How to Repurpose Everyday Household Items

repurposing

In general, most people have become more aware of the importance of recycling materials that are accepted by recycling companies. Taking a few moments to learn about the ever-expanding size of the landfills in the United States is all it takes to get more serious about recycling plastics, paper, glass and more.

 
Sometimes, rather than tossing used containers and other items into the recycling bin after you’ve used them, you can potentially repurpose them to use them again in a different way! Doing so means you don’t have to purchase a new item (because you can make it from materials you already own). Getting more than one use out of a single item is even more environmentally friendly than traditional recycling. The more uses you can get out of an item before sending it off to the recycling plant, the better.
 
You might think of some of the following tips as ‘life hacks,’ but we simply see them as fantastic and creative ways to get more bang for your buck:
     

  • Mesh fruit and vegetable bags – You typically tote home a bunch of oranges in a nylon mesh bag. These types of bags are extremely dangerous to wildlife – especially sea life – because animals can become entangled in the bags. Keep yours and use them as scrubbers to clean your kitchens and bathrooms!
     

  • Old disposable razors – If your disposable razor has reached the end of its life, don’t toss it in the trash or recycling bin just yet. Use it to easily remove sweater pills that form when certain materials are laundered. You should be able to get several more uses out of your razor this way before you actually need to throw it away.
     

  • Disposable plastic powdered coffee creamer containers – Because of the way these particular plastic containers close (with a flip down flap), they make the perfect sugar dispensers. They close tightly, keeping sugar dry and protected, and they were made for pouring powdered creamer, so they’ll pour sugar just as easily!
     

  • Empty tissue boxes – When you reach the end of the tissues in a box, don’t throw it away so fast! These empty boxes have a multitude of interesting uses. They’re great for keeping all of your plastic grocery bags that you can also reuse as trash can liners around the house. In fact, an empty tissue box also makes a good mini trash can for use in your car or at your desk, if you have limited space.
     

  • Empty toilet paper and paper towel tubes – These cardboard rolls come in handy when organizing your extension cords, charging cords, holiday lights and any other cords or wires that you want to keep untangled while they’re being stored.
     

  • Old suntan or other lotion containers – Once empty and cleaned out, you can use these sturdy plastic lotion bottles as a great place to store your cell phone, keys, money and other small valuable items when you go to the beach or pool. You can also use an empty lotion bottle to make a very creative holder for your cell phone while it charges.

Tips on How to Host a Great Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving meal
Whether you’ve been hosting Thanksgiving dinner for years or if this your first time, preparing the yearly feast can definitely be overwhelming. The pressure to present the perfect holiday dinner can be intense, even if it’s pressure you put on yourself. Combined with a larger than usual audience (your entire extended family), it’s easy to understand why the holidays conjure stressful images for those who are in charge of meal prep.
 

One of the main factors that leads to high levels of stress on Thanksgiving is the fact that so many dishes must be prepared and served at the same time for things to be considered “successful.” This requires a great deal of coordination and planning, and even a small error in judgement can cause your plans to crumble like a row of dominoes. In order to avoid that scenario and to save your own sanity, try following some of these Thanksgiving tips:

 
Write out your menu

We know you’re not running a fancy restaurant, but writing down what you plan to serve will help in multiple ways. First, as soon as you know what you plan to serve, you can create a shopping list which will help you avoid forgetting that one ingredient that will make or break the meal. Secondly, it will give you a sense of control over the day because you’ll have plenty of time to think through any recipes that you haven’t made before.

 
Know who will be attending

Although it’s not a wedding or a birthday party, it is important for your friends and family members to give you a solid response about whether or not they’ll be eating dinner at your house on Thanksgiving Day. Knowing how many people will be there before you do your holiday grocery shopping will ensure that you buy the proper amounts of everything.


 
Request that guests bring something

It’s becoming more and more acceptable to ask your Thanksgiving guests to bring a dish with them, so do not feel like you’re breaking some ancient etiquette law by requesting help. This is especially true if you will be doing most or all of the food prep, table prep, cleaning and dishes.

