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Imagination Unleashed: Creative Kids Bedrooms You’ll Love!

Posted in Home, Interior Design
on August 18, 2015

 

 

 

Decorating my children’s rooms has always been something that I enjoy doing. It seems like their bedrooms are a little more creative and a lot more fun! Kids are the only ones that can sleep in beds shaped like castles, cars and boats and it’s completely acceptable. There’s so much freedom in that and I love it! Check out these super creative kids rooms that will make you long for younger years.

 

Check out Imagination Unleashed: Creative Kids Bedrooms You’ll Love!

by Emerald @ Pink Balloons For Lunch at Mode

Decorating Your Home To Sell

Posted in Home
on August 5, 2015

livingroom

 

Hi everyone! I hope all of you are well. I haven’t blogged for a while because I’ve been super busy! I can sometimes have tunnel vision when I get focused on a goal and trying to sell our house has been an undertaking to say the least! I wish so much that I would have read all that selling a home entails before actually doing it. Much of what I learned was the on the job training. Thankfully, I had decent furniture to begin with and selling our home actually gave me a reason to decorate and design and not have to explain everything to my husband. Through high emotions, frustrations and joy, here’s what I learned:

1. Clean your damn house. When I say clean, I mean get down on your hands and knees with soap and water and wash your baseboards, doors and trims. I absolutely love Dr Bronner’s Castile Soap in Lavender! It smells amazing and I use this soap for washing my dishes, cleaning counter tops and cleaning bathrooms. It’s a natural multi-purpose cleaner that really gets things  sparkly clean! Also, make sure to buy a bucket of glossy white paint and make sure that everything that’s supposed to be white in your house, is white. If you don’t have the time to dust every blind and clean every window, then hire a cleaning service to do it and just maintain it afterwards. Buyers may overlook many perceived flaws if your house is clean. Also, I found that making a pot of tea and using it to mop your  wood floors makes them shine! Make sure the mop is only slightly damp, so the floors dry quickly. Of course you want to sweep your floor first.

2. Declutter: Get some boxes and fill them up with all the clutter in your house! I have an excess of hair and beauty products, so they all had to go! I wore my hair in a ponytail during this time so I only had to pull my hair up in a bun to make it look neat. Back to clutter. All that extra stuff in the top of your closets goes in the box. If you really don’t have enough room for all your dishes and cookware, put them in a box and store them in your shed. Anything that looks junky and overwhelming, needs to go. Taking down all your personal pictures is also a good idea. You want to move anyway, so why not go ahead and pair down to the essentials? You want to be ready for a realtor to call and say “I have a client that wants to see your house, can we come by in an hour?” You will get calls like this all the time, so be prepared to be inconvenienced. Accept it and embrace it as apart of the process.

3. What’s that Smell? Make sure your home smells inviting. When your home is clean, it naturally smells good but when you want to sell your house, it needs to smell extra good! This is also a great time to banish your trash can to your garage and if you have pets, keep them outdoors for the most part or let a good friend keep them. Buyers shouldn’t know if you own pets, so remove animal feeding bowls and any other identifying pet paraphernalia. Several realtors told me to bake cookies or buy sweet smelling candles and burn them. I actually used a cute wax burner and Vanilla Cookie Crunch Wax Cubes. They smell so yummy and inviting! That smell automatically relaxes buyers and makes them feel comfortable. Some of home buying is emotional, so appeal to the senses when possible.

4. Decorate and Light It Up! I learned that in order to make a room feel cohesive, you should take out the floor plan and divide each room into 4 equal quadrants. There should be something in each of the 4 areas of the room. It also needs to support the natural flow of traffic through the space. You don’t have to be an interior designer, just choose colors that are calming and neutral. If you need a reference, go look at a staged home online or in person. Duplicate a design you like to the best of your ability. Also, make sure there are lamps in living areas so they are bright and cheery! Make sure blinds are open and letting the sun in. No one wants to live in a dungeon.

5. The Price Is Right! Overestimating the value of your home is an emotional response while home selling is simply math. What are other comparable houses selling for that have similar square footage, bedrooms, bathrooms and land? That’s a good indicator of where to price your house. Once you decide to sell it, your house becomes a piece of property, so disconnect yourself emotionally and price it right to start, so your home doesn’t sit on the market for longer than necessary. The longer that your house is on, the longer you have to keep it virtually spotless and have realtors and buyers coming in and out of your house all the time.

I can honestly say that selling our house has been one of the most draining things I’ve ever done! That’s mostly because I wasn’t prepared.  If you use these 5 steps, you’ll definitely have a leg up on the competition!

******Bonuses*******

 

Learn How To Fold Towels: I went on Youtube and learned how to fold towels a little fancier than usual and I think that it made a great impression on buyers. Here are the towels I used in the above picture. The bottom line is buyers want to feel like you’ve cared for your house while you lived there.

Take great pictures: If buyers don’t like what they see online, they’re definitely not coming to see it in person. So make sure to get some professional pictures done!

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you have a friend or family member that’s a realtor (lucky you) ask them to do a walk-through and give you honest feedback on your home, that will definitely help you get your home sold!

I hope you found these pointers useful! What have been some of your experiences when it comes to buying and selling your house?

 

Baked Chinese Five Spice Wings

Posted in Food
on June 29, 2015

DSCN3575

 

Ok, so these wings taste entirely to good to be so easy to make! Every other week we’ve been getting drummets from the grocery store just to make these wings! Sometimes I forget that I have the Chinese 5 Spice in my cabinet. It resurfaces ever so often when I’m shuffling through my spices. When I do see it, I’m reminded of it’s aromatic scent that fills our home and how much my whole family loves this spice. This recipe is baked too, so you can stick it in the oven, set your timer and go do other things. My husband actually said yesterday, “these are the best baked wings.” The flavor of the spice somehow soaks all the way to the bone! Make these wings at your next dinner and impress your guest with this super easy recipe! For a simple dipping sauce for these wings combine 1/4 cup sour cream, 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 1 tsp of lemon juice and 1/2 tsp of pepper.

 

Baked Chinese Five Spice Wings
Recipe Type: Dinner
Author: Emerald Lavender
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
This simple dish has so much depth and flavor that you and your guest are sure to be impressed. After you taste these wings, you’ll be adding it to your weekly rotation!
Ingredients
  • 1 pack of chicken drummets
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tbs melted butter
  • 3 teaspoons Chinese Five Spice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • Easy & Delicious Dipping Sauce
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp lemon juice or pickle juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, add your vegetable oil, melted butter, Chinese 5 Spice, salt, pepper and garlic powder.
  3. Mix the ingredients thoroughly and add the chicken wings.
  4. Use your hands to make sure the spice mixture is thoroughly coated on the wings.
  5. Line a large cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spread wings across, giving them a little room.
  6. Bake for 40 minutes or until your wings are golden brown.
  7. For extra crispy wings, broil the wings for the last 3 minutes.