Decorating for the Holidays

Can you believe that it is almost Christmas?   Well, I know I can’t because we didn’t have much for a summer so I am kinda in denial about the whole seasons changing and the holiday’s getting closer.  But, one can’t be in denial when they live where I do.  Aside from the darn cold weather that comes to fast, we also have a beautiful display of Holiday lights when we drive into town.   There is a place called Bentlyville, in Duluth, Mn. that will bring a smile to anyone’s face when they see it.   A huge display of Christmas lights, all put together to make a story of what the Holiday’s mean to all.  One mans dream brought to life with millions of lights, and many many hours of hard work every year all by donated time from local “elves” to help make this dream come to life for the town of Duluth to enjoy.


Now I know that we don’t all decorate like this for the Holiday’s but regardless of how elaborate or non elaborate you go with your Holiday decor you of course need to find the best place to get all your supplies to make your own dreams come true.   I bet that a place like Bentlyville can benefit by using  How in the world can one figure out what to order to accomplish a grand display like they do.  Wow!

I am a simple girl when it comes to my decor.  I used to go all out when my son was little, but it is a lot of work.   And, since we trade off the “who hosts” the Holidays when it isn’t my turn I don’t do anything except a string of lights on pine tree that is up year round in my living room.  Since I decorate in lodge decor it is part of my decor all the time.   I do love my holiday’s though and my favorite part is giving gifts.   We don’t exchange because money is tight, but since I am a crafter I can’t help but make little goodie bags for everyone.  I love to use freebies that I find around the internet like these free prim tags you can print and use for whatever.   And since candles is my main craft, and most people love to get candles, my little gifts are always a huge hit.

Do you decorate ?  How elaborate do you get?

Do you exchange gifts?   Do you have a budget for gift exchange?  Share your comments with me, I love to see how everyone lives 🙂



Vinyl Flooring: The Perfect Flooring Choice?

I take great pride in my home and how it looks.  No, I don’t have people here every day to see my home, but I know that I feel better when it’s clean. But, keeping up on the daily chores to have my home look like I want is a lot of work. Dusting, vacuuming, beds, bathrooms, mopping.. it is a full time job for anyone! 

Let’s face it, who has time to constantly clean their floors? If only there was an easy to maintain flooring option that doesn’t require a ton of tender, loving, care. Vinyl flooring might be the solution you’re looking for! Easy to clean, and even affordable to install, vinyl flooring is a great flooring choice for virtually any room of your house.

With new technology that helps manufacturers create luxury vinyl flooring, you can find a plethora of amazing patterns and designs that mimic more expensive flooring options. From the look of hardwood flooring to stunning stone and tile, vinyl flooring comes in many styles that resemble these more expensive flooring options.

Cleaning vinyl flooring is also a breeze! Water and non-abrasive cleaners usually get the job done, and with its water resistant qualities, vinyl flooring is perfect for any room in your house. Vinyl flooring is also soft underfoot, making it a great addition to your most used rooms. With the endless options of vinyl flooring at Flooring America you can be confident that you’ll find the perfect vinyl flooring that coordinates with your existing décor and provides a lifetime of satisfaction. Click here to find out more about vinyl flooring.


Dealing With Difficult Carpet Stains

Theres nothing more annoying than installing wall-to-wall carpeting or buying a gorgeous Chinese rug, only to see it end up covered with stains. Getting stains on your carpet is a natural byproduct of living, but it can really detract from the appearance of your home. The problem is that you may be able to partially remove a stain, but unless you use a treatment that is specifically designed for it, you will not get rid of it completely.



One of the most common  and obvious stains is red wine. If you spill red wine on your carpet, then you need to take fast action. Grab a clean cloth and soak up as much of the wine as you can. Then, try to remove the rest using standard carpet shampoo and see what effect this has. If you can still see the stain, spray hydrogen peroxide over it and then follow this up with a generous sprinkling of baking soda. Let this sit for 2 to 3 minutes, and then rinse it away with water. Hydrogen peroxide does have a bleaching effect, but it is very mild compared to household bleach so it is unlikely that it will bleach your carpet. However, if you are worried, test the hydrogen peroxide on an unobtrusive area of your carpet and see if any bleaching occurs.



