Food Friday! Slow-Cooker Beef Nachos!

Ingredients

1 (3-lb.) boneless beef rump roastSlow-Cooker Beef Nachos Recipe
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 (12-oz.) jar mild banana pepper rings
1 (15-oz.) can beef broth
3 garlic cloves, minced
Tortilla chips
1 (15-oz.) can black beans, rinsed
Tomatoes, chopped
Onion, finely chopped
Shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Cilantro, avocado, and sour cream

Preparation

Season roast with salt and pepper. Brown all sides of roast in hot oil in a large skillet over high heat. Place in a 6-qt. slow cooker. Add banana pepper rings, beef broth, and garlic. Cover and cook on LOW 8 hours or until meat shreds easily. Transfer to a cutting board, reserving liquid in slow cooker. Shred roast; return to slow cooker. Keep warm on LOW. Preheat oven to 350°. Place tortilla chips on a baking sheet; top with shredded beef, black beans, tomatoes, onion, and cheese. Bake 10 minutes. Serve with cilantro, avocado, and sour cream.
source: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/slow-cooker-beef-nachos

10 DIYs That Can Increase the Value of Your Home

It may surprise you that some simple changes can actually significantly increase the value of your home. The best part of these changes is that you don’t have to spend a fortune remodeling or investing in large expensive projects: you just need to be willing to put forth a little effort. The following DIY projects can add real value to your home inexpensively.

10 DIYs That Can Increase the Value of Your Home - bhgrelife.com

1. Freshen Up With Paint

It is incredible what a fresh coat of paint can do for your home’s aesthetics and value. The good news is that this is one of the most cost-effective home improvements of all. Remember to keep the tones neutral so they appeal to a wide range of potential homebuyers. While freshening up a room by removing tacky wallpaper and adding a fresh coat of paint can do wonders, think about your kitchen cabinets and doors, too. A little TLC can go a long way.

10 DIYs That Can Increase the Value of Your Home - bhgrelife.com2. Install Crown Moldings

This is a DIY project that can bring higher value to your home, and is often overlooked. Installing crown moldings is simple and adds an impeccable dose of character and luxury appeal to your home. Decorative strips of wood can be purchased from your local hardware store, sized for the room and installed with a nail gun. You may need to brush up on your woodworking skills and ensure you have the right tools, but it’s an inexpensive task that brings more value.

10 DIYs That Can Increase the Value of Your Home - bhgrelife.com3. Update Fixtures

Oftentimes, when thinking of ideas to bring more value to your home, the simple actions are overlooked. However, it’s those very things that can make all the difference. Swap out your outlet covers, switch light plates, curtain rods, doorknobs and light fixtures for updated versions that match the interior of the room. A couple of dollars can go a long way!

10 DIYs That Can Increase the Value of Your Home - bhgrelife.com4. Install Ceiling Fans

When everyone is looking for effective ways to reduce their bills, ceiling fans can make a huge impact in trying to sell your home for more. Start circulating the air within your home by installing ceiling fans in the bedrooms and common living areas. If you don’t have overhead lighting in the rooms, additional fees will incur as electrical work will need to be installed, but it can still be worth the added value.

10 DIYs That Can Increase the Value of Your Home - bhgrelife.com5. Treat Your Windows to Some TLC

Low-quality blinds and curtains can drain the style right out of a room. Fortunately, replacing them can be an affordable option to add a bit of pizzazz back into the area. Instead of throwing up some cheap plastic blinds or paper shades, spend a little more on wood blinds or beautiful drapes. This will increase the appeal of your home for potential buyers.

10 DIYs That Can Increase the Value of Your Home - bhgrelife.com6. Update Bathroom Fixtures

Again, it’s the simple things that can make a huge impact on the value of your home. Bathroom fixtures are often overlooked, but old, grimy ones can seriously sacrifice the aesthetics of the room. Replace them with new, modern versions to give your bathroom the sparkle it needs to bring on those offers. Everything from the towel bar, light fixture, and showerhead should be considered.

