6 Decorating Ideas For Your Child’s Room

It can feel impossible to keep your child’s room stylish and clean. Between changing tastes and giant, creative play messes it is hard to make a space that works for you and your child. Here are a few easy decorating tips that are inexpensive and will help your child’s room feel personalized, homey and functional.

1. Metal Letters

Spell out your child’s name along a wall with inexpensive letters found at a hardware store. Hang the letters with ribbon. Old ribbon scraps you have laying around will work great and won’t cost you anything.

2. Wall Decals

Wall decals are a simple way to add a personalized touch to a room without changing the paint or wallpaper. Vinyl decals are easy to place and come off the wall without damaging paint. They are an easy way to cater to a child’s quickly changing tastes.

6 Decorating Ideas For Your Child’s Room


3. Geometric Painting

Canvases and acrylic paint are cheap to buy at a craft store. If you don’t have strong artistic skills, HGTV notes that geometric shapes are easy and quick to paint. You can even find forms to trace. Your kids may want to do this themselves!

4. Bulletin Boards

Bulletin boards add personality to the room, let kids express themselves and remind them of special times with friends and family. Let your child pick out his or her favorite pictures, mementos from special events, and art work to display on the board. Kids will enjoy big colorful pushpins to pin up their special treasures.

5. Chalkboard Paint

Are you tired of scrubbing crayon off the wall? Encourage your child’s creative side without all of the work. RealSimple recommends painting a designated space or even a whole wall with chalkboard paint so they can have a canvas as big as their imagination.

6. Cloth Storage Bins

Make picking up simple by placing several large cloth storage bins around the room. You can set them on bookshelves, in the closet or right on the floor. They come in all kinds of cute designs. Your kids will be encouraged to pick up when it is quick, easy and they know where everything goes. Open bins are a lot simpler than plastic containers with lids.

These six simple and inexpensive ideas will help create a space both you and your kids will enjoy. What are your favorite kid’s room decorating ideas? How do you let your kid’s personalize their space?


Image: “chalkboard paint!” by amy gizienski

Understanding Sleep Cycles

Understanding sleep cycles can be the key to getting sleep that is restorative. Knowing how your body functions while you are asleep and the important roles that different stages of sleep play during the night, can help you maintain a sleep schedule that is the most beneficial to your daytime health.

Understanding Sleep Cycles

Two Types of Sleep

There are two types of sleep according to Harvard Health Publications, Non-REM sleep (NREM) and REM sleep. REM stands for rapid eye movement, and is well known as the dreaming portion of sleep. NREM is separated into three stages N1 or drowsiness, N2 or light sleep, and N3 or deep sleep. The body moves in and out of these stages throughout the night, each stage varying in length as the night progresses.



N1 and N2 are the stages that transition the body into sleeping. During this time your brain waves begin to slow down and you begin to sleep, but you are still easily woken. It is during these stages of sleep that noise, or changes in the environment can waken you out of sleep.

N3 or deep sleep is when your brain slows down and your body restores physical energy. Helpguide.org suggests that deep sleep is essential for “stimulating growth and development, repairing muscles and tissues, and boosting your immune system.” Deep sleep is needed in order to feel physically well during the day. Harvard Health Publications state that young adults spend about 20% of their sleep in deep sleep, but this amount decreases significantly as a person ages. Deep sleep occurs in approximately half hour segments and happens more often during the beginning of the night.


During REM sleep the brain becomes very active. This is when you dream.  This is also when your brain is restored so that you are able to fully function mentally. Scientist are beginning to find that REM sleep plays significant roles in memory and learning as well as restoring mood enhancing hormones. To feel mentally aware during the day it is important to get enough REM sleep. Harvard Health Publications points out that REM stages become longer and more frequent towards the morning.

Plan For a Gentle Wake Up

One tip Helpguide.org gives for feeling better in the morning is to time your sleep in cycles of 90 minutes. You may be waking up feeling groggy if your alarm goes off during deep sleep. Depending on when you go to sleep, waking up a half an hour earlier may be more beneficial than sleeping more and waking during a deep sleep stage.

Because these sleep stages take place at different times and varying lengths throughout the night it is important to get a full night of sleep. For most adults, this is at least 7.5 hours for many adults it is more. In order to feel both mentally and physically restored and able to function optimally during the day, the body needs sufficient amounts of all cycles of sleep.