Salt can also cause problematic carpet stains, especially if you live somewhere like Toronto, Ottawa, or Montréal, where there is a lot of snow in the winter. All that salt on the roads gets tramped into your car, as well as into your house when people forget to take their boots off. One approach to removing salt stains is to use a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and water. Put this into a spray bottle, and spray the affected area until it is absolutely dripping wet. Then, press a dry, fluffy towel over the wet area and leave it in place until the towel is soaked. Keep on repeating this process until the salt stain disappears. If this doesnt work, it is time to call in the pros for example, in southern Ontario, take a look at








Finally, pet stains on carpets can be a real problem. Even if you clean your carpets, vestiges of the stain and associated smell will always remain. To combat this, buy a bacteria-based cleaner of the type that is used to digest waste in septic systems. You should be able to get this at an industrial cleaning supply company. Dilute the bacterial cleaner as you would a regular carpet shampoo, and then use your rug shampooer to spread the solution over the affected area but make sure that you dont suck the mixture back. Leave this to soak for at least an hour so that the bacterial enzymes can do their job. Then, use your rug shampooer to set up the solution from the area. This normally gets rid of the stain completely, but if any remains, simply repeat the process.



Save time and money on the never-ending laundry cycle

Save time and money on the never-ending laundry cycle

There are certain continuous noises that you associate with any family home. The sound of children – happy and sad, bored and excited; the chatter of the television as favorite DVDs are played again and again; and one other that any mom will be very familiar with – the constant churn of the clothes washer.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average American family washes 400 loads of laundry a year – that’s more than one load a day and explains why that sound is all too familiar! From baby clothes and all their associated stains to muddy sports kits, it’s a constant battle that is costly in terms of time, money and the environment. Any work at home mom hates to see wastage in any of these areas so it’s great that there are ways to reduce the impact on all three.

Starting with the latter, modern Bosch washing machines and others from the big name makers, for example, are now far more energy efficient. Some models now calculate the exact amount of water required based on the weight of your load so that not a single drop more is used than necessary. Given that around 90% of a standard washer’s energy use is for heating the water, this is a welcome advance in technology.

Clearly, using less energy is better for the environment but it’s also better for your bottom line. Modern machines that save 30 to 40% on water use and 50% on energy use will save you hundreds of dollars on your utility bills over the life of the machine.

In terms of time (an important consideration for anyone trying to do the chores around work and childcare), some of the more modern washers offer 15-minute washes so that small loads are no longer as energy-wasteful as they once were. You also don’t have to wait in for an hour or so in order to deal with the laundry as soon as it’s stopped spinning. If you can force yourself into the yard to hang up the laundry once you’re done, all the better. Using the dryer is an expensive and energy-wasteful way of drying your clothes and should be avoided if at all possible.

For more information on being efficient when doing your laundry, check out the EPA’s guidance on how to save money and be greener at the same time.



Take Your Indoors Outside

The home is the perfect retreat to rest, relax and enjoy your surroundings without having to deal with the typical stresses that come with daily life. The home is a place that you have chosen to allow you to grow and raise a family and place that is just yours, containing the things you love the most in the world. Many see the walls of their home as a safe and secure place. However, it is not simply the inside of the house that can offer a place to escape to; the exterior of a house is just as important.


The outside of a home can inform passers by of the type of people that reside in the property, whether they are those that care and cherish the garden area or those that let it grow wild and free. The outdoor spaces appearance is just as important as the look and feel of the inside. With such emphasis placed on outside design and style, it has never been easier to completely remodel your garden and bring the inside feel to the outside.


