Luxury Housing Trends

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Paint Your Dog’s Nails for the Holidays

Remember slumber parties and how fun it was to give your best friend a makeover? Even though you might be too old for sleepovers, you can still give your best pal a mani and pedi…with pet polish!

OPI Pawlish is a safe and quick drying nail polish especially for dogs. The following colors are in the collection: Poodle Pink, Bow Wow Green, Dog House Blues, Yuppy Puppy, Fire Hydrant Red and Mutt’s New. It’s best to paint your dog’s nails when he/she is calm, and it helps to trim the fur around the nails. With one application, your pet’s nails will be too hot to trot.

Make sure to give your dog a treat for being so good. Oh, and don’t forget to use a safe nail polish remover specially made for pets when you want a new look.


Stylish & Eco-friendly Pet Collars

A properly fitting dog collar is essential when you’re trying to train your dog to walk. Fortunately, there are so many types of collars to choose from, and you can even find ones to meet your eco-friendly standards too.

Halter-type collars fit around the dog’s front legs, neck and shoulder, so this can give you and your pet the best support and control. This style is the perfect dog walking collar, especially if your pet constantly pulls while outside. For green options, look for organic dog collars and hemp dog collars.

Regardless of whether you choose a halter-type, make sure that the design fits your dog well. Traditional collars made from nylon are rough enough to cause neck irritation and some hair loss. Collars containing natural fibers such as cotton, hemp and bamboo are lighter on the skin and comfortable for dogs with sensitive skin.

These organic dog collar options can improve your training experience with your pet and keep your pet’s neck comfortable.


Pet Birthday Bashes

When it’s your pet’s birthday, how do you celebrate? I remember when I was five, we celebrated my cat Whisker’s first birthday with a can of cat food, which had a lit candle (of course, I blew it out after we sang). Since I’m not really a person who celebrates holidays, I guess I’ve neglected all of the pets that came after Whiskers. However, I thought I would share some pet birthday ideas with you in hopes that I can start doing something special for my pets’ birthdays.

Pet Spa Day – Pamper your pet on his/her birthday with a massage and maybe a special treat from a local barkery. Even if you can’t afford a professional massage, your pet will appreciate one from you.

Play Date – Setup a play date with your pet’s favorite dog or cat friend. Or visit a local dog park and make new friends. Don’t forget to bring some tasty treats and maybe toys in a party favor bag.

Day of Leisure – Hang out with your pet all day long. Go for a walk, cuddle and maybe watch a movie.

Pool Party – Invite some friends over who own pets and have a pool party in your backyard. If it’s not the summertime, have a winter bash with snowball fights and forts.


Alternative Driveway De-Icing Tips

When you’re driving down your driveway during the winter, you come to appreciate the salt on the road. It gives the road some texture and prevents water from freezing and creating black ice, which can cause horrific car accidents. However, did you ever think about where that salt goes once it melts the ice and what affect it has on the environment? Scientists say that the salt on inland roads can have a negative impact that reaches all the way out to the oceans.

In Ankeny, Iowa, they are using garlic salt. Although it’s still salt, it was salt that would have been wasted. Tone Brothers, Inc., a spice company, donated 18,000 pounds of garlic salt, which would have been sent to a landfill. Chicago took a more eco-conscious approach by combining beet juice with their rock salt. This enables them to use less salt on the roads. Beet juice can still de-ice the roads when it’s about zero degrees, but the rock salt is limited at 20 degrees.


Trim Your Tree with Oceanic Ornaments

Regardless of where you live, it’s refreshing to bring some of the elements from the sea into your living space. Although some people associate Christmas with a winter wonderland, it’s okay to change up the theme and go nautical for the holiday.

First, gather up any seashells, starfish, urchins and other treasures you have collected from the sea. If you have children, involve them in the crafty parts. You can either leave the sea treasures as is so you can enjoy their natural beauty, or you can enhance them with paint, glitter and accessories.

