Decorative and Functional Fireplace Accessories

A fireplace can be more than just an impressive focal point in the room. Of course, it can be a supplemental heat source, but it can serve even more purposes. Just the presence of a fireplace invites you to slow down, sit in front of a warm, glowing fire and let your mind and body totally relax. A fireplace lures visitors to it. At your next party, observe how many guest you see lingering near the fireplace engaged in conversation with each other. A soothing, warming fire can make family game night or movie night more special. In order for all of these things to happen, you need to have the proper tools to maintain your fireplace and to assure that you are using it in the safest manner.

Functional Fireplace Accessories

There are some basic fireplace accessories that you’ll need to make your fireplace safe and functional. These accessories can also be a decorative feature in your décor. Fireplace screens are an essential, protective accessory. With all of the screen designs available, you can easily find one that will complement your décor. An accessory called a fender helps contain embers, soot and ashes. Decorative options are available that are compatible with most decors. You can display a bit of your personality or your flair for design with the style of andirons you choose.

Keeping the Fire Going

Vintage fireplace tools can help you keep a fire going. Timeless tools such as a fireplace shovel, brush, poker and tongs are needed to maintain a fire and to keep the fireplace clean. Fireplace tools are available in designs that are so attractive you will love having them on display as part of your décor.

Decorating Trends

A fireplace is often the focal point of a living room or bedroom design. A mantel above the fireplace is an ideal place to showcase decorative items. They are also the perfect place to display seasonal décor. You can honor the historical significance of fireplaces by selecting accessories in designs that are similar to those used long ago when fireplaces were a necessity. Most décors are receptive to some elements of vintage design.

You can make your fireplace as impressive as you like based on the type of accessories you choose. You don’t have to compromise on safety in order to have attractive accessories for your fireplace.

Travel Tips

When you are traveling, anything can happen – but becoming such as a scout will allow you to avoid almost anything that may derail your journey. Be capable for something by bringing along with you a safety kit on your next trip. The following are a few of the essentials you should pack for safe travel.First-aid kit

Tote a travel version of your kit at home, so you can still administer first-aid while in transit. Before you head to your destination, get these essentials from a drugstore: bandages, wound wash, cotton, aspirin, painkillers, motion-sickness medicine, and a thermometer.

Alcohol and hand sanitizer

Wherever you may be, cleanliness is a must. When you have no access to running water and soap, you only have to open your bag and bring out your bottle of instant germ-busters, especially important before meals.


Protect yourself from the sun’s harsh rays with sunblock (or sunscreen), especially if you plan to spend a day at the beach. Spread the sunscreen on the exposed areas of your skin, and reapply it every two hours and after getting wet.


When the lights unexpectedly go out, you won’t be afraid of the dark. A flashlight also comes in handy when you’re looking for lost objects. Choose one in a small size, and then tie it to a lanyard that you can easily wear. Bring extra batteries, too.

Insect repellent

Don’t let the bugs “bug” you when you’re traveling, especially when you’re resting from a long day of sightseeing. Stay safe from diseases like dengue and nasty bites by spreading some insect-repellent lotion all over the exposed areas of your body.


This single piece of cloth has multiple uses: mouth mask, bandage, pouch, scarf, hanky, headband, and more; your imagination is the limit. Always have a bandana in your pocket – or around your neck or hair – because you’ll never know when you might need it.

Where Are You Losing Heat This Winter?

HGTV has captivated millions across North America. The network’s home improvement, design, and real estate shows give people an easily digestible way to learn about the processes of home buying and renovating.

A home improvement network star, Mike Holmes of the DIY Network series Holmes Makes it Right, shows homeowners where other inspectors and contractors have failed. In one episode, Holmes takes the homeowners outside in the middle of winter. There is snow piled on each roof in the neighborhood except that of the homeowner.

But, what does this mean? Holmes explains that snow piling on your roof is a good sign. It means that the heat is not escaping through your roof and melting the snow. It is normal for some melting to occur around ventilation and exhaust structures, but there shouldn’t be any bare patches on the roof.

Holmes then uses a modern technique known as infrared thermography to show the homeowners exactly how much heat they are losing. The results are astounding. Most of their home’s heat is rising into the attic, away from their home, and through the roof of the home.

