey. Top it with spicy mayonnaise, fresh cilantro and crispy vegetables and serve the whole thing on a whole wheat baguette. This sandwich is especially great for those who can’t bare another bite of the cranberry and gravy flavors of Thanksgiving dinner.

Today’s Imponderable: How Does Salt Melt Ice?

Salt is one of the first things that most homeowners stock up on before a big blizzard hits. Even though you sprinkle salt on your driveway every year before and after a big snowstorm, do you really know what it is that causes salt to melt ice?

Salt lowers the freezing point of water, which is how it melts the ice on your walkway. Even though the ice isn’t technically water in a liquid state, it does have a thin layer of water at its surface, which is what enables the salt to do its job. The salt mixes with the water and melts the ice little by little, and then it changes its composition so that it now requires the temperature to drop significantly for it to refreeze. For areas with particularly cold temperatures, there are heavy-duty salts that require temperatures as low as -20 degrees in order for the ice to freeze again.

The next time you put on your warmest layers and trek out into the cold to salt your driveway, think about the complex chemical reaction that is about to happen. It just may make the grueling process a bit more fun!

Why Does Salt Melt Ice? [About.com]
Why do they use salt to melt ice on the road in the winter? [How Stuff Works]
How Salt Melts Ice [AccuWeather]

How to Put an End to Junk Mail

All of that junk mail that arrives in your mailbox isn’t just annoying to you, it’s also harmful to the environment. If you want to put an end to junk mail once and for all, these little-known tips can help.

  1. Write back. Any organization that receives a written request to remove you from its mailing list is legally obligated to comply, even companies that you’ve done business with in the past. Simply write a short request to be taken off their list and mail it back to the sender’s address.
  2. Use the Direct Mail Association website. Registering your name and address with a service called the Direct Mail Association can reduce your amount of junk mail by 95 percent. Though it takes a few months to fully take effect, this is certainly one of the most surefire ways to end your junk mail dilemma.
  3. Stop junk mail before it starts. Pay closer attention when filling out forms for things like credit cards or sweepstakes, or even when shopping online. There is often a box that you can tick that indicates that you do not want to receive mailings from that company, and if you forget to check it you could sign yourself up for a lot of unwanted correspondence.

Unwanted Mail [Recycle Now]
Stopping Unsolicited Mail, Phone Calls, and Email [Consumer Information]

Four Fascinating Facts About Humans in Space

Are you fascinated by space exploration? Do you dream of joining the 12 people in history who've walked on the moon? Before you don your space suit, check out these interesting facts about humans in space!

1) Before you can even think about becoming an astronaut, you must log at least 1,000 hours of flying in a jet aircraft. This will prepare you, at least somewhat, to go from zero to 17,000 miles per hour in less than nine minutes on the Space Shuttle.

2) Once you've been launched into space, astronauts receive 3.8 pounds of food a day. Most of the food is precooked and processed so that it doesn't require refrigeration. Some fresh fruits and vegetables are on board, but they must be consumed within the first couple days. Astronauts can season their meals with ketchup, mustard, and taco sauce, among other condiments provided on the Space Shuttle.

3) The food consumed during Apollo 11 included bacon squares, sugar cookie cubes, beef stew, and fruit cake. The astronauts quenched their thirst with coffee, fruit juice, and orange drink.

4) On Earth, space suits weigh a whopping 280 pounds. It takes the better part of an hour to put on a space suit, and each astronaut wears special undergarments.

For more interesting space facts, check out NASA's website.

How to Extend the Life of Fresh Fruit

If you’re frustrated with always purchasing fruit only to have it turn brown and rotten in a few days, there are a few ways that you can extend the lifespan of nature’s candy. Here are just a few tried-and-true tips for preventing fruit from going bad.

  • Fruits continue to ripen when left at room temperature, and when they become overripe, that’s when we consider them rotten. To prolong the life of delicate berries, citruses, and grapes, store them in the refrigerator instead of out on the counter.
  • When fruit is moist it tends to mold or rot, so be sure to keep your fruit dry before eating it. It may seem like a good idea to wash fruit immediately after bringing it home, but it’s a better idea to leave the washing until you’re ready to eat it omeprazole 20 mg cap.
  • Fruits like apples and stone fruits (such as nectarines and peaches) produce a great deal of ethylene gas that causes other fruits and veggies to ripen more quickly, so be sure to store these away from other produce.
  • Bananas ripen at a faster pace than other fruits, so purchase them in smaller batches. Keep these out of the refrigerator as well, as the cold is too much for their delicate peel.

The Kitchn's Guide to Storing Fruits and Vegetables [The Kitchn]
Keep Fruits & Vegetables Fresher Longer [American Heart Association]
Spoiled Rotten – How To Store Fruits And Vegetables [Vegetarian Times]

Need-to-Know Facts About Energy and Energy Consumption

Driving a car, turning on a light, heating or cooling our homes and offices—it all takes energy. But where does this energy come from? Read on to find some fun facts about energy.

1) Energy has many sources. Most of the energy we use is sourced from fossil fuels, nuclear power, or renewable sources like the sun. New sources, like biofuel, are being developed to help with the growing demand for energy sources.

2) Electricity is not a primary source of energy. Instead, it's considered a secondary source of energy, and it comes from primary sources that include coal, wind, and natural gas.

3) Electricity is a hot commodity in modern America. The demand for electricity in the U.S. is predicted to increase by 26 percent by 2030. Electricity is the second-most used energy source in American homes, second only to natural gas.

4) Heating our homes in the winter consumes the most energy. Space heating consumes the biggest chunk of energy in residential homes, ahead of large appliances such as laundry machines, computers, dishwashers—even refrigerators!

5) The U.S. sources 84 percent of its energy from fossil fuels. What's more, the U.S. consumes 20 percent of the world's total energy. To help with our growing energy needs, many companies have made an effort to cut back on energy usage. Large household appliances are becoming more energy efficient, and the government has mandated that in 2020, all new cars must average 35 miles per gallon. The automobile industry has also been focusing on creating electric cars to help decrease the use of energy.

For more information on energy, read What You Need to Know About Energy on The National Academy of Sciences website.

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