Photo “Alarm Clock 1” courtesy of Alan Cleaver


Quick Tips For Organizing Closets and Pantries

Quick Tips For Organizing Closets and Pantries

Keep your closets neat and comfy with a few quick tips.

Closets and pantries can easily become overrun with piles of clothes, mismatched shoes, outdated boxes of cereal and every other miscellaneous thing that gets stashed out of sight. Here are some easy tips and tricks to keep your closets, pantries and other hiding spaces neat and tidy.

Hanging Storage Bags

DIY Home Sweet Home shows how to free up drawer or shelf space by tacking boxes of freezer bags, sandwich bags, and other small boxes directly to the pantry door or wall.

Organize Storage Container Lids

DIY Home Sweet Home recommends attaching a wire dish rack to a plastic basket with twine or clear fishing line. Use the wire slots to keep your plastic storage container lids upright and separated. You won’t have to dig through piles of lids to find the right sized tops anymore.


Superwoman suggests placing a magnetic strip inside your closet door, medicine cabinet or even bathroom drawer. Stick bobby pins, hair clips, nail clippers and tweezers to it for easy access.

Extra Clothes Bar

This tip comes from Alex Haralson. Use rope to hang PVC pipe, a sturdy cardboard tube, or a wooden dowel for an extra bar for clothes in your closet. This is especially handy in kid’s closets so they can reach their clothes. Compression shower rods also work well for this same purpose.

Luggage Tags

Better Homes and Gardens suggests labeling bins in your closet or pantry with luggage tags. This works well for cloth bins with handles. Use a cute and colorful luggage tag to identify the items stored in each bin. Then you can find and put things away quickly and easily.

Over the Door Organizers

Pocket organizers that hang over the door in either pantries or closets are perfect for shoes, socks, tights, kitchen utensils, coupons and any other small odds and ends. Organizers with clear pockets are ideal so you can find what you are looking for right away.

A Step Stool

Place a step stool in your closet or pantry so you can reach the top shelves with ease. It is always wise to place items you don’t use regularly in the hard to reach spaces, but making it easier to get items on and off of top shelves will keep you from wasting space or ignoring useful items.

Simple, small touches can make a world of difference in your hidden places. Once you’ve organized your closets and pantry make a commitment to stick to your new system so you won’t have to organize over and over. Do you have any quick tips for organizing a closet or pantry?


Image: Cat in the Closet by Sam Lavy

How to Manage Summer Allergies

For some people allergies are a major problem in the summer. There are a few allergens that peak in the late summer months as the weather becomes hot and humid. Itchy eyes and throats, stuffy noses and coughs can all lead to sleepless nights. There are some precautions you can take against summer allergens that will help you feel better.summer allergies

Top Two Allergens

The two top summer allergens are pollen and mold. In late summer, pollen from weeds becomes a problem, especially from plants like ragweed. Mold becomes a problem in humid and rainy weather.

Avoiding Pollen

To avoid exposure to the offensive pollen, avoid using window box fans in your room because they can pull in pollen from outside. They also suggest showering or washing your hair before your go to sleep to get rid of any pollen that may have landed on you during the day. Exercise indoors on high pollen count days and when you exercise outdoors, do it in the morning when pollen counts are at their lowest. You can view your community’s pollen forecast at pollen.com.

Wearing a mask can also cut back the amount of allergens you inhale. WebMD suggests wearing a mask when you mow the lawn or vacuum your carpets.

Using a Neti Pot or sinus rinse to clean out pollen from your sinuses is very helpful. A Neti Pot is a tool that looks like a very small teapot that allows you to run a saline solution through your sinuses. They can be purchased at most pharmacies.

Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids such as fish and eggs may help fight inflammation that is associated with allergic reactions.

Avoiding Mold

To avoid molds be sure to repair any leaks or water damaged areas in your home. You may also need to employ a dehumidifier if you live in a particularly moist or damp area. For small areas of mold, use a 5% bleach solution to scrub it away.

By taking a few steps to avoid exposure to typical summer allergens you can be more comfortable throughout the day and sleep more soundly at night. If these precautions don’t help improve your allergy symptoms, you may want to consult a doctor.

