Sunday, June 29, 2014

Protecting Your Home -- Inside and Out!

You probably spent a great deal of time, energy and money to get your home perfect. Maybe you worked with a well-known interior designer to create a unique, cozy atmosphere; or perhaps you went to countless furniture stores across the state to find the right pieces for your space.

At the end of the day, you put your heart and soul into designing your home; and after all your hard work, the last thing you need is someone intruding on your space and taking your valuables. But unfortunately home burglaries are extremely common — regardless of who you are and where you live.

Even if nothing bad ever happens on your block or within your community, there is a first time for everything. Therefore, it is only smart to take the necessary precautions to protect your home.

1. Home insurance

A home burglary occurs every 15 seconds in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. And during these invasions, the typical homeowner “loses nearly $2,000 in stolen goods or property damage.” A homeowner’s insurance policy is the best way to soften the blow from a home invasion. And if you do not own your property, look into renter’s insurance. Compare prices among different companies ensures the best premium. The right home insurance coverage policy can provide you peace of mind as well as the money you need to repair or replace your home and/or belongings,” says Mills Insurance.

2. Security System

For less than $40 a month, you can have a monitored security system from one of many trusted security providers. A security system not only deters thieves and keeps your home safe, it also protects your family from other dangers, such as fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.

3. Window Treatment

I am always amazed by the number of people who do not have blinds or drapes. You might feel that these home accessory pieces take away from your beautiful decor. However, it is easy for someone to peek into your house at night if you do not install blinds or drapes. Intruders can case your home and see what you have, which ultimately increases your risk of a home invasion. 

4. Motion sensor lights

Outdoor motion sensor lights not only add to your amazing landscaping, it is also a safety measure to protect your home from burglary. If an intruder steps foot on your property, motion sensor lights illuminate, potentially scaring away the intruder and alerting you to potential danger.

5. Prune your shrubs

Your focus might be on maintaining an impressive interior, but keeping a close eye on your exterior also keeps your property safe. Thieves look for any way to break into a home, and if bushes and shrubs are planted too close to a window, they might hide behind these as they work to pry open a window. Therefore, keep your shrubs pruned to eliminate potential hiding places.

6. Do not advertise new purchases.

Whether you buy a new flat screen television or new appliances, do not leave boxes at your curb. Use a box cutter to tear down boxes, and then take these to a public dump area. Leaving these boxes in plain sight makes you an easy target.

7. Solid wood or steel doors.

If your front and back doors are hollow, it will be much easier for an intruder to break down the door. Gradually switch out these doors for a solid wood or steel door.

8. Inside timer lights

If you are going away for more than a day, use inside timer lights to make it look as if someone is at home. You can set lights to turn on at a certain time in the early evening, and then off during the late night hours.

This is your home and it is your responsibility to protect it. Thieves are clever and they know an easy target when they see one. But if you take the necessary safety measures, you can keep your home, its contents and your family safe.

Guest-post- Decorating with Patterned Bathroom Tiles!

In a bathroom many people are tempted to adopt a pristine white theme. White is a color we associate with cleanliness and it has the added advantage of being reflective to give the impression of more space in the room.  But is there an alternative?

Patterned tiles can give a room a sense of your own style.  When you are treating yourself to some relaxation time in the tub it is great to be able to feel comfortable and secure in your own little haven.  A totally plain, stark white environment can feel a little impersonal and sterile.

The Magic of Morocco

Moroccan styling is right on trend and it gives you the opportunity of making plenty of quirky additions to your bathroom. You can treat yourself to some specifically designed Moroccan themed tiling; a small taste of Moorish architecture in your home. If you are going with this look there are plenty of options to accessorize across the theme. 

Instead of using candles around your tub why not try out some Moroccan styled tea lights, a real touch of exotic.  You can even go African with your fittings, faucets with ornate golden Moroccan stylings are a great way to go. 

What Size and Style Should you use?

You may not be a fan of the Moroccan theme, that is fine but what style should you adopt and in what size tile? You want to express yourself in the style you choose so do not be afraid to go for it, you can learn more here. That being said if you have a small bathroom very intense fussy patterns can make the space feel even smaller. Likewise dark colors can purvey a claustrophobic feel. Tiles with a brighter, wider, less intense pattern will add some color and interest without making the space seem even smaller. 

