Category: Home + Lifestyle

The 25 Coolest Hacks for All Your Favorite IKEA Products

IKEA is so much more than the go to dorm room furnisher. With high end and affordable options available, there’s something for everyone. But that’s not the only reason to love IKEA . One of the best things about the retailer is the simplicity of the furniture. This give you the ability to customize many of the pieces, changing both their aesthetic and their original function.

These “IKEA hacks” give you the opportunity to spread your wings, creatively, and make your home truly special and one of a kind, often for a bargain!

Check out some of the coolest IKEA hacks by clicking on the link below.

Read the source article at

Top 5 Affordable Dishwashers to Your Rescue

Not all dishwashers are created equal. That is a FACT. And if your budget is limited, you might find that the quality suffers too.

Consumer Reports to the rescue!

The evaluators at Consumer Reports recently rated the top 5 dishwashers with the best performance for less than $500. High performing and affordable? Let’s check this out!

Of course they do warn that with the budget-friendly models you won’t get as quiet of a machine as the pricier options. But the report indicates that the dishwashers listed below were “excellent at cleaning a full load of glasses and very dirty dishes that were scraped of leftover food but not rinsed. Plastic items are among the most difficult to dry, with drops of water remaining, but these dishwashers did an excellent job drying. Most used 4 to 5 gallons of water to wash a load and were energy-efficient when heating the water, washing, and drying.”

Consumer Reports’ Top 5 Under $500

  • Kenmore 13223 $450 
  • Whirlpool WDT720PADM $400
  • Kenmore 13473 $400
  • Maytag MDB4949SDM $450
  • Ikea Renlig IUD7555DS [288921] $400

For the full dishwasher ratings at Consumer Reports in all prices ranges, go to

Amazon Prime Day 2017: Everything you need to know

If you’ve ever wondered how we ever lived without Amazon, then Prime Day might just be the greatest shopping day of the year for you!

This special mid-year shopping day features great deals throughout the retail giant’s website on plenty of things you may need and some that you might just want.

But Prime Day isn’t just about sales on goods, there are sales on services and subscriptions and everyday times that always come in handy.

Thousands of special deals will be available on June 9th.

Read the source article at Curbed

Refinish Your Deck With Paint or Stain?

Summertime. Time to be out more than in. Relax. Kick your heels up. Enjoy the beauty of your backyard.

But what if your deck is less than lovely after a long winter?

It’s time to refinish it! For even the toughest of woods, it is recommended that you apply some sort of finish, paint or stain, to guarantee longevity.

Deciding between painting or staining your deck can be a tough choice. Below, I’ve outlined the pros and cons of each approach and given you some tips on getting the job done easily and quickly so that you can get out there and enjoy it all sooner than later!

Painting Your Deck

Pros of Paint:

  • Tons of color options.
  • Protects wood.
  • Fills gaps in wood.
  • Thick; covers well.

Cons of Paint:

  • Difficult to clean.
  • Slippery when wet.
  • Masks the wood’s natural beauty.

Staining Your Deck

Pros of Stain:

  • Beauty of wood grain shines through.
  • Not slippery.
  • Available in wide variety of colors.

Cons of Stain:

  • Doesn’t last as long as paint.
  • Requires regular maintenance.
  • Won’t conceal cracks or repair damages.

Still unsure which option to choose for your deck? Don’t be afraid to ask your local paint or hardware shop for tips and advice. Depending on the type of wood, age and overall condition, the experts will recommend whether paint or stain will provide the best coverage for you.

Prepare for the Job

After you decide to paint or stain, first you must prep. It is important you make sure that the deck is clean and a water test is completed before applying any product. Look for deck cleaning products that are specific to your type of wood or one that removes mold or mildew.

While most of us are familiar with the outcome of a coat of paint, not everyone is as familiar with stains. Before selecting a stain, be sure you know the different types. For staining a deck, choose a product for the appearance and durability you desire. Clear stain offers little protection from the sun but allows you to see the most wood grain. Toners add a little bit of color while also highlighting the wood grain. Semi-transparent stains are very durable with a nice color saturation allowing natural wood grain to show. Finally, solid-color stains cover blemishes in wood or ugly wood grains and are extremely durable (great for composite decking).

Use the Right Supplies

To properly prepare and finish your deck or porch, make sure you have the proper tools and supplies, including the following items:

  • Gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Broom
  • Garden hose
  • Drop cloth
  • Sanding sponge
  • Stiff synthetic-bristle brush
  • 4″ brush
  • Brush holder
  • Roller
  • Extension pole
  • Cleaning products

Here’s to a beautiful deck and a summer filled with lounging around on it!

Source: Sherwin-Williams

​How To Organize Your Kitchen to Stop Wasting Food

Food is so much more than sustenance. It symbolizes love, family, the feeling that you are cared for. But millions of pounds of food go to waste every year. Wasting food is something that we are all guilty of; however, with a few simple tricks, it’s something we can fix.

Saving food can save money, promote healthier eating, and reduce the guilt that comes from wasting. Here are a few tricks to help you avoid wasting food.

Read the source article at Apartment Therapy

Safety is Key to Home Sweet Home


Accidents happen. But if you’re a homeowner, neglecting safety features in your home can be more than just an “oops” type of accident. It can be life-threatening to you, loved ones or guests.

This summer, let’s take the time to make sure our homes are safe! SafeWise Report names the following as the top 9 reasons for accidents in a home.

  1. Falls
  2. Fires
  3. Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
  4. Choking
  5. Cuts
  6. Poisoning
  7. Strangling
  8. Drowning
  9. Burns

For more details on what to look for and how to prevent any of these becoming issues in your home, read the full article from SafeWise here.

Take the time to go through your home soon and prevent accidents wherever you can. Keep your home safe and it really will be your home, sweet home.

Trade Tools and Ties for Gadgets and Greeting Cards


It is safe to say that fathers can sometimes be the hardest people in your life to shop for. This Father’s Day, get a gift that your dad, spouse, or son that will love and use all the time. What fathers really want these days are gadget and greeting cards. What dad wouldn’t like the newest, high tech gadget to show off to all his buddies at work?  Also, don’t be fooled with that tough guy façade; fathers love a nice greeting card. Dads want to know they are loved and appreciated. So don’t miss out on a great opportunity to get your friend or family member a gift that he won’t forget. Click here to learn more about what fathers really want on Father’s Day.  

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.