5 Easy Tricks to Make Your Home Look Outstanding

home-decorIn the spring of 2014, I was beginning to feel uninspired by the look of my home.  Although I knew I needed a change, I didn’t know where to begin.  I had no clue about what I wanted to changed or how to do it.

After a few weeks of not knowing where to begin, I just went for it.  I dove right in and began changing things up – experimenting with what I thought looked good and what didn’t.  After a month or so of changes, I finally came to a look that I really enjoyed and learned a few things about design along the way.

If you’re in a similar position with the look of your home, then fear no more.  Below, I’m about to share with you some of the best things you can do to make your home look outstanding.

  1. Liven Up a Room With Plantskitchen-with-plant

If your home is feeling dull you can easily add a splash of color by adding a few plants to the mix-up.  Plants are not only great for adding natural color to a room, but they also bring fresh air to your home.  Check out a few house plants from Home Depot that you can add to your home.


  1. Repaint With Soft Colors

Soft, light colors are an excellent way to open up rooms to make them feel larger.  Utilize soft colors in your smaller rooms to make them feel less stuffy.


  1. Replace Your Window Treatments

Windows and window treatments are often overlooked when trying to refresh the look of a home.  However, changing up your shutters or blinds can really help add a new personality to your home.  Check out http://www.mannkidwell.com/ for an excellent selection of interior window treatments.


  1. Bring In Natural Light With Mirrors

If you have a particularly dim area in your home, try adding a mirror or two to help brighten up those areas.  Mirrors can also be used to help small rooms feel larger.  Try using multiple small, decorative mirrors or one large mirror to serve as a centerpiece in a room.


  1. Add a Neat Rug

Rugs are excellent for large expanses of hardwood floors.  They not only add a decorative touch but can also help cut down on the echoes in a room.

The Need to Know for Replacement Windows

There is a distinct difference between window replacements and new construction windows. If you are looking to redo the windows in your home or business, it is important to understand the difference. Replacement windows are more than likely the right choice. Read on to discovery why.

Understanding the Two Window Types

There are “new construction windows” and “replacement windows.”

new construction windowsThe name sort of gives it away on new construction windows. These windows are constructed when a new home is built. However, that’s not the full definition. These new windows contain a nailing fin, which is a rim that lets you secure the whole piece in a rough wall opening. They can also be built when a major renovation occurs, specifically an addition to the original house. Remodeling projects can also feature new construction windows, but only if the exterior of the building is removed to reveal the studs required for the new window.

Once again, that’s a lot of work.

Most people don’t want to do such extensive work. That’s why it’s important to understand the difference before you hire a company that comes in to do something entirely different from what you require, or even want. A replacement windows company will often offer the best solution. That’s because most people are looking to replace their windows with instead of undergoing a whole remodeling overhaul on their home. Anything else can be too time-consuming and expensive. This solution makes the most sense, and will save you the most money.

The Perks of Replacement Windows

A professional replacement windows installer will help you keep costs low because such a company knows how to provide an estimate, what necessary tools to use, and how to do the job ahead of schedule without any added expense. They won’t try to convince you that you need a complete overhaul of your home’s exterior, wasting countless dollars when all you need is a simple design solution via your windows. Even better, a replacement windows company in New Jersey can do a complete overview of your home that allows you to choose the correct type of replacement window so you don’t have to waste money and do this job twice.

Types of Replacement Windowswindow replacement2

A replacement windows installer should always offer two types of windows, making sure you understand the difference between each and choosing the one that best suits your needs.

The first type of replacement windows is called a Flush Fin, or Z Bar. The outer flange of this window is designed to obliterate the frame of the existing window. This window is very popular in areas where aluminum windows are abundant, and home or building exteriors consist of stucco or masonry. California is a place where this style is often seen.

A block frame style is the second option. If your exterior consists of siding or brick, and the structure features wood windows, then a block frame style window is a great bet. This window requires that the original wood perimeter be in place to help maintain the grace of the structure.

Replacing your windows can save you tons of money. If you have old windows in your home or office, then it’s almost a surefire bet that you are losing money because the windows don’t fit properly, and a ton of heat and air are escaping. Ill-fitting windows can also let in bugs and even unpleasant smells or noise if you live in a populous area.

