Show Off Friday 130

Dec 18, 2014 by

Easy Sugar Cookie Recipe
What would Christmas be without sugar cookies! blooming homestead

Easy-Sugar-Cookie-Recipe

Lard and Olive Oil Soap
These homemade soaps are so nice! Making Our Sustainable Life

Lard-and-Olive-Oil-Soap

Detox December: Diatomaceous Earth
This is a fascinating post! Mary’s Kitchen

Diatomaceous Earth

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Eco Friendly Floors

Dec 15, 2014 by

bamboo-grass

A few years ago the expression eco-friendly conjured up images of tasteless, dull and “blah” materials. Luckily, that is not the case today. As more and more designers are opting for eco-friendly materials for their environmentally savvy customers, manufacturers have stepped up and given the design world many stunning choices to choose from. We have collected a guide of the most admired eco-flooring solutions: some are innovative, some are old and some will make you think.

1. Cork
A relatively new thing for the flooring world is cork. It is frequently seen on walls or in your preferred bottle of wine, but it is a wonderful material for floors. It is anti-microbial which helps to decrease allergens in the home. Cork is also fire retardant, maintenance free, and acts as a natural insect repellent too. It can be finished in a selection of paints and stains to go with any color scheme or design style. Its resilience allows for use in any part of the house. A good quality cork can last between 10-30 years. When properly sealed, it can make a nice warm option on bathroom floors for your bare feet.

2. Bamboo 
Another wood-like option gaining fame is bamboo. Bamboo is in fact a grass that shares similar qualities with hardwood. It is sturdy, trouble-free to maintain and easy to install. Bamboo is long-lasting and is made from natural vegetation that matures in three to five years. Bamboo is light in weight, and available in different types that will work in any surrounding or decor. Its diverse grains and wide selection of colors give it an edge over conventional flooring, allowing for customization not often found elsewhere.

3. Linoleum
Linoleum is made from a mixture of cork dust, pigments, tree resins, linseed oil, wood flour, and ground limestone. Like cork, it reduces flammability and is water resistant. Linoleum fell out of favor in the 1940s. As designers began asking for it again, it came back into fashion with an immense collection of dazzling, exciting colors and a new sealer to guard it from stains. It has an extensive shelf life and can withstand a lot of wear and tear.

4. Glass Tiles 
Have you ever wondered what happens to the beer and wine bottles that are shipped off to be recycled? They are transformed into stunning glass tiles. This renewable source is rapidly becoming a fantastic alternative for floors as well as bathroom and kitchen walls. Glass has similar benefits to other eco-friendly materials. It is simple to maintain and won’t discolor. Glass comes in an unlimited array of colors, patterns and finishes appropriate for most design formats. Glass will replicate light rather than absorb it, adding that extra layer of light some rooms require.

5. Concrete
Refined concrete is an unlikely sustainable material that is gaining in reputation. Concrete is usually slab on grade and used as a sub flooring in some housing settings. However, if it is refined and tinted to the homeowners taste and style there is no need for conventional flooring to be put over it. Concrete is tremendously tough, easy to maintain and never needs to be substituted.

6. Wool Carpet
For a long time a preferred material for homes has been the carpet. It is soft to walk on, comfortable to sit on and comes in a variety of colors and patterns. Regrettably, carpet has normally been made using unstable organic compounds or pollutants that are dangerous to the environment and to our wellbeing. There are eco-friendly alternatives available in the form of wool carpets. Wool is a natural fiber turned into a thread that can be dyed any color conceivable, and can then be woven to make a carpet. It is one of the primary materials used as a floor cover, is very long-lasting and can even last centuries.

7. P.E.T Berber Carpet
Another carpet which can be considered is Polyester (P.E.T) Berber. It is manufactured from recycled plastic bottles, and has the least impact on the atmosphere. There are numerous benefits to this recycled material. It is long-lasting, spill-resistant and comes in a wide range of aesthetically enjoyable colors and patterns. It typically has a flecked appearance making it suitable to most color schemes. It’s also a very cheap material.

8. Rubber
Rubber flooring made from recycled tires is frequently found at the local gym or on the area playgrounds. It is gradually finding its way into our kitchens, sunrooms and bathrooms as an adaptable, stunning and long-term option. It is water resistant and comes in numerous color and pattern choices.

9. Leather
Leather is an astonishing material that can be used as flooring. The leather used for flooring is taken from the center-most part of the cowhide and is thicker than the leather portions used for making things such as belts, wallets and handbags. The warm feel under foot makes it ideal for bedrooms, closets and small areas. Though not a good fabric for bathrooms, kitchens or other damp areas of a home, it is very long-lasting and will wear well over time.

10. Reclaimed Hardwood
If you have your heart set on conventional hardwood flooring, while not typically considered eco-friendly due to deforestation concerns, it can still be a good choice.

Fortunately with today’s expertise, technology and a bit of imagination, environment-friendly flooring does not have to come at the cost of style.

