It’s the sense most closely linked to your emotions — smell. And it’s just not fall without the scent of cinnamon, apple and spices in the air! Here’s a few ways to make your home smell great.
CLOVES AND ORANGES
Talk about a unique air freshener! Grab an orange and press 5-6 cloves into the skin of the orange. Then, wrap it up with a cord or piece of fabric and hang it in your kitchen or living room. The aroma can last up to two weeks!
SET UP A SIMMER POT
Fill a pot with water, fruit and whole spices. Bring the water to a boil, then simmer the rest of the day on low heat for a way to fill your house full of wonderful aromas! Ingredients to try: cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, star anise, halved apples, orange peels, evergreen/pine needles, bay leaves, lavender, mint, essential oils.
MAKE A WREATH OUT OF ROSEMARY
Sprigs of rosemary fashioned together can make a beautiful wreath. Not to mention you’ll get a refreshing whiff every time you walk by!
MAKE YOUR OWN POTPOURRI
Store bought potpourri can smell very artificial and overpowering, while it’s easy to make your own! Ingredients to try: dried apple slices, dried orange slices, whole nuts (with shells), cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, juniper berries, dried rose hips, bay leaves, pine cones and essential oils.
MAKE SCENTED PINECONES
Pinecones can easily fill a bare space on your bookcase but adding some essential oil can fill your home with a wonderful smell! Just mix Christmas blend, cinnamon or clove essential oil in a spray bottle with some water, spray the pine cones with the scented water and seal the cones in a plastic bag. Then, remove the pine cones after 24 hours!
Coming down with the flu is miserable, and even potentially dangerous for pregnant women, young children and people over 65, so protecting you and your family is key! Fortunately, there are several easy steps you can take at home to make sure everyone stays healthy during cold and flu season. Here’s some advice from Houzz.
STOCK YOUR SINK
Hand washing is crucial to preventing illness. Make sure every sink in your house is stocked with soap and fresh towels, and make sure everyone in your home knows to wash up after blowing their nose, touching their face, eating, or using the bathroom.
LEAVE YOUR SHOES AT THE DOOR
Your shoes accumulate a lot of germs when you walk around – keep them from spreading throughout your house by taking them off at the door! Remind yourself to do so by placing a doormat outside your front door and a rug inside.
WASH LINENS AND DISHES IN HOT WATER
You can help keep the germs at bay, by washing your bedding and towels on the hottest setting once a week. If you have a dishwasher with a sanitize setting, you can use it to clean dishes, especially if someone in the house is sick. If you wash dishes by hand, soaking them in a dishpan filled with soapy, hot water in advance will help.
USE A HUMIDIFIER
When indoor humidity levels are greater than 40 percent, it’s significantly harder to spread the influenza virus through particles released by coughing. Therefore, if you add moisture to the air at home or at work, you’ll be less likely to catch a bug that’s going around.
SANITIZE OR REPLACE CLEANING TOOLS
If you don’t sanitize your tools between uses, you’ll continue to spread germs around every time you clean! Keep your cleaning tools germ free by giving cloths and dish towels a spin in the washing machine on a hot cycle between uses. If someone in the house is sick, replace things like, kitchen sponges, mop heads, scrub brushes and dusters.
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
Self-care is incredibly important and cannot be overstated. Keep sickness at bay by getting plenty of sleep, eating healthy food, exercising, and managing your stress.
Ready to give your home a deep clean? Reach out to your ReeceNichols agent to help find a local expert!
It was fun, but now Halloween is done. Now that the ghouls and goblins, princesses and pirates have put away their costumes and the candy has been eaten, we move onto the next holiday. But what to do with your old pumpkins? You probably don’t want them to sit out on the front stoop until Thanksgiving, but you don’t have to throw them out right away, either! Here’s some advice from BrightNest.com, on what you can do with your old pumpkin.
Carved pumpkins will rot sooner, so the quicker you can get them off your stoop, the better.
