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Sunday, 16 December


What to Do Before Selling Your Home At Home In Love

First of all, a disclaimer: we're not planning to sell our home, now or anytime soon. But real estate prices have been rising here, and a lot of our neighbors are putting their houses on the market. So I've been watching out of curiosity, to see how quickly their houses sell, and for what amount. I'm interested in real estate, and I think it's smart to plan ahead and make home improvement decisions with resale in mind (I'm not saying it should be the main factor unless you're flipping a house...but we do prioritize smart updates that add value to the house over stylistic updates that suit our personal tastes). If you're thinking of selling your home soon, you'll want to make sure you take the right steps to get it ready for the market. Its tempting to want to sell the property as is, and maybe you think youll be saving money by not completing repairs. But the last thing you want is for your house to be viewed as a fixer-upper with lots of issues that buyers will have to deal with, because that means the price you fetch won't be anywhere near what you hoped or expected. And actually, you can greatly improve the impression your home gives off with some easy repairs that don't cost much in the grand scheme of things. So which updates should you prioritize before selling your home?

House exterior

1. Fix Up the Yard

Everyone knows, curb appeal counts when you're selling a house. First impressions are everything! So it's highly important to fix up the yard. Unmowed grass and an unkempt garden are signs that a property has not been well cared for. You'll also want to pay attention to any fences or structures around the property. Buyers often decide whether they want your home within the first five minutes. If the perception is poor, its possible they wont even proceed with the viewing. Depending on the extent of the issues here, you may choose to hire a landscaper. But for minor work, it's definitely possible to complete it yourself with some good old-fashioned DIY sweat equity!

2. Update the Garage Door

The garage door is a crucial area of your property because it takes up so much space. This means people's eye will immediately be drawn to it when they first view the house. Even more importantly, a garage door that's in disrepair could also be a safety hazard. Luckily, garage door repairs are actually quick, easy and cost-effective. So, you wont need to worry about this ta...


One Home. Zero Energy Bills.

The house that Joel and Barb Mielke built for their retirement is located in rural Preston, MN. Large windows open to a view of acres of prairie. It has wood and stone detailing.

When they designed their dream home, they wanted it to break even on electricity and after installing solar panels to create energy in the summer and a custom appliance system to use as little as possible in the winter, they did it. Both of the Mielkes are chemical engineers and Joel created the energy design. Energy balances are second nature for me, Joel says. Ive always been thrifty in the case of resources. I dont like to waste things.

They created a thermal envelope. The Mielkes house is insulated for maximum heat retention. Very few rooms in the house vent directly to the outdoors. Instead, hot air routes down and out through floor trusses. The house has triple-pane windows, to trap extra heat. The extra cost was minimal, Joel says, and the couple wanted to push it as far as we could.

The Mielkes south-facing windows are 200 sq. feet and were specially shaded and treated to let the sun in during the winter (during the summer, they should be shaded) for passive solar gain. By the end of September, were just starting to get sun into the house, Joel says. Thats an extra little bit of heat that they dont have to generate or buy. In an attempt to keep fossil fuel use to a minimum, the Mielkes also use a hefty Norwegian wood-burning stove to heat the house. They burn dead wood from the area around their house, and only harvest roughly 10 percent of the trees that fall on their land.

The Mielkes are on the grid. Their house and solar panels dont have batteries to store the energy created. So when the sun is shining, Barb says, the Mielkes export energy to the local power company, which buys their electricity. When its cloudy, they import energy to power their home. Last year, the couple generated more than twice as much electricity as they used. Weve exported enough energy to offset driving our vehicles, Joel says. Also, they didnt pay any energy bills last year. They ga...

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Saturday, 15 December


4 Ways to Profoundly Change Your Life At Home In Love

This is a collaborative post. All opinions expressed are my own.

Sometimes you get to a point where you just want a change in life, and you cant even really say why. Especially around this time, as we reflect on the past year and consider our goals for the future. You may have clarity to realize there's something specific that needs to change, or perhaps you just have a vague sense that something is a little off and you need to get your life back on track. The change we crave may be simple and relatively easy to implement: going for regular walks to get some exercise, prioritizing date nights even if it means paying for a babysitter, or setting the alarm a little earlier to start the morning with intention. But sometimes, you need more than that. Sometimes, you need a dramatic change that will profoundly alter your life. If that's how you feel, the new year is the perfect time for a new start, a clean slate, and a fresh beginning. Here are four big ways to shake yourself out of the rut.