Prepping for the Estimate

Many window companies provide free estimates for their customers. The only thing you need to be able to do is to calculate your energy costs down to the last penny to keep track of the savings you will earn by replacing your windows. A technician will come in and analyze everything that you are spending, measure your existing windows, and make overall suggestions on how to lower your monthly energy payments. It can’t get any better than hiring an established replacement windows company to make your place shine.

If you are in need of new windows, don’t rush out to hire an installation service unless they can provide an estimate, suggestions, and help you choose the right style of window for your home.

The Best Ways to Protect Your Home From the Elements

According to a Gallup poll taken in March 2014, 69% of Americans believe that climate change is really happening. This is due to an increase in the rate of weather extremes such as frequent flooding, record rainfalls, extended drought periods (especially in California), and frequent wildfires. Whenever these unpredictable weather events occur, they case property damage worth billions of dollars. For this reason, it is wise to protect your home from the elements. Here are some of the best ways to protect your home from inclement weather and debris:


During construction, cover your entire home with housewrap to prevent moisture and air from seeping indoors, especially during cold winter months. By blocking moisture, you will prevent dampness that could cause mold and mildew growth on indoor surfaces. When purchasing housewrap, select one that has a high moisture vapor transmission rate (MVTR). In laymen’s terms, MVTR is a measure of the rate of moisture and vapor passage through a substance or material. Housewrap made of a thin layer of spun-bonded polyethylene material is a good choice because it does not negatively affect the breathability of a building.


Siding is the first line of defense against elements like rain, snow, and hail. Moreover, it improves a property’s curb appeal, energy efficiency, and overall value. Common siding materials include:

  • Wood: Wood siding comes in different forms including shingles, clapboards, and shakes. If well-maintained, wood siding can last for decades. However, it is susceptible to pest infestation (like ants and termites) and rotting. To prevent this from happening, paint, chalk, and stain in regularly.
  • Brick: Fired clay bricks are another popular choice for siding. Since bricks allow water to seep through, it is advisable to install a waterproof membrane between brick siding and the exterior surface of a building. The only drawback to brick siding is that it is quite expensive with installation costs ranging from $6 to $15 per square foot.
  • Fiber Cement: Fiber cement siding is durable, pest-resistant, does not rot, and requires little maintenance. The only problem with fiber cement is that it is heavy, meaning it could have a negative impact on the structural integrity of a building. Blue Ridge Exteriors of Richmond VA is a great local contracting company that specializes in fiber cement or Hardie Plank siding.
  • Vinyl: Vinyl is one of the most popular siding choices in the U.S. Property owners love vinyl siding because it is affordable, easy to maintain, versatile, comes in a wide range of colors, is easy to install, and is very light. However, it doesn’t look quite as nice as wood, brick, or fiber cement, and is not resistant to fires.
  • Steel: Steel siding can withstand extreme weather better than other siding choices. Moreover, steel does not rust and can last for up to 100 years or more. But of course, you’d have to live with the appearance of your steel home.

Structural Bracing

If your home is not built to withstand extreme weather conditions such as hurricane winds, structural bracing is necessary. Since this is a highly technical task, you should hire a structural engineer to perform a thorough audit of your home’s structural integrity and then implement his or her recommendations. A good starting point is installing impact-resistant windows and doors. Do not worry about the high initial investment, since you won’t have to replace damaged windows or doors each hurricane season. If your home has a gabled roof, use truss bracing to secure it.

Property owners in earthquake-prone parts of the U.S., such as those living along California’s San Andreas Fault, should invest in earthquake protection technology. This includes installing isolation bearings that allow buildings to move without developing severe structural damage or crumbling to the ground.

home fireproofingFireproofing

Fire are becoming increasingly common due to prolonged droughts in parts of the U.S. such as California. For this reason, property owners in these areas should fireproof their homes. To do so, get rid of flammable materials including dry leaves, grass, twigs, shrubs, and tree branches lying around outdoors. If you can (without breaking water-use limits or regulations), water the vegetation outdoors to keep it green. Additionally, you can install fire-resistant roofing and siding. Investing in an outdoor water sprinkler system and a pool will improve your home’s ability to withstand fire outbreaks. Remember, firefighters can use pool water to douse fire around your home. Indoors, install a fire suppression system and portable fire extinguishers.


