DIY Friday: Succulent Terrarium

Hello and welcome to our first DIY Friday post! If you’ve been in the Pittsburgh area lately (or ever) you’ve noticed that the weather this time of year can be a bit gloomy. The good news is there are only 33 days left till Spring! But if you’ve already forgotten what sunshine looks like and you need a pick-me-up… this fun, fresh and easy craft will make your room, office, etc. feel like Spring has already arrived! And you’ll also look super trendy, because succulents are IN.

www.succulentsandsunshine.com

 

Here’s What You’ll Need:

  • Vase or jar (any size) with large opening
  • Small stones, pebbles, or gravel for drainage
  • Soil, preferably cactus mix, as it retains little moisture
  • Succulent plants of your choice
  • Sand (Pro-Tip: Pet stores have huge varieties of colorful, nature-safe sand!)
  • Ornamental decorations of your choice! Make this terrarium your own!

How to Assemble:

  1. Prepare a vase or medium sized jar with a larger opening at the top.
  2. Carefully place small stones at the bottom of the jar.
  3. Pour a thick layer of soil, enough so that your succulents can take root.
  4. Move the plant from the pot and into your vessel. Gently press so that it settles nicely.
  5. Continue transplanting your succulents into whatever arrangement you’d like. Succulents come in dozens of sizes, shapes and colors, so get creative!
  6. When you have transplanted all the plants cover the surface with a thin layer of white sand.
  7. Add decorative stones or ornaments for the final step, and then your terrarium is complete!

Terrarium Maintenance:

Luckily, succulents are relatively easy to care for. Just make sure they are in spot where they get 5-6 hours of sunlight a day. Succulents are desert plants, and therefore only need to be watered every two weeks. You don’t need a lot of water either–only enough that there should be less than 1-inch accumulated at the bottom of your vessel. You can also fertilize your terrarium once a year in the summer months. Follow these steps, and you’ll be feeling like its Spring all year round!




Ready to Relocate? Part 2: Settling In

If you read our first post on the first steps of relocating, this will be a good follow-up for getting the basics on adjusting to your new home and community! Once you’ve found your desired neighborhood and maybe even your dream home, it is overwhelming to think that there is more work to be done. Let us help with a few tips and tricks to make those first few weeks a breeze!

Settling In Stress-Free

Okay, maybe “stress-free” is an unrealistic goal… but there are ways to calm the chaos.

1. Keep it Simple

It’s so easy to get lost in a sea of bags and boxes when you’re packing up, and then the aftermath of unpacking becomes a nightmare. Moving is a GREAT opportunity to ask yourself “Do we really need this?” When it comes to household goods, a good rule of thumb is to leave behind anything that you haven’t used in over a year or two. For decorations and things of sentimental value, follow the old saying and bring with you what will make your new house feel like home. Things that bring feelings of comfort and familiarity will never feel like clutter. But anything that just occupies space probably isn’t essential. For clothing, organization experts say a non-seasonal piece that hasn’t been worn in over 6 months is something that should go! When you know what will stay and what will go, Habitat for Humanity is great place to donate household items that you cannot take with you. For clothing, there are tons of local charities that serve various groups–just take your pick and support a great cause while simultaneously getting a fresh start!

2. One Step at a Time

The physical aspect of packing is just as important as deciding what to take along with you. Packing might seem as simple as putting things into bins and boxes, but there are strategic ways to go about this to make life so much easier. First of all, label EVERYTHING. You really cannot ever have too many labels, lists and categories specifying what each box contains and in which room it should go. This should help with the next step, which is unpacking one room at a time and one box at a time. This method may be mostly psychological, so you don’t lose it seeing stuff scattered all over the place. But it will help you set up your spaces exactly the way you want them, and give you as sense of accomplishment seeing a whole room in its completed state!

3. The Power of Takeout

Chances are you’re going to be too swamped/tired to cook on your first couple nights in your new home. Do a little research on GrubHub.com or another site to see who can deliver food near you. If you prefer to cook, a lot of grocery stores have personal shoppers and delivery systems in place that will save you some time and energy!

Remember: not everything has to get done all at once. Take little breaks here and there and enjoy the fact that you are beginning a new chapter. Check back soon to hear more about the relocation process, and great ways to meet friends and neighbors in your new community! If you have specific questions about the process, contact Jodie, our relocation expert at (888) 424-9424




10 Bars & Basements Perfect for the Big Game

With the Superbowl fast-approaching, every football fan across the nation will be stocking up on snacks and drinks to prepare for the big game! But what’s Superbowl Sunday without the perfect place to sit back, relax (or not), and cheer on the team of your choice?? These photos of bars and basements will give you major man-cave envy, and maybe even some inspo to design your own for next year!

 

This stone bar is the stuff of dreams!

 

How about this sweet little oasis off the living room? Perfect location, so you won’t miss a single play!

 

Talk about everyone’s football-veiwing fantasy!!

 

Technically not a bar, but are you telling me you wouldn’t LOVE this beauty to call your own?

 

This space is so clean and fresh. How great would your nachos & guac look on that countertop?

 

Warm enough where you live to watch the game outside? Lucky you! These next 2 will be sure to inspire.

 

These details speak for themselves, honestly.

 

Check out this roomy bar with plenty of space for all your favorites!

 

Who knew cool colors could make you feel so warm and cozy!

 

You could cook up an entire feast in this beauty! (Even if your guests only want pizza & wings)

 

Enjoy the game!




Ready to Relocate? Part 1: First Steps

This post will be the first of a series on ways to prepare for a relocation. Whether you’re being uprooted for work, family or any other reason, let us be your “go-to” on facilitating the whole process! We’ll begin by breaking up relocation into a timeline week-by-week, with some very general suggestions that will make each step feel less overwhelming. The first topics we’ll address are the Research Process, and Finding Your New Community.