If you want some sparkle for your Christmas tree, dust the shells in various shades of glitter. You can incorporate gold and silver too, or even create adorable faces on them for added character.. Then you can add string and maybe some pearls so you can hang them on the tree.

Adding some other ornaments such as boats, fish and translucent bulbs will pull the entire theme together.


Green Puppy Training Tips

Dogs make loyal companions, but the steps to get your dog to this point are challenging. Watching your puppy continuously pee on your favorite rug might make diapers seem like a viable option. However, these convenient items are not going to train your dog to become a gentleman or lady. So how can you effectively train your dog and leave the convenient products that produce waste behind?

Out of handiness, you might also reach for wet wipes when you need to clean poop off the puppy’s paws. Instead, use washcloths or old towels and add soap. Depending on what type of wipes you use, the extra expense can add up but old towels can be reused.

Another way to save money is on your cleaning products. Your puppy’s toys and cage can be wiped clean with safe, common household items such as baking soda and vinegar.


Sanitize Your Soft Fabrics & Kill Lice

Going back to school means more possibilities for your child to bring home colds and other germs. When lice strike your household, it can be a battle to rid your family’s hair of it. Although there are products designed to combat this problem, many of them contain pesticides. Do you really want to expose yourself or your family to these chemicals?

Creating a 50:50 mix of water and an essential oil can help kill lice and sanitize your soft fabrics. Any of the following essential oils can be used: tea tree, lavender, thyme, geranium, ylang ylang, or anise seed. Cinnamon and peppermint is also effective. However, it’s best to test the solution on a small portion of the fabric to make sure it doesn’t discolor your carpet or furniture.

If you want to refresh your fabrics, use a 50:50 mix of water and your favorite essential oil. You can even blend certain oils together and create a customized scent.


Update Your Security with Cameras

Are you considering installing surveillance cameras inside and outside your home? This can be an easy way to keep an eye on suspicious activity as well as deter intruders. So what’s stopping you from making this easy DIY installation? Below are the main reasons why surveillance cameras can be beneficial to your home.


Home alarms systems can be a costly expense every month, so if you don’t have enough room in your budget for a security system, install the cameras instead. The price of surveillance cameras range, so you’re sure to find ones that you can afford.

Technology has improved drastically in your favor. You can install surveillance cameras and view what’s going on in your home on your home computer, mobile phone or via the Internet. If you travel regularly, you can relieve some stress knowing that your house and belongings are safe.

High Protection

If an intruder decides to break into your home, you now will have evidence of the event and possibly a view of the person’s face or license plate. The cameras also act as a deterrent, because the burglar isn’t going to want to risk getting caught.


Energy Efficient Refrigerator and Freezer Tips

Over time the seals around the doors of your refrigerator and freezer will deteriorate. If they no longer work effectively, the cold air is seeping right out of your appliance. Depending on the price to replace the seals, you might have to weigh buying new appliances and purchasing new seals. You can check the seals by seeing if they firmly hold a dollar bill. Or you can turn a flashlight on and place it inside the appliance; if you can see the light coming through when the door is shut, then you know the seal is broke.

Check the temperature of your appliances with thermometer. The average temperature for a refrigerator is between 36 and 38 degrees Fahrenheit, and for a freezer, it’s between 0 and 5 degrees Fahrenheit. If you set the thermostat for 10 degrees Fahrenheit lower, you can save about 25 percent of your energy usage.


Energy Efficient Washer Tips

Front loading washers and dryers usually use less energy than top-loading ones. Although this is not always the case, you need to determine how much water will need to go into a top-loading washer in comparison to a front-loading washer for your clothes to be submerged. Front-loading washers often don’t require as much water, because the clothes can be circulated through a minimal amount of water.

The spin speed of the washer is also an important feature to assess. Energy-efficient washers will spin clothes at a faster rate, which reduces the amount of time that the clothes will need to be in the dryer.

The water level controls and wash and rinse cycles can also help in energy savings. It costs 5 to 10 times more to wash your clothes in hot water in comparison to cold water. So make sure that the washer you’re looking at has several wash and rinse cycle options.