Simple things like the choice of plants and flowers, the garden furniture, the layout and the care that is given to the garden, are all elements that will transform the appearance and even the use of the outdoor space. If the exterior is well cared for and a space to be proud of, the usage of the area will increase. You will want to spend more time outside in the warmer months and it will simply be an additional area that the entire family can use and enjoy. Outside space doesn’t have to be restricted to just the family or children – it is the ideal space to entertain friends and family. There is nothing more pleasurable than a summer BBQ and garden party.

The social aspect of an outdoor space means that more time and money can be spent on gardens and garden furniture, without being wasted.


The home, as a whole, should be a place to relax and each area should be used to its full potential to make sure you really are getting the best out of your home.


Garden areas can be designed in a stylish and comfortable way that is suitable to the whole family. Each part of the garden can be designated to each family member, so everyone gets the best from the space. There is such a good range of garden furniture now available, that there is no excuse not to have a perfectly stylish outdoor area. Garden furniture specialists are able to cater for each budget, so cost does not have to be a restriction. Knowing exactly what you want and need from your garden before you begin to furnish the space is key to saving time and money and ensuring your dream garden becomes a reality.


One of the leading outdoor furniture specialists are on hand to offer expert advice in style and design to perfectly imitate your indoor design. Betta Living has a range of products to fulfil your outdoor furniture needs.

Become a Barista: Coffee Machines at Home


There’s nothing more valuable than a good cup of coffee first thing  in the morning.   The right brew will get you in the mood  to destroy that workload, nail that interview or simply to stay awake  all day following a rather heavy night before (we’ve all been there).   What’s even better is that, these days, we don’t have to make do  with naff coffee anymore; we have the option of having genuine, barista-quality  brews at home!  That’s why we’ve put together this mini guide  as to the different types of home coffee maker.

A pod machine

Perhaps the most simple and easy to maintain type of coffee-maker  on the list, pod-based machines are gloriously easy to use: simply lift  back the catch, insert your pod, close the slot, and press a button.    Some twenty seconds or so later, the drink will pour into the mug.    The one downside of these machines is that the pods themselves can be  a wee bit pricey in the long run, but my god is it worth it.

Filter coffee machines

Having been around far longer than the pods, filter coffee machines  have a serious fan base, and with good reason.  Despite having  to wait around for the kettle to boil, they’re incredibly easy to  use, and are a relatively cheap way to get fresh, great-tasting coffee  without the hassle.  Essentially, hot water simply drips slowly  through a basket of ground coffee and into the pot.  Easy, delicious  and there’s usually a hot plate to keep the pot warm.  The one  piece of necessary maintenance is cleaning out the filter (though some  models have disposable filters, which are cheap and ideal if you’re  feeling a bit lazy)!

Bean-to-cup machines

Now this is some serious luxury.  As you might have guessed from  the name, bean-to-cup machines provide about the freshest coffee it’s  possible to get without going over to Colombia and sourcing the beans  yourself.  What’s more, many of the machines are virtually automatic:  add water, fill the bean hopper and press the button.  Cue some  truly stunning coffee, and cue you skipping off to work, full of caffeine-induced  energy.  Needless to say, this machine of epic luxury doesn’t  come cheap, but wonderful things like this never do.  If money  is no object, this is where your money should be going.

Espresso machines

Otherwise known as pressure machines, these machines are steam-driven,  and were created with the aim of making seriously strong coffee –  the sort junior doctors rely on.   Essentially, the water  is boiled in a chamber, building up pressure and steam until the pressure  forces the water through to the coffee itself.  What’s great  about these is, not only do they make up an espresso that could wake  up a hibernating grizzly bear, but the froth caused by the pressure  is ideal if you want to whip up a nice cappuccino.  You can then  sip it whilst reading the Financial Times and wearing a monocle.   Probably.

Get Your Flirt on in the Kitchen

with Flirty Aprons.

Who ever said you can’t look hot while cooking hadn’t ever seen Flirty Aprons before.