Protecting your home against the elements has become more important now due to an increase in extreme weather events like flooding, hurricanes, and wildfires that occur during long dry spells. Some of the steps you can take to achieve this goal include installing housewrap, installing siding, investing in structural bracing, and fireproofing your home and surrounding property.

How to Effectively Lower Your Car Insurance

used car lot

With so many ways to save big on car insurance premiums, there is no reason why you shouldn’t start today. It will take a little out of your daily schedule, but it will pay off big in the long run.

Start Looking At Other Auto Insurance Companies

Auto insurance prices may differ from company to company, so if you’re looking for cheap car insurances, you should start looking now. I suggest getting quotes from five to seven different places to ensure that you are not paying too much. Here you have some options. You can either contact the companies via telephone directly or by information found on their website. Also, you can find comparison quotes on many state insurance departments’ websites.

Another way to verify that a potential auto insurance company is a valid candidate is to research their financial status. A.M Best, Standard & Poor’s, and consult consumer magazines can help guide you through many companies financial backgrounds.

You can also ask neighbors, family, and friends for their input. You want a company you can trust and sometimes that means paying a little bit more. Some insurance companies are more apt to providing answers to your questions than others. Online consumer complaints are another great resource for trust citation.

Before Buying a New Car

model by careMany people rush into buying the car of their dreams and don’t take the time to find out how much insurance will cost. You can save yourself a lot of grief by first finding how much it will cost to maintain the proper auto insurance with a quick and simple quote.

Raising Your Deductibles

One quick way to lower your premiums is to raise your deductibles. Sometimes you can achieve a fifteen to thirty percent lower premium by increasing your deductibles. You can save even more by going even higher on your deductibles but remember that you are going to have to pay out more in the event of an accident so choose wisely. If you feel you may not be driving as much or you are a safe driver then maybe increasing the deductible isn’t a bad thing. Start a savings account specifically for an accident deductible if you do decide to raise it up a notch.

Ask for Discounts

Sometimes a great car insurance company will offer discounts to help you save. These discounts could be based on good driving, which some companies are tracking with devices that are installed into your car. Others may offer a discount if you apply a secondary type of insurance like motorcycle insurance. You may also achieve a discount for being a loyal customer. One discount that many insurance companies offer to reduce your rates is to partake in a defensive driving course which can help out your driving record.

Re-evaluate Your Cars Value

If you are driving an older car, it may not be beneficial to hold a comprehensive or collision coverage plan. The rule of thumb is that if your care is not worth at least a tenth of what your premium is then it is most likely not logical to hold a comprehensive or collision plan. Kelley’s Blue Book is an excellent and trustworthy site for generating an accurate evaluation of your vehicle’s value.

Keep a Healthy Credit History

There are car insurance companies that review your credit line as a means of establishing your premiums. It is important to keep up with all of your payments and only using credit when needed. This will help you save money across the board.

Make sure to choose an auto insurance that is right for you and don’t rush into it. Good luck and happy hunting!



How and Why to Hire an Eco-Friendly Carpet Cleaning Service

If you want a thoroughly clean house, this usually means having your carpeting professionally cleaned. Although carpeting offers a few benefits such as a luxury feel and a dampening of noise, with regular family life of children and kids, the carpeting gets dirty. You can do spot stain removal yourself, but deep cleaning of carpets only happens by hiring a professional carpet cleaning service.

Why You Need a Carpet Cleaning Service

why you need a carpet cleaningCarpet cleaners are experts in getting your floor covering clean and fresh smelling. Their expertise helps them to clean your carpets efficiently and in less time than it would take you to rent a carpet cleaning machine, learn how to use it properly, and then clean the carpets throughout your home. Although you will save money with this do-it-yourself project, you will also waste a lot of your time and energy. You will also be less than thrilled with the final results. You would then realize that a professional would have done a much better job, and that the best use of your money and your time is to hire an expert.

