Fairy Decorations Add Enchantment to Homes and Gardens

In times of austerity and economic downturn, we all need a little extra happiness and joy in our lives, and these can come from the simplest of things, such as home-made cookies, hand made gifts and expressing our creativity through our homes and gardens. Fairy decorations appeal to adults just as much as to children, evoking, as they do, buried memories of childhood innocence, stories, fun, and unquestioning faith that fairies, sprites, pixies and elves do exist to enchant our world. Their very elusiveness makes them more magical, more enticing, more fun.

Fairy baby

This is a delightful choice of nursery theme for a boy or a girl because fairy decorations lend themselves so well to a whole range of pastel color schemes and soft lighting effects. Take your inspiration from traditional illustrated fairy stories and the work of artists such as Kate Greenaway, Cecily Mary Barker and Arthur Rackham or follow the style of icing sugar castles and bright colours used in modern cartoon fairytales.

Outdoor Fairy Garden

Creating an outdoor fairy garden together is a perfect way to introduce young children to the thrill and contentment of working with nature. Grow a variety of miniature plants and wild flowers, adding complementary fairy decorations such as miniature solar lights, lanterns, ornamental butterflies, birds and bees, magical runes, fairy ornaments and statues. Look for small, low growing plants and make sure there are plenty of places for your fairy visitors to shelter from prying human eyes.

Indoor Fairy Garden

Think about an indoor fairy garden too. Indoor garden fairy decorations could include a water feature (real or illusory using mirrors), a fairy house ornament (you’ll find that many of the famous china manufacturers produce miniature cottages and even trinket boxes in the shape of toadstools and other fairy decorations that would provide a perfect home for your indoor garden fairy). You can make or buy paper or fabric flowers, use doll’s house seats and tables and provide a bonsai tree for shade. Let your imagination run wild and have fun with your fairy decorations, wherever you choose to use them.

Greening Your Home and Garden

The TV show “The World’s Greenest Homes” recently started me thinking about how can everyone make a contribution to reducing the carbon footprint.

The TV series mainly showed major renovations or new homes in which the owners made significant attempts to “go green”. Most folks are not in the position – they already have a home, and most likely a hefty mortgage that may preclude incorporating the changes and ideas promoted by the TV show.

However, the need for greening your home and garden is an imperative for all – and so the impact of even simple, small steps can have a real impact.

Just imagine if all homes in the USA converted their light bulbs from incandescent to compact fluorescent ones – not only are they energy-smart, using about 70% less energy, they last up to ten times longer.

Such a small step could have huge impact because of the sheer volume! And, then there is the ripple effect – less energy used – less fossil fuels consumed – less carbon emissions from power stations – and, BINGO! – cleaner air.

And, the cost is not really greater than the usual light bulb replacement – so your pocketbook is saved.

Now imagine if everyone also made a serious attempt at recycling – green materials to the compost heap, keeping electronics out of the trash bin, glass and plastics into recycle bins….. yes, it is a bit of a pain…. but it is not a total change of lifestyle that’s required, but more an understanding of what, you the homeowner, can do to help….. and, IT IS NOT NEGLIGIBLE.

It was suggested that if everyone in say the UK just changed 5 household products from their usual brands to eco-friendly ones the difference would be huge.

Other steps like low flow shower heads, dual flush loos, repairing leaky faucets, installing more ceiling fans, using a water filter to purify tap water instead of buying bottled water….. none of these will run your budget into the red or be beyond the average household capacity.

If you are ever in a position to undertake a major home renovation or build a new house – do watch that TV show – yes, there is a lot of info on the internet, but the TV series will show things in context and also many different applications and ideas that can be adapted. Just Google to find the TV show.

For that matter, you can even get ideas from it for smaller budgets.

The good news is that whatever you do choose it will make a contribution to a cleaner planet and, especially in regard to energy efficiency choices you will significantly reduce your utility bills and the consumption of fossil fuels.