 

Make a schedule

Once again, writing things down will help you stick to them. Write down all of the things you need to do on Thanksgiving Day from the moment you wake up to the moment the last dish is washed at the end of the day.


 
Get plenty of rest

The night before Thanksgiving, make it an early night so that you can wake up early enough to stay on schedule. Waking up early will allow you to begin roasting the turkey and prepping any dishes that are complicated or take a while to cook.


 
Have drinks prepared

As is usually the case, someone you know probably likes to be everywhere ahead of schedule, so be sure to have drinks and appetizers ready to serve before you dive into the rest of the menu items. If your house needs a cleaning, be sure to do that in the day(s) leading up to Thanksgiving so that you can focus on food and family on the big day.

Giving Back: Thanksgiving Volunteering in Middle Tennessee

Giving back

With all of the excitement of the holiday season, it is easy to forget that there are still so many in need. It takes an abundance of volunteers to prepare, supply, and deliver meals to people in need that they cannot do themselves. If you want to take the time out of your busy schedule this season, here are some places you can volunteer your time.

 

Nashville Rescue Mission

 

The Nashville Rescue Mission works in collaboration with the community to provide hope for the homeless, hungry and hurting. They always have a need for volunteer help as they host many events throughout the year. Take a look at the abundance of events in the coming weeks to plan a time to give back.

 

Nashville Food Project

 

The Nashville Food Project focuses on how food can be a tool to build up communities and be able to feed those in need. Their mission “is to bring people together to grow, cook and share nourishing food, with the goals of cultivating community and alleviating hunger in our city.” They grow their own organic foods in their gardens across town, cook in their kitchens with recovered, donated and their own grown food, and use their food trucks to share and distribute those foods to the people in need. How can you contribute? You can volunteer to work in on of their three gardens, prep food in their kitchens, or join on their many food runs.

 

Room in the Inn

 

The Room in the Inn provides programs that revolve around human development and recovery through education while providing long-term support. Thousands of people volunteer on their campuses during the winter months, and they could still use more help. You can help just with your skills to be able to teach others.

 

The Cupboard

 

The Rutherford County Emergency Food Bank has helped feed over 3,000 families and over 8,000 individuals across Rutherford County last year. All of the food they use to feed the people in need are donations from local schools, churches, youth organizations, food drives, and businesses. You can volunteer by becoming an ambassador at your place of business or organization by planning food drives, or help unload the food after the food drives, or volunteer a day each month at the food bank.

 

There are an abundance of ways to volunteer in Middle Tennessee not just for the holidays, but year round as well. Make sure to find local organizations that could use your help.

 

 

 

 

Listing of the Week

LOTW Arrington1

Featured on the Parade of Homes, this Britt Development beauty showcases well over 1,800 sq ft of outdoor living space! Winner of Best Front Porch, Best Game Room, Best Outdoor Living and Best Landscaping! Stunning features include a show-stopping two-story Foyer, 9 outdoor living areas, gorgeous views of the golf course with Hole #4 right across the lawn, accordion doors to let the outside in, transom windows and an amazing bonus “19th Hole” above the golf cart garage which was named, “Best Game Room.” 

Hideaway at Arrington offers 18-hole golf course, resort-style pool and spa, clubhouse, fishing ponds, tennis courts, walking and biking trails. Seller will provide the golf cart, pay the Buyer’s golf membership initiation fee AND the first year of monthly golf dues with an accepted contract by November 30th! Listed for $1,349,900 by Liz Zipperer from PARKS in the Gulch. Find out more about this listing here.

How to Make Your Home “Shabby Chic”

shabby chic
The home décor style known as ‘shabby chic’ has been embraced by homeowners and renters alike all around the world. Because of its focus on imperfection, shabby chic design appeals to those who prefer a home that feels and looks lived-in and comfortable rather than perfect and austere.
 
