Real-mom life hacks for an imperfectly perfect life from Busy Philipps

Your house is spotless, your children are well behaved, and every night there’s a beautiful home-cooked meal on the table. Just how do you do it? The answer: You don’t. From 1960s how-to guides portraying the perfect mother to today’s Pinterest-crazed super moms, there’s always been pressure on women to do it all. But in reality, it’s unrealistic, and moms today are saying: “That’s OK.” “Being a mom, you quickly learn to let go of trying to perfect every aspect of your life,” says actress and mom Busy Philipps. “So rather than trying to perfect things, I rely on tools …

Save energy and money this holiday season

The holidays are a wonderful time of year to gather and celebrate with family and friends. This time of year is also when expenses can soar, especially your utility bills. Thankfully, Chip Wade, HGTV(R) expert, has some advice on how you can save energy, and, ultimately, money, this holiday season: * Holiday lighting: By choosing ENERGY STAR certified decorative light strings, you will be using 75 percent less energy than conventional incandescent light strands. Want to save more energy? Use a timer for your lights to control when they will turn on and off. * Prevent heat loss: Find and seal air leaks in …

That ’70s home: 5 trends making a comeback today

Disco may be dead, but the spirit of the 1970s is not. In homes all across the country, people are adding their own splash of ‘70s style in updated, modern ways. Here are five current top decorating trends that have an unmistakable ‘70s flair. * More macramé, please. From dip dyed wall hangings to simple plant hangers, macramé is coming back in a big way. Whether you purchase these items already made or you enroll in a class to make them yourself, macramé offers an easy way to add texture and an artistic touch to your home. * Groovy colors. The blazing …

Throw a holiday party like a professional

As much as holidays are about tradition, many have an insatiable drive to outdo the festivities of years past and make this holiday season the most memorable yet. How can you outshine yourself this holiday season? The answer is simple: Think big. Don’t be confined to the party supplies you have around your house; stretch out and rent equipment like professional party planners use. Here are some ideas to jump-start your holiday party planning. 1. Serve your food the right way. Preparing a holiday meal is a labor of love, but even for small gatherings, it can be a real challenge …

8 gifts to enjoy all year long

With the holiday season in full swing, many people are heading to a local department store, or their favorite website, to tick off their holiday shopping lists. While some gifts are fun for the instant gratification they provide, it is nice to give goods that can be enjoyed for months, and years, to come. If you’re looking to impress this year, here are eight gift ideas your loved ones will be able to enjoy all year long. Whole-home connectivity: Do you have a friend who is always complaining about their home internet? Tired of playing tech support for your family? …

Coasting while hosting: 5 ways to keep your holiday spirit at your next party

5 ways to keep your holiday spirit at your next party Many of us are already looking forward to hosting holiday gatherings this year — decorating our homes, whipping up festive foods, planning fun activities and surrounding ourselves with the warmth of family and friends. In fact, one recent survey found 67 percent of U.S. consumers host and prepare food for holiday events, while another predicts we’ll be spending an average $172 on such entertaining this season. As enjoyable as hosting is, however, the preparations can be time-consuming. In a survey by Wakefield Research for BJ’s Wholesale Club this year, 26 percent of U.S. …

Stress-busting speed-cleaning tips for the holidays

It’s no secret the holiday season can be one of the busiest and most stressful times of the year. What is one of the biggest sources of stress? It’s cleaning on a deadline, especially while guests are on their way. But with the right plan in place, even last-minute pre-entertainment cleaning can be efficient and stress-free, says Debra Johnson, Merry Maids home cleaning expert. In an online survey conducted this spring by Toluna, more than half of respondents admitted that most of their cleaning takes place just before guests arrive. With a bit more focus, this preparation can be quick …

O’More Designer Show House

Offering more than 4,000 square feet of inspiration, the 2017 O’More Designer Show House at Voce in Brentwood was built on land that belonged to country music icon Eddy Arnold on south Granny White Pike. The ShowHouse showcased the designs of four decades of O’More alums, all leaders in their field. Designed to be exceptionally welcoming, from the exterior paint colors to the interior finishes, the home was harmonized with progressive design and technology. Designers involved with this year’s home include Susan Besser of Franklin Preservation Associates; Robert Brown of Robert Brown Interiors; Lila Pryon Frank of Lila Pryor Frank …

Sunrooms, Outdoor Rooms

“People want to feel connected to the world around them even while they’re indoors,” says Christine Marvin of Marvin Windows and Doors. “More people want to spend their time outdoors, or at least feeling connected to what’s outside their walls,” she says. While screened porches remain popular, allowing outdoor living with barriers to the weather and bugs, homeowners today often opt for three- to four-season sunrooms. Sunrooms not only bring the outdoors in but are a space that can be lived-in all year.       Jonathan Miller Architecture and Design Reporting that people want to make as much use …

Laundry & Mud Rooms

No longer simply a utilitarian space, laundry rooms have been coming out of the basement and closet for years, moving into more convenient areas of the home, such as the master suite and off the kitchen and garage. In fact, most architects and designers are incorporating more comprehensive laundry rooms in their house plans so homeowners can create a comfortable and functional space for the whole family to enjoy. The average person spends at least six hours a week in their laundry room washing clothes so it’s no surprise that homeowners crave a more organized, attractive, and functional space. New …