Show Notes: Holiday Helpers & CO Safety
If you are running out of time and ideas preparing for the holidays, we have help for you. Decorate your home and tree with some help for our our elf. Looking for that just right gift for the most organized person in your life? We have help with that too. And, while you are doing all of that, remember to keep your family safe from carbon monoxide.
Thank you to ours guests:
Sunny S. Hancock, Sunny And Chair Interiors
Theresa Finnigin: Organized Living
Are You A Christmas Tree Lighting Expert?
What is the science and technique behind those artistically decorated trees, and how many lights do you need to make yours as stunning?
On Average – 600 Mini Lights or 450 5mm LEDs Does the Trick
With so much riding on the holiday season, it’s no wonder magazines have narrowed down their tree decorations to a science. The formula goes as follows for indoor trees:
4 foot tree = 400 mini lights, or 300 5mm LEDs
6 foot tree = 600 mini lights, or 450 5mm LEDs
8 foot tree = 800 mini lights, or 600 5mm LEDs
The logic behind this calculation is 100 lights over each individual foot of a tree, so that there’s equal coverage. Remember, depending on how wide or deep your tree is, your lights will be dimmed by the needles and ornaments, and need a few extra in order to truly shine through.
- Don’t Forget the Type of Bulbs You Need
Thicker bulbs aren’t always the answer. By mixing larger bulbs with smaller, the brighter ones draw the eye to focal points in the tree, while the smaller speckle it with a lovely glow that makes it beautiful from afar. Magazines use this tactic in pictures especially, as viewer’s attention will be drawn to the most lush portions of the tree, while the small lights are subtle enough to fool the eye into thinking every portion is perfect.
- The Placement of Your Bulbs is Everything
No matter how many lights you have or how well you follow the formula, if you don’t use some stylistic sense when applying them, your tree will be a flop. Evaluate your tree and how the branches lay. For the thicker parts of your tree, lay your lights more on the outside of their branches, while for the thinner, wrap them deep and in layers. This will give the impression of even coverage. Even if some branches boast of fewer lights than the next; the eye will assume they don’t.
Christmas Decorating Tips from Sunny S. Hancock
The holiday season is upon us for sure! If you are getting ready to decorate (or have already decorated and feel that is just doesn’t look quite like the HGTV episodes or Home and Garden magazine photos like you hoped) here are few tips to help you reach your home décor for the holidays goal.
- Buy a tree that allows space for your ornaments.
When decorating a Christmas tree:
Try to have a tree that will allow room for your ornaments. Full thick trees are beautiful when they have very few or no ornaments. A less full tree will shine when the ornaments hang properly and throughout the entire tree instead of on the outer edge of each limb.
Don’t be shy with lights. Lights really make the tree and room lovely. Try to wrap the branches with the lights. Most home improvement or hardware stores sell extension cords that can go up the trunk of the tree for plugging in the lights throughout the tree. The tree is the focal point so let it shine!
- Use color combinations that match. Too many hues, shades and tones can get confusing.
It is sometimes difficult to figure out why all the decorations in your home don’t always flow. It is usually due to color. Changing color from area to area and room to room can be a décor problem. Make certain that if you are using red and green for example that the shades of those hues are the same. If you have a beautiful red and sage green centerpiece on the table — you don’t want a burgundy and forest green wreath on the adjacent wall. It adds confusion to the eye and does not flow as well. All the rooms in the home should have a consistent color combination.
- Old family holiday pieces can be put in collections to show better or in a case or under glass..
Some of the ol’ family Christmas decorations and heirlooms may be looking a bit weathered and in need of some sprucing up. But these treasured memories need a place to shine. Try putting the vintage holiday memories as a collection with like items on a table, console, or mantel. A site such as Auspoints has console tables for hallway storage if you want to avail one with the ease of convenience.
You can also put them in a glass shadow box to update the look. It is always nice to see great grandma’s pieces in the home when displayed in a pretty setting.
- Making the home flow throughout with holiday cheer
If everything is decorated and it still doesn’t quite look like you hoped, you can:
- Add greenery, (swags, picks, garland) to the decorated areas It will add a constant look in every spot and will make it all look like it belongs together.
- Remove your everyday décor and box it in your holiday boxes. When the holidays are over, your everyday décor pieces are in the holiday boxes and ready to be displayed again.
Hope these tips will help with your holiday season!!
How Can I Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in My Home?