The Eco Friendly Home should not just be a dream or an ideal. It ought to be a goal for all householders – even if only on a small scale.

Home and Garden Spas 6-Person 40-Jet Hot Tub Review

Gone are the days when a hot tub is used just for a quick soak. Modern hot tubs provide numerous health benefits thanks to technological advancements which give you hydro therapeutic results in the comfort of your own home or garden.

The Home and Garden Spas 6-Person 40-Jet Hot Tub from Great Escape Spas falls in the mid price range and is loaded with numerous features for increased comfort, relaxation and luxury. Does it provide the epitome of luxury or does it fall short? Read on further to find out.

Features of the Home and Garden Spas 6-Person 40-Jet Hot Tub

  • 6 person capacity
  • Easy to use digital control panel
  • Slip resistant surface
  • 40 customizable, adjustable stainless steel jets
  • MP3 input with Sub-Woofer and Waterproof speakers
  • 6 HP motor

6 person capacity

Size is often a major aspect to consider when choosing a hot tub as you want all your friends or family to share the experience with you. This has a 6 person capacity which is very adequate for most families.

It features a slip resistant acrylic surface which is actually recommended by experts to hot tub owners so it’s very good to see this safety precaution.

Relax with the music

An MP3 input with waterproof speakers and a sub woofer is included so you can hook up your mp3 player and rejuvenate in true luxury whist listening to your favourite music. I’m very impressed by this feature as it takes the experience to another level.

40 jets

40 customizable stainless steel jets are strategically located to provide you with a relaxing messaging effect. The neck, shoulder, calf and foot jets provide full benefits of a hydrotherapeutic experience to relieve stress and easy away your discomfort.

The jets are powered by a 6 HP motor that runs very quietly which helps maintain a relaxing atmosphere whilst being in the tub. The motor has been designed to consume low energy so this keeps down the operating costs to a minimum.

Digital controls

The easy to use digital controls allow you to adjust various settings such as the temperature and jet pressure. They are very user friendly so even if you aren’t tech minded you’ll be operating the settings with ease.

Final Thoughts

The customizable jets are terrific and provide a great way to unwind and relax from a stressful day, the motor is quiet and the integrated speaker system with mp3 input is a really nice touch. The lounger seat with the comfort cushion headrest is really nice and relaxing, everyone in the Tub will be eager to sit there.

If you’re not savvy with electronics you’ll need an electrician to hook this up to a 220 volts outlet so if you’re looking for a true plug in play style solution then this hot tub won’t be for you.

Feng Shui Tips – How to Create Balance Between Home and Garden

When I teach people the practical application of Feng Shui I always stress the importance of creating a balanced environment where everything works together in perfect harmony. If you have created a balanced and harmonious environment you are half way to creating one that is filled with positive Feng Shui. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot more to creating positive Feng Shui than creating balance but this should always be your starting point. And creating a balanced environment is easy if you understand the principles of yin and yang.

Yin and yang are the opposite forces that make up the universe. Yin is dark, quiet, restful, still, curved and natural whilst yang is bright, light, loud, active, angular and manmade. Yin is the time between when the sun dips it head below the horizon to when it wakens at the start of a brand new day whilst yang follows the sun as it moves through the sky between dawn and dusk. Yin is autumn and winter when plants give of their fruit before sleeping and regenerating themselves and yang is spring and summer when plants start to grow before showing their full glory. When looking at the environment in the context of your home and garden, houses being manmade structures represent yang energy. It is therefore important that gardens are kept relatively yin to bring about that sense of harmony and oneness.

To ensure your garden is predominantly yin it should be kept as natural as possible, it should be a garden which works with the environment as opposed to one which seeks to create an environment. Flowers, bushes and trees should always be kept as natural as possible and allowed to flourish without being aggressively pruned, colours should be kept predominantly muted with brightness kept to a minimum and any pathways or terraces should be kept curved and flowing. Any structures, such as raised beds, sheds or pagodas should ideally be made out of natural materials and covered with plants that are encouraged to grow over and around them. To help your home blend with the garden the sharp corners of the house should be disguised and covered with trailing plants or bushes so that the whole sense you get when you look at your home and garden is one where they look as though they belong together. The lines between where the house ends and the garden begins should be blurred and indistinct.