It is also a good idea to use small tiles in a small bathroom, they are easier practically as they do not need so much cutting, and they do not dwarf the size of the room. Conversely, if you are lucky enough to have a luxuriously large bathroom you can be big and bold in both the size of the tiles and the theme.

Should I go for an all-over Pattern?

Some of this is down to personal taste, but remember that a small space can look overly busy with a lot of pattern going on. Black and white may seem simple but it can be ideal for keeping a clean and classic style while still putting your own stamp on the room. 

Another option is to spot your patterned tiles around the room, and use plain tiles for the remainder. If you are going to do this it is a good idea to choose a color from the design and to select plain tiles in a shade that complements this color. 

For a design in moderation, and if you want to keep clean and simple for the majority of the bathroom space, pattern the backsplash areas around your units; a great way to add a little uncomplicated style. 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Guest post- Unlocked Mailboxes Can Expose You to Identity Theft!

Identity theft strikes fear into the heart of almost everyone. Whether this theft occurs online or through paper documents, stopping the theft and then preventing further violations can be time consuming and costly in more than one way. And, did you know that identity theft can originate in unlocked mailboxes? You assume the check you are mailing is safe.However, in 2012, 85% of victims of identity theft cited fraudulent use of existing account information, such as credit cards or bank account information. This type of information can be easily obtained from stolen mail. So, what are the best ways to prevent identity theft in the first place? Here are ways to protect yourself and your mail from theft.

Money in the Mail

You might think that there is no harm in slipping a five-dollar bill in a card, but it is a good rule of thumb to never send cash in the mail. It is easily taken and untraceable.

However, many send money through the mail as a means of payment for an assortment of bills. If you decide to opt out of electronic payments, be sure to use checks or money orders to pay those utility bills and mortgage payments. Using this method, you will be able to track when the check is cashed and both are more difficult for a thief to cash. If you happen to be on the receiving end, and you are expecting a check or other valuable in the mail and it is taking longer than expected to arrive, contact the issuing agency immediately. In order to stop or prevent identity theft, a stop may need to be put on a particular check or an account might need to be frozen. If there is a breach, the sooner this is done, the better.

Location of the Mail

As mentioned above, many people still pay their bills by mailing checks. While this is a traditional — and completely acceptable means of making a payment — it is imperative that any mailed check be sent through a mail slot or box at the local post office, via a locked mailbox or handed directly to a mail carrier. In contrast, placing a check in an open mailbox will leave you vulnerable to identity theft.

You also want to make sure that mail sent to you arrives at your current address. So, if you move, it is important to immediately notify your post office and anyone you do business with that you have a new mailing address. This will help avoid any sensitive materials falling into the hands of those living at your previous address.

Timing of the Mail

If you do use an unlocked mailbox, like the ones attached to homes or at the end of driveways, be sure to promptly remove any mail after each delivery. This is especially important if you are expecting checks, credit cards or other negotiable items. If you would not be home when the items are expected, ask a trusted friend or neighbor to pick up your mail and hold it until you can retrieve it from them.

If you are going on vacation or will be away from your home for an extended amount of time, have your local post office hold your mail. You will then be able to collect it from the post office when you return. This will not only keep your mail safe but will also prevent passers-by from noticing that you are away due to the accumulation of mail in your box.

Another option is to install a locked mailbox, allowing only those with a key to retrieve the contents. Multi-mailbox units, similar to those used at apartment complexes, as well as single locked mailboxes can be purchased at You can also consult with your local postmaster for the most up-to-date regulations on mailboxes, including the availability of locked centralized or curbside mailboxes.

But you do not have to fight mail theft alone. You can also partner with your neighbors to start a neighborhood watch program. By exchanging work and vacation schedules with trusted friends and neighbors, you can watch each other's mailboxes as well as homes when you or others are away. And, if you do observe a mail thief, be sure to call the local police immediately, and then call the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at (877) 876-2455.

While identity theft can happen to anyone, there are steps you can take to prevent it and lessen your vulnerabilities. So, be sure to mail all sensitive materials through locked or official post office mailboxes and look into installing a locked mailbox at your home to protect items you are receiving.

About the Author: Dave Vincent is an expert on identity theft and knows that locked mailboxes are safer for you and your mail. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Giveaway- Cozy Wall Art decals!

