35 Ways to Show Dad Love at Home on Father’s Day

Father’s Day is this weekend. Stop. Don’t even think of how you need to buy him a tie. Or socks. Or a book he’ll never read. Show the dad in your home you love him not with just gifts, but really good gifts.

Here are some ways to show dad how much you appreciate him being in your home:

  1. Three words: Bacon in bed
  2. Don’t wake him. Doesn’t matter if it’s 4 pm.
  3. Five words: Coffee and bacon in bed.
  4. Remove Legos from the floor.
  5. Charge his iPad before he gets up.
  6. Get off his iPad.
  7. Abstain from comments about his attire, age, pants size, etc.
  8. Place Post-It note on TV remote that reads “your scepter.”
  9. Make plans to repeat step 8 tomorrow.
  10. Seven words: Remote and coffee and bacon.
  11. Do not spill any beverages for an entire day.
  12. Do not aggravate mom which in turn will aggravate dad.
  13. Clean golf clubs and insert them in vehicle of choice.
  14. Remove clubs from the minivan and place in other car so dad can maintain cred at the golf course.
  15. Do not ask him for money.
  16. Remove children from house for minimum of 30 minutes.
  17. Create “daddy do-list” that includes “nap” and “snackage” on it.
  18. Ask dad about “glory days” of high school sports.
  19. Act like you care about #18 for minimum of 90 seconds.
  20. Two words: filet mignon.
  21. Make sure The Good Wife does not grace the TV screen at any point during the day.
  22. Remove bills from sight for 24 hour period.
  23. Two words: 24 marathon.
  24. Compliment dad on how great he looks.
  25. Avoid laughter upon completion of #24.
  26. Tell dad you want to become a doctor. One who goes to med school on scholarship.
  27. Do the dishes for mom. Happy wife = Happy life.
  28. Fix that thing that only takes 5 minutes to complete that dad was supposed to fix last summer but never did.
  29. Three words: Chocolate covered bacon.
  30. At 8 pm proclaim it’s “John McClane time!” and proceed to watch whichever Die Hard dad wants.
  31. Kiss dad goodnight.
  32. Hug him.
  33. Tell him that you love him.
  34. Thank him for helping make this house a home.
  35. Then leave him some bacon for later.

Header image courtesy of BabyBeltz.com

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New York City Inspirational Decor

Living in New York City is a wonderful thing, so why not bring inspiration from the city into your home’s interior design scheme? Inspirational decor that celebrates New York City will give your home a unique look and remind you of the city outside your window, even when you’re staying in.

Curate Your Own Gallery

There are many ways to bring a piece of NYC into your home. For example, visiting the city’s world-class museums is a quintessential New York experience, and part of the fun is seeing what great items you can find in the museum gift shops! Museum gift shops are often filled with decor pieces that represent New York City in some way. The Metropolitan Museum of Art gift shop offers a plethora of art prints, and more modern inspirational decor pieces abound at the Museum of Modern Art store.

Bring Manhattan into your space with art prints of the Manhattan skyline, city maps (vintage or modern), or just any piece of art that represents the city. Artist Jessica Durrant creates lovely watercolor Manhattan skyline prints. If you search “Manhattan maps” on Etsy, you’ll find many great-looking options suitable for framing.

Take a Walk for Inspiration

You can also find inspirational decor just by wandering around New York City. Going for a stroll and taking in the sights and sounds of the city might spark an idea for your interior design. Often, the store windows along Madison and Fifth Avenues are like art installations themselves, which can give you plenty of design inspiration.

If you take a walk around Manhattan, you’re guaranteed to run into street vendors selling art prints, many of which are very representative of New York City. For example, there are vendors who sell art prints of vintage magazine covers (such as Time or the New Yorker) featuring something having to do with the city. These can be used to build a little gallery wall of New York City inspirational decor in your home, and when you look at it, you’ll be reminded of the part of the city in which you found it.

Go Vintage for Unique Pieces

Another way to bring New York City into your home is to visit the city’s flea markets, where you’re likely to discover one-of-a-kind vintage pieces that pay tribute to NYC. On the weekends, you can find some wonderful large markets, like Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market and the Antiques Garage.

Overall, the best way to bring New York City inspiration into your home is to get out, explore your surroundings, and see what inspires you. Take what you love from the city and bring it into your abode.