10 DIYs That Can Increase the Value of Your Home - bhgrelife.com7. Update Hardware

Old cabinet doorknobs and drawer handles can make your home look cheap and dated. Updating such hardware takes a little bit of work, but it can give the entire room a well-needed facelift.

10 DIYs That Can Increase the Value of Your Home - bhgrelife.com8. Install a New Front Door

You’ll want to entice homebuyers before they even enter your home, while also adding value, and a new front door can do just that. You can enhance your home’s curb appeal, invite potential buyers, and get those offers coming in.

10 DIYs That Can Increase the Value of Your Home - bhgrelife.com9. Replace Your Front Door Mat

The front door mat can instantly influence potential buyers’ opinions of the entire home before they even enter. Throw out the old and embrace the new with a new front door mat that provides a warm and welcoming introduction.

10 DIYs That Can Increase the Value of Your Home - bhgrelife.com10. Add Closet Storage

Having more space to store your items is always great. When potential buyers see ample storage space around your house, their estimation of the property’s benefits will increase. Improve your closet’s storage by adding in custom shelving systems. This not only provides more space but also gives you an opportunity to organize your closet further.

For a very small price and some simple DIY projects, you can instantly add value to your home and entice potential buyers.

Source: bhgrelife.com

Sell Your Home Fast: 21 Staging Tips

If you are planning to put your house on the market this summer, it goes without saying that you are hoping to sell your home as quickly as possible and get your asking price. Set the stage for success with these 21 tips for styling and upgrading your home, and see results — fast.
Traditional Exterior by Case Design/Remodeling, Inc.
 

1. Boost curb appeal. This is something you always hear, and with very good reason. Many people thinking of touring your home will do a quick drive-by first, often deciding on the spot if it is even worth a look inside. Make sure your home is ready to lure in onlookers with these tips:

  • Power wash siding and walkways
  • Hang easy-to-read house numbers
  • Plant blooming flowers and fresh greenery
  • Mow lawn, and reseed or add fresh sod as needed
  • Wash front windows
  • Repaint or stain the porch floor as needed
Beach Style Porch by Whitten Architects

2. Welcome visitors with an inviting porch. Even if you have only a tiny stoop, make it say “welcome home” with a clean doormat, potted plants in bloom and — if you have room — one or two pieces of neat porch furniture.Keep your porch lights on in the evenings, in case potential buyers drive by. Illuminating the front walk with solar lights is a nice extra touch, especially if you will be showing the house during the evening.

3. Get your house sparkling clean. From shining floors and gleaming windows to clean counters and scrubbed grout, every surface should sparkle. This is the easiest (well, maybe not easiest, but certainly the cheapest) way to help your home put its best foot forward. You may want to hire pros to do some of the really tough stuff, especially if you have a large house. Don’t skimp — this step is key!

4. Clear away all clutter. If you are serious about staging your home, all clutter must go, end of story. It’s not easy, and it may even require utilizing offsite storage (or a nice relative’s garage) temporarily, but it is well worth the trouble. Clean and clear surfaces, floors, cupboards and closets equal more space in the eyes of potential buyers, so purge anything unnecessary or unsightly.

