Category: Home + Lifestyle

Spice Up Your Outdoor Patio Furniture!

Your outside furniture space deserves to have a little fun this summer! HouseBeautiful predicts some beautiful summer styles for this year that will easily transform your outdoor space. Spruce up your space by adding:

  • layered blankets and throw pillows
  • splashy patterned pillows
  • soft coastal Maui blues and ivory/bisque
  • woven styles and crochet designed furniture
  • distressed light blue
  • natural materials like a solid teak table
  • florals
  • a mosaic table

Take your outdoor space to a whole new level this summer.

Source: HouseBeautiful April 10, 2017

Consumer Reports Indicates Best Items to Buy in May

In need of some new items in your home but not sure when to get the best deal on them?

Check out Consumer Reports “Best Time to Buy Things” listing. They’ve compiled stats on a wide range of products and then categorized them in the month when they are the least expensive to purchase.

This month, if you’re in need of any of the following items, you’re in luck. Go get ’em now while the price is right. 

Saving money where you can is always a good idea. If you’re doing work around your home right now, be sure to click here to look at the full listing to see if you should wait a month or two before making your next big product purchase.

Homemade is the Key to Mom’s Heart


This Mother’s Day, why not spoil Mom with some homemade specialties instead of fighting for reservations at a pricey brunch spot nearby?

These recipes from Taste of Home are sure to delight her. And maybe even surprise her that someone else spent time in the kitchen!

From all of us at Skyline Home Loans, we hope that you take time this Mother’s Day to show the mothers in your life how much you love them.

And, if you’re a mom reading this – sit back and relax. Let someone else do the work for a change. You deserve it.

High Contrast: A Design Trick That Makes Small Spaces Seem Larger

This is the conventional wisdom: for a small space, light colors. Dark colors can make a space feel heavy and oppressive, and they tend to soak up light, which is usually at a premium in a smaller space. But dark colors can actually make a small space seem larger—it just all depends on how you use them.

The key is, instead of painting the entire space in a dark color, to just paint one wall (or a single element like a bookcase). Dark colors read as receding from the viewer, so the accent wall visually enlarges the space (and sets up a nice contrast that can make the rest of the space seem brighter by comparison). Let’s check out a few examples.

Read the source article at Apartment Therapy

Smart TVs 101: Everything you need to know

The ins and outs of internet-connected televisions

Smart TVs, unlike conventional television sets, let users do a number of things—such as stream content from services like Netflix or Hulu, browse the internet, and check social media—directly from the TV set without additional hardware.

And they’re gaining steam with consumers: In 2011, 52 million smart TVs were sold worldwide. By 2015, that number rose to 141 million and was projected to hit 173 million by 2016.

Of course, there are several ways you can set up a “smart” TV. You can buy an actual Smart TV with integrated Wi-Fi, one that can handle apps and the like. Or, you can buy something like the Google Chromecast, Apple TV, or Roku Stick to turn your “dumb” TV into a “smart” one.

Read the source article at Curbed

Mortgage rates tumble to fresh 2017 low

Yesterday, interest rates fell to the lowest they’ve been all year! This is great news for those who are ready to purchase a home or are considering refinancing.

Mortgage rates can change at any moment; that’s why it’s so important to strike while the iron is hot.

Rates for home loans fell in line with Treasury yields, nudging mortgage rates to the lowest level of the year, Freddie Mac said Thursday.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.08%, down 2 basis points during the week. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.34%, down from 3.36%. The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.18%, down one basis point.

Those rates don’t include fees associated with obtaining mortgage loans.

The 10-year Treasury yield fell five basis points during the week as investors continue to re-assess the expectations for fiscal stimulus and economic growth that followed the November election even as fresh geopolitical worries flared. The benchmark government bond breached a key technical level, 2.30%, twice during the week.

Read the source article at MarketWatch

5 Ways Pets Are Good for You

Did you know that Americans spend approximately $60 billion* on pets each year? That’s a ton of cash spent on cats, dogs and other pets!

But animal lovers everywhere don’t think twice when it comes to spending money on a beloved pet. They become part of the family. So, you’re probably not surprised to know that April 11 is #NationalPetDay – a day to celebrate our pets.

It’s a good thing we all love our pets so much. Experts tell us that the presence of animals in our home helps us stay healthier. Here are 5 reasons why according to WebMD.

1. Pets Make Your Heart Happy

Your dog may make you less likely to get heart disease. Why? Dog owners walk more and have lower blood pressure than people who don’t have dogs.

2. Pets Reduce Stress

Petting your cat or dog feels good. It can lower your blood pressure, helps your body release a relaxation hormone, and cuts down on levels of a stress hormone.

3. Pets Help You Connect with Others

Pets, especially dogs, can help you connect with other people. People who use wheelchairs say that other people make eye contact with them more often and ask if they can be of help when they’re with their dogs, Beck says.

4. Pets Boost Your Spirits

People with pets are generally happier, more trusting, and less lonely than those who don’t have pets. They also visit the doctor less often for minor problems.

5. Pets Help Raise Healthy Babies

Babies raised in families that have pets may be less likely to get allergies and asthma, some studies show. Babies with dogs or cats at home have fewer colds and ear infections during their first year than babies living in pet-free homes, one study found.

Thinking about getting a pet of your own? If you’re a parent, you’ll love this quiz from Parent magazine to help you pick the pet that’s right for your family.

Have a pet you love? Send me a picture! On National Pet Day, and always, go spend some time with your furry friend. It will do you some good!

Sources: American Pet Products Association, and WebMD

Why You Don’t Actually Need to Work Out Every Day (According to Science)

(Image credit: Suzanne Tylander)

We all know working out comes with a lot of health benefits, but what if exercise is just not really your thing, or you have a too-busy schedule that doesn’t allow for daily workout time? As it turns out, you don’t have to exercise every day—you’ll still get those healthy perks even if you’re a less frequent gym-goer.

Of course, more regular exercise will do more for your overall fitness levels, but as far as health benefits are concerned, working out only a few times a week still cuts it pretty close—which is good news for all those weekend warriors out there. A study in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine examined 63,000 British and Scottish adults and found that those who exercised once or twice a week had a 30 percent lower mortality rate than those who didn’t work out at all. That’s only a 5 percent difference from those who worked out 3 or more times a week, who had a 35 percent lower mortality rate.

Read the source article at Apartment Therapy

Savings Stretchers: 8 Times Inexpensive Materials Looked Really Great in the Kitchen

(Image credit: Dwell)

Of course it’s possible to create an amazing-looking kitchen if you have massive amounts of cash: what’s really remarkable is doing the same thing on a limited budget. But the good news is that you don’t have to spend a ton of money to get a countertop or cabinets or a backsplash or a floor that looks great. Here are eight examples of humble, inexpensive materials looking really great in the kitchen.

Read the source article at Apartment Therapy

City vs. Suburbs: A New Study Breaks Down Exactly How Much More It Costs For Families To Live An Urban Life

From million-dollar condos to $8 beers, the bright lights of the big city don’t come cheap. In fact, living in New York City costs a family with young children $71,237 more per year than life in the surrounding suburbs.

That’s according to a joint study by Zillow and that compared the costs of housing, property taxes, and childcare in major cities to their outlying suburbs.

Most urban cores had a higher cost of living than their suburbs, though not by nearly so wide a margin. Chicagoans pay an extra $18,472 a year compared to their suburban peers; in Dallas, the urban premium is $14,128. City living was more expensive in housing hotspots like Seattle ($11,376), San Francisco ($12,560), and Washington ($12,832), too.

Read the source article at Apartment Therapy