By thinking of the spaces outside your house the same way you think about the ones inside, you can transform your property with versatile outdoor living areas that draw family members and friends. The porch shown above demonstrates the idea of furnishing a porch, deck, or patio like a living room. This designer went as far as adding electrical outlets for lamps and recharging his laptop. Streamlined furniture, such as an armless, weatherproof sofa, petite metal chairs, and painted wood tables-all found at yard sales or on eBay-expand the space even further. For more on this space, see Rooms With a View.
When it comes to outdoor entertaining spaces, striking the right balance between casual and sophisticated can be a challenge. This open-air dining room makes it look easy, blending British Colonial-style furnishings (including a caned daybed bought for only $20 at a flea market) with laid-back, island-inspired touches like rattan lamps and flowing curtains. See How to Create an Out of
Outdoor roomRead More »from How to Create the Perfect Summer Porch
It's summer and that means the perfect time to relax outside with a great book. The Shine editors have put together a list of what we're reading to offer some recommendations. Happy reading!
- Astrology.com Home and Garden Horoscopes | At Home – Mon, Jul 2, 2012 2:19 PM EDT
Aries (March 21 - April 19)
When you get home from work, you see that your housemate has been shopping and is ready to prepare and time- and effort-intensive recipe. At first glance, this spoils your own plans for the kitchen, but if you're frank and open, you can turn this situation into an advantage and find yourself reading your new book before dinner, prepared by someone else, is served.
Today's Aries Reading: Free Sample Friends and Lovers Reading
Read More »from Astrology.Com Daily Home & Garden Horoscopes -- Tuesday July 3, 2012
Taurus (April 20 - May 20)
You're careful to feel the soil for moisture before you water your plants, and you carefully dust and spray the leaves. You have a deep connection to the earth today, your little home on this planet, and the roots you've planted to make it your home. The roots of your houseplants need your attention today as well -- be ready with bigger pots, extra soil and fertilizer.
This summer organize your mementos from your vacation into creative crafts that decorate your home.
Read More »from 8 Family Vacation Memory Crafts
Vacation Memory Jars
Hold on to favorite travel memories by storing them in vacation memory jars. Filled with souvenirs collected on trips and pictures developed afterward, they are like little worlds that can be visited again and again. Kids can also add to them or rearrange them anytime they like. Bent wire can be used to lower and position objects in a thin-necked jar.
Get the How-To
Bottle-Cap Magnets and Thumbtacks
A homey take on the traditional locket, bottle caps inset with small black-and-white pictures from your travels can be used as thumbtacks or magnets.
Get the How-To
Don't stash away or discard maps from your favorite vacation spots. Use them to make these handy coasters and you'll be reminded of that special destination every time you
.Being green can be easy after all! Browse through this list of simple solutions designed to save energy and reduce carbon emissions for the planet, and at the same time save you money.
A whopping 46 % of home energy use is, umm, energy loss! In other words, no productive energy use at all! Here are easy ways of reversing this, mainly by changes of habit.
1. Each degree you turn down the heat saves 3 % of heating costs, while each degree you raise the temperature of your air conditioner saves 3-4 % of cooling costs. By changing the temperature by 2 degrees all year, you can save about 2,000 pounds of C02 a year.
2. Cook with a slow cooker or a toaster oven (or even a solar oven!) to reduce electrical use from kitchen appliances. For a meal that requires one hour to cook in an electric oven, and which uses 2.7 pounds of C02, a crockpot uses 0.9 pounds of C02 for seven hours, a toaster oven takes 1.3 pounds of C02 for 50Read More »from 10 Ways to Save Energy and Money in Your Home
- Babble.com | At Home – Mon, Jul 2, 2012 11:31 AM EDT
7 Summer Farm VacationsWhen I was a teenager, my family took a vacation to Canada and stayed in a farmhouse on a working dairy farm. It was great to see what daily life on a farm was like, and since it was B&B style, it didn't cost my parents a fortune. If you live in a city, a farm vacation might be just what you need! Choose from all sorts of locations. Some of the farms even let you chip in and help with chores, while others let you reap the rewards and relax while eating fresh farm eggs and horse back riding through forests and pastures. Not only would this be the experience of a lifetime, it's a great way to support farmers! There are all sorts of options from B&B style to luxury cottages as close as Vermont and as far away as Alice Springs, Australia! Check out these 7 rustic farms for your summer getaway.Read More »from Grain Acres: 7 Rustic Farms for Your Summer Getaway
Related: 25 incredibly tiny houses from around the world
Honeysuckle College1. Honeysuckle Cottage
This charming cottage sleeps up to 5 people. It is located in the English countryside on an organic sheep farm. It's a
Capturing night photos can definitely be tricky. It's always tough to strike that balance between illuminating the people in your image with a flash and capturing the scenery too. It doesn't take a fancy SLR to get the right exposure, however; just a little fiddling with your digital camera's settings and a few time-tested photography tricks will make sure you get the picture every time.
