August 7, 2014

Spring/Summer Severe Weather Tips

As a girl who grew up in the Midwest, I have a deep appreciation for Mother Nature and the power she exerts from time to time. We all know that during the spring and early summer months, severe storms often plague us. While we can’t always be prepared for an unexpected storm, most of the severe storms that come our way are predicted days in advance, making it easier for us to make sure our families are protected.
As you know, storm season is here and will be here for another couple of months. Below are some tips for ensuring you are ready when severe weather strikes.

1.     Have a plan in place. Sometimes bad weather strikes before everyone in the family is able to get home and many times “bad” turns to “worse” within minutes. This is why it’s important that everyone in your family knows the plan for what to do and where to go when bad weather comes. If you have a storm shelter, make sure everyone knows what the procedure is for when to get in. If you don’t have a storm shelter, then everyone should know where the safest place in the house is and go there. Having a plan in place in case of severe weather conditions is something that all families need to have established.

2.     Stock up on supplies. We’ve all been involved in a storm that has knocked out the power regardless of whether or not it was a tornado producing storm. Sometimes the power outages only last for a few minutes while other times, when extensive damage is done, the outages can last for days. This is why it’s important that you have some supplies on hand. Some of the things you should have stocked include flashlights, extra batteries, bottled water, a first aid kit, etc.

3.     Invest in a weather radio. Weather radios are must-have items for spring/summer storm season. A lot of the time, during severe weather, television services are disrupted or the power goes out, making it impossible for you to get weather updates. Therefore, if a tornado is headed your way, and you aren’t near a tornado siren, you won’t have any warning before it hits. This is why you need to invest in a good weather radio. When the television and/or the electricity goes out, the weather radio will continue to work. You can program it to alert you only when a storm moves into your county (or surrounding counties) to ensure you get only the pertinent updates. This is definitely an item that is worth spending the money on.

While I look forward to spring and summer every year, I do dread the severe weather that comes with them. However, I’ve found that being prepared helps keep my anxiety level down when storms are brewing. What are some tips you have for spring and summer storms?

May 22, 2014

Healthy & Refreshing Ways to Start Spring Mornings

As the weather begins to switch from the gloomy and cold winter days to the sunny and warm spring days, most people start to experience better moods and more energy. There’s just something about warm weather and sunshine that makes us feel better.

It’s safe to say that most of us have a set morning routine that we’ve had since the beginning of winter. Many of those routines aren’t very healthy either. For instance, during the winter, I’ve been known to hit the snooze button 3-4 times before getting out of bed (causing me to rush around and start my day off slightly irritable), running out the door and swinging through my favorite coffee shop for a latte before I “officially” start my day. Does this sound familiar?  
When spring arrives, it’s the perfect time to make healthy and refreshing changes to our mornings, don’t you think? Here are a few things you can do to get your spring mornings off to a bright start.
1.      Get up earlier. I know, who wants to get up earlier? Trust me, if you can get up and give yourself at least an hour before you normally leave the house, then you will feel awake and ready to face the day when you leave. This extra time will give you time to wash your face, watch the news, read the paper or whatever else you would like to do in the morning, but usually don’t have the time. More importantly, you won’t feel rushed. When you feel rushed, you’re stressed (even if just a little) and stress isn’t good for us or our bodies.

2.      Replace the coffee with a fruit smoothie. I will admit that breaking the morning coffee routine can be hard at first, but when you replace that coffee with something as yummy as a fresh fruit smoothie, the transition isn’t hard to make. Instead of loading your body up with tons of sugar and caffeine first thing in the morning, why not fuel it with important nutrients and antioxidants that your body will use for real (versus fake) energy and to support your immune system? Not only is this healthier than a cup of coffee, but you will notice that you stay fuller longer with a smoothie than you do with a cup of coffee. One of my favorite spring/summer fruit smoothie recipes is this:
1/3 C. Frozen Strawberries
1/3 C. Frozen Mango/Pineapple Mixed Fruit
1/3 C. Blueberries
2/3 1  Large Banana (also frozen)
½ C.  Non-fat Plain Greek Yogurt
1 T.   Honey
1 T.   Chia Seeds
3-4    Leaves of Baby Kale
2       Scoops Vanilla Protein Powder

3.      Take a yoga class. You may not enjoy hitting the gym for weights or high-impact cardio sessions first things in the morning, but you should try taking a morning yoga class at least twice a week this spring. Yoga is not a high-impact class that is going to wear you out and/or leave you sweaty. It’s more of a class dedicated to stretching and tapping in to your “inner” self. When I leave yoga, I feel refreshed, energized and incredibly relaxed. It’s an amazing way to start your spring mornings!