How to Remove Stains from a Carpet

scrubbing up stain in carpet by handFor cleaning small stains on the carpet, the best thing to do is to clean up messes as soon as they happen and before the stain sets into the fabric. If it’s a wet stain, such as spilled milk, soda or pet urine, you want to absorb as much of the liquid as possible with a pile of paper towels. Of course, this may not always be possible if a child or pet has an accident of some kind that you don’t notice until hours later.

Also, some carpet stains are harder to get rid of than others. These stain removal jobs usually require a professional, especially if the stain covers a large area of the carpet. A few difficult stains are blood, red wine, paint, and ink.

Why Green Cleaning is a Good Choice

eco friendly badgeThere are many reasons why green cleaning services like the one I use you can find their website here are growing in popularity. As more people become environmentally conscious, they are looking for ways to clean their homes without using toxic chemicals. One reason is indoor air pollution. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air pollution is actually worse than outdoor air pollution. This is due to poor ventilation, and other factors such as smoking, fireplaces, food odors, gas appliances, and cleaning solvents. Poor air quality that you continuously breathe in can lead to health problems or aggravate asthma, allergies or sensitivity issues.

Another issue many families face is keeping children and pets safe and healthy. This is best accomplished by not having or using toxic chemicals in the house. Without harsh chemicals there are no fumes for pets and kids to inhale or to accidentally ingest as poisons. When it comes to professional cleaning services, you want only pet and child friendly carpet cleaning products used. Many carpet cleaning companies are now using chemical-free cleaning solutions. For example Chem-Dry uses carbonated hot water with no chemicals for its carpet cleaning jobs.

Carpet cleaners use a variety of methods and solvents to clean your home. However, carpet cleaning services that are switching over to non-toxic cleaners are noticing an increase in business.

Many homeowners now understand the benefits of hiring carpet cleaners who use green cleaning products. These products are safer to use around kids and pets, they improve indoor air quality and they are environmentally friendly.

3 Ways to Make Your Guest’s Stay Better


If you’re an owner of a bed and breakfast or any other type of hospitality venue where guests often stay overnight, then you know how important it is to make sure your guests are as comfortable as they can be.  A pleasant guest experience is a great way to have returning customers as well as referrals.

Like most hospitality managers, you’re probably always on the lookout for new and improved ways to make your guest’s atmosphere the best it can be.  Below are three ways for you to improve your residence.

Replacement Windows

If your venue is an older building, chances are your windows are out of date.  This is a crucial area that many homeowners fail to take note of.  Most people are under the assumption that windows that aren’t broken or shattered are in great condition.

While this may be true for many windows, if you have windows that are over 20 years old, you may be in for a big surprise.  As windows age, they begin to lose their insulation abilities.  This means that your AC and heater need to work much harder in order to cool or heat the room.  This also means that your residence, where your guests stay, are more likely to notice inconsistencies in temperatures between rooms.

High-quality replacement windows, like those from Renewal by Andersen, will help you to keep your residence’s temperature more comfortable throughout the building.


Appearances are everything when you’re looking to impress your guests.  Having bright and colorful walls is an excellent way to make your residence look in tip-top shape.  If you notice your walls or crown molding beginning to lose their luster, make sure to schedule a fresh paint job in the near future.

The same goes for any stained furniture such as tables, bookshelves, or chairs.  A touch-up job on these items can go a long way in the eyes of your guests.

Pressure Washing

Again, appearances are everything in the world of hospitality.  You want your residence to look its best both inside and out.  Dirt and grime easily build up on outside surfaces, making they look dull.  Each year, make sure to schedule a pressure washing.  Focus on the building’s exterior, such as siding, the porch and patio, any sidewalks, and even the driveway.  You may be surprised how different everything can look with a simple power wash session.

Is Your Car Road Trip Ready?

road trip2When you’re in the car with your family for hours — or days — there’s a lot that can go wrong. Maybe your GPS leads you in the wrong direction, maybe one of your kids gets the stomach flu, or maybe you forget to confirm your hotel reservation and you end up sleeping in the car for a night. Sometimes you can’t avoid some of the hindrances and disruptions that often come along with a road trip, but there is one thing you can help prevent: an automotive breakdown.

