The Thrifty Senyorita

There are no negative things for a positive person.

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At age 23, I must say that life is really a tough road. Why am I saying this? When I was still a college student, I have to do my classmates’ assignments and projects – and even students from other blocks just so I can have money to help my parents in paying utility bills. I even have to work on 20 to 30 thesis per semester to earn money. Those things give me no excuse for not excelling in class. I was the first Cum Laude at the College of Nursing back then. While some other students have been given the opportunity to study while not worrying about their family’s financial problem, I am BLESSED to have the opportunity to study hard and still manage to help my parents financially. My father is a hard working man. The only problem…

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Beyond Lean

I received this picture from a guy I worked with and coached for a couple of years.  I am sharing this with his permission

Lean visual materials management at home

(click on image to enlarge)

He and his wife would go to the store and if there was a sale, they would buy meat.  They never knew what they had at home.  When they got home from a recent trip they had bought meat they had plenty of…again.  So my friend decided to get visual.  He sorted out the meat that had gone bad and then created this visual board to better understand when he needed to buy a particular type of meat.  He likes to barbeque so he keeps a variety of meat on hand.

The board is simple.  Conveys one type of information.  And anyone can understand it by looking at it.

What visual management have you used at home?

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Make and new look for your home for the year 2013

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Regardless of the size and design of your home, either old fashioned or luxurious type but still it’s your abode. Your sanctuary, your protection from the hustle and bustle of the outside world. That’s why it is imperative to make it fashionable and cozy at all time in order for you to enjoy it entirely. Your home should be a place where you can unwind, relax and have fun.

Your home should be unique and trendy, it must be designed also according to your lifestyle. Even if you have a small home, you can apply those new trendy styles on it. On the other hand you’re not only upgrading the looks of your home you’re also adding value to your property. Here are some new looks for the year 2013.

Color – check the colors of your siding and roofing, if it’s old and deteriorating  then now is the best time to change it. Add an appeal to your home and add value at the same time. Most of the homeowners don’t know that the roof has a big impact when it comes to home upgrading. Your roof also serves a your protector. Nowadays there are so many varieties and type for your roof. For the color of your shingles, the best choice will be the lighter one as it increases the energy efficiency.

Function make your home more functional and accessible not only for you but for everyone. Because of the economy crisis many families live together in the same place. On this day the newest trend for the doors is a wheelchair accessible. For the bathroom a stroll in showers is recommendable. And because household member has a huge size it’s very important to design the kitchen open and connected to another room. The kitchen should be  well spaced so that everybody can move freely and comfortably. It should be designed for gatherings and food preparation.

Environment Friendly –  2013 year trend is to use green materials that can be friendly to the environment. Home improvement projects that will make an efficient use of the energy. Projects such as Insulation, HVAC system upgrading and installing materials that can prevent air leaks. Upgrading all this will definitely save you from high consumption of energy.

If planning to remodel your driveway, it is better to use concrete rather than asphalt type. Concrete cement is light in color that why it doesn’t absorb much heat, thus the use of  your Air conditioning system will be less resulting to a reduce pollution too.

These are some home improvement trends for 2013, watch out for more J.

Kitchen total makeover for the year 2013

The kitchen is a part of our daily life. Accept it or not we can’t survive without our kitchen. Most of our activities are spent in that area, that it why it is essential to maintain and take good care of it. We all know if our kitchen is already asking for improvements or upgrades. The kitchen can be compared with a woman face and body, it needs to do a makeover once a while.

The new year has started, maybe this will be the best time do a makeover for your kitchen. Open up your kitchen for new designs, welcome the new trends. And make your kitchen more fashionable and stylish. Listed are some design which can make your kitchen more trendy.

Soft contemporary – gone with the old standard traditional kitchen style. Now is the time for transition stage.  The concept of the kitchen will be less formed but not that modern. Clean, simple and always have an uncluttered look.

Appliances – for the year 2013 kitchen appliances will be most find hiding or beyond the cabinet. Built in appliances will be more in trend for this year. Example of these appliances are  wine coolers, microwaves, trash compactors or a small refrigerator. They can be best seen under your peninsulas or islands. Otherwise refrigerator tops can often find to be an additional countertop. By hiding these appliances you’re organizing your kitchen and making it more spacious.

Lighting – the trend for Led light will still continue with its peak. Light nowadays is not only functional but also it has a great contribution to the beautification of your kitchen. Usually you will find those led lights under some cabinets and even with some appliances also.

Color – green and natural color will be the best choice for your kitchen.  Trend for dark colors is finished now is the time for a lighter shade and earthy colors. But for counter and island tops color black will be the best choice.

Sinks – if you have an old fashioned stained sink, then maybe now is the time to replace it with the latest new trends. Go out and look for a design that you will surely love. But always make sure that it will compliment your kitchen concept.

Back splashes – the very most popular and trendy design for your back splash will be Glass. Can be easily maintained and with its stylish look it can blend easily with your kitchen style.

So start it now giving a makeover for your kitchen now!

Make your home efficient for the coming New Year

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Most people find the New Year season as the best time to change and improve one’s self and personality. Quitting bad habits often occur at this time, resolution is made to make everything organized and planned perfectly. If we can do this for ourselves, then maybe we can also do this in our home.  Our abode also needs an improvement regularly.

The incoming new year is such a great time to make everything right.  Those projects concerning home maintenance and repair should be started at this time. You don’t want to wait before the cost of your project  become unmanageable.