4.      Work in the yard.  On the weekends this spring, it will be pretty tempting to keep the winter routine of sleeping in until late morning but with the weather being so nice out, but don’t do it. Get up and get outside. Whether you start the day by mowing the lawn or working in the flower beds, your body will reap the benefits from the vitamin D it receives during this time. If you don’t have any yard work that needs to be done then go on a walk around the neighborhood. Not only does getting outside and working in the yard or going for a walk give your body the vitamin D it needs for the day, but these activities also burn calories and work to keep your metabolism going which keeps your body in good working order!

5.      Meditate. Meditating may seem like something only “weird” people do, but it has been proven to help reduce and manage stress. The people that I have known who have incorporated meditation into their morning routines won’t go a day without it now. In other words, they swear by it. I’ve only done it a few times, but am planning on starting it back up this spring. I can honestly say that the few times I did meditate, I felt like I was better prepared to face the day. My mind was clear and stress-free which allowed me to focus more throughout the day. I also found that stressful situations didn’t stress me out like they usually did on the days I meditated.

Hopefully, you have found a few healthy changes that you can make to your morning routine this spring that will leave you feeling refreshed and ready to tackle anything the day “throws” at you. What are some of your favorite healthy ways to start your spring mornings?





May 1, 2014

Sibling Rivalry: 3 Tips for Parents

Anyone who grew up with siblings understands what sibling rivalry is. Even those of us who only had one brother or sister growing up felt a little bit jealous of our siblings at least once in our lives. Sibling rivalry usually forms when one child feels like the other gets more attention, has more going for him/her, is more popular, etc., which, by the way, is completely normal.

While a little sibling rivalry is normal, what’s not normal is for one sibling to feel so slighted by the other one that they become resentful towards their sibling. Sadly, this is a story that happens all the time around the world and, in many cases, siblings end up growing distant or not even speaking towards one another when they reach adulthood.

As a parent, this is not something that I want to happen with my children. And, I believe that parents can do a lot to help minimize sibling rivalry. The key to minimizing sibling rivalry is for parents to make each of their children feel valued. They each need to feel like they bring something unique to the home and that they are people that others enjoy being around. So, how can parents do this?

·         Compliment Regularly – We all enjoy receiving compliments. It doesn’t matter if it’s someone telling us our hair looks nice one day or if it’s a compliment regarding a particular task we’ve completed. Compliments improve our mood, self-confidence and sometimes even our self-worth. This is also true for children. Therefore, it’s important that parents take the time to compliment each of their children on a regular basis. This does not mean to compliment over every little thing in hopes that it will boost the child’s self-image…parents need to give sincere compliments. Kids can see through “fake” compliments.

·         Spend Time Alone with Each Child – One of the biggest things parents can do to help minimize sibling rivalry is to carve time out of their weekly schedules for each child. Spending time alone with each child, helps parents build a strong relationship with each of their children which also works to help children realize that they are loved and valued by their parents for who they are. It is important that parents work to give each child (assuming there aren’t disabilities involved) roughly the same amount of alone time each week so none of the kids feel slighted.

·         Be Slow to Choose Sides – Taking sides during sibling arguments can be a big mistake for parents if done a lot. If parents are siding with one child more than another, the other child may begin to feel like his/her brother or sister is the favorite. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve heard was from a friend who said she does everything she can to not choose sides when her daughters argue. Instead, what she does is tell them both to go to a bedroom and not to come out until they have reached an agreement that both of them are fine with. This teaches the kids to work out their own problems without mom or dad breaking up the argument by siding with one or the other.

March 20, 2014

Winter Health Tips

All it takes is a step out the back door for most of us to be reminded that we are right smack in the middle of winter. While there are a lot of great things about winter, one of the negatives is that due to the extreme weather conditions, it is a lot harder for  people to stay healthy for the duration of the season. Adults and children alike often come down with colds that can quickly turn into the flu, strep throat and various types of viruses if not caught early.

Of course, the best thing is to avoid catching the above ailments, but how can we ensure that neither our children nor us get sick during the winter? Sadly, there isn’t anything that we can do to guarantee that we will remain in perfect health, but there are still several precautions that we can take to improve our chances.

1.      Wash hands frequently. Studies have shown that one of the best ways to prevent illness is to keep germs down to a minimum by washing our hands several times a day. In fact, they say that washing our hands the good old-fashioned way (with soap and water) is more effective than using the alcohol-based hand sanitizers that are so popular.