10. Create a gender-neutral master bedroom. Appeal to everyone with a clean, tailored master bedroom, free of personal items and clutter. You can’t go wrong with clean, crisp linens, tasteful artwork and a blanket folded at the foot of the bed.
11. Open those closets! Open-house visitors will peek inside your closets. Closet space can be a make-it-or-break-it selling point for buyers, so show yours off to their full advantage by giving excess stuff the heave-ho. Again, this is really important, so even if you need to store a few boxes elsewhere, it’s worth it. Aim to have 20 to 30 percent open space in each closet to give the impression of spaciousness.
12. Clean up toys. Of course there will be families with children looking at your home, but just because they have kids too doesn’t mean seeing toys strewn everywhere will sell them on the place. When people are house hunting, they are imagining a fresh start. Show them that in this house, it is possible to have a beautifully organized kids’ room and they might be swayed.
14. Try a pedestal sink to maximize space. If you have a small bathroom but a huge cabinet-style sink, consider swapping it out for a simple pedestal version. Your bathroom will appear instantly bigger.
15. Use only perfect personal accents. Especially in the bathroom, it is important that anything left out for visitors to see is pristine. If you have a gorgeous fluffy white bathrobe, hanging it on a decorative hook on the door can be an attractive accent —but if your robe is more of the nubby blue floral variety, you might want to hide it away. Look at every detail with a visitor’s eye — bars of soap should be fresh and clean, towels spotless, the garbage always emptied (you get the idea).
18. Beware pet odors. Really, this can be a big one! If you have pets, get all rugs steam cleaned and be extra vigilant about vacuuming and washing surfaces. Also be sure to keep any extra-loved pet toys and doggie bones hidden when tours are scheduled.

Houseplant Care: 8 Keys to Success

When you can’t get outside because the weather’s dreary, or you’re stuck at home or in an office, bring a bit of nature indoors with houseplants. Many thrive even in low light, and they do more than brighten up a space. Because they change carbon dioxide into oxygen and help trap pollutants, they’re also good for your health, and they’ll lift your spirits when you can’t work in your garden. Lots of houseplants are undemanding and easy to grow, but all indoor plants need a little care now and then. Use our checklist below to keep yours green and growing.

Give Them the Right Amount of Light

Tough survivors like cast iron plant (Aspidistra elatior) or snake plant (Sansevieria), don’t mind dim corners or interiors. Others—especially blooming plants—need bright windows or supplemental florescent or grow lights. Read about your plants before you buy and match their needs to the amount of light you’ll be able to give them.

Don’t Drown Your Plants

Most plants need a container with drainage holes, so water doesn’t stand around their roots and cause rotting. If you keep a saucer underneath your plants to catch drips, empty it after watering. Read plant care tags to know how often and how much to water.

Keep Them Clean

Like anything else in your home, plants get dusty—and dirt can block sunlight. If you see dust, pop your plant in the sink or shower and rinse it with a gentle spray of lukewarm water.

If you’ve got a large potted plant, wipe the leaves with a moist sponge or a dry dust cloth. Gently clean fuzzy-leaved plants, like African violets, with a soft paintbrush or toothbrush. Turn small potted plants upside down and swish them around in lukewarm water to clean them, using your fingers to hold them in place. Let them air dry in a warm spot out of the sun.

Groom When Needed

If you have flowering houseplants, keep the spent blooms picked to encourage more flowers. Take off dead or yellow leaves, too, and cut stems that have lost their leaves to the soil line.

Watch for Drafts

Most plants dislike drafts, so make sure yours aren’t sitting too close to heating or air conditioning vents, or leaky doors and windows.

Add Humidity

If you see brown tips on the leaves of your plants, the air in your home or office is probably too dry for them. Add moisture by grouping plants together, or putting them on top of pebbles in trays or saucers filled with a little water. (Don’t let the pots touch the water so the roots don’t stay constantly wet.) You can also mist your plants or even add a humidifier.

Watch for Problems

Insects and diseases can spread fast, so check your plants regularly for signs of trouble. Look on top of and underneath leaves and check around stems. Common indoor pests like whiteflies and mealybugs can be knocked off with a spray of water in the sink, but if they persist, you may need to use an insecticidal soap, following the manufacturer’s directions. Treat any disease with a product specifically made for it; if you’re not sure what to use, do some research online or visit a garden center or nursery for advice.

Check the Pot

If your plants start drying out faster than usual, or you see roots poking out of the drainage holes, it’s time to repot. Step up one pot size at a time, and always use fresh potting soil, since the nutrients in the old soil are probably depleted.

