Shopping for Diningroom Furniture

Having just finished hosting Thanksgiving for 21 family members, I have to tell you that I have had diningroom furniture on my mind recently. We have a dining table that seats eight comfortably and ten if we squeeze. It’s not nearly big enough for our growing family.

So…problem solver that I am, I took it upon myself to begin some online browsing to see if I could find any deals out there. Guess what? I did! I also found lots of beautiful furniture that I’d love to own.

If you are in the same boat as me, you might want to take a look at The RoomPlace dining room furniture and see if you agree with me. This website has both affordable and beautiful furniture.

I saw a variety of styles in a range of prices. Something for everyone on this website. In fact, I also appreciated the fact that they had packages available as well as selling pieces separately. You could purchase an entire set with hutch, buffet and sideboard, or you could purchase just the table and chairs — totally affordable and you can fit it to meet your needs.

Ever the researcher, I decided to do a little delving and see what the web has to say about purchasing home furniture. It’s not a small thing to purchase furniture for your home — you’re going to have to live with it for a number of years, so it pays to take your time, do your research and make sure you purchase something you will love for the long term.

Anyway, I was reading about furniture shopping at the Colorado State University. They recommend that consumers weight carefully the quality, price, comfort, style and color of furniture before purchasing anything. They recommend that consumers think about how they will use the furniture, the amount of maintenance they are willing to put into it, and the length of time they want it to last.

So, for our case, we would need to purchase dining room furniture built to last that would stand up to the tough daily use that our family would give it. I’d love to have upholstered seats, but only if the upholstery was high quality and it would resist stains.

I saw some beautiful pedestal tables at The RoomPlace that would fit our needs perfectly. Another plus — there are local shops located around the country…so shipping doesn’t need to break the bank!

Bring on the Basketball

I’m looking forward to this winter. We tend to be housebound a little bit…especially as the days grow really short, the winter winds begin to howl and the snow starts to fly.

My senior son is playing on the high school basketball team this year and my other two sons still at home (12 and 5) have made a standing date to go and cheer on the Cardinals at every home game. We might even try to make a few away games, if I’m really brave and energetic!

Anyway, home games start next week…so Michael, Isaiah and Mom will be in attendance in the bleachers of the high school! Can’t Wait!

Organizing Thanksgiving

As harried and hectic as life has been over the last several weeks, preparing for the holiday, I’m so glad I’ve succeeded in holding it together. No, no need for a San Francisco drug alcohol rehab treatment center for me, but I’ve been under enough stress to turn to unhealthy coping methods, I’ll tell you that!

What with cleaning, organizing, shopping and cooking on top of school and work…well, it’s a wonder I’m still here to tell you about it! Thankfully, I have lots of help!

Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s been a hectic week, filled with lots of preparation and anticipation leading up to the big day today. Family arrived last night and the house was full to the brim. It was a good full though, with the sounds of laughter and children playing throughout the rooms and bigger kids “playing” too.

Anyway, lots of work, lots of food, lots of fun. The house is put back to order again. I can’t believe the wreckage that one day with extended family in the house can do to order! I swear they reach every nook and cranny of the house! If we had trade show booth displays, they’d probably even get at those! I love every minute of it though, and it’s so worth it. I wouldn’t trade one second!

Hope you had a blessed holiday!

Old Fashioned Shutters

I have always loved the rustic appeal of plantation shutters. Gone are the days when shutters are a necessary accessory for covering windows, but that doesn’t make them any less attractive to me. They lend such an old-fashioned and sweet charm to any home. It’s the sort of accessory that goes perfectly with window boxes filled to over-flowing with flowers. I love that look.

I was browsing around www.blindsleeds.com/shutters/ recently, looking at all of the different shutters they have for sale. So pretty…and available in a variety of different colors and styles.

The home I grew up in had shutters on a few of the windows…brings back good memories of a good old house.

Unfortunately, the windows in our house do not lend themselves easily to shutters. If we ever replace the windows in our bay window, though, I would love to incorporate light oak shutters over the windows, though. That look would be perfect for our old-fashioned home.

What do you think? Do you love the shutter look? Do you have them? Would you use them? Leave a comment and share your thoughts!

You’ve Been Sentenced Still a Winner

Remember this fun game? My kids are still loving it and it’s been a year since we’ve been playing it.

An update: You’ve Been Sentenced is now the proud winner of 17 national awards to recognize its high quality. Not only that, this year you can buy it at Barnes & Noble, Kohl’s and Toys R Us! How cool is that?!?

If you don’t remember my original post, here are the highlights:

311XNWQVrjL._SL500_AA300_We are game lovers in my family. Since we try to avoid television to some extent and look for alternative ways to spend time together, board games are one thing we spend a lot of time doing. As soon as children become readers in our household, they quickly move up to active game-players, participating with everyone else in rousing games during the evenings.

I was recently happy to receive a game to review. The game is called:

You’ve Been Sentenced!