2.      Take vitamins and eat well. Keeping our bodies nourished plays an important role in keeping us healthy. If our bodies don’t have the necessary nutrients then it isn’t going to be able to fight off any potential threats. While we can get all of these nutrients from our food, sometimes we come in a little short. This is why it helps to take vitamin supplements in addition to eating healthy.

3.      Go to bed. One of the bad habits I have is staying up to late. I stay up late because I feel like it’s the only time I have to get stuff done without being interrupted since the kids are in bed. However, when I go to bed late I short myself of sleep which does not do my immune system any favors. We need to keep our bodies rested to keep our immune systems in tip-top condition so it can fight of threatening bacteria.

4.      Clean regularly. A lot of people make the mistake of just wiping down their countertops with a wet dishrag or sponge and calling it good. While it’s okay to do this every now and then, it’s not something that should be a habit – especially during flu and cold season. Purchase a good disinfectant spray and clean your countertops regularly – as in daily. This keeps germs to a minimum in the house, which keeps you and your children healthier longer. The cleaning shouldn’t stop at the countertops though. You should take time to go over the toys your kids play with on a weekly basis too.

5.      Bundle up. Staying warm while out in the cold is another important step for remaining healthy. Sudden, drastic weather temperatures can affect our bodies and jump start a cold, which is why it’s important to bundle up before you walk out into the frigid winter weather. This is especially true for young children. Hats, gloves, heavy winter coats and scarves are all important winter accessories so make sure you and your children have them and use them. Even if it doesn’t feel very cold outside, bundle up and don’t risk it.

February 13, 2014

Kid-Friendly Healthy Living Tips

At the beginning of every new year, millions of people make the commitment to improve their health as part of their new year’s resolutions. While I agree that improving our healthy is important, as a mom, I also believe that teaching our children about healthy living is equally important. If we can get our children to adopt a healthy lifestyle now, while they are young, more than likely these habits will follow them into adulthood and be passed down to our grandchildren.

So, how can we adopt a healthier lifestyle and teach our children at the same time? Below are some tips for how you can get your children on board with a new healthier lifestyle.

1.      Drink water and earn “prizes.” I don’t know about your kids, but my son loves to drink fruit juices, Kool-Aid and an array of carbonated beverages. Honestly, I can’t blame him as I have always enjoyed soda and fruit juices. However, the problem is how much sugar these drinks contain. They aren’t good for my kids or myself. While that makes drinking water a little easier for me, it doesn’t make my son want to drink it any more than normal. So, I made a game out of it. If my son can drink 25 glasses (8 oz.) of water within a week (that’s 3.5 glasses per day) then he earns a prize. A “prize” may be a trip to the park, renting a movie of his choice or ice cream. This has made drinking water much more fun for him! 

2.      Make fruit and veggies fun. While my son still enjoys fruit, he no longer chooses it over a cookie like he once did. It’s safe to say that he’s growing up… However, I need him to develop an appreciation for fruits and veggies if I want him to grow to like these foods. Therefore, I’ve started looking for ways to make it fun. One thing I do is make a face with various types of veggies for healthy snacks (broccoli for hair, cauliflower for eyes and nose and baby carrots for a mount with a dab of ranch dip for a tongue). For fruit snacks, I make fruit kabobs with a side of yogurt for dipping.

3.      Exercise with the kids. In America, there has been a major increase child obesity and most of it is due to lack of exercise. I mean, kids have always ate junk food, but kids from decades past spent most of their afternoons outside playing instead of inside watching television, texting or glued to the computer. As parents, we have to get our children moving more if we want them to stay healthy and fit. And, we should because it’s in their best interest. One of the easiest ways to do this is to go exercise with the kids. It doesn’t matter if you decide to enroll in a parent/child karate class, take tennis lessons together or start playing Frisbee at a nearby park; what matters is that you do it with your kids because if you’re willing to go out and have fun with them, you will naturally motivate them to do the same. Plus, that’s quality time together.
Learning how to live a healthier lifestyle is a crucial step towards improving your health and living a longer, more fulfilling life. Make 2014 the year that you teach your children about what it means to make healthier decisions and that living healthier can be a lot of fun!

February 11, 2014

The Art of Sitting Still

Sitting still is something that we all have to do, even when we don’t want to. In some cases (a lot actually), it isn’t even an option. For example, when we go to the movies, to school, church, weddings, funerals, etc….we have to sit quietly until it is over.