Photo “No273 13 Oct. 2009 Sneeze” courtesy of mcfarlandmo


Sleepwalking can be disturbing to encounter, but it is typically a harmless sleep disorder. Sleepwalking is most common in children and is usually outgrown. Sleepwalking is also genetic, so if you are or were a sleepwalker, it is likely that your child will be too.

sleepwalkingWhat is Sleepwalking

According to Mayo Clinic, Sleepwalking occurs during the deep sleep cycle. A person who is sleepwalking will not be aware of their actions and will not remember them in the morning. Sleepwalking can be caused by excessive fatigue, new surroundings, anxiety and stress, or medications. Sleepwalking in children is rarely a sign of other problems and unless it seems to be causing excessive sleepiness during the day, or continues into teen years, it does not need to be treated. If it causes excessive sleepiness, it may be linked to other sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. Sleepwalking includes, but is not limited actual walking. Sitting up, repeated motions such as eye rubbing, and talking or screaming are also considered sleepwalking.

How to Manage Sleepwalking

It is rumored that it can be harmful to wake a sleepwalking person. This is not true. However, it is very difficult to wake a person in deep sleep, and a child especially will be easily frightened if woken while sleepwalking. This makes the easiest course of action simply directing the sleepwalker back to bed.

There are no immediate risks to sleep walking. However, because the sleepwalker is unaware of their motions and surroundings, they can injure themselves during their nightly roams. You can help protect sleepwalkers by clearing bedroom floors so they are free from obstacles, locking doors and windows, locking doors to any rooms with harmful items, and placing baby gates over stairs. Helping your child get enough sleep can cut back on sleepwalking episodes. Set a regular sleeping schedule for your child, this includes naps, bedtimes and wake-up times. This will help your child have a routine and sleep better during the night.

If you are concerned about your sleepwalking, or your child’s, feel free to consult a doctor. A doctor will help you determine any possible underlying problems and solutions, or give you piece of mind if the sleepwalking is a normal occurrence. The good news is a few nights spent sleepwalking normally will not interfere with a restful night of sleep and leave you or your child sleepy during the day.


Photo “Unmade Bed” courtesy of Lisa Murray

Tips for Painting Your Bedroom

It’s easy to add new style to your bedroom by giving it a fresh coat of paint. Here are few helpful tips to help make your project fun and rewarding.


Prep work is the key to a fantastic looking paint job. While it may not be the most fun part, you certainly don’t want to cut corners. To make your room look the best prepare it carefully. First you must choose a color.

A few helpful tools will get the job done quickly.

A few helpful tools will get the job done quickly.

Bring home samples and paint some swatches on the wall. You want to be fully satisfied with the color before you invest in the paint and sometimes it will look different at home than it did at the store.

Repair and Clean

Next, repair any cracks or holes in the wall. Fill them with spackle, then once it is dry sand it down with a fine sandpaper until it is nice and smooth. Then, RealSimple suggests wiping down the walls with mildly soapy water to remove any dust, dirt and oils.

Use Primer

If the walls were already a dark color you will want to use primer before you paint. Primer will help the paint look nice and even. Making it Lovely points out that primer will also help if you want to use a latex paint on top of an oil based paint.

Start With The Edges

When you are ready, you can use blue painters tape to protect any trim and windows. It can be faster to skip the tape and simply paint with a steady hand and a good angled brush. It is not too hard to get good clean lines without tape. Any mistakes can be removed quickly with a wet paper towel kept close at hand.

Always start with the edges and work your way in. Once you have the perimeter of the walls painted a few inches in, use a roller to fill in the big spaces. If you need to take a break, but aren’t ready to wash your roller or brushes, wrap them in a damp paper towel and place them in a plastic bag. This will keep the paint from drying out and ruining your brushes and rollers.

Clean Up

When you are finished you can clean latex paint out of brushes with water and a little mild dish soap. To clean oil based paints you will need to use mineral spirits. Addicted 2 Decorating provides detailed instructions for cleaning up oil based paint, if it something you’ve never done before.

Your Colors

Painting a small bedroom can be a quick project that will bring some new life into your home. Within a weekend you can have a fun new style.