For many, heat loss is a serious problem. As a homeowner, the best thing that you can do to ensure that you are not experiencing gross heat loss through your attic is to check your roof just after a fresh snow.

Additionally, you can request an energy audit from a professional. Many cities, counties and utility companies offer free energy audits to residents and customers. If heat loss is found, measures can be taken to ensure that your home is more energy-efficient.

The best way to prevent heat loss is through the use of insulation. Adding insulation in your home is a sound investment that is likely to pay for itself rapidly in the form of reduced utility bills. For many homes, small air leaks, open to uninsulated attic space, are a major source of heat loss. These leaks should be filled before adding new insulation to your attic space.

Another way to shield your home against heat loss is by keeping your roof structure in good shape. In addition to proper roof maintenance, when re-roofing your home an additional barrier of plywood sheeting can be added over an ice and water shield that covers your entire roof’s surface. These preventative measures help to protect your home against leaks and moisture.

Decorating Outdoors for the Holidays

Decorating outdoors for the holidays can be quite a challenge. It not only challenges your creative skills, but it also challenges your physical skills and poses a risk of injury if you fall off a ladder. When hanging lights and decorations outdoors, it’s important to keep yourself and your home safe.

No matter what part of the country you live in, everyone looks forward to the spirit of the holidays. Decorating the house with twinkling holiday lights and beautiful wreaths offers guests an inviting entrance to your home. Lining your roof with holiday lights jump starts the festive spirit, but it also creates the potential for personal injury and roof damage. Take a look at some helpful tips that will ensure a safe, holiday season for your family.

Power – Use a grounded, covered GFCI outdoor outlet that will shut down the circuit with an overload. Do not plug your lights into cords running under doors or out of windows, a definite fire hazard. If you don’t have an outdoor outlet, a professional electrician can install one to ensure your family’s safety and provide an outdoor outlet for future holidays.

Cords – If using extension cords, make sure they’re rated for outdoor use, and keep connections above ground, snow and water. To prevent tripping hazards, avoid running cords through high-traffic areas like walkways and driveways. If you have no choice, secure cords to the ground and keep excess cord length out of the way.

Ladders – When hanging lights around your roof, make sure your ladder is stable and tall enough to reach the area. Install lights with clips that attach to your gutters, siding and windows. Do not use nails, screws or staples to attach your lights. They can cause damage to siding, gutters and roof.

Lights – Outdoor lights should always be waterproof to prevent fire. Look for light strings with UL approval that meets industry standards for safety. Never use indoor holiday lights outdoors. If you want to light trees and shrubs, use mesh net lighting that drapes over branches like a blanket, so you don’t have to string the lights through limbs.

When decorating outdoors for the holidays, use caution and proper equipment to prevent injuries, damage to your house, and the risk of fires. If you need help with holiday lights or other things around the house, click here to find local resources in your area.

Simplify Your Experience

When looking at ways to simplify, consider starting with decorations. If your family purchases a Christmas tree, a living tree might be a good choice. Living trees can be purchased and planted ater the holidays are over. Or if you buy an artificial tree, it can be used over and over again. If you don’t have a place to plant a living tree but want the aunthenticity of a real tree, make sure to recycle your cut tree. When you put up ornaments, let the tree show. If some needles show after all the ornaments are hung, that’s okay. Not every branch needs to be glittering and sparkly. If you need more ornaments, consider making them from recycles materials. There are tons of Websites and library books with great ideas for ornaments, and if you remember to date your new ornaments you can look back and reminisce every year.


Keep a Green Home

Most of us don’t think missing a few nights of sleep on a consistent basis is going to have any real serious side effects beyond being tired. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Sleep deprivation affects everything from our ability to concentrate to our overall mood and once it becomes chronic, more serious health problems often follow.

Fuzzy Thoughts

When you haven’t had enough sleep, just having a clear focused thought becomes difficult. When you are starved of the proper sleep nothing is crystal clear and many of your thoughts are fuzzy and unfocused . It becomes increasingly difficult to focus for any length of time. Imagine having to make a speech, or drive your child to school. Sleep deprivation could have a huge affect on your ability to do both of those things. In your haze, you could even walk through a sliding screen door.