While, as adults, sitting still doesn’t bother most of us, this is not a skill that we were born with. We had to learn how to sit still. We had to learn when it was appropriate and when it wasn’t appropriate to move around.
As a mother of two young boys (6 and 1), I am in the process of teaching them how to sit still. And, trust me, it is a process. While my expectations of my 1 year old aren’t that high, I know that my 6 year old has the ability to sit still for at least an hour or two (unless he has to use the restroom or something like that). And, while we still aren’t perfect at sitting still, both of my boys have gotten much better.
Below are some of the tips that have helped me during this journey. Hopefully, they will be of some use to you too.
1.      Watch movies at home. Again, one of the times when we have to sit still is at the movie theater and most of us enjoy going to the movies, at least in my house! Going to the movie theater is a big treat for my 6 year old because it is one that he had to earn. Before we could go to a real movie theater, he had to show me that he could sit still long enough to watch a movie. So, we practiced this at home. We had movie nights (with popcorn) at home. During the movie, he was expected to sit still for the whole movie just as he would at a movie theater. Once we felt he had shown us that he could sit for the duration of a movie, we rewarded him for all his hard work with a movie theater “date.” It went great! 

2.      Practice School. Another place where children are going to have to learn to be good and sit still is at school. Many children begin going to school when they are in Pre-K, but there are beginning to be more and more 3-year old programs starting around the country. A good way to help children learn how to behave in school is by practicing “school” at home. “School” can be sitting down on the floor and reading to your child for 20 minutes or longer, depending on the child’s age. Another idea is to sit down with your child and spend 20 minutes coloring. The point is to do some type of activity with them that requires them to sit down and be quiet for a specified period of time like they will have to do when they start going to school.

3.      Have Snack Time. I can remember when I was little, my favorite time of the day was snack time. Snacks were always given after naps so I had something to look forward to. It is the same for my kids now. One of the trends that I’ve noticed, and I’ve been guilty of it too, is “grazing.” A lot of busy parents get lax at snack time and let their kids eat part of the snack, get down and play and then return to eat more when they feel like it. While there isn’t anything horribly wrong with this, it is a lost opportunity to teach kids how to sit down and be still. Like I said, I was guilty of this myself and have just recently began to crack down on it.

4.      Visit Restaurants. For me, taking the boys to a restaurant is a scary thought – not because they are “bad” but because it is a long time for them to be expected to sit. However, going out to eat is something we all do so children need to learn what’s expected of them in these situations. Therefore, take the opportunity to bring your kids out to dinner once or twice every few weeks. This is the only way they will learn.

5.      Go to Story Time. Most libraries have scheduled story times for young children to attend throughout the week. This is a great place to help teach children how to sit still as they will have to sit still and listen while the story is being read to them. It is also a great way to test their progress since you have started practicing at home.
I’m sure that you are starting to notice a trend about teaching kids to sit still – practice. Practice is the one thing that you can do to improve your child’s ability to sit still. You will notice that the more you practice, the longer they are able to sit when you are out in public. Good luck, and remember, it is a learning process and you need to be patient with your kids. As they grow, they will get better!

November 1, 2013

The Two Things I want to Teach My Kids about the Holidays

In case you haven’t noticed, somehow we have managed to slip right into the month of November, meaning that Thanskgiving Day, Christmas and New Year’s Day will all be upon us in no time. While the holidays mean a lot of different things to many different people, for young children, the holidays are a time of excitement because they mean less time in school, gifts and lots of time spent playing with friends.

While all of the above things are nice and part of the holiday festivities, there are several other things that, I believe, should be associated with the holidays. Below are two things that I want to teach my young children about the holidays in hopes that these “lessons” follow them throughout their young lives and into adulthood. They are:   
  1. A Love for Giving: One of the most common things that children get asked every year around this time by their family and friends is for a list of the things they want for Christmas. While receiving gifts is part of the excitement for young children, I want my children to experience the joy of giving to those less fortunate than themselves. There are so many families out there who are in the midst of hard times around the holidays who don’t have enough money to make ends meet, let alone enough to think about buying Christmas gifts for each other. Therefore, every year I make a point to pick one of those angels off the tree at the store and purchase a few gifts for him/her. I want my children to learn that giving is more important than receiving at Christmastime and this is one of the ways that I can do that.
  2. Gifts are not the Important Thing: Again, I know that children look forward to Christmas morning when they get to run in and open up a pile of presents left for them under the tree. However, I don’t want my children to get in their heads that opening presents is what Christmas is all about. The focus around the holidays should be more about getting to see and spend time with loved ones and the “Christmas Spirit” of helping those in need. While gifts are nice, I don’t want my children to expect them because when kids expect things, they begin to feel entitled. I want my children to appreciate the gifts they get as well as the family and friends they get to spend additional time with during this time of year.
While I love the holidays and all of the festivities that come along with them, it is my hope that I can teach my children the deeper lessons that the season brings. What about you? What are the things that you hope your children learn from the holidays? How do you plan on teaching them these things?