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5 Cost-Effective Ways to Please Buyers AND Their Home Inspector

image via ENERGY STAR

Guest Blog Post by HomeAdvisor

With homes going on the market every day in waves, sellers need to make upgrades to help theirs stand out from others to prospective buyers. Whether they are small improvements like a fresh coat of paint and new windows or more extensive upgrades, make sure your home looks absolutely amazing when buyers do a walk-through.

Need some ideas on where to start in your home? Here are some upgrades that are trending in real estate right now that might capture buyer attention:

1. Upgrading the water heater or furnace

If your water heater or furnace is particularly outdated or rundown, this could be a good opportunity to upgrade it to be energy efficient before the next homeowner moves in. By spending around $1,200 on an energy efficient gas water heater, you can pitch the investment as a maximum of almost $150 in annual gas costs according to Energy Star. While this isn’t a cheap investment, it will significantly increase the appeal of your home to buyers as compared to other homes because you’re thinking of their needs in the long-term. (image via ENERGY STAR)

2. Certifying the roof

To ease prospective buyer’s minds about investing in your home, it’s a good idea to have your roof certified by a roof inspector ahead of time. Roof inspectors, licensed by the National Roof Certification and Inspection Association (NRCIA), can quickly look over your roof in an afternoon and certify your roof for a varying number of years. The process only costs about $250 to $400, but it ensures that a buyer knows the roof is fine and won’t need to be replaced.

3. Faucet fixtures

Another easy upgrade for sellers is to put in new faucet fixtures throughout the kitchen and bathroom. Like the energy efficient gas water heaters, this is a good opportunity to install energy efficient faucets that show forethought for your buyers. By calling in a plumber to install them, you will save time and effort and have shiny new faucets to display to buyers as a selling point in at least two major rooms of the home. (image via rjkielty.com)

4. Wood floor refinishing

Over time, hardwood floors in rooms like the kitchen, dining room and living room have probably accumulated scuff marks, scratches and other signs of wear. Instead of replacing entire boards or uprooting the floor, it will be easier and more cost-efficient to invest in refinishing. The wood floor will look as new as the day it was installed and buyers will notice a newly added appeal to the home.

5. Stainless steel appliances

If you live in an older home with outdated kitchen appliances, there’s a good chance you’ll need to update them before a sale. While you can leave the smaller appliances to the homebuyer, there are stainless steel appliance packages that can be as cheap as $2,000 or $1000 in black or white. This includes the stove, oven, built-in microwave and range. If you have a sink …read more

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The Ultimate Summer 2014 Playlist

The first day of Summer officially starts on June 21st but that doesn’t mean we can’t start getting excited a little early. Summer to me means happiness in the form of warm summer nights hanging out in the backyard with loves ones, eating my dad’s ridiculously delicious food from the grill, and jamming out to the best summer songs all season long. It almost seems like summer and music are synonymous and that the best tracks of all time are often released during the three month period. Does anyone agree?

Below you’ll find a playlist of what I believe are some of the most incredible and iconic summer songs of all time. I’ve also put in a few contemporary hits that I foresee being played on repeat. So whether you’re hosting a summer house party or simply want to get in the spirit, these songs are a must have. This summer playlist will definitely bring on some intense nostalgia as well as possibly introduce you to some songs you’ve never heard before. Happy listening!

1. Summer- Calvin Harris

I thought it was more than appropriate to kick off this playlist by making Calvin Harris’ song, Summer, the number one must have. It is a dance song that will make you do just that. Harris, who is Scottish, was, according to Forbes, the highest paid DJ of 2013. He made a reported 46 million dollars.

5. Sky Full of Stars- Coldplay

Coldplay is one of my all time favorites. This song’s words and instrumentals are simply beautiful. I think you should add this to your summer playlist because it will literally make you want to jump around. Coldplay is another band from the UK. They have won 7 Grammys and sold almost 100 million albums.

10. Summertime- DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince

Alright now, this truly has to be one of the top three summer songs of ALL TIME. Everything from the words, music, and video exude summer. This song is just fun and pure perfection. I listen to Summertime year round. If you didn’t know, the track’s vocals are lead by The Fresh Prince, aka, Will Smith.