1. Move - Moving is a major change that shouldn't be taken lightly, as it's often expensive and stressful. You dont want to leave on a whim, or without thinking through the logistics. You also want to make sure that you do it in a proper way that makes it worthwhile to leave, and not worse for yourself. But don't let that discourage you. Sometimes, it's mentally exhausting to think about moving, but once you get the ball rolling, the actual effort isn't as overwhelming as you'd thought. In fact, most of us move every few years at least, until we find the "right place" to settle down.  If you know that you need to get out of your current situation, changing where you live is the kind of drastic move (literally) that will instantly impact your life for the better. 

Red and white house

Chances are, you will be considering this move in particular because you are ready for new experiences, and you know that moving somewhere different will be open up such possibilities for you. This is generally true, and it can direct how you make your decision about where to go. Think about what experiences you feel you are missing out on, then look for places that are likely to provide such experiences for you. Chances are, there is no one perfect place in the world that will provide you with everything you need, so there is always going to be some sort of compromise.

That being said, moving where you live can be very profound, especially...


DIY Salvaged Junk Projects 456 Funky Junk Interiors

vintage-yardstick-christmas-trees_vintage-yardstick-christmas-treesWelcome to DIY Salvaged Junk Projects 456 Every Friday, 7 PM through Wednesday 11 PM Pacific Hello, Merry & Bright friends! Or you will be after this post! First off I apologize. I had double the selections chosen for todays party features, however the post got too long. Its just getting so hard to know where []

The post DIY Salvaged Junk Projects 456 appeared first on Funky Junk Interiors.


The Perfect Pecan Pie for the Holidays + Giveaway Design*Sponge

About Michelle and Suzanne Rousseau: Sisters Michelle and Suzanne Rousseau have spent the last 20 years exploring the identity of Caribbean food from their unique vantage point as Jamaican writers, researchers, restaurateurs, and food entr...

Friday, 14 December


How To Reinvent Your Career After A Baby At Home In Love

This is a collaborative post. All opinions expressed are my own.

Having a baby is a big, life-changing decision. Going back to work after youve had said baby? Also big and life-changing. Most of you know that I ended up staying home after Ian (my firstborn) arrived. After he was born early and spent his first month of life in the NICU, I just couldn't picture going back to the 40 hour, 9-5 grind (I also did not love my job, so that made it easier to quit). We made a financial plan to ensure it was possible for me to stay home, part of which involved moving to a city with a lower cost of living. For us, what we wanted became clear after Ian was born, and we did everything we could to make that happen. However, I know the internal debate over going back to work after maternity leave ends is a toughhhh one for many new mothers. Some can't afford to stop working, and others really love their careers.


Its ingrained within us to believe that we should want to be with our children every hour of the day. And we do, to an extent (have you ever set your baby down for the night fiiiinally, only to miss them and look at pictures and videos of them on your phone?). However, before we were mothers, we were women. Smart, intelligent and confident individuals with hopes and dreams and ambitions. None of that changes when you have a child; but what you want to do with your life may well do. Some mothers experience clarity with the birth of their child, and that clarity can mean a new career, or finally having the courage to reach out and ask for the promotion that theyve always been passed on. As a parent, its up to you to ensure that your children see you achieve, and in doing so you'll set an example of determination, confidence, and success. Sometimes, motherhood can be the catalyst to reinvent your career into something even better. Here are four things you might consider.

1. Flexible Work

As a parent, you need time to be with your family. Theres nothing wrong with sitting down with your boss and discussing a more flexible work schedule, with the same job but different work hours. Perhaps you can go part-time for awhile, or work from home for a time. Employers are often open to bending for the top talent, and if yours isn't, you can choose to move onto an employer that appreciates the working parent.

2. Go Back To School

Sometimes, motherhood triggers a need to know more, to learn more, so tha...


Modern Wooden House Shelf

This modern wooden house shelf is beautiful and functional!  You'll just need two 1x8 boards and some screws to build yourself and save.  The free plans are shared below.

Featuring two large rooms, two small rooms, and a side porch perfect for books, this modern wooden house shelf is stores it all in the most charming way.  It's inspired by Crate and Kid's Shelf - but you can build it for way less!

As part of the annual series that Jaime Costilgio and I put on each year - Handbuilt Holiday

We are giving you this new gift plan today!

Need a different gift idea?  Jaime Costiglio and I have been doing the Handbuilt Holiday series and have shared dozens of gift plans here. 

Are you ready to build this shelf?  The free plans are below.

But first, head on over to Jaime for lots more photos and build details.  


Happy Holidays!






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