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Show Off Friday 129

Dec 11, 2014 by

Nativity Ornament Craft
Tis’ the reason for the season! Nice idea! G+ GrandParents Plus

Nativity Ornament Craft

Holiday Decor, Marshmallows Edition
This little fellow is so cute! HomeDecorDesigns.com

mashmallow snowman cupcakes

DIY Christmas Snowflake Ornament
What a gorgeous snowflake! The Crafty Blog stalker

Snowflake Ornament

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Hans Zatzka -Artist

Dec 10, 2014 by

Hans Zatzka was born March 8, 1859 in Vienna. From a very young age he showed great artistic talent. He attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna from 1877 to 1882.

Hans Zatzka made his living mainly from his religious frescoes in churches, altar paintings, and other large commissions such as hospitals in Vienna. He spent most of his time in his home studio, absorbed in his work and never took in students or accepted teaching jobs. He painted until he was 80 years old.



zatzka-in-love



zatzka-girl-with-butterfly



zatzka-an-allegory-of-fall



zatzka-little-cherub



zatzka-holy-family



zatzka-madonna-with-child



zatzka-divinity-and-innocence



zatzka-the-song-of-spring



zatzka-the-spring-of-life

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Capturing Priceless Moments with a Video Camera

Dec 7, 2014 by

Video cameras used to be bulky machines, that were too expensive to purchase and too difficult to operate to make them a common household item, but with improvements in technology cameras capable of recording film have gotten smaller and smaller, as well as more durable, more affordable and easier to use. Today even a novice can pick up one of these devices and create film clips that are clear and fun to view.

Camera Technology Has Come a Long Way

A video camera is a worthwhile investment because you can capture priceless moments with it. Whereas in the past, people had to rely on still photography to capture special events like children’s birthdays, weddings and other life milestones, it is now possible for just about everyone to have video made of their special events. Professional videographers can be expensive to hire and it can take time to find one who’s work you like, but thanks to modern features like high-gain microphones and auto-stabilizing anyone can film a scene with reasonable quality.

Learning to Take Video Has Never Been Easier

In addition to camera technology advancing to the point that these devices are easy to use with no prior experience, there is now a wealth of information about videography techniques, tips and tricks available online and in books to help the novice become an expert. Save precious memories of family events to enjoy for the rest of your life by learning a few basics and investing in an affordable and quality camera, or capture moments to share later with relatives who would have loved to have been there but just couldn’t make it. Online blogs, tutorials and videos are a great way to get started learning how to take great video.

Cameras are becoming a regular part of everyday life, and with the investment of a good quality device and a little bit of learning time anyone can learn to take home video from the everyday to the extraordinary, making a video camera something every family can make use of.

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Show Off Friday 128

Dec 4, 2014 by

4 Herbs to Grow Indoors for Your Health – Guest Post
This is a great way to bring a little freshness into your house in winter! Back to the Basics

Oregano

Oh, What a Feeling…We’ve Got Barn Board on our Ceiling! And SO can YOU…
I love this cozy rustic look! The Heathered Nest

barn board ceiling

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Starting Toilet Training – Top Tips

Dec 3, 2014 by

cute baby in blue hat

If you have a baby or toddler, you may be wondering about toilet training – when do you start? Is it bad if you start too early or too late? Should you use a reward system? These and other questions often concern parents. Here are some tips that may help you as you begin considering toilet training for your child.

Know the Signs

Read up on the signs that a toddler is ready to begin toilet training. It’s a good idea to talk to other parents in this regard, too. Bear in mind, of course, that you know your toddler best and ultimately the decision is between you and your child. Some signs to look for include:

* Interest in you and other family members using the toilet

* Discomfort with the feeling of a dirty diaper (he may ask you to change him)

* The diaper is dry after a nap

* Your toddler can follow simple directions

Approach It Together

Rather than thinking about toilet training as a big battle of wills, think of it as a mutual goal. If your child is ready, she will want to learn how to use the toilet. You, the parent, are simply helping her reach her goal. You might try talking in these terms, and look at yourself as a helper.

Preparation

Reading books and watching age-appropriate videos on toilet training can give children a boost toward wanting to learn to use the potty. Talk it up without pressure and see if your child latches on to the concept.

Invest in a potty chair if possible. Some sources recommend placing your child’s potty chair or other training potty out where he can see it. You may want to set it up in the bathroom so your child can follow you and try using his potty while you use the toilet. It may be less intimidating that way, and your child may enjoy sitting and reading on the potty just to get used to it and have a positive experience there.

Flushing

To help your child get used to flushing her waste, try dropping the contents of her diaper into the toilet and letting her flush. Training toilets or potty chairs have a removable cup or bowl – let your child see you dump the contents into the toilet and let her flush it away.

Know Your Child’s Schedule

Pay attention to when your child eliminates so that you can seize those moments for toilet training. If you know a bowel movement or urination is on the way, you can encourage your child to use the toilet when you know he will need to go.

Make It Easier

Parents have found success encouraging trips to the toilet with special books. It’s also a good idea to dress your potty-ready child in loose, easy-to-remove clothing so that you can reduce the chance of accidents.

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