If you’re interested in incorporating the shabby chic design style into either your home’s interior, exterior (or both), you’ll want to try to find the right balance of rustic, weathered pieces combined with new décor items so that your home feels eclectic and welcoming.
 
Try adding some of the below listed components and elements to your existing home design to give your living space a simple, elegant shabby chic makeover:

     

  • Texture variety: By utilizing a number of different natural textures in pieces like lampshades, baskets, wall hangings, rugs, window coverings, throw pillows and more, you’ll help bring in a feeling of variety that is fundamentally shabby chic.
     

  • Mix and match colors: Another important element in shabby chic design is including several different color palettes in a single room. Think unmatched couch pillows and throws or a mismatched pastel set of plates and bowls in your kitchen cabinets. Keep in mind that colors are always less important than textures and materials when it comes to shabby chic style. Shabby chic colors are typically muted, but you can include some vibrant pops of color as well.
     

  • Bring in the light: While much of shabby chic style involves mixing up colors, patterns and textures – you can also go with a light and bright shabby chic design. An all-white living room that incorporates a variety of different textures and a few soft touches of color can be extremely inviting.
     

  • Go vintage: The foundation of any shabby chic living space is reclaimed design elements that include distressed pieces that you can find at your local thrift shop or flea market. Although many shabby chic lovers have treated new furniture pieces with antique-looking finishes, authentically vintage items are even more desirable if you can find them.
     

  • Do It Yourself (DIY) – A popular way to add the perfectly weathered item in any room is to create it yourself. By using old materials like vintage doors and milk crates to build a new shabby chic table or nightstand, you’ll get the perfect look at a low price.
     

  • Celebrate originals – If your home has wood flooring underneath carpeting, peel back that carpet and celebrate the natural state of your wooden floors. A distressed wood floor will give any room an instant shabby chic feel. If your wood floors are in great shape, consider painting them using a distressing technique to give them a ‘worn-in’ look.

 

When taking your home toward a shabby chic design, remember that you mustn’t go overboard. To decorate every room in your house with distressed or reclaimed items can look simply shabby without the chic. By pairing worn or antique elements with some pieces that look and feel new, your result will be cozy, comforting and welcoming to everyone who visits.

Antiquing Hot Spots in Middle Tennessee

Antiques

Now that new vintage revival has become one of the more popular home decor styles, antiquing is hitting a new progression. And finding hidden treasures in Middle Tennessee can be easier than you think, if you are looking in the right places.

 

Nashville

 

Franklin

 

Hendersonville

 

Goodlettsville

 

Murfreesboro

Listing of the Week

LOTW-1212Laurel-Blog-1024x512

This fabulous Twelve | Twelve condo in the Gulch is on the 15th floor and offers an amazing view along with stylish decor. It come complete with outstanding upgrades like floor-to-ceiling windows, custom draperies, electric shades with remote, and two Sono sound systems. This condo gives you the accessibility to walk to Predators and Titans games as well as the new pedestrian walk coming soon. The perfect place for an urban, city lifestyle. Listed for $729,000 by Luanne Story from PARKS in Cool Springs. Find out more about this condo here

How to Make Your Home Feel More Welcoming

welcoming home

Have you ever walked into a friend’s home and felt an immediate sense of comfort? It might not be immediately obvious why a particular abode feels so cozy and comforting, but there are a multitude of little things you can do to make your home feel just as welcoming.

 

Take a look around the rooms in your home where you most often welcome guests. If these areas feel like “something’s missing,” you can try adding a few items to turn up the ambience-meter. Some homes have more of a welcoming ambience than others just on their own, but if your house or apartment lacks built-in charm, don’t despair! By answering the following questions, you’ll know better how to make your home more inviting.

 

Is your own personal style evident?

In order to add the right ‘joie de vivre’ to your home, you simply must get in touch with your own personal style. Decorating your home in such a way that your personality shines through will give it a uniqueness that can’t be duplicated.

 

What is the first thing visitors see?