There are many, many ways to create a focal wall in a room. Some of the most popular methods are using a contrasting paint color, a striking wallpaper, a large artwork or a group of framed photographs. However, I find using wall decals to spruce up a wall is the fastest and easiest, thanks to the flexible nature of the product- you simply peel and stick! As a bonus, there is no skill needed and they are super affordable to boot!

Being a non-DIY gal with a small budget to work with, I have used walls decals in a slightly different way to create a focal point in my son's room in the past. You can check out my son's room here

Today is your lucky day because I have a great giveaway for you! You all guessed it, a wall decal giveaway, thanks to, a maker owned company that offers durable vinyl products with unique and diverse designs at affordable prices for every room in the house. The best part is you can customize your wall decal using any of the 23 color options to complement your decor. Isn't that wonderful?

Here are some of my favorite decals from their website!

Aren't these fun? Which one is your favorite?

Now, let's get back to the giveaway. has decided to offer two wall decals (up to $60 in value) to TWO LUCKY MIX AND CHIC READERSHow fabulous is that?

This giveaway is open to US and Canada residents only.

To enter:
1. Be a follower of Mix And Chic via Google Friend Connect (click on the button located under 'Followers' on the right sidebar) and let me know how which wall decal you will pick if you win(with a link included). After you have done both, please leave a comment followed by your email so I can contact you if you are the winner. 

For example: I am now a follower of Mix And Chic via GFC and I would love to get this item if I win:

(enter your email here)

(one basic, mandatory entry)

For additional entries (an extra entry for each of the following):

2. 'Like' Cozy Wall Art on Facebook and leave a separate comment.
3. 'Like' Mix And Chic on Facebook and leave a separate comment. (If you are already following, please leave a separate comment to let me know as well.)

4. 'Follow' Cozy Wall Art on Twitter and leave a separate comment.

5. 'Follow' Mix And Chic on Twitter and leave a separate comment. (If you are already following, please leave a separate comment to let me know as well.)

6. 'Follow' Cozy Wall Art on Pinterest and leave a comment.

7. 'Follow' Mix And Chic on Pinterest and leave a separate comment. (If you are already following, please leave a separate comment to let me know as well.)

8. Mention this giveaway on your Facebook status (include a link back to this post and leave a separate comment.)

9. Tweet about this giveaway (include a link back to this post and leave a separate comment.)

You have a maximum of 9 entries.

The last day for entries is July 2, 2014. The winner will be chosen by and announced on Thursday, July 3, 2014. Good luck!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Appreciate what you have got with these design tips!

This post is written by Paul Watson.

Sometimes it is easy to take things for granted in this world of one-click internet purchases and next day delivery. We just do not know how good we have got it. A few hundred years ago, for instance, most of us would have lived in a clay hut, and the best accessory we could acquire was a bit of mud in a corner.

Maybe you could shove a fetid stick in your mound of mud, but that was about the end of interior design. That is why you should be thankful for all the fantastic products, accessories, gadgets and gizmos you can fill your home with. But what do you really need to turn your home from a regular hut to a luxurious palace? Have a look at these tips to find out.

Make your windows wonderful

A lot of people like to say that the eyes are the windows to the soul, but few (if any) eyes would reap the benefits of double glazing. In fact, your actual windows are far more important than your eyes – nobody can peer into your eyes and see that your living room is a mess. 

With wide windows fitted with double glazing, your home will let in and retain far more light and heat, so contact a top notch glazer for windows that will welcome light into your home.

Apply yourself to quality appliances

Back in the days of mud huts, you would be happy with a log fire to cook your food. While you should be thankful that we have moved on since then, that does not mean you should remain content with poor quality kitchen appliances. A powerful oven and other white goods will make your cooking a cinch. The trick is to research your appliances thoroughly – look up customer reviews online, check energy efficiency ratings – and you will have products that would not leave your food half-cooked.

Make your wall the main feature

While we might be past the point of huts and hunting, that does not mean you will always have the cash to splash on new wallpaper. Indeed, giving your walls a fresh look can be costly, which is why you should invest in a feature wall to tighten those purse strings.

Perfect for living rooms, a feature wall is one section of your wall space fitted with a distinct and eye-catching design. Not only will this create a stylish focal point in your room, it also means you do not have to fork out too much to make it a haven for good taste.