As your vehicle is arguably the most important component of your road trip vacation, the last thing you want to happen is a mechanical failure. Breakdowns can typically be avoided by getting your car checked out before you hit the road. To reduce your chances of experiencing a potentially vacation-ruining vehicle breakdown, take your car to a reliable mechanic such as this Richmond auto repair shop, and be sure that they inspect the following:


The most common source of an automotive failure is your tires. Have your tires inspected by a professional, trustworthy mechanic who can tell you if your tires are sufficiently inflated, if the tires are worn unevenly, or if your tires are so worn down that they need to be replaced. It’s best to get your tire problems fixed now than to find yourself on the side of the road due to a flat tire.

Brakes, Oil, Filter

These are all things that you should be getting checked regularly. If you’re about to hit the road and you can’t remember the last time you had your brake pads, brake fluid, or oil changed, then it’s a good idea to just go ahead and get those looked at now just in case.


There are many things that can go wrong with your car’s transmission. Signs of transmission problems include refusing to go into gear, your car emitting a burning smell, or clunking or humming sounds. Unfortunately, issues with your car’s transmission can take a while to fix, so you’ll want to take care of these well before your road trip. And if you’re thinking about just holding off until your next paycheck or until you find the time, you’re going to risk making matters much worse (and much more expensive!)

On a long road trip, there’s a lot that can go wrong. But that doesn’t mean to simply throw all caution to the wind and hope that everything goes smoothly. Instead, take as many precautions as you can — such as getting your family road trip vehicle inspected and serviced — in order to prevent as many avoidable issues as possible.

How To Keep Your Home Clean Every Day

Window-cleaningKeeping your home clean is no easy task.  It’s easy to fall into a rhythm of letting the house become messy and then spending all day cleaning once a month.  This type of cleaning method can really take a toll on you, though.  Every day your home gets messier and messier and then when cleaning day comes around you feel unmotivated and uninspired.

I used to fall into this habit myself until I made a point to clean just a little bit each and every day.  It has made a world of difference in my home.  Small stuff, like dusting or wiping down surfaces in a room or a quick vacuum of the hallway, can go by really quickly.  These are things that can be done in just a few minutes time and if you just do one task a day, you’ll find that your home is consistently more clean.

Of course you should always plan out larger tasks in advance like steam cleaning or air duct cleaning, but getting the little stuff out of the way every day, will make those chores seem like less of a burden.

Make a Landing Strip

Most people, when they walk in their home, want to immediately offload items like their keys, wallet, purse, or any other items.  The best way to organize these things and to not have clutter all over the house is to create a landing strip at the door.  For my home, I put a table that sits against the wall and provides an area for me to put all of my offloaded items.  This helps me not to accidentally misplace these items and keeps everything in one spot.

Do the dishes after every meal.

Yes, dishes are a pain.  But they’re easier to deal with in smaller quantities.  If you make it a habit to clean up after every meal, you can better manage the mess.  It’s hard at first, but once you get into a habit of cleaning up after every meal, you’ll notice that it becomes much easier.

Set a Time Limit

If you go into cleaning without a determined amount of time that it will take, chances are you’ll spend more time than necessary.  For me, I like to choose a task and set a limit at either 5 or 10 minutes depending on the cleaning being done.  This helps to prioritize and not get caught up with distractions.

Make it Fun

Put on some tunes or whistle your favorite song while doing your cleaning tasks.  This will make the task seem like less work and you’ll be finished in no time.

Clean Your Home Like a Hotel Maid Service

hotel maid cleaningEspecially if you have a full-time job and a family, keeping a clean house isn’t an easy task. When you finally get home after a long day at work, the last thing you want to do is spend the rest of the evening cleaning when you could be sharing a nice meal and relaxing with your family. But when you start noticing dust and clutter building up around the house, you know that some changes in your regular cleaning routine need to be made. Getting in the habit of cleaning on a regular basis will save you a lot of time on cleaning in the future, and will help to keep your house clean and your family healthy.