Even if your plant hasn’t outgrown its container, you may need to remove it and do some cleanup if you see a white crust on the rim or sides. Potentially harmful salts can build up when you water, so scrub the pot and rinse it thoroughly, or give your plant a new pot.

 Source: hgtv.com/design

10 Tips to Know When Moving into Your New Home

It’s no secret that moving is a difficult, time-consuming task. You pack everything you own into a moving van, only to unpack everything into a new house. What may surprise you is that moving doesn’t actually have to be a daunting experience. There are some excellent tips that can make the entire process easy, effective, and enjoyable. If you are able to hire movers, all the better. In any case, these 10 tips are all you need to know when moving into your new home.

10 Tips to Know When Moving into Your New Home - bhgrelife.com1. Connect your Internet

This is one thing that many people forget. If you want to have Internet access as soon as you move into your new home, you need to plan for it ahead of time. Depending on your location and service provider, set-up and wiring can take several weeks to book. So, schedule this prior to the move.

10 Tips to Know When Moving into Your New Home - bhgrelife.com2. Set up your electricity

Similar to the Internet, some people forget that the energy is likely disconnected in their new home prior to move-in. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to unpack in a dark room, but fortunately, the process of connecting your energy is fairly simple. Just call your local energy provider and give them the necessary information they request, such as your new address and connection date.

10 Tips to Know When Moving into Your New Home - bhgrelife.com3. Contact movers, or assistance, 3 – 4 weeks in advance

Once you have a tentative date, or a schedule, in mind for your move, it is important you contact your movers as early as possible in advance. This way you aren’t rushing last-minute, or revising your personal schedule, to begin the booking and organization process.

If you are not hiring professional movers, it is still important to inform anyone who might be helping you in advance so they can take time out of their schedule to help. For more information on the type of moving company you may want to hire, view our breakdown of moving services here.

10 Tips to Know When Moving into Your New Home - bhgrelife.com4. Give it a deep clean

If you have access to your home prior to moving day, take some time to give it a deep clean. This is actually fairly easy because the space is already empty—it will never be emptier, in fact. Scrub those cupboards, floors, baseboards, windows, and everything else while there’s nothing hindering access to such areas.

NewHouseTips_65. Inspect your belongings

When the boxes are off the truck and sitting in your new living room, take the time to inspect your belongings. This is incredibly important, especially if you hired movers. Make sure that everything has made the trip to your new place, and while doing so, you can place the boxes in the correct rooms.

10 Tips to Know When Moving into Your New Home - bhgrelife.com6. Unpack with organization

If you followed the previous step and have already placed boxes in specific rooms, you’re already ahead of the unpacking game. One way to make the entire unpacking process significantly easier is to start with the essentials. Unpack the absolute necessities, such as bedding, clothes, toiletry, and towels, first, and you’ll be able to start the relaxing process for the day quicker.

10 Tips to Know When Moving into Your New Home - bhgrelife.com7. Install window treatments

It’s time to turn your house into a home, and installing window treatments, such as blinds or curtains, is the first step to settling it. This will also help you protect your possessions, as people outside won’t have a clear view of everything you own. If you haven’t decided on specific window treatments just yet, hang some linen in the meantime just to give your new home and possessions that extra protection.

10 Tips to Know When Moving into Your New Home - bhgrelife.com8. Change the locks

Another thing you may want to do for your new home is change the locks. Unfortunately, you don’t know how many extra keys were made when the previous owners lived there. So, change the locks on the exterior of your home as soon as you can just to be sure that no outsiders have an open invitation into your new house.

10 Tips to Know When Moving into Your New Home - bhgrelife.com9. Locate the circuit breaker

As you unpack, you will likely come across the circuit breaker anyway, but this may be something you want to find right from the beginning. Check it out, and if there are no labels, make your own so you know what breaker controls each section of your home.