First impressions are very important when it comes to your home. Give your porch, front door, walkway or entryway some love! These areas are easy to ignore because we breeze through them but don’t spend any actual time living in them. Keep your home’s entryway clean and tidy. You might add a vibrant throw rug, a colorful welcome mat or a cute wooden sign that welcomes guests. Consider a colorful wreath to hang from your front door. A bench or potted plants just inside are easy ways to add character to what might otherwise be a rather drab area of the house.

 

Does your home get a lot of natural light?

Lighting accounts for a lot of the ambience in any location. If your home has little or no natural light, put some effort into choosing quality lighting features. Be sure to select some bright lights and some dimmer, warm-toned lamps for different occasions.

 

Are there a lot of sharp angles in your home?

If your home has a lot of straight lines and modern angles, you can soften up the overall look with round accents like rugs, pillows, artwork, and other décor items.

 

How much color appears throughout your home’s décor?

A home that is starkly painted one neutral tone can feel cold and less inviting than one with splashes of vibrant, bold, warm colors. Add color through wall colors, rugs, paintings, colored lighting fixtures, pillows, throws and more.
 

Do you have comfortable seating?

One aspect of any welcoming home is whether or not there is adequate seating for all of the guests that you may entertain at one time. Pulling out uncomfortable folding chairs when you have visitors will not make your space feel cozy.

 

Is your home easy to navigate?

Be sure that your main entertaining/living area is set up to allow for people to walk through easily. Cozy doesn’t have to mean cluttered, and in fact a space that is overfilled with too much furniture can feel claustrophobic, which can make your guests uncomfortable.

Popular Holiday Expos in Middle Tennessee

holiday expos

There are an abundance of holiday expos in Middle Tennessee this season and they start early! Get ahead on your holiday shopping list for friends and family by browsing local vendors, artisans and shops for unique, one-of-a-kind gifts at a holiday expo. But if some expos require tickets, get them quick because these events are very popular and tend to sell out fast!

 

Brentwood Christmas Crawl

Shopping local this holiday season is a great way to find unique gifts to put under the tree or to give to someone who has it all and the Brentwood Christmas Crawl is the perfect way to do so. Come visit the 16 retailers who will be offering special discounts, extended hours, food, drinks and prizes! Some participating stores include Copper Penny, Southern Vintage Market, Snooty Fox, Momma Nik’s Cheesecake, Plaid Rabbit, and many more. Happening at the intersection of Church St. and Franklin Road on November 3rd-5th.

 

Christmas Village

Nashville’s most popular holiday shopping expo for more than 50 years is Christmas Village. People from all over the U.S. come out to view more than 250 merchants this season! There will be anything from toys, food, clothing, jewelry, pottery and many more. Happening on November 11-13th at the Fairgrounds, you can find out more information here.

 

Jingle Mingle

An event mainly for woman of all ages, although men are still welcome, Jingle Mingle will be featuring boutique clothing, jewelry, decor and more. Guests will be able to enjoy pampering in a massage chair or have a color consultation as well as sampling food from local vendors. Perfect ladies night out! Happening November 14th in White House at the Municiple Center. Buy tickets here.

 

Made South Holiday Market

Shop southern hospitality and creativity at the Made South Holiday Market at The Factory at Franklin on November 18th and 19th. Come watch cooking demonstrations from Springer Mountain Farms, enjoy tastings from Southern Distiller, listen to live music and more. There will be over 100 of the finest Southern makers and artisans and 10% of the proceeds benefit the Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. Purchase tickets here.

 

Listing of the Week

LOTW-1825Elkton-Blog-1024x512

Beautifully restored Greek Revival Home situated on approximately 4.39 acres of gentle rolling hills. This impeccable home features a log room with gas fireplace, hardwood floors, kitchen with commercial gas stove, custom cabinets, marble counter tops, “New Orleans” courtyard, studio, barn, potting shed, and many more amenities. Conveniently located minutes from I-65 and about 50 minutes south of Franklin and 30 minutes north of Huntsville. Offered at $499,000 and listed by Teresa Chiles from Parks in Cool Springs. Find out more about this listing here.