What new colors would you like to try in your bedroom?

Image:Tools for the Trade by Keith Williamson

5 Unexpected Uses For Baking Soda

baking soda

We all know that baking soda’s uses extend well beyond cookies and other baked treats. You have probably also used it to eliminate odors in your refrigerator and for a little cleaning. Here are five uses for baking soda that you may have never heard about.


Mixing baking soda with a 3 percent hydrogen peroxide solution (this is the kind typically sold in drugstores) can be used as an alternative to traditional toothpaste. Just sprinkle a little baking soda on top of your regular toothpaste for extra freshening and whitening.

Soothing Insect Bites

Baking soda can be used to relieve the itch and sting associated with mosquito bites and bee stings. Simply make a thick paste with baking soda and water and rub it over the affected area.

Cleaning the Oven

You can avoid the harsh chemicals and high temperatures of cleaning the oven by using baking soda. It sounds too good to be true, but it really works! Pour a thick layer of baking soda on the bottom of your oven. Use a spray bottle to thoroughly wet the baking soda. Allow the baking soda to sit on the oven for a few hours or overnight is even better if you have the time. Then scoop out the caked mixture and wipe the surface clean.

Remove Marks from the Wall

RealSimple suggests baking soda for removing unwanted marks on painted walls. Baking soda will even remove crayon. Just sprinkle the soda on a damp sponge and scrub the mark until it comes off. Then wipe the surface clean with a fresh damp cloth.

Freshen Stuffed Animals

Stuffed animals get dirty easily and can be tough to wash. You can remove odors and oils from your kid’s favorite stuffed toys with a little baking soda.Mom.me advises using about a tablespoon per stuffed animal and tossing them together in a pillow case. After a few minutes of tossing remove the stuffed animals and shake off the excess baking soda. Then wipe the animal down with a damp cloth to remove the rest. You can fluff the stuffed animal inside the pillowcase in the dryer set on low.

Put out Fires

Baking soda can be used to put out small grease fires in the kitchen.  When a grease fire happens in your kitchen you should never pour water on it because the vapors can spread the grease and the fire. Instead, turn off the heat source and pour baking soda on the flames. The baking soda will help smother the fire.

These are just a few fun and helpful uses for baking soda. The list of all the uses for baking soda is truly endless.

How do you use baking soda in your home?


Image: “Chemical Reaction” by Kate Ter Haar

Should Your Child Use a Comfort Object

Transitional objects help children cope with stressful situations

Transitional objects help children cope with stressful situations

Comfort objects such as blankets or stuffed animals are very common among babies and toddlers. Many parents wonder if it is ok to encourage the use of these comfort objects. Professionals that work with children ensure parents that there are many advantages to using comfort objects, also called transitional objects, and very few negative impacts.

Coping Without Parents Nearby

According tohealthychildren.org babies tend to form an attachment to an object between 8 and 12 months. This is when they become aware that they are a separate person from their parents. A transitional object helps them cope when babies begin to realize their parents are not always immediately present.

Choosing the Object

As you see your child begin to favor a toy or blanket you may want to encourage this attachment. Keep the blanket near you when you are feeding or rocking your baby. Before a baby is 12 months old it is recommended to remove the object from a baby’s crib while they are sleeping to prevent any risk of suffocation.

Steering your child’s attachment to a specific item may make things easier for you too. You can help them become attached to a small blanket or small plush toy, rather than something large or difficult to transport and clean. Introducing an exact double right away can help in situations when the object is being cleaned or is lost. Sometimes children will reject the object if it feels too new or different from their old one even if it looks exactly the same.

Setting Parameters

What to Expectsuggests that setting parameters right away will also make things easier for parents. You may want to only allow the object at night and nap times or when parents are away. You may also want to consider only bringing the object out of the home when the child will be in a stressful situation such as going to the doctor or traveling away from home. It can be stressful for parents if the object must go everywhere!

Emotional Development

While some parents may view a transitional object as a sign of weaknessDr. Sears reminds parents that transitional objects actually help children become more independent. They also promote emotional health by encouraging your child to develop deep bonds which will be desirable throughout their life.

A child may start to mature out of their objects between the ages of 2 and 5, but there is no need to rush the process. They will give it up when the time is right for them or the object simply disintegrates from wear.