First impressions count

When people wander up to your door, what do you think they want to see? A rundown squalor reminiscent of The Wire, or a white picket fence dream like an episode of Mad Men? The more stylish your entrance, the more at home you will feel. So, maintain a welcoming front garden, door and doormat, and you will be able to appreciate what you have got from the entrance onwards. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Four Benefits of Owning a Pre-Designed Home!

This article is provided by Andre.

When it comes to home ownership, there are a lot of options available. One active debate that exists is the on-site construction option versus the pre-designed home building plan or modular home option. While there are several pros and cons of each of these options, the benefits of choosing a pre-designed home are many. Here are just a few of the reasons why choosing a house building plan is a no-brainer.

Options, Options, Options

A common misconception regarding pre-designed homes is that there are not a lot of options available when it comes to pre-designed house building plans. There are a few different types of pre-designed homes available. Modular, panelized construction, concrete panels, prefabricated timber frames, and even log cabins can be built from pre-designed plans. All of these options also include endless choices for fixtures, interior designs, and colors. Several people who choose to convert to a pre-designed option end up singing the praises of the structure, integrity, and beauty of the building.

They Are Environmentally-Friendly

If you consider yourself a naturalist, a pre-designed or pre-fab home should be an environmentally friendly option for your dream home. Many of the materials that are used in traditional on-site construction get tossed into the dumpster. This results in debris, dumper, and tipping costs that are practically non-existent with pre-designed homes. When a pre-fab home is made in the factory many of these materials are recycled and reused in other models. Furthermore, the factories where these homes are constructed provide an environment where the wood is protected from the elements, which means that the occurrence of mold and rot are less likely.

They Are Cost Effective

The materials used in the construction of pre-designed homes are also bought in bulk, so the materials used to construct them tend to cost less. This means that these homes can be offered at a lower price point. A study published by the Structural Building Components Industry states that a panelized home uses less lumber, and less scrap which contributes to about 16 percent less cost for labor and materials. According to a Pennsylvania coalition of building experts, the average savings for a pre-designed home is roughly $32 per square foot.

They Are Hassle-Free

Most people, who are not familiar with the benefits of a pre-designed house building plan, are not really aware of how hassle-free they can be. Reflecting upon the first point, most people have the misconception that they will receive a carbon-copy home but the reality is that in some cases there are hundreds, if not thousands, of unique options which allow the homeowner to customize their floor plan. For these reasons and all of the ones given above, a pre-designed home is a much easier option than traditional on-site construction homes.

There are some misconceptions that are often associated to pre-designed homes but now the benefits of owning one are clear. If you are in the market for a home like this, with the right due diligence, you can have a beautiful home that is uniquely your own. Aside from plenty of options to choose from, pre-fab or pre-designed home plans are also environmentally friendly, cost effective, and hassle-free. It should now be easier to make an informed decision for yourself whether or not a pre-designed home is the right option for you.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Product review- Redbubble art print!

When I was offered a sample from Redbubble, it was an offer I simply can't refuse. Why? Because I love so many of the items from their website. By the way, have you heard of Redbubble

In case you are unfamiliar, Redbubble is one of the most diverse creative community and marketplace on the internet. With a wide range of talented artists and designers hailing from every corner of the globe offering thousands of unique, fabulous and affordable T-shirts & clothing, kids clothesphone casesstickersprintsthrow pillowstote bagscards and calenders, you are bound to find something you love!

Below are some of my favorite items from their website!

Aren't these amazing? They have every kind of artwork you can imagine but the type of art that usually caught my eyes are the colorful, beautiful and whimsical variety. Which one is your favorite?

For today's review, I decided to get the East Coast Village Of Staithes print. Here is it!

This gorgeous prints measures at 24"x 18".

A close-up of the print.

The big picture!

I fell in love with this print ever since I first laid my eyes upon it. This artwork was originally created using oil on canvas by talented artist, Graham Clark. The print is even more gorgeous in person and needless to say, I love it very much!

I am especially drawn to the charming village scenery and the amazing details that the artist so meticulously captured in this painting. The colors used are refreshing, delightful and convey a sense of nostalgic feeling, which I really adore. This is a true masterpiece in my opinion!

My artwork was printed on good quality paper. It was carefully wrapped and protected in layers of paper and plastic and arrived at my door step in perfect condition, I couldn't ask for more! I would definitely recommend getting prints from this website!

Disclosure: I have received this product to review for free but the views and opinions expressed are my own.

There are many, many more wonderful work of art on their site so check it out when you get a chance!