10 Tips to Know When Moving into Your New Home - bhgrelife.com

10. Meet the neighbors

After all the unpacking, you’ll need a break, and some fresh air will do you well. Take a walk around your neighborhood, and stop by, and say hello to anyone you see. You’ll begin the process of fitting into your new atmosphere and feeling at home right away.

 

Moving doesn’t have to be an undesirable experience. With these tips, you can enjoy the entire process of moving into your new house.

Source: bhgrelife.com

Forget Inflatable Swans! These Are the Pool Floats You Need This Summer

Last summer, one outdoor accessory reigned supreme over all others: the inflatable swan pool float. It seemed like every social media star, blogger and celebrity spent the season lounging on an adorable, oversized swan — even Taylor Swift and Alessandra Ambrosio got in on the action. But after months of overexposure, the inflatable swan just doesn’t have the same allure it once did. So this year, instead of sticking with last year’s top trend, try out something a little more unexpected with an undeniable cool factor, like these 11 adorable pool floats.

Donut

$19.95; ae.com

Shell

Pineapple

$60; bando.com

Ice Cream Cone

Cookie

$45.99; wayfair.com

Pegasus

Pizza

$69.99; toysplash.com

Watermelon

Pretzel

$18.99; opensky.com

Popsicle

 Source: hgtv.com

4 Tips for Creating a Luscious Lawn

You know a good lawn when you see one—the kind of luscious lawn that makes you want to roll around or have a picnic. Well, the good news is that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. With some basic lawn care and grass-growing tips, you can have the kind of lawn that people will stop to admire. Here are the only steps you’ll ever need to having the greener grass on your side.

4 Tips for Creating a Luscious Lawn - bhgrelife.comChoosing the Right Grass

If you’ve found yourself in a situation where there’s more dirt than there is grass, you definitely need some grass-growing tips. It may surprise you that there are many different varieties of grass. Growing grass is much more complex than simply planting some seeds. Understanding how grass grows can mean the difference between having no grass or having a stunning, luscious lawn.

There are several things to consider when choosing the right grass for your property, depending on the quality of grass you desire. The best lawn care tip is to choose a grass that is best suited to your climate. Grass is categorized into cool season grass and warm season grass. In cool season grasses, you have grasses like Kentucky Bluegrass. In warm season grasses, you have grasses like Buffalograss. You should pick the right type of grass within the respective category you belong in. You can learn more about choosing the right grass here.

You also have the option of skipping over the seeds and placing sod. This can be a fast way to get beautiful results, but basic lawn care is still needed.

4 Tips for Creating a Luscious Lawn - bhgrelife.comPrepare Your Yard

Preparation is the key to many things in life. This is especially true when it comes to planting new grass. You simply can’t have green grass if you try to seed or sod over poor quality soil, branches, and stones. The first step to new lawn care is to clean up the area. Pull up weeds, remove any existing grass, and get rid of any debris. Then, fertilize and water the area in order for the new grass to feed and grow into a new lawn.

4 Tips for Creating a Luscious Lawn - bhgrelife.comTime to Lay Down the Lawn

Now that you’ve prepped the foundation upon which your new grass will grow, it’s time to lay down the lawn. Whether you’re seeding or sodding, it will take some time to plant and grow. Some people choose to start in smaller areas and work their way through the backyard throughout the course of a couple days to give their body a break. However, getting it done in one shot can feel just as amazing.

If you are planting seeds, consider using a seed spreader to evenly spread seed across your entire lawn. Use this handy calculator to figure out how much grass seed you need to use in order to properly lay down your lawn.

4 Tips for Creating a Luscious Lawn - bhgrelife.comDown to the Basics

It’s time for some basic lawn care. That means watering, waiting, walking, and much more. New grass needs a sufficient amount of water in order to grow, but too much can drown the seeds. Follow the instructions as per the seeding label or sod being used. Once you place it, you should give it a nice little watering just to get it started. Then comes the tricky part: keep all kids, animals, and adults off your newly planted grass for at least a couple weeks. Once you start seeing little sprouts of grass, you can water every day, but do not mow until it is at least 3.5’ tall. This longer your grass grows, the deeper the roots will go. So let your new lawn flourish before giving it a trim.