Pumpkins make a great fertilizer, because they’re full of nutrients! Make sure you remove the seeds before adding them to your compost pile though, unless you want a bunch of pumpkins to pop up in your garden next year.
If you don’t have a compost pile, you can bury your pumpkin in your winter garden. It’ll decay and enrich the soil!
Animals would love to get their hands on our old pumpkin! Place your pumpkin in a spot where you don’t mind a little wildlife and the deer, squirrels and birds will take care of it!
If you didn’t carve your pumpkin, there’s a lot you can do with it now! However, make sure to only cook and eat your leftover pumpkin if you used non-toxic paint and materials to decorate it.
Make Pumpkin Puree
You can use pumpkin puree to make pumpkin pie, cake, muffins or bread! Cut your pumpkin in half or in quarters, scoop out the seeds and guts, and place your pumpkin face down in a baking dish that’s filled with 1 cup of water. Bake for 90 minutes or until the pumpkin flesh is tender, then scoop it out and puree it in a food processor.
Eat The Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are a very healthy snack! Just wash, drain and toast the seeds, then add the seasoning of your choice. For specific instructions, try this recipe from FitSugar.
Turn It Into A Planter
If you’re looking for a unique planter for your winter garden, look no further than your pumpkin. First, cut a large hole at the top and hollow out the center. Then drill a small hole at the bottom of the pumpkin for drainage and fill the pumpkin half-full with potting soil. Add some seasonal plants like pansies or thyme, water thoroughly and enjoy your seasonal planter!
Prepare For Thanksgiving
You can upcycle your pumpkin by turning it into a Thanksgiving centerpiece! If your pumpkin wasn’t damaged while it was outside, it should last for a few months. For a good shine, rub some Vaseline into a rag and buff the surface!
Low on square footage? Don't sweat it — a small space is an opportunity to get clever.
Got a small space in your home that you’re not sure what to do with? Or is your cramped apartment forcing you to get creative with your furniture arrangements? You’re not alone.
Make your small room or living area fit your needs with clever solutions that will streamline your life and maximize your space.
1. Thoughtful paint choices
Choosing the right paint color for your small room can instantly give the impression of more space. Traditional neutrals like white, cream and light gray are great choices, because they provide a clean and streamlined look that makes the room feel brighter and more expansive.
Painting the ceiling white to draw the eye upward is an easy way to create visual openness overhead. You’ll have an airy and inviting space in no time.
On the other hand, if you want to play up the small-space vibe even more, go bold with dark colors. You can emphasize the smallness of a room by making a cozy, den-like atmosphere with colors like black, dark gray and navy.
Whether you decide to go light or dark, adding paint to your small space will help you get the effect you’re going for, both quickly and affordably.
2. Savvy storage
Tight spaces don’t often come with great storage. But by incorporating creative and flexible storage solutions, you can keep clutter out of sight and keep everything you need handy.
The kitchen is a great place to implement clever storage solutions:
Create an adjustable cooking area with roll-away islands and pantries.
Hang spices or wine glasses beneath your cupboards.
Attach holders to the backs of cabinet doors to keep foil and cleaning supplies neatly out of sight.
Don’t forget to look up! The ceiling is a great place to hang big items like bicycles, and you can add shelving high up in closets for rarely used items.
3. Multitasking furniture
When you have limited floor space, it’s important to make your furniture work double duty. Choose pieces that have hidden storage and multiple functions or furniture that you can compact and store when not in use.
If you can’t fit a dresser in your bedroom, try using drawers or crates under the bed for clothing and extra linens. A pouf or leather ottoman can easily transition from a seat to a footrest or side table.
Add function to your entryway by employing a bench with storage inside to hide extra shoes, gloves and scarves. And if you have wall space to spare, hang a fold-down dining table.
Limited square footage doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice function and style. Small-space living is a great way to lead a simplified and streamlined life.
With creative thinking, you can go from a cluttered, cramped mess to an organized and inviting space with room for all.