Sadly a lot of gardens that you see in the UK nowadays don’t seem to adhere to these principles, meaning that any Feng Shui cures or enhancements that people make have to work twice as hard to have the hoped for effects. In an attempt to create more time for ourselves we strive to create attractive gardens that are low maintenance but quite often these gardens look unnatural and take a huge amount of our personal energy to keep them looking good. Many gardens today are landscaped to include ponds, patios and pathways, there is an abundance of pots and garden ornaments and the predominant fashion seems to be for lots of shingle and concrete and large decked areas. But what they lack is greenery and balance. These gardens look like an extension of the house, attractive, modern, well cared for but ultimately artificial. With neat, sharp lines and heavy use of manmade materials such as concrete and brick gardens like the house are full of yang energy.

An environment that is predominantly yang will cause energy to move too fast in a jerky, disjointed motion. If your environment is too yang you may find yourself living life moving from one crisis to another, constantly living on the back foot and trying to find an extra hour in each day. If this describes your life, rather than immediately reaching for a Feng Shui enhancement or cure first of all assess your environment to check that your home and outside space adequately reflect the principles of yin and yang. And if your garden is full of neat lines and an abundance of concrete let nature start to take over. Creating the perfect balance between yin and yang is the first step in your journey to filling your environment with positive Feng Shui.

Home and Garden Show Trends

Recent spring home and garden shows showcase the latest trends in home design and remodeling. Some of those trends include:

Going Green – Energy-efficient HVAC systems and appliancessave you money on your utility bills and can also save you money on your taxes. Homeowners doing renovation or remodeling work to their primary residence may deduct 30% of a project’s cost, up to $1,500. Many exhibitors were touting the tax benefits of geothermal heating systems, high efficiency solar panels, solar water heating systems, insulated vinyl siding, and solar ceiling fans.

Luxury Features – Homeowners may have cut back on their remodeling budgets, but some luxury items are still hot, including bigger and better hot tubs, built-in wine racks for the kitchen, and water features in and on decks. Faux finishes and murals for ceilings and walls still appeal to many consumers, but in a nod to recent green awareness, some companies now advertise the use of low VOC paints.

Recent Trends Still Popular – Year-round sunrooms remain a cost-saving remodeling option for many homeowners. Granite is still the biggest thing in kitchen countertops, although Silestone and other manufactured stone finishes remain a viable option. Glass tile is continuing to grow in popularity, and stainless steel is still the finish most consumers prefer for appliances.

Do It Yourself – The economic downturn has created a resurgent interest in do-it-yourself, especially among women. A number of booths were exhibiting ergonomic tools and tools designed specifically for women, right down to a smaller size and pink or purple handles.

Accent Your Home and Garden the Right Way

We all want to make our house our home, so after the walls are done, and the furniture bought and placed, it’s time to decorate. The most important way in making your home your castle and have that welcoming feeling is the decor and accents. This also means your garden and yard, because we spend a lot of our time outdoors when the weather is nice. We like to entertain indoors and outdoors so just the right decor and accents bring out the complete feeling of home. A warm, welcoming, place where we feel safe, and enjoy being in and having our family and friends around us.

There are all kinds of home decor and accents to consider. Candles, Candle Holders,Vases, Mirrors, Pictures, Clocks, Figurines, Pillows, Statues, Ornaments, Indoors and Outdoors Fountains, Birdfeeders, Chimes, Birdhouses,Planters, Birdbaths, just to name a few. Use your own personality and themes. You can stick to one theme or you can pick several themes. This is entirely up to you. And the kids always have fun thinking of their own theme for their rooms.

