Vacation Planning Tips

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Posted by Jessica | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 23-06-2011

SuitcaseSummer is here! With the kids out of school and plenty of warm weather, vacation season is upon us. Do you have plans to head to the cabin for a getaway this summer? If so, your head might be reeling with the ins and outs of planning. Not to worry. Here are a few tips for planning the perfect vacation, whatever your budget or destination.

  • Vacation on a Budget: This tip sheet from Forbes.com provides some good ideas for keeping your vacation budget on the slim side. It’s all about planning. Figure out how much you have to spend and stick to it. Ask rental car agencies to break down their bill, including all taxes and fees, before you book so you know what your final total will be. Economize on food by eating out for some meals, but packing lunches and snacks. By thinking ahead, you can make sure your vacation doesn’t break the bank.
  • Planning a Green Vacation: Your eco-friendly lifestyle can easily go on vacation with you. Look for hotels and lodgings that are environmentally conscious. There’s an ecotourism monitoring system in place to help you navigate those—look for the Green Seal for top-notch environmentally conscious or the LEED certification. Beyond your lodgings, support local businesses and do all the things you do at home—reuse, recycle and use public transportation or bike whenever possible.
  • Road Trip Vacations: The road trip is an American institution. The primary concern, of course, is how to entertain the kids for that long in a small space. Don’t underestimate the power of games like “I Spy” and twenty questions, pack plenty of toys and games and try to break up the hours with pit stops. This page offers tips from readers on keeping the kiddos entertained. As for planning the trip, RoadtripAmerica.com is a great resource of maps, routes and ideas. Maybe choose a new route to the cabin this time around, or plan a jaunt to a nearby destination. There’s fun to be had everywhere in the States!

Enjoy your getaway! Have fun and be safe, and above all, enjoy some time out of your routine with your family.

Cleaning Solutions in a Hurry

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Posted by Jessica | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 17-06-2011

Organizedhome.comIt’s getting late. You just pulled up at the family vacation spot after a long car ride. Everyone’s tired. As you eat a quick late dinner together, you hear the slap of plastic against the floor and realize that your son just spilled dark red juice all over the rug in the kitchen. You head to the cabinet under the sink, only to realize that all you have in the way of cleaning supplies is a container of wipes and a bottle of dish soap—no carpet cleaner.

Fortunately, you don’t need a different store-bought bottle of cleaner for each and every emergency. Making your own stuff can be better for the environment and easier on your budget. As a bonus, just by stocking your home or cabin with a few basics—like vinegar and baking soda—you can do most of your cleaning without needing a specified cleaner for each surface, and you can whip up a batch of whatever you need whenever you need it.

  • For carpet stains, according to RealSimple.com, use a white cloth to dab a solution of one part white vinegar and two parts water (don’t apply directly to the carpet).  This quick and easy cleaning solution is made from items you probably already have on hand.
  • Other pantry staples have powerful cleaning properties as well, according to this piece by Organizedhome.com. Baking soda makes an effective, yet gentle scouring powder, while a combination of two parts olive oil and one part lemon juice makes a brilliant furniture polish.
  • Borax may not be a part of your everyday routine, but it can be mixed into a variety of cleaners and works well as a disinfectant. This sheet from Ecocycle.org has a fairly extensive list of recipes for cleaners using borax and other ingredients.

Another good thing about using the products already on your shelves is that it cuts clutter by eliminating the need for twenty different cleaning products. So your home is just a little bit tidier already, even before you start cleaning.

Bear Bedding for Your Cabin

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Posted by Jessica | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 07-06-2011

Maybe it’s their sense of mystery, or their regal beauty. Maybe it’s how they perfectly embody the rugged outdoors. Whatever it is, bears have a way of fascinating us, and they make perfect home décor for cabins and rustic decorating schemes. Bear bedding in particular creates a charming space in your cabin or lodge bedroom.

Your exact bedding needs depend on a number of factors—how much warmth you need, your surrounding décor and the degree of casualness in your home, among other things.

If you need plenty of warmth in your bear bedding, a wool bedspread or thick comforter will be your best bet. You can also layer blankets under cotton coverlets and bedspreads to suit your needs. And if you need something lighter weight for the summer months, a tapestry coverlet in your favorite bear design can do the job just fine.

Bear Adventure Fleece BeddingWhen it’s time to choose a color and pattern, you’ll need to work closely with your bedroom’s surrounding décor. Choose colors that complement the other colors in your room, and patterns that express your taste and style while also working with the rest of your décor. Busy patterns, for example, might overwhelm the room if you’re pairing them with busy wallpaper and rugs.

Another determining factor in which bear bedding you choose will have to do with whether you want a luxury collection or a more casual look. The upside of a collection with lots of pillows and shams is that it makes your bedroom feel like a luxurious place to relax, and makes the room look put together with lots of style and design. The rest of your cabin may have a more casual feel, though, and in that case a simpler fleece collection could do just fine.

Of course, the most important thing to consider when choosing bedding for your home décor is, quite simply, your own taste and style. And if bears have your heart, you’ll have no trouble finding the bear bedding that works for your home or cabin.

Oh, and once you’ve chosen the perfect bedding, here’s a how-to from TLC.com showing how to keep your bedding clean and extend its life. Enjoy!