The National Safety Council recommends you install a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector in your home near the bedrooms. Check or replace the battery when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall. The CDC offers these additional tips:
- Have your heating system, water heater and any other gas or coal-burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year
- Do not use portable flameless chemical heaters indoors
- Never use a generator inside your home, basement or garage or less than 20 feet from any window, door or vent; fatal levels of carbon monoxide can be produced in just minutes
- Have your chimney checked and cleaned every year, and make sure your fireplace damper is open before lighting a fire and well after the fire is extinguished
- Make sure your gas appliances are vented properly
- Never use a gas oven for heating your home
- Never let a car idle in the garage
- Know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning
Steps to Take When Carbon Monoxide Alarm Sounds
The CPSC says never ignore a carbon monoxide alarm, and do not try to find the source of the gas. Instead, follow these steps:
- Immediately move outside to fresh air
- Call emergency services, fire department or 911
- Do a head count to check that all persons are accounted for
- Do not reenter the premises until emergency responders have given you permission to do so
Simple Ways To Keep Your Home Warmer This Winter
The key to understanding how to keep warm is the fact that you lose more heat by radiation to your surroundings than you do by convection to the air.
Use Your Curtains
Heat from the sun is free, so you’ll want to make the most of it. Open your curtains and let the sunlight in during the day to make use of this free heat. Window shades and curtains should be kept open during the day. Closing your curtains as soon as dusk falls will maximize your home’s potential to retain that heat. When it gets dark, shut your curtains and shades, which act as another layer of insulation and keep warmth within your rooms. You should also make sure you don’t have any leaks or gaps so that the warm air can stay in and the cold air stays out, which also helps reduce condensation. Make sure there’s a good caulk seal around the windows.
Move your sofa
It might feel great to have your favorite seat in front of the radiator or air vent, but it’s absorbing heat that could be warming your home. By moving it away, hot air can circulate freely. The same goes for your curtains or drying clothes, keep them away from the heat source so that you can get maximum efficiency. Also, positioning furniture or fabric near a heat source is a significant fire hazard.
How warm you feel in a room depends on where you are, even though air temperature is the same throughout. You will feel warmer if you position yourself closer to the inside of the house because the cold external walls are further away. So, try and place your furniture next to an internal wall.
If your desk is up against an external wall so you can look out of the window, your legs may tend to get cold. If the head of your bed is next to a cold external wall you will be prone to getting a stiff neck, though you can counter this somewhat by using a solid headboard.
Set your ceiling fans to rotate clockwise
Your ceiling fan direction needs to be changed seasonally, whether you know it or not. Altering them to clockwise motion in the winter at a lower speed, you can drive warm air down from the ceiling where it collects back into the room. Most ceiling fans have a switch that changes the direction of the fan’s rotation.
Add some layers to your floor
Invented for the practical reason of keeping your floors cozy, area rugs aren’t just a way to add color and style. Floors account for as much as 10 percent of heat loss if they’re not insulated, and area rugs can be that missing insulation. They’ll keep cool air from seeping up into the room, and your toes will definitely thank you.
Doors offer many gaps for cold air to blast through, so seal your doorways. Install foam weather stripping around the inside of your door to create a seal and prevent air exchange. Double draft stoppers are a great short-term solution for preventing a draft at the bottom of the door. Also take into consideration the potential loss of heat with a pet door. Make sure it’s installed properly, and the seals are tight.
Install a programmable thermostat
This will keep your bill low, and your efficiency high. Instead of manually adjusting your thermostat several times a day, consider programming your thermostat for the following temps/times during the week if your house is empty during the day:
- 6 to 9 a.m. = 68 degrees
- 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. = 60 degrees
- 5:30 to 11 p.m. = 68 degrees
- 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. = 60 degrees
If these temperatures seem to chilly for your household, you can adjust accordingly and still get the benefits of not having to wait for the temperatures to adjust after a manual turn on.
Choosing A Snow Blower
Be sure to consider the following questions to ensure you get the snow blower that’s best for your needs. Keep in mind each type of snow blower is available in various widths.
How large an area do I need to clear?
For smaller driveways, single-stage units can do the job. For driveways over 60 feet, choose a two- or three-stage unit.
What kind of snow do I need to clear?
Single-stage units can handle light snow. The impeller on a two-stage unit helps prevent clogging in heavy, wet snow and the serrated augers cut through hard-packed snow or ice. Three-stage units move more heavy, wet snow in less time.
What type of terrain will I be working on?
Auger-assisted, push-propelled models are suited for level surfaces. Engine-driven wheels will work best for sloped terrain. You can use tire chains with some models to enhance traction in all conditions.