Decreased Productivity

It’s hard to be effective and get a lot done when you’re tired. The simplest tasks take double the time to accomplish and our bodies drag. Unfortunately, when sleep deprivation becomes chronic, weight gain, diabetes, and a whole host of other serious disorders often follow. Often our jobs are driven by the need to be productive, imagine how much impact not getting enough sleep would have on a job that was very productivity driven. You might get fired because of your inability to perform at a certain level.

Less Immunity

Sleep deprivation can even affect our immunity. We are more prone to colds and other illnesses when we don’t get enough sleep. Our immune systems suffer when we are chronically tired, which means our bodies aren’t as equipt to handle illnesses. If you notice yourself catching colds more often, or find that they last longer than usual, sleep deprivation could be to blame.

Not getting enough sleep can be a serious matter if it happens enough. We can find ourselves unable to focus for long periods of time, more prone to sickness, and unable to be as productive as we usually are. Unfortunately, serious sicknesses like diabetes can plague us when sleep deprivation becomes chronic. Get your rest, your health depends on it and you deserve it.

Ease Sore Muscles with These Simple Strategies

Whether you overdid it at the gym, spent the day rearranging furniture or got involved in any other activity that made your muscles ache, check out the pointers below. They’ll ease the ache and help you to prevent soreness in the future.

Sore muscles mean that your muscle fibers have torn. This is a natural and desirable state that prompts muscles to repair themselves and become stronger. Overly sore muscles are not good, however. Working out to the point where your muscles are achingly sore actually slows down the healing process and, of course, prevents you from continuing your exercise regimen.

Work out different muscle groups on different days, so that each group gets a day of rest between workouts.
Protein helps repair muscles and aids in the healing process, so eat a little extra protein when your muscles feel sore.

Treat yourself to some fresh pineapple. Bromelain, an enzyme found in pineapple, can help the healing process.
Antioxidant-rich foods can help speed up the muscles-healing process, so have some dark green, leafy vegetables, legumes, porridge, asparagus, avocados, mangoes, or tomatoes.

On days you work out, drink an additional 4 to 5 glasses of water, it may help relieve soreness later.
Don’t forget to stretch your muscles. Stretching helps to maintain flexibility and relieve soreness.

Metal Polishes

Although many metal polishes make broad claims, no one product is likely to be labeled for use on all of the following: silver, brass, copper, stainless, aluminum, and chrome. Copper and brass can be cleaned with a commercial cleaner available in your supermarket. Some of these products must be washed off thoroughly, because they can stain or etch metals if left in contact with them. Others, however, maybe wiped or rubbed off. It is a good idea, therefore, to restrict your choice to a wipe-off polish for objects that can’t be readily rinsed or submersed. My son has an electric guitar and he used this commercial metal polish to clean his guitar. Anyhow, he is planning to buy a new electric guitar at 200 before end of this year.

A Pedal for Electric Guitar

I am a music lover but I am not familiar with some of the musical instruments and its accessories. I have seen many accessories but I don’t know where to use it. Just like this univibe pedal. I honestly don’t have any idea about this product, but my son was looking for this long time ago. He said, it helps to produce a better sound to the tonal and textural paletter of the electric guitar. Well, I guess he has no money yet to buy this accessory or he didn’t find it in the store nearby. But I will let him know that I found it online.

Home Office

Homes are now an office for the self-employed professional. If you have to hold meetings in your home office, you will need to make doubly sure that your space looks passably professional. It is also a good idea to locate your office close to the entrance to your home, so that clients and colleagues won’t have to traipse through the whole house to get there.

In a small or dual-purpose space, good storage is crucial and neatness almost forced upon you, or work will creep out of its allocated space and invade the rest of the house. Careful planning is particularly important in a multi-functional space in order for it to fulfill, not fail, both roles. Partition off a corner of the room to divide it into zones, or choose freestanding storage on casters which can be wheeled away out of “office hours.” In a small space, choose wall-mounted shelves, which take up less space than free-standing units, a built-in or modular shelving system may be the most useful answer.

Efficient home storage is for those with a healthy horror of, not an unhealthy interest in, filing. Try to maintain a clean-desk policy by putting away everything that is no loner needed. Keeping everything off the primary work surface apart from the task immediately in hand has been shown to improve concentration by minimizing visual distractions. Mess equals visual noise. It is difficult to concentrate or be creative in chaos.

home office

Note: Image not mine.