Don't let the mold panic set in just yet — it might not be as bad as you think.
Mold is everywhere. It grows on the sides of houses, it blackens surfaces like brick and concrete, and it thrives in the soil of your yard and garden.
Indoors, mold lives in sink drains, shower grout, houseplant potting mix, kitchen sponges and anywhere else that moisture has a chance to settle. Are you hyperventilating yet?
A little bit of mold is nothing to worry about, as long as you can identify the cause and promptly clean it up with a solution of bleach and water.
But before we go any further, let’s get this out of the way: Any mold, regardless of color, can make you feel sick, especially if you suffer from allergies or asthma. To be on the safe side, always wear a mask and rubber gloves when dealing with mold, and make sure that the space is well-ventilated.
Let’s get the facts straight
Also known as black mold, the infamous Stachybotrys chartarum is not toxic, but toxigenic, because it is capable of producing mycotoxins. Technicalities aside, this uncommon mold species is especially feared for its supposedly dangerous effects.
You may have read an article about how toxic mold is “secretly making your family sick” or watched local news reporters announce that black mold was found in a restaurant inspection, making it feel as if the plague arrived overnight and could be headed to your place next.
Some alternative health websites even call it “toxic mold syndrome” and warn of terrifying symptoms like memory loss or idiopathic pulmonary hemorrhage.
Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), however, say that “These case reports are rare, and a causal link between the presence of the toxigenic mold and these conditions has not been proven. … All molds should be treated the same with respect to potential health risks and removal.”
Stachybotrys chartarum is unusual among household molds, because it requires constant moisture to survive. So if your house is oozing moisture from a roof leak, broken pipe or outright poltergeist, black mold is the least of your worries. Time to call a professional and put an end to the drip before termites or wood rot threaten to put an end to your home’s structure.
Mold is often a symptom of a bigger problem, be it as minor as a dripping faucet or as major as, well, a missing roof.
If you suspect that the slowly spreading black stain on your wall is the infamous black mold, don’t bother wasting your time identifying the stuff. Scam artists abound, and the Environmental Protection Agency even says that “In most cases, if visible mold is present, sampling is unnecessary.”
There are no established standards for judging what is an acceptable amount of mold, and even the non-toxigenic types can cause allergic reactions and make your life miserable. Remove it.
How to prevent and remove mold
Mold needs three things to survive: Moisture, a growing surface and food (dirty stuff).
The easiest way to prevent mold is to make sure that it never gets any moisture to begin with. Keep your house clean, dry and well-ventilated, especially in the bathroom wherever water collects, such as on tile grout or shower curtains. If your bathroom has gnats or a damp odor, look no further than your clogged sink drains — and be sure to wear some rubber gloves.
To clean and remove mold on hard surfaces, the CDC recommends using a solution of no more than one cup of bleach to one gallon of water.
To remove mold on exterior surfaces, use a pressure washer, and make sure that everything is properly sealed.
If mold is found on soft and porous surfaces, such as drywall, carpeting or furniture, it’s best to dispose of the affected material before the mold spreads further or exacerbates your allergies.
Flood-damaged homes with heavy mold infestations should be handled by professionals whenever possible. The Federal Emergency Management Agencywarns that “Infants, children, immune-compromised patients, pregnant women, individuals with existing respiratory conditions (allergies, multiple chemical sensitivity and asthma) and the elderly appear to be at higher risks for adverse health effects from mold.”
In addition, flood-damaged houses are often contaminated with chemicals and human waste, which are far more dangerous than the mold itself.
A distinct chill descends upon Kansas City after the sun sets in the fall. As families gather together to carve pumpkins and sip cider, something more sinister lurks in the shadows. That hair on the back of your neck? It’s standing up because of the city’s ghoulish collection of haunted houses and chilling experiences, including The Beast, Edge of Hell, Macabre Cinema, plus Worlds of Fun's signature Halloween Hauntand more.