Ultimately a comfort object will help your child go to sleep easier, feel more confident, and make important emotional connections. What comfort objects are your kids attached to?


Image: “Me and my blankie” by photosavvy

Tips for Cleaning Trouble Spots in Your Bedroom

tips for cleaning trouble spots in your bedroomIt is time for spring cleaning! This is the time of year when everyone starts to dream about getting organized and deep cleaning neglected areas of the house.

The sooner you get started, the sooner you will finish and have time to be outside in warmer weather.

The bedroom is a great place to start for spring cleaning. It often gets neglected while other more visible areas of the house are more routinely cleaned. You may find a few trouble spots as you freshen your room. Here are a five tricks to help you out.

WD-40 for Crayon

Young children in the house almost always means crayon will end up somewhere other than paper. When you find crayon on your wall or just about any other surface, Real Simple recommends spraying a little WD-40 over it and then rubbing it with a cloth.

Walnut for Wood

This tip also comes from Real Simple. Wood floors in your bedroom easily collect small scratches. These scratches can be hidden by rubbing shelled walnuts into them.

Lemon to Remove Hard Water Stains

This tip doesn’t necessarily apply to your bedroom, but if you have a bathroom attached to your bedroom, it is too good to leave out.  An article from Broccoli Cupcake suggests that all you need to do is cut a lemon in half and rub it on the hard water stains. Then rinse and your fixtures will look as good as new.

Carpet Stain Remover

When you discover old stains on your carpet try this trick for pulling them out. Picklee recommends mixing equal parts ammonia and hot water. Pour the mixture over the stain. Cover the area with a clean white towel. Then iron the towel. The stain will lift from the carpet into the towel.

Carpet Freshener

Once your carpet is nice and clean you may want to freshen it a bit to remove old odors. This is especially helpful if you have pets. One Good Thing shares this homemade powder for freshening your carpets: Combine 1/2 cup each of baking soda and borax then add 20 drops of essential oils such as lavender or a teaspoon of spices like cinnamon. One Good Thing warns to use oil instead of spice if you have light colored carpet. Shake this mix evenly over the carpet. Let it sit for 20 minutes and then vacuum.

These five tips can help you tackle your spring cleaning. Have fun rejuvenating your home starting with the bedroom. Do you have any household cleaning tips to share?

Photo “My Green Cleaning Kit” courtesy of go_greener_oz’s

5 Things Every Teenager’s Bedroom Needs

Is your teenager ready to graduate into a more grown up room? Redecorating can be a fun time of bonding for you and your teen. Just be sure to listen to their ideas and allow them some space to create, even if it isn’t exactly your taste. If you are ready to help your teenager decorate their room, here are 5 things to make sure you include.

Help your teenager create their dream room!

Help your teenager create their dream room!


The best way to encourage teenagers to read is to make books accessible. Having a place to keep their favorites right in their room will make it easy to grab a book, relax and read. Over time having a bookshelf in their room rather than a TV will help develop healthier life long habits.


Teenagers have plenty of homework to do, but they also need space to be creative. A desk in their room will provide quiet and private space where your teenager do homework, journal, or do art. If you choose to let your teenager have a computer in their room, make sure you know how they are spending their time on it.

Their Own Touch

Decorating the room is a perfect way to give teenagers some independence and ownership. Give your teenager a budget and let them choose paint colors, bedding and other decor. If your teenager is into art, have some of their own work framed to hang in their room. Allowing your teenager to have some say in their room decor may help them take ownership and even keep their room clean.


Teenagers can accumulate plenty of clothes, awards, pictures and other items they may want to display or stash away. Under the bed boxes, shelves, drawers and other ways to store items will help keep their room from getting cluttered.

Cool Lighting

An easy to reach bedside lamp will also encourage reading and is convenient to have. Adding a fun light fixture can be an inexpensive way to add personality to the room. Even a string of christmas lights can add character and make the room warm and inviting.

A room redo is the perfect time to let your child’s creative abilities shine. Help them create a space they love. Not only is redecorating a room fun, but a good opportunity to let your teenager exercise their decision making skills. What do you think a teenager’s room absolutely needs?


Image: “Turquoise Bedroom” by PoshSurfside.com