Because they have to clean so many rooms throughout a single day, most hotel maids are able to clean a larger room in 45 minutes, and a smaller room in 25 minutes. You may not be on the same kind of time crunch as a maid service, but if you plan well, your deep cleaning project won’t have to take you all day. Here are some tips on how to keep your house clean like a professional hotel cleaning crew:

Create a plan

Without a plan, you’re not going to be able to clean an entire room in 45 minutes. Break down the room into separate areas that need to be cleaned or dusted – bookcase, coffee table, behind the couch, etc. Start from the top, dusting ceiling fans and window frames, and end at the bottom by cleaning the floors. Drafting a cleaning checklist beforehand may also help to keep you focused on attacking one task at a time.

Remove clutter

Start by cleaning up all the trash in the room and getting smaller items (like shampoo bottles and toothbrush holders in the bathroom) out of the way so you have room to clean the floors and wipe down countertops.

Use non-toxic cleaning solutions

green cleaningTry to use eco-friendly, non-toxic cleaning products that are safe for your family and pets. Many cleaning products are very dangerous to keep around the house, especially if you have small children or pets. Be sure to never mix cleaning agents, as this can create harmful fumes that you may breathe in.

Don’t forget your furniture and upholstery

Many people tend to focus on dusting and wiping counters, and vacuuming the floor, while overlooking furniture and upholstery. Sofas and upholstered chairs can collect food particles and pet hair over time. Use a vacuum with an attachment to vacuum up your furniture and upholstery.

Open a window

Especially if you’re cleaning with smelly chemical products, you should open a window to help ventilate your home while you clean. Letting natural light into your home will also help make your home feel fresh, airy and clean.

Hire some outside help if you need to

Don’t be a hero. Everyone needs a little help every now and then. If starting with a blank slate will help motivate you to keep your home clean in the future, hire a cleaning service. With certain items like carpeting, you may even require professional help to deep clean and extract all the dirt and debris that has built up over time. This Winston Salem carpet cleaning company uses a carbonated hot water extraction method to give your carpet a deep clean that you might not be able to achieve on your own.

Unfortunately, no one pays you for your cleaning services around your own house. But, you’ll notice that once you get into the habit of regular, weekly house cleanings, each time you clean your house you won’t need to spend nearly as much time – meaning more time for you to spend relaxing with your family.

4 Expert Travel Tips For Your Next Adventure


Traveling is something I’ve always loved to do.  Ever since I was a child, traveling with my parents, I’ve loved just hitting the road and going somewhere new and fun.  Some people, however, aren’t so fond of traveling and the sheer thought of it brings uneasiness; but unfortunately, everyone must travel at some point.

Over the years I’ve picked up on some helpful travel tips that have saved me headaches while on the road.  I wanted to share with you some of my favorite travel tips below.  Even if you’re a seasoned traveler, I’m sure you’ll find some of these tips helpful.

Save On Space

Space can be critical when traveling.  Whether you’re flying or just limited on space in the car, it can be very easy to end up with a lot more than you can handle.  A great tip I’ve learned is once you’re done packing, go ahead and unpack a third of what you have.  Chances are much of what you packed isn’t really necessary.  You’ll be glad once you start packing up the car or boarding the plane and have less bags to deal with.

Take Pictures of Valuables

Things get lost – it’s inevitable.  However, some things are more valuable than others.  Before you set off on your journey, make a point to take a picture of items such as your credit cards, license, passport, social security card, etc.  In the case that you lose any of these items, you’ll have proof of your identity as well as contact info on how to replace them.

Pack Snacks

No matter how short your trip is, chances are you’ll get hungry at some point along the way.  Always make sure to pack snacks and bottled water in a bag that you’ll always have on you.  You never know if you’ll have a delay, or be rerouted along the way, making your trip much longer than you anticipated.

Take Time For R&R After Your Trip

No matter the destination or the purpose, returning from a trip can be exhausting.  Always make sure to plan some time once you return to relax and readjust.  For me, I always schedule time at my local massage and spa parlor.  You’ll be glad you took a day to relax after traveling.

I hope these tips were helpful to you in some way.  Click here for some more expert travel tips and good luck on your next adventure!


Road Trip Inspired Design

road-tripI’ve always loved traveling with my grandmother.  Growing up, her and I would always take a road trip each summer and stay at various bed and breakfasts along the way.  My grandmother always liked to stay at B&Bs because she loved seeing all of the different ways the homes were decorated and she and how inn keepers always made your feel at home – unlike most hotels.