Decorating can be so much fun, and isn’t hard to do. Some of the things you might consider and might be helpful are if you have a room in your house that always seems a little dark, a great way to brighten it up is to add a mirror. Place the mirror on the darkest wall opposite a window, and then try to find a low hung light. This will allow the light to reflect off the mirror and reflect around the room. Also, remember a picture should be the feature of the wall, but never over power the room. It’s a good idea to use a nice dark colored frame to highlight the image. Also, when considering vases, remember, nothing adds more accents to a room than beautifully colored vases. Try to find a vase that suits the character of the room. It should be in a contrasting color to the rest of the room.

Another important accent to consider are the pillows. Use pillows to brighten up your couch, sofa or chair. Try to find a contrasting color to the sofa and chair, but make sure you accent them with other accessories within the room. And remember a few plants or flowers here and there can add another accent and fragrance to a room, but try not to go overboard.

A few featured plants in beautiful vases is all you need. Now since you have all your home decor and accents it is all about displaying them on the walls, on shelves, tables or the walls. Even to set up a nice decor or accent piece on your floor always will be a great way to display it.

Decorating the garden and yard can be just as much fun as the inside of your home. This is where you spend lots of your time also, so you want to make it a peaceful and inviting as much as possible to watch the wildlife and nature around you. This is where you can just let go and really let your imagination take over. Just remember your wildlife friends when placing fountains, and birdhouses and birdfeeders. Don’t be afraid to put garden accents on your fences, and buildings around your garden and yard. Put statues out, and hang several wind chimes around that cling in the gentle breeze. Running water from a fountain is so soothing and releases the stress and your birds will love it too.

So, now its up to you how you want to make your house your home. Be proud of what you decide, and don’t be afraid to experiment. Decorating with accents and decor is really what makes a home and the love within ourselves. Be proud of what you decide, and don’t be afraid to experiment. Decorating your home with accents and decor is really what makes a home and the love within ourselves.

Stainless Steel Solar Lights for the Home and Garden

Many people prefer to go for attractive decorations for their home and gardens which are cost effective and stainless steel solar lights are a great choice! These lights not only make your gardens and patios look like heaven, but they are also a very affordable option. In addition to this the ongoing running costs are negligible which is a very sought after benefit in this day and age of souring electricity bills.

Applications for Stainless Steel Solar Lights

Solar lightning has been around now for some time and while we are all familiar with the garden and home styled models there are many other applications for these lights as well. Other applications include;

Flag poles
Street lights
Airports
Driveways
Parking lots
Boating
Camping
Sheds
Commercial Applications

Features of Stainless Steel

Today the stainless steel variants are one of the most popular choices out of all solar lighting options. They really are quite stunning and one could consider them when choosing lighting for your outdoor home and garden requirements. So why are these particular models so popular?

Here is a list of the reasons why they are so popular;

They just look great! (Gives you bragging rights)
Durable
Long lasting
Low maintenance
Add value to your home and garden
Environmentally friendly
Negligible running costs
Easy to install
Able to be relocated
Many models to choose from
Affordable

Find Stainless Steel Solar Lights Online

Technology has made it easy for us to not only purchase our choice of light but to have it delivered to our front door in many cases. But it gets better than that too. With the many online stores that supply and deliver these products they also display a large range of whatever you fancy with product reviews from previous purchasers of the particular product that you have your eye on.

So when it comes time to purchase your stunning stainless steel solar lights you may wish to consider buying them online.

Maintaining Your Solar Light’s Efficiency

While these lights are practically zero maintenance there are some basic and easy things you can do to maintain their efficiency levels for the life of the light. The two main steps you can do;

Keep the battery fresh, either by replacing or charging on a charger.
Cleaning with a soft damp cloth, especially the solar panel located on top of the light structure.

By following these two basic steps you will enjoy a long and efficient life from your stainless steel solar lights. This will ensure they will also look like new forever because the stainless steel feature of the solar light will endure long into the future.