15. California Girls- The Beach Boys

It’s not summer if you’re not playing some Beach Boys. I’m actually a ‘Jersey Girl’ but for 2:47 minutes, I want to be a California Girl! The Beach Boys have been considered ‘America’s Band,’ and have been featured on The Rolling Stone’s list of, ‘ 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.”

20. Summer Nights- John Travolta

The movie Grease and subsequently the song Summer Nights are both American classics. Along with listening to this song you’ve got to watch the movie once, twice, maybe five times at least during the summer. Grease was a huge box office success and at the time was ranked at number 2 on the charts, right behind Jaws.

25. Summer Madness- Kool and the Gang

One of the greatest Jazz songs, and bands, of all time. Summer Madness, is anything but. It’s slow, instrumentally diverse, and …read more

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Home of the Week: Sweeping Vineyard Views in Napa Valley

In our newest ‘Home of the Week‘ we move from a beautiful estate in Atlanta to a magnificent compound in the heart of Napa Valley.

Listed at $11,750,000, this estate offers up all of the peace and tranquility you would expect from one of the world’s most renowned wine and foodie destinations. The crown jewel of the property is the European inspired hacienda that boasts over 12,000 square feet of breathtaking space with 9 resort-like ensuite bedrooms.

The interior of the main residence is dominated by one-of-a-kind luxurious touches like carved marble fireplaces, wood beams running across the lofty ceilings and walnut and travertine floors. Step outside of the residence and you are greeted by sweeping vineyard views that you can enjoy by the outdoor fireplace, deck, pool or jacuzzi.

As if all of that wasn’t enough, the home features a 15 seat theater and the estate has a detached two bedroom casita and a separate pool house for guests. Click here if you’d like to learn more about this wonderful home listed by W. David Wright with Coldwell Banker Brokers of the Valley.

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Six Ideas for a Recycled Garden Planter

I recently purchased the cutest vintage children’s tin teacups and knew instantly where these small treasures would live – in the garden as the new home to some of my succulents. Now that all my existing terracotta pots have been filled with this year’s annuals, I’ve been searching for new container ideas with a recycling frame of mind. Here are some of my recycled container ideas for this summer’s patio garden.

1. Vintage Children’s Lunchbox

2. Old Toolbox

3. Metal Trash Can

Trash Can

4. Dresser Drawer

Dresser Drawer

5. Vintage Cooler

Cooler

6. Suitcase

Suitcase

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Real Estate Headlines Featuring Tomatoes, Chandeliers and Smart Homes

Summer isn’t officially here yet, but man does it sure feel like it. Kids have summer fever as they are itching to get out of school. The thought of all those home summer projects are bothering you more than LeBron’s leg cramps. But before the dreams of summer takeover our minds, here’s your weekly dose of real estate headlines to start your week:

Got a garden at your home? Here’s a trick for growing tomatoes that will make all your friends jealous.

What European cities are the rising stars of luxury real estate?

The Motley Fools shares the 1 mortgage mistake millions of Americans make.

If I was musical, I’d want a pool shaped like a violin too.

You think your home is small? Check out this “shoebox flat” in London which consists of a bed in a kitchen and not much else.

Kevin Jonas of the Jonas Brothers sold his “starter home” (and I use that term loosely) for $1.675 million.

These 6 homes have ridiculous chandeliers.

The smarter are homes get could make them more likely to be hacked.

The Wall Street Journal thinks the foreclosure next door could elevate your blood pressure.

And finally, say it ain’t so, Fido! Can pets really stall the sale of your home?

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Jacksonville Market Improving for Buyers and Sellers

The Jacksonville market took a huge hit at the end of the last decade, as did most of the rest of the country. Home values were sometimes cut by as much as 50 percent, sales were stagnant, and new housing starts were almost nonexistent. The real estate market in this area has made some impressive improvements in the last few years, and signs of a recovery are spreading. Other parts of the country may still be struggling, but the market in Jacksonville has begun to turn the corner and is in an upward swing, with equally encouraging news for both buyers and sellers.

Interest Rates

Mortgage interest rates in Florida and the rest of the country have been dropping in the last few years. Lower rates can only be good for the Jacksonville market because they open up the availability of home ownership to larger groups of people. Buyers tend to put a cap on their monthly payments, so when interest rates are down they can afford to buy more house for their money. This helps local area sellers, who can close on houses with a higher final sales price.