Over the years, however, we’ve gone on less and less road trips, usually because of my scheduling conflicts.  However, this year I decided we should change that and go on another trip.  The timing worked great for me, as I had time off from school, and for my grandma, whose senior care helper was going on vacation with her own family.

While planning our trip, I researched different bed and breakfasts that were on our route.  They were all located on the country side surrounded by beautiful scenery.  I thought they would be perfect places to catch up with my grandmother.

During our road trip, my grandmother expressed to me how she wanted some help redesigning her home.  She said that she felt inspired from the different inns we were staying at.  She thought they were so stylish and sophisticated and that she would love to have her home use a similar style.

I thought this sounded excellent!  Since I was home for the summer I would have more than enough time to help plan and design my grandmother’s home.

Making these plans to redesign her home filled us both with creative energy.  During our drives we would play around with different ideas that we had like what colors to use and what styles to replicate.  While staying at the different B & Bs we would discuss with the inn keeper about the different styles they used in their inns and what had inspired them.

stylish-kitchenOnce we got home from our trip we could hardly wait to begin with the plans we had made.  The day after our return, I visited my grandmother with my laptop and we browsed the internet for ideas and ordered a few pieces of furniture.

Our furniture is expected to arrive any day now and then we’ll get to work on everything else we have planned.  We have all of our color combinations prepared and ideas in mind.  This is going to be a great summer!

Vacation Ideas for Seniors

If you are a senior who has recently retired, and your grown children are already out of the house and starting families of their own, you’ve probably found yourself suddenly with an abundance of extra time. Previously, vacations had to be scheduled around work and the children’s school schedules, but now, there are few obligations holding you back from that dream vacation you’ve been waiting for ever since you returned from your honeymoon. So what’s the wait?

Many getaways and destinations are focused on young, newly married couples, or families with young children. However, as the baby boomers move into the senior citizen demographic, more and more vacations are geared toward people aged 65+. Many hotels and cruises also offer valuable discounts for seniors, making a post-retirement getaway even more desirable. And itineraries are not always centered around couples either – many planned vacations are designed specifically for single seniors who are interested in having fun and meeting new people. Whatever your interest or reason for vacation may be, here are a few ideas for senior getaways to get you started on planning your next trip:


If travelling along the West Coast or to different islands in the Caribbean, while enjoying the amenities of maid service, breakfast in bed, a swimming pool, and live entertainment sounds  like an ideal vacation for you – considering going on a cruise! Many cruise lines offer special rates for senior citizens, and most provide social activities like single seniors’ night, dancing, and bingo. With all of the on-board and off-board activities available, you’ll always have something fun to do.

Volunteer Vacation

If you’re more interested in taking a vacation while being immersed in culture and helping people at the same time, consider volunteering abroad! Cross-Cultural Solutions for example offers the experience of a lifetime for seniors interested in volunteering in countries such as Brazil, Costa Rica, Ghana, Guatemala, and India.

Historical Tour

Taking a historical tour in a city like Charleston, SC or Richmond, VA is a great way to learn and go somewhere new – especially if you’re not all that interested in the typical beach vacation. Charleston is a beautiful southern city rich in history, home to extravagant mansions and expansive plantations. The city features over 1,000 historic buildings, perfect for touring.

Stay At a Local Bed & Breakfast

If a lack of mobility makes it difficult for you to travel, consider making a weekend reservation at a local bed & breakfast. This is an easy, cost-effective way to just “get away from it all,” and you’ll be able to socialize with other guests, and eat outstanding, home-made food. Many B&Bs also offer senior discounts and social events for seniors. Call a nearby B&B in your town to see what they have to offer. And if your lack of mobility is getting in the way of aspects in your life apart from travelling, call Seniors Helping Seniors Asheville to see if in-home care services are right for you.

Retirement doesn’t have to mean staying on the couch all day! If you have the freedom in your life that’s often inhibited by a 9-5 job or young children, take advantage of it by going on vacation, seeing the sights, and spending time with your loved one. You won’t regret it!