Here is a sale you won’t want to miss.  Flirty Aprons Super Sale, minor imperfections mean huge savings on aprons, mitts, and bibs, Everything under $13.00.

Check them out, and get your flirt on.

Green Your Cleaning Routine with Unique


Green Your Cleaning Routine with Unique.

Unique manufactures natural products that clean organic waste safely, effectively with affordability.  Organic waste is anything that is biodegradable, nearly all the stains, messes and odors in your home are from organic waste.  From carpets to septic, Unique uses natural bacterias to break down and remove the organic waste.

When it comes to cleaning, I am a freak.  With a husband always covered in grease, a high energy dog and pot-belly pig that likes to root around the yard then come inside the house and roll around, I am ALWAYS cleaning!  Unique has the power to take care of our messes and is safe for our pets which takes the weight off my shoulders, and the piece of mind that I am not fighting pollution with more pollution.

I love the Pet Odor & Stain Eliminator because I can apply it and let it do its magic, saving me time and energy.  For stains on our carpet, at night I saturate the stain and toss a rag over it.  In the morning I remove the rag and let the carpet dry.  Letting the cleaner sit overnight saves me all the trouble of being on my knees scrubbing.

Unique Complete, Stain & Odor Remover is the cleaner I use throughout our home.  Kennel, litter box, car, bathroom, basically floor to ceiling.  It is a concentrated product, which means you mix it 10 to 1.  So a 1 Quart container will make 2.5 gallons of cleaning product!

The Super Digest It is a life saver!   I use this in my kitchen drain, and in my shower.  Between food, grease, dog hair, human hair, etc., a drain should not be without it.

Unique also carries a 100% Refund if you aren’t completely satisfied!


Reasons to Love Unique

All Natural / Safe For Your Family & Pets

Removes Stains And Odors

Uses Bacteria And Enzymes

Cleans All The Way To The Floorboards

Carried In Over 3,000 Stores Throughout The US

Guaranteed To Work


Unique Giveaway

Enter to win a gift basket of Pet Odor Eliminator Ready to Use 24oz, Super Digest It Qt, Carpet Shampoo Qt, Unique Complete Qt, Wine Stain Remover 4oz.

Valued Over $50

Giveaway Ends July 17, 2013 at 11:59 Central Time

Enter using the entry form below.

Disclosure ~ Today’s Work at Home Mom received products to facilitate a review. All opinions and thoughts on these products are 100% ours.

Make Life Easy and Fun with Tupperware

I am sure that you have all heard of Tupperware.   If not, what rock have you been living under? LOL!!

Tupperware has been around forever!! Well at least as long as I remember.  My Mom used to sell Tupperware and she always had a house full of fun products. Never a shortage of containers in our home.  Well, when I first moved out my Mom had just upgraded some of her Tupperware and gave me her older stuff.  That was 22 years ago and I still have those items.  And, I use my Tupperware so it is well used but still like new.  That is why I love Tupperware!

I just got me some new items to add to my collection and I love them!   I just got a Spin and Save Salad Spinner.  I have looked at them from other places but really wanted this one.  I love it!!  I got a special red one they had and totally love it!  Hubby was laughing at me cuz I was so excited, but then he saw me use it (laughed then too), but saw how long our lettuce lasted and is now sold.  I always have lettuce cut up for salads in the fridge but when in a regular bowl, it would last a couple days.   It will last up to 2 weeks in this thing.  Sweet!!

I also got the CrystalWave Rectangular Containers.  I have been looking for a nice set of food storage containers for a while and when I saw these I just had to have them.  They are the perfect size for anything I have to store for leftovers.  They would also be good for crafting, kid stuff, or just about anything you needed to store.   Me, I use them for food.