Just like that, you’ll have a new, luscious lawn sprouting in a couple of weeks! Be sure to stay on top of basic lawn care to ensure your new grass continues to flourish.

Athens ranked No. 1 college town by expert poll

The poll surveyed the thoughts of 10 sports experts from several different media including ESPN, Yahoo! and the Associated Press. These experts have visited many college towns over the course of their careers, according to Athlon Sports.

Athens was chosen as No. 1 because of its “rich musical history” and “natural charm,” according to the Athlon article.

Other features mentioned by the experts included Athens’ restaurants, bars and outdoor parks and trails, according to the article.

Athens was chosen out of 128 possible towns on the ballot, according to the article.

“It has it all. A great downtown area with a lot of great restaurants and bars, a pretty campus and my favorite football stadium,” said Pat Forde, a journalist for Yahoo! Sports, in the article.

Colorful Outdoor Entertaining Ideas for Your Next Gathering

These decorations are a cinch to put up, but will add a nice pop of color to your next backyard party—and you can often save some money by making them yourself. You might even consider using some of these ideas the next time you have an open house. After all, who wouldn’t want to envision throwing a beautiful outdoor party at their newly purchased home?

Colorful Outdoor Entertaining Ideas for Your Next Gathering - bhgrelife.com

Overhead outdoor party decorations

Instantly add bright pops of color to your outdoor party with these pretty paper lanterns. You can assemble them in a cinch and hang them with brightly colored ribbon from gazebo roofs or trees. Mix and match lantern colors to create a bold look, add light bulbs and you’ll give your outdoor party a magical glow at night.

Colorful Outdoor Entertaining Ideas for Your Next Gathering - bhgrelife.com

Flower and seashell patio-chair decoration

Add a bit of color to outdoor patio furniture with this easy-to-make chair decoration made from a repurposed tin can. To make, wrap patterned fabric around the can, glue in place and let dry. Glue a starfish to the can. Cut two vertical slits near the top of the back of the can; tie can to the chair back with ribbon threaded through the slits. Place a jar of water in the can and fill with brightly colored flowers.

Colorful Outdoor Entertaining Ideas for Your Next Gathering - bhgrelife.com

Etched glass vase decoration

Update a plain glass vase for an outdoor party decoration with a pretty etched design. To make, use a border punch to cut a design from adhesive shelf liner. Apply the liner to the glass vase and smooth out any air bubbles. Following the package directions, spread a thick layer of etching cream onto the vase, covering the design. Leave the cream on for the instructed amount of time and then rinse with water; embellish with a paint pen. Add some greenery and a flower, then place on your outdoor table for a fresh accent.

Colorful Outdoor Entertaining Ideas for Your Next Gathering - bhgrelife.com

Flowerpot wall art

Improvise with outdoor wall art by adding suspended flowerpots to a wooden fence. Spray-paint nine terracotta pot bases in bright colors. Secure pot hangers to the fence and suspend pots from the hangers, filling each container with annuals or herbs.

 

 

Colorful Outdoor Entertaining Ideas for Your Next Gathering - bhgrelife.com

Glass-bottle light fixture

Everyone will be talking about this creative light fixture! Make it yourself from recycled glass bottles. Drill four holes an equal space apart near the top edge of a galvanized-steel feed pan (available at a farm-supply store). Loop four equal lengths of braided framing wire through the holes and secure with a stainless steel quick link. Drill more holes equally spaced apart all around the side of the pan. Coming from the back, thread a plastic zip tie through a hole, wrap around a glass bottle, and thread through the next hole, tightening around the bottle and securing on the back. Continue around the pan. Finish the cool design by filling the center of the feed pan with candles and lighting them at sundown.

© Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Source: bhgrelife.com

 

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