 

Research

Completing this first step properly is integral. Luckily, in this day and age, there is an endless amount of information at your finger tips. Even if your relocation is to a specifically assigned area, these tips will still apply. Here are a few ways to structure your research process:

 

  1. Set parameters

Think of the things on which you absolutely won’t compromise. Think—school districts, taxes, amenities, commute, etc. Sometimes those things come with a different price tag than we expect, so make sure to formulate the most accurate budget possible when taking these factors into consideration. Consulting with an expert on the area to find out what is right for you is a great place to start, and will help narrow down your options to find the perfect new home.

 

  1. Pretend You’re a Local

Learn as much as possible through immersion, especially if you’re not at the “visiting stage” yet. Join local Facebook pages and online forums for information on upcoming news and events. For a more authentic community feel, talk to as many people from the area as you can while they’re just out and about. Let them know you’re thinking of moving there, and they’ll be likely to tell you honestly about their experiences. Government and Chamber of Commerce sites can also be a great resource.

 

  1. Get to Know the Finer Points

Do your due diligence, so-to-speak, when it comes to restaurants, grocery stores, area attractions, etc. You may find a community you thought was perfect is nowhere near a store you can’t live without! Also check the weather. This may seem like an obvious one, but it’s amazing how the climate can change within a few miles, let alone a cross-country move. The Weather Channel online offers great 60-second forecasts and year-round weather data for almost anywhere you can think of!       

Finding Your Neighborhood

So you’ve done your research, talked to an expert, and you’ve found the general area you’ll be moving to. The next step is narrowing down a neighborhood that meets the criteria of what you researched above!

 

  1. Visit, Visit, Visit!

If possible, try to get there in person, but online virtual tours work too! When you’re visiting take a look around for things you’ve liked and disliked about past neighborhoods you’ve been in. Do you admire pristine landscaping? Are you keen on peace and quiet? Does on-street parking really set you off? Keep an eye out for the details important to you, because chances are if they are not up-to-par when you’re visiting on a random afternoon, they rarely will be. If you can’t make the trip in person, Google Maps “Street View” is a great way to pre-explore your destination.

 

  1. The Info Search Continues

Your initial research should have given you a good idea of what the general region is like, but to find a specific house that will meet all of your specifications you’ll want to dig a little deeper. Use sites like Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, etc. to refine your searches by number of rooms, yard space, etc. Make sure to take into account exact distances from local highways, hospitals, work, school and other important locations. Even the smallest extra mileage can really add up if you take frequent trips, so monitoring traffic patterns can be very helpful. Take the time to do this and you’ll be led to something wonderful!

 

  1. Stay Organized

It can’t hurt to keep all of your new home data in a spreadsheet or some type of journal. Seeing side-by-side comparisons of all your “candidates” will not only help speed up your decision process, but it will ensure that you’re not leaving any options out.

 

Still have questions and concerns about your relocation process? Let us know what you’d like to learn about. Stay tuned for more posts on settling into your new home, becoming active in your community, relocation success stories, and more!




No Mess, No Stress: 5 Clever & Practical Home Hacks for Any Daily Disaster

So you’ve just moved into your new home…you are surrounded by boxes and feeling a bit overwhelmed. It’s an exciting time to start fresh, but then you remember all the people asking if you’re stressed about the “big move” and now you know why. Don’t let the chaos of moving get you down! These easy home hacks will make organizing, cleaning and settling into your home feel like a breeze!

 

  1. The REAL Purpose of Plastic Bread Ties

Use these babies as an easy labelling system for anything and everything you will inevitably have plugged into one huge power strip while you try out different set-ups in each room. Never have an emotional breakdown untangling cords again!

 

  1. Bugs BEWARE

If you are anything like me (and most women in America) you barely want to squish a bug, let alone dispose of it after the deed is done. To avoid having even making eye contact with any pest you come across while carefully placing the aforementioned power strip in the corner, use a lint roller! *rolls, squishes, throws away entire lint roller*

Don’t be this guy.

 

  1. Dish Disasters

Okay so while you were fending off that horrible bug, maybe you let dinner sit on the stove just a tad too long…now after that traumatizing insect experience, you’re also left with a burnt-on mess on your brand new cookware. Yikes! Don’t worry, this can be fixed. Take it from the girl who could burn water. Just fill whatever charred vessel you’re dealing with and fill it with warm water, some dish soap and a dryer sheet. In 20-30 minutes the pan will look as good as new, without all that extra soaking and scrubbing and crying!

 

  1. Watch the Wood!

While you were pining over that beautiful pan, perhaps you set it down on your beautiful wooden dining table while it was still wet. Just when you thought your troubles had ended, you’re left with an enormous pan-shaped water ring, right where your mother-in-law likes to sit. Have no fear, white ring remover is a real thing! For immediate ring removal, try this!

 

 

  1. It’s Crystal Clear

It’s been a stressful day. At least you have your gorgeous spa-quality bathroom to retreat to when you want to unwind. Disoriented after all the bustle of the day, you accidentally walk straight into your glass shower door, leaving a perfectly-formed smudge print of your face. You try everything you know to get it off, but the door, once pristine and crystal clear, is now left streaky and clouded. You use what’s left of your energy to walk over to your wet-bar to try to take the edge off—but don’t reach for that bottle just yet, unless it’s Barkeeper’s Friend! The ceramic/glass cooktop cleaner works wonders on glass shower doors!

 

 

Do you have any hacks that keep your home running like a well-oiled machine? We’d love to hear from you. Drop us a comment below!