October 9, 2013

After-School Activities for Young Children

My brother and I both enjoyed a few different after-school activities when we were in grade school up through high school, which is probably why I am such a supporter of extracurricular activities for children. These activities give children the opportunity to learn something new that’s fun and exciting for them, but they will also exercise, improve confidence and make new friends in the process too.

While I believe that after-school activities for kids are important, I also believe that a child shouldn’t be involved in too many activities. They should also have time to enjoy being a kid and doing the things that kids do, too. As the mother of a 5-year old, I’ve started searching for an appropriate after-school activity for my son to enjoy once a week (I don’t want to overwhelm him, so we’re sticking to once a week right now.).
I figured that I’m not the only mom out there looking for extracurricular activities for their children so I thought I would share my findings with you.
1.      Ballroom Dancing – I would have never thought of ballroom dancing for kids if it wasn’t for the Google search engine. As one who enjoys watching dancers waltz around the dance floor, I think the idea of putting children in a ballroom dancing class sounds like fun. After all, how many children can say they know how to ballroom dance? And, aren’t the dancing dresses and little tuxedos adorable?! Most ballroom dancing classes require students to be 8 before they can begin, so that eliminates my son for now. However, it’s definitely an option I’m willing to re-explore in a couple of years.

2.      Karate – When I was 5, my parents enrolled me in a karate class and I stuck with it until I was 13, which is when I became interested in band, boys and FFA. I made it all the way to the brown belt level and learned a lot of valuable self-defense techniques. It was something fun and unique that I enjoyed doing. I imagine my son will be the same way. However, the local dojos here require kids to be 7 before they are able to enroll.

3.      Gymnastics – My son is a high-energy kid. He needs a way to burn off some of that extra energy, which is why I checked into gymnastics classes for him. Children start as young as 2 in gymnastics so age wasn’t an issue for us. I took my son to the open house they had a few weeks ago and he had a blast jumping on the trampoline, swinging from the bars and tumbling across the mat. In fact, he probably would have stayed there all night if I would have agreed. Therefore, I did sign my son up for gymnastics. He will go once a week (Thursday nights) starting September 5th 

4.      Horseback Riding Lessons – For kids who enjoy being around animals and live near a stable, horseback riding lessons may be the perfect after-school activity for them. My mother did this has a child and when she was in high-school she began competing in the hunter jumper competitions. She said that after school she would head to the stables, clean out the stalls and get her horse ready for practice – which kept her out of trouble while her parents were at work. While your child may not have an interest in competitive riding, how will you know if you don’t give him/her the opportunity to explore that interest? 

5.      Instrumental Lessons – Learning how to play an instrument at an early age has a lot of benefits for children, especially as they get older. Studies have shown that young children are able to learn new things (like how to play an instrument, reading, a new language, etc.) when they are younger, so now is really a good time to get them in instrumental lessons if music is something they truly enjoy!
There are so many after-school activities available for children that it’s impossible for me to list them all. Above are just some of the activities available in my area. You may have even more in the area where you live. My goal is that my son is able to explore a new activity and hopefully enjoy it. If at the end of the year he decides he doesn’t like it, then I won’t enroll him again, but at his age all I want to do is give him is the ability to explore different activities so he can pick one or two to focus on when he’s older. If I can get him interested in something now, then he won’t be bored and getting in trouble later on when he’s a teen – at least that’s the hope!

What are your thoughts? Do you think extracurricular activities are good for children?



October 8, 2013

What School Doesn’t Teach Kids

I am a firm believer in sending kids to school because they learn a lot while attending school. And, let’s face it, the world has changed. It used to be that employers didn’t care what level of education one had before they hired a person. Instead, they looked at references, competence, work ethic and reliability. If a person worked hard, cared about his job and did his work well, then he would be able to move up and eventually be in management.

Nowadays, most employers require some college completed (if not a degree) before they will even consider a person. Therefore, it’s more important now than ever before that our children pursue education.