This game combines several key aspects of a successful game, in my opinion. Not only is it exciting and enjoyable, it is educational as well. I love it when my kids can learn while they have fun.

Recently, we sat down to see what this game had in store for us.

Each player receives ten cards and then must build a grammatically correct sentence using as many cards as possible. The first player who finishes building a sentence starts a sand-timer and then the remaining players have until the sand runs out to finish their own sentences. After the sentences are finished, the judging portion of the game begins. Players can “object” to other players’ sentences on the grounds that the sentences do not make sense or are not grammatically correct. If a player’s sentence is challenged, he or she must then defend it. After each sentence is judged, it’s time to score — some words are worth more points than others.

Play additional rounds and the first player to reach 200 points is the winner.

I have children in a wide range of ages so playing some games can be a challenge. This game was fun for us because we buddied up with some of the younger children and I think everyone learned something.

I expect this game to be a favorite this winter as we while away the chilly evenings.

LEED for Green

The economy is such a bust right now. How about something encouraging!

Ever heard of LEED? LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. This is a special building certification program for constructing green buildings. Any commercial or residential building can be made using green construction, using an comprehensive rating system.

Sound interesting? I know! Well then, perhaps you could take a course for LEED online and become a LEED® Accredited Professional. Anyone in the real estate or construction business should really think seriously about doing this to make themselves more marketable in the industry. Even if you don’t work in the industry, if you’re just passionate about all things green, give this some consideration!

I’m talking about CleanEdison’s LEED® Green Associate program where you take a course and then take an exam for accreditation into the LEED program. If you take the crash course, you can prepare for the exam in only a day! You’ll learn about the credit rating system, review general guidelines for that system and you’ll even get some tips and tricks for passing the test!

This could be just what you need to get your career in the green industry started!

Charleston Real Estate

One part of the country I have not explored much is the deep south. I’ve always had an interest and fascination with the southern states and I would love the opportunity to visit this area — especially in the spring.

Maybe if I visited, I wouldn’t want to return to this cold tundra where I live!

Anyway, I’m sure that the Charleston homes are a sight to see. With the antebellum architecture and old southern style, I can’t help but assume that the beauty of the homes would be enough to make me look for a realtor to help me buy!

Of course, I’d have to contact Online Charleston Real Estate for help. This residential real estate company offers both listings and tools for helping someone search the Charleston area via the internet. Very useful!

This company also staffs knowledgeable and experienced brokers and salespeople who can help with the house hunting and purchasing process.

Of course, this is probably just a pipe dream for me, but maybe someone else can make their dream come true. If relocating to Charleston, make sure you use a real estate company who can make the transition easy.

Happy Healthy Thanksgiving

Happy-thanksgiving-Banner1I love Thanksgiving! Combining family, tradition and food into one big day couldn’t be a better combination, in my opinion.

I tend to gravitate toward healthy, whole cooking and eating. Thanksgiving is also wonderful because the foods are old-fashioned and usually whole foods. Turkey, potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, carrots, corn, stuffing, cranberries, pies…everything on this list is easily prepared with healthy, whole methods.

I use whole wheat bread in my stuffing. I make sweet potatoes using maple syrup and unusual spices. I make mashed potatoes using organic potatoes, raw cream and butter made from raw cream. My vegetables are organic, my cranberries are honey-sweetened and my pies…well…they’re a meal all their own. I usually make four or five different ones and each one is sweetened naturally.

We’re expecting 20 this year and I absolutely cannot wait! With our growing family, we may add new ones every year from here on out!

Twisted Fish for Twisted Fun — Redux

Last year around this time, I was happy to tell you all about the Twisted Fish game that my family received from Brighter Minds, Inc.

Don’t remember it? Well, here’s a quick recap:

leftimg_twistedfishBlogging has it’s perks. I have found an awesome company that really appeals to me as a home educator. One of the most important things to me as I teach my children is to help them develop a love for learning. The best way to do this? Show them that learning is fun. To this end, I have found a company who’s philosophy and purpose is to create fun games and products “designed to help create brighter minds.”

About a month ago, we reviewed “You’ve Been Sentenced,” a word game where players take turns making sentences. We now have all of the add-on decks that make this game even more enjoyable. This game is perfect for family game nights.

Now, I am so excited to tell you about the newest game we received called “Twisted Fish.” My kids are really loving this game. You know the old “Go Fish” game, right? Well, here’s the newest version with an engaging twist. In fact, since you probably already know how to play Go Fish, you’ll learn Twisted Fish in only a moment or two. Get ready for hilarious memory-building fun!

Go check out the engaging games available from McNeill Designs for Brighter Minds so you can see what I mean. I promise you won’t regret it!

It’s now been over a year, and these games are still at the top of our gaming list!

I would encourage you to add these games to your shopping list this year. You can find them at:

  • Toys R Us
  • Kohl’s
  • Barnes & Noble
  • Hundreds of independent stores, catalogs and websites

Wonderful games!