Employment

Employment rates in the Jacksonville market have stayed ahead of the curve. Instead of the steady national average of job growth, Jacksonville and other Florida areas are booming with people who have unexpected steady income. Families who thought they were relegated to the rental market for at least a few more years are now looking for homes to buy. This new group of home buyers has turned the local real estate market into a lively forum. Sellers are once again welcoming competing prospective buyers, and prices are expected to rise because of this competition.

New Housing Starts

Real estate investors are showing renewed confidence in the Jacksonville market by investing in new housing starts in the area. The inventory of new homes available has grown substantially since builders are again willing to take a chance on the local housing market. Builders are finally starting to show a backlog of sales contracts, which will positively impact the local economy by creating new jobs, improving neighborhoods, and injecting money into the local economy through the purchase of materials. This miniature housing boom appears to be the beginning of a steady, larger trend in the growth recovery in the Jacksonville real estate market. Eager to bounce back from the real estate problems of the last decade, serious investors are looking toward northern Florida for their base of operations.

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Welcome Home: The Leggios’ New Kitchen

“Kitchen MacGyver” Arlene Leggio makes school lunches for the local high school in her kitchen that is held together by tape and paper clips. Always doing things for others, Arlene’s daughters finally wanted their parents to come first. George Oliphant and his ‘George to the Rescue‘ team arrive at the family’s Islip, NY home to cook up a modern, updated and functional kitchen for the Leggios.

When asked what “Home Sweet Home” means to him, Tom Leggio says, “Home is where I want to spend the rest of my life.” And I don’t blame him, the kitchen George creates for the family is a chef’s dream.

See the gorgeous kitchen renovation on the full episode of George to the Rescue: The Leggios’ New Kitchen.

Welcome Home, Leggio Family!

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The Perfect Patio Decor for Your Philly Home

Decorating a patio — especially when your home is in a bustling urban location like Philadelphia — can be challenging. A lot of Philadelphia homes don’t even have a patio, and even in areas where you’re more likely to have a yard (Wynnefield, South Philly, and some homes along the Main Line, for example), these patios may have space and privacy limitations. But with a bit of creativity, you can give your backyard the perfect Philly-inspired patio decor.

Privacy Shades, Screens, and Canopies

One of the issues you may face at your new Philly home is backyard privacy. Since Philadelphia is a major city with a dense population, homes are clustered closer together than they are in the suburbs. Creating a private atmosphere for your outdoor patio requires a few extra steps.

For an effective and attractive solution, try setting up outdoor privacy shades or a standing screen. Bamboo shades are a great pick for those extra-hot Philly summers because they’re lightweight enough to allow a nice breeze to come into your patio space yet substantial enough to shelter your patio from prying eyes, so you can relax in peace. Another option is a wide canopy with a drop-back over your patio furniture.

Comfortable Patio Seating

When you come home after a long day of commuting on the El, it’s so nice to be able to sit outside in a comfortable patio chair.

For a perfect Philly patio, decorate it with comfort furniture. These are chairs with adjustable backs, foot rests, and cushions that feel as soft as memory foam but are covered in weather-resistant canvas. Philadelphia sees frequent rain showers, so you need patio chairs that are rain-resistant. Since space is at such a premium in the city, you’ll probably want them to be stackable as well. And considering that you’re a resident of one of the most colorful cities in the United States, don’t be afraid to purchase comfort patio furniture with lots of bold color.

Brighten Up Your Patio with Outdoor Plants and Lighting

Adding greenery is an effective way to rejuvenate your Philly patio decor. Purchase outdoor potted plants to put in the corners of your outdoor space or hang them where possible. You might even want to create a small elevated garden.

Good lighting creates a warm and inviting ambiance after nightfall. Outdoor lighting for a Philly garden patio can be as simple as purchasing Christmas lights from a local Dollar Store — white lights can give your space crisp, clean look. If you have a hanging roof above your patio, try hanging the lights around the inside border of the ceiling. You can also wrap the lights around those outdoor potted plants to illuminate them even when it’s dark outside.

With some effort you can transform a plain-looking and space-limited patio into your private home getaway under the sun and stars. Don’t be afraid to experiment to create a relaxing and inviting place where you can enjoy the great outdoors, day and night.

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