Energy Audit –  one of the most important thing to do is carefully check the amount of your energy consumption. If you have enough budget to hire an energy auditor then it will be a great help. The expert can identify the problems in your home which makes your utility bill hikes up. Otherwise if you don’t have enough funds, use energy efficient materials to lower down your utility consumption.

Insulationpoor or improper insulation will cause to much increase in your utility bills. Supposed to be that your home is not properly insulated your HVAC system will double its work to make the area cold (summer)  or warm (winter), a high amount of energy is wasted resulting to a high electricity bill. So in order to prevent this instance make sure that your home insulation is properly installed and working.

Drafts – inspect your home for air leakage or drafts. Most of the time you will notice drafts from window and door, but also consider checking the walls and ceilings. If you found out the source of air leakage immediately seal or caulk it.

Energy Starif you have old appliances consider buying a new one. Upon purchasing make sure to look for an energy star logo. This logo signifies that the certain appliances can help you save your money because of its low consumption.

Organize be sure to make your home organized and free from clutter all the time. If you found out things that are useless for you, consider having a garage sale or maybe you can donate it to the less fortunate. You have made your home more spacious and organized, at the same time you help those people who are in need.

Safety – this is the best time to check those smoke and CO2 detectors if it still properly working. Make sure also that your fire extinguisher is not yet expired. Always make sure of your safety.

Remember to change all the things that might not be important for the coming new year.

Effective ways on how to clean your home after the holiday season

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Preparing your home for the holiday season is costly and so stressful. Food preparation for parties,  living room  and guest room makeover for the guest are some holiday task that makes us busy and dead tired. But do you know that not everything will finish there, after the holiday  still your work in your home continues.

The hangover of the holiday season seems to be so huge and stressful. Scattered gift wrappers, stains from food, condiments and beverages can be your toughest enemy. There are so many things that need to be returned to their original place. And bringing back your home to its original shape needs a lot of your effort and time.  You have to start it as early as you can otherwise those messes will just stick around your home. Here are some ways on how you can thoroughly clean your whole house.

Starting off with removal of decoration

The first thing that you should do is to remove all your holiday decorations.  Christmas lights should be removed carefully, upon removing put a  cardboard for each strand to avoid tangles so that it will be easy for you to untangle it for the next few years.

Look for a box and load it up with some papers, this can be a storage for your small ornaments. Those leftover gift wrap can be used for the following years so put them together and keep it in a safe place.

Guest Room

If you had visitors that spent overnight in your place, then this will be the time to clean the room and prepare it for your next guest. Soiled linens and towels should be washed. Vacuum the whole room to remove the dust and make it sparkling again.

Clean Living Room

One of the most messy place after the holiday season will be the living room.  Look for shredded part or small piece of gift wrapper hiding under your furniture. Or maybe a tape on your carpet. Then hire a professional carpet cleaner that uses child and pet friendly cleaning solutions. My mother always calls 5280 Carpet Cleaning, as they us environmentally safe products to keep my daughter safe.

Kitchen

The most hectic and busiest place in your home will be the kitchen. For sure this place needs a lot of your time and effort for cleaning and bringing back  its natural shine.  If it’s possible to clean your floor with a warm water to remove all those sticky materials then it will be much better.  Dishware that you have used during the holiday should be washed thoroughly and returned to its original space. The Fridge should also be cleaned from leftover foods. Lastly the busiest item in your kitchen….the stove. Stove surely has stains from cooking, use a stain removal to clean those sticky materials.

Make some effort on cleaning your home to bring back its natural amazing shine!

Make your home ready for Winter

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Winter is on its way! You can feel the cold breeze touching your skin. People preparing their agendas or activity to do this winter, some of them purchase new clothes for winters. Some are preparing their body to be strong and fight sickness.

But like the human body, our home should also be prepared also. Snow can really damage the external part of our home specially our roof. Without proper insulation then the probability of increase utility bills is very high. Are your sure that your home is prepared for the incoming climate change? Here are some easy ways in preparation for the coming winter. In this article all preparation is for indoor only.

1.Always see to it that before summer ends chimneys and fire place should be checked and cleaned. Without proper maintenance, blockage can lead to serious trouble resulting to dangerous conditions.

2.If you’re insulating your home also include your water heater. Use a thermal blanket in doing the said procedure. Most of the water tanks can be found outside our home so it’s more expose to the freezing temperature. Once the water freezes then the water needs to work double time to make it warm, leading to a higher consumption of energy.

3.Window preparation is essential also. There is energy efficient type of windows that is offered in the market. Consider changing your window also to maintain the warmth inside of your home.

4.If your homes have attics always inspect the installed insulation. If possible you may consider adding up another sheet of insulating device. Most of the heat escapes happens in the attics.

5.Because now a day technology is so advanced. Programmable thermostat is invented. If you do have enough funds to purchase the said device then it’s better to have and install it as soon as possible. Because of this device it can adjust the temperature inside your home automatically, and this can saves your time, effort and money.

6.Always schedule a furnace inspection by a professional heating and cooling service. They can do the inspection and the trouble shooting of your furnace at the same time.

7.Planning for a winter get a way- then if you’re leaving the home always remembers to set y our heater on. To prevent the water pipes from freezing.

8.Carbon monoxide detector is also important. Furnaces can produce carbon monoxide, and this gas is really dangerous for our health.

9.Always check if the smoke detector is working. Batteries should be check intermittently to be sure if it’s still working.

10.Check your fire extinguishers- most of the fire extinguisher last only for 10 years. Check and replace if it reached its limit.

11.Lastly, exposed water pipers should be insulated also. Freezing pipes can burst and will lead you to a huge damage that only plumber can fix.

Remember these simple steps and enjoy your winter.