It's helpful to start by learning a little about how a camera works. First of all, at night when there's less light, the shutter speed slows down to allow more time for the small amount of available light to be absorbed. A slower shutter speed means you're much less likely to hold the camera steady as the picture's being taken and movement causes blurry images. Secondly, the flash, especially on point and shoots, is intended only to light objects at close range, or indoors. If you're at a distance from your subject or outside, the flash provides unnatural lighting or will make the backgroundRead More »from Tips for Taking Great Night Photos
Stop by one of these not-to-be-missed cities across the country. They're the best of the best. Nashville
1. Music: Nashville, Tennessee
Music City offers more than honky-tonk, with an indie rock scene that has The Black Keys, Karen Elson, and Jack White all calling this town home.
HOTEL The Union Station Hotel, housed in a former train station, takes you back to a more elegant time. From $259 per night.
MUST-DO Sample bluegrass at Station Inn or country at Robert's Western World. Record shop Grimey's New & Preloved Music sits above The Basement, a great venue to hear indie acts. Stop by Jack White's Third Man: It's a store, recording studio, and performance space.
CHEAP THRILL Hatch Show Print has been making concert posters for everyone from Dolly Parton to Johnny Cash since 1879. Take one home for about $12.Read More »from 7 Must-Visit U.S. Destinations
Throwing an outdoor bash this season? Then check out these five summer party themes that guarantee a good time will be had by all. Sport an outrageous costume and rock all your favorite tunes at an '80s party or say aloha to guests at a luau extravaganza. Each theme includes ideas for decorations, activities and food. So what are you waiting for? Head over to the local party store and have some fun while preparing for your next summertime celebration.
Decor: Colors for a luau are always bright and bold hues, so you can get your paper dinnerware in a vivid range of colors such as blues, yellows, greens and pinks. Use tiki torches to decorate the yard and greet every guest with a lei-a cute yet inexpensive touch. Other ways to bring the island feel to your backyard include using a luau table skirt or an inflatable palm tree.
Activities: The limbo is a must, of course! Try this limbo kit to get you started-it includes everything you'll need, even the musicRead More »from 5 Sensational Summer Party Themes
- Astrology.com Home and Garden Horoscopes | At Home – Fri, Jun 29, 2012 12:48 PM EDT
Aries (March 21 - April 19)
Tireless aspirations of owning your own home aside, it is time you got out and had some fun! Grab your best bud and head to a carnival. Laugh, eat cotton candy and bring the inspiration home to the four off-white walls you are sick of staring at.
Today's Aries Reading: Free Sample Personal Astrology Profile
Taurus (April 20 - May 20)
Be sure to listen closely today. A lifetime of memories exists in your mother's photographs. Take the time this evening to sift through and record her reminiscences for posterity.
Today's Taurus Reading: Free Sample Maya-Aztec Reading
Read More »from Astrology.Com Daily Home & Garden Horoscopes -- Monday July 2, 2012
Gemini (May 21 - June 21)
If times are so tough that you can't give your child a monetary allowance, consider a get-out-of-a-chore reward system instead. Know that you are adaptable to the times and the situation will change for
- 10 Self-Help Books for the New GenerationMon, Feb 4, 2013 6:38 PM EST
- Do You Have the Most Vivid Memories from Your Life from Age 15 to 25?Tue, Feb 5, 2013 11:35 AM EST
- Is Your Gym Making You Sick?Tue, Feb 5, 2013 10:10 AM EST
- Better Together: 4 Reasons Why I'm Glad My Kids Share a RoomTue, Feb 5, 2013 2:51 PM EST
- Is Lisa Ling's Father a Pothead?Tue, Feb 5, 2013 3:29 PM EST
- Nerding Out in Nature: One Smart Phone. Two Kids. Tons of FunTue, Feb 5, 2013 3:07 PM EST
- PHOTOS: The Best Chevron Wedding DetailsTue, Feb 5, 2013 1:42 PM EST
- Roadblocks to Intimacy--and How to Get Around ThemMon, Feb 4, 2013 6:50 PM EST
- How to Conquer Your 10 Biggest Marriage FearsFri, Feb 22, 2013 3:23 PM EST
- So This Must Be What Santa Claus Drinks on VacationSat, Dec 14, 2013 6:10 PM EST
- We've Officially Fused December's Two Most Decadent TreatsSun, Dec 15, 2013 11:09 AM EST
- Gorgeous Graphic Cookies -- No Special Tools (or, Um, Skills) RequiredSun, Dec 15, 2013 11:12 AM EST