When my son moved out I gave him a bunch of my non Tupperware items I had collected from here and there over the years, so I also grabbed myself the Double Colander.  It is awesome!!  2 Colanders for one price.  The hook together so you can use them together, or separate.  And they are very sturdy.  I know one time I had picked up a colander at the dollar store or something.. first time I used it the handle broke.  Not cool!!  All my spaghetti noodles went right into my sink.  Ick!! No spaghetti that night 🙁

Tupperware also offers a great job opportunity.   Click the image to find out more.



Easy Energy Savers for Your Home

Completely You: Home

Easy Energy Savers for Your Home

By Lauren Mang for Completely You

Out-of-control energy bills are all too common for most homeowners. And it’s not hard to see why: Constant computer use, washing dishes, doing laundry, heating and cooling your home, cooking dinner, and even taking showers all contribute to that shockingly high monthly number. The good news, however, is that here are more than a few simple (and insanely cheap) ways to transform your home from an energy-eating money pit to a more efficient, money-saving powerhouse.

Here, several green-living experts take on different rooms in the average home and offer their best ideas for quick, no-cost or low-cost fixes, plus larger energy-saving investments that pay off big in the long run.

The Attic

When it comes to your attic, there are two keywords to remember: air seal. “Particularly in a home that’s more than 10 years old, [look to see if] you have any settlement gaps or other openings that have happened over time,” says Jeff Bartos, president and CEO of the Philadelphia-based home energy assessment company Mark Group Inc. Bartos suggests using caulking or weather stripping to seal any gaps or cracks in the attic that are bringing in cold or warm air. How to spot those leaky gaps? recommends looking for areas where the insulation is darkened due to filtering dusty air in from the house.


In high-use areas such as bedrooms, Bartos says consider swapping outdated incandescent lightbulbs for either compact fluorescents (CFLs) or light-emitting diodes (LEDs). While slightly more expensive than standard incandescent bulbs, CFLs and LEDs have longer life expectancies (upwards of 50,000 hours), use about 85 percent less energy and emit less heat, which will help protect your bottom line.


“If the hot water in your shower can scald you,” says Dan Ruben, executive director for Boston Green Tourism, “you’re throwing money away.” Ruben suggests turning the hot-water heater down to 120 F or lower for maximum money-saving effects. Other inexpensive energy savers to implement in the bathroom? Switch out existing showerheads for low-flow versions (prices start at around $5, depending on the brand) and add an aerator (about $3) to all of your faucets — both products mix air into the water, so you don’t even notice a change in water flow.

Home Office

Sure, the photo montage of your kids that pops up on your computer when you’re not using it is adorable, but Bartos suggests you skip the screensaver. And never leave your computer running while you’re away. “If homeowners are putting [their computers] into sleep mode instead of shutting them down, they’re using more energy than they think.”


Are your kitchen appliances Energy Star-certified? If not, it may be time to replace them. According to, an Energy Star-certified refrigerator is required to use 15 percent less energy than a non-certified model, which can cut your energy bill by more than $80 over the appliance’s lifetime.

But if replacing a pricey appliance isn’t in your current budget, Shel Horowitz, author of Painless Green: 111 Tips to Help the Environment, Lower Your Carbon Footprint, Cut Your Budget, and Improve Your Quality of Life — With No Negative Impact on Your Lifestyle, recommends either unplugging your kitchen appliances or hooking them into a standard power strip that allows you to turn off all your appliances with one flip of the switch. Even if a plugged-in appliance is turned off, he notes, it’s still using power and costing you money.

Living Room

To reduce energy loss via
windows in a living space, Ruben says window coverings are an energy-efficient must.
In the summer, keeping your windows shaded both inside and out can keep your home
cooler by more than 70 percent. Keep your blinds or curtains closed from
sunrise to sunset. Also, consider your landscaping. Planting shade trees on the
south and west sides of your home could lower summer electric bills by $25.

is a freelance writer who has written for Seattle Metropolitan, PaperCity, VMSD, Retail
Environments and Cincy magazines. She is a frequent contributor to Completely You.