While there are many things that kids can learn in school, there are a number of things that school can’t teach our children. These are the things that I believe are left to the parents to do. They include:

Good Work Ethic: Sadly, a good work ethic is something that is hard to find in people nowadays…especially children. While teachers give students homework and tests that they have to study for, they aren’t able to teach a child what it means to be a good worker. I’m talking about doing a job right even if it means that it takes longer to do and finishing a job once it’s started. I guess, taking pride in your work sums it up nicely. This isn’t something that school teaches kids at home. Kids learn what it means to have a good work ethic by watching their parents.

Compassion and Respect: This is another problem area that I see among the youth of today. While schools do all they can to encourage compassion and respect, this is something that honestly starts at home. Again, kids are like sponges and they soak up everything. Not just the things they hear, but also what they see. Therefore, parents need to be careful about how they treat one another when they are upset and especially how they treat others outside the home. If mom and dad show compassion and respect to one another (and the kids) at home, as well as, strangers then the kids are more likely to grow up doing the same.

Financial Responsibility: I honestly believe that schools should start teaching money management classes for high school students. Most high school students get a job in order to pay for a car and other things, but don’t understand what it means to manage their money and end up spending everything they earn. Sadly, this habit is something that follows a lot of people into adulthood – only, once they are 18 they are able to start applying for credit cards and end up in a lot of debt as a result. However, as schools aren’t yet teaching money management classes (at least the schools where I live don’t), this is something that is up to parents to teachtheir children.

Take the time to sit down with your kids (when they are old enough to understand) and show them how much things cost: utilities, mortgage, vehicle (payment and insurance), etc. Then talk to them about how you budget your money to make sure everything gets paid and you still have enough left over for a few “fun” things and savings. If you can teach your kids good money management skills while they are still in high school, then they will most likely continue these good habits for the rest of their lives.

As you can see, school can’t teach our children everything they need to know about life. That’s why parents are needed. Unfortunately, too many parents are leaving their job to the schools and then wondering why their children are turning out to be irresponsible and disrespectful adults.

October 6, 2013

It’s Time for a Change

If you have been following this blog for long, then you know that my husband and I have only been in our home for a little over a year now. We starting building it back in the summer of 2011 and moved in on January 22, 2012. Due to the fact that my husband and I did most of the work ourselves, we decided to keep it simple and paint the entire house the same color: Holmes Cream (a nice and boring shade of beige).

I am one that likes a lot of color, but after building our house I was done with painting and swore that it would be years before I ever opened another can of paint again. While I didn’t last years, I did hold out for as long as possible – 1.5 years. I simply can’t stand the beige anymore and have to do something to bring a little bit of life back to my living room.
So, today my project has been painting the living room. The wall where the television is will be my accent wall and it’s a lovely peach color (Apricot Ice) and the surrounding walls are a pretty pastel yellow (Enjoyable Yellow). My décor is modern rustic, so I have a lot of yellows, greens, blues, oranges and turquoise. These two colors actually blend it all together quite nicely.
Like I said, I’ve put off painting for as long as I could and during that time (of procrastinating) I found several ways to bring a little life back into my home décor. During the craziness of end-of-summer and back-to-school, you may not have the time or energy to paint, but would like to dress up the house a little, but don’t know how. Here’s a few suggestions:
1.      New Décor – The first thing I did when I got bored with the beige walls was take a trip to Hobby Lobby (and other home décor stores) and start shopping the sales. Adding just a few new pieces of wall décor did a lot to transform the look of my living room. I added a couple of colored shelves, pictures and even a cute little lampshade to my favorite lamp.

2.      Furniture Covers – Another simple fix for creating a new look without spending a fortune is to buy new covers for your couches. They make all different colors and styles, making it easy to achieve the look you are after.

3.      Reupholster Old Chairs – I recently had an old chair reupholstered with a new fabric that I absolutely loved. It only cost me about $150 to have the chair done and it really did add extra detail that the room needed.

4.      New Pillows – Switching out old throw pillows can actually make your old couches look new, depending on the style and pattern of pillows that you choose.

5.      Fresh Flowers – Another great idea for sprucing up an old space is to add some fresh flowers or potted plants. Regardless of whether it’s the dining room, living room or a bedroom, fresh flowers and/or potted plants will add a lot.
As you can see there are many inexpensive ways to changing the look of any room. I imagine that my next project will be tackling my 5-year old son’s room. He’s tired of the beige too. However, for this I will probably start with new bedding and window treatments and go from there.