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Friday, December 29, 2006

5 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism and Lose Weight This Year

With so many diet trends and weight loss programs on the market these days, it can be really confusing to know what works and what doesn’t work, what’s safe and what’s not. Many people fall into the trap of believing that there is a quick-fix for weight loss. This new year, make a resolution to obtain permanent weight loss through healthy methods. No more quick-fix diet fads and unhealthy programs!

While there are many products available with claims of being an easy method, there are only a few ways to guarantee weight loss. Burning more calories than you consume (by exercising), consuming fewer calories than your burn (by dieting), and boosting your metabolism (getting your body to burn more calories while at rest and during exercise). A person who is very active and is used to moving and using their body all day long is sure to burn more calories than someone who is sitting at a desk all day. Even while the person who is active all day is resting, their body is still burning more calories! Here are some great ways to increase your metabolism and get your body burning calories all day long!

Get Active - Try to incorporate more activity into your daily life. Whether walking to lunch, taking the stairs, or parking further away in a parking lot, try to get as much movement in as possible.
Eat throughout the day – This will prevent your body from having energy hi’s and low’s. It also gives your metabolism a steady stream of fuel so that it doesn’t have to store up energy (fat) for later.
Lift Weights – Bodies that contain more muscle use more fuel than bodies that contain more fat. Muscle is living, moving human parts that need fuel to operate. Fat stores are just that – stored fat, that is just sitting there waiting to be used. Converting your fat to muscle is a great way to boost your metabolism.
Drink Water – Help keep your body processes moving at full speed! Drinking water also keeps your organs functioning and moving, which also burns more calories.
Don’t do Fad Diets – They will only wreck your metabolism. Your body becomes confused when you starve it and then pig out. Yo-yo dieting causes your body to question when you will eat again, and begin to hold on to as much stored energy (fat) as possible.
The new year is a great time to make resolutions to change your way of life to a more healthy one. Aim for permanent weight loss and increases in metabolism. This will help you to keep the weight off longer and enjoy the process much more.

For more weight loss information and to sign up for a free “fat burning tips” newsletter, visit us at This article may be freely reproduced as long as it remains complete, is not changed and all links remain intact, including this portion.

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Thursday, December 28, 2006

DIY Home Design Ideas for the New Year – Budget Decoration

The beginning of a new year always incites creativity and motivation for change. We all seek to improve our lives, lose weight, become better people, and update the things that are old and worn out. For many of us, we seek to get our home in order and finally decorate those tough to tackle areas. Here are some great ways to get started on that interior design project you have been putting off for so long!

If you are starting from scratch with a room or whole house, the first thing you will need to do is create a plan. Start by describing what you want from this room. Things like function, style, color scheme, flexibility, and how often you will use the room are all things to consider. What state is the room currently in? Will you need to do some serious cleaning and organizing before beginning your project? It’s a good idea to make a list of all the things that you will need to do before beginning. Another great way to plan is to look through decorating magazines and interior design websites for creative ideas. You may also want to look into purchasing some home design software to help you visualize your interior décor (of course, only if you are relatively computer- literate). You can also get fantastic home design ideas by visiting decorator show homes, furniture stores, or organizational stores in your area.

Planning your project is one of the best ways to keep within a budget. You will need to determine how much you are willing to spend, and assign a budgeted amount for each item you are planning for. If you are re-using or re-furbishing existing items, then you will not need to budget as much for those items. Avoid impulse buys unless they are items that are part of your design plan.

Creating a floor plan may or may not be necessary, depending on how much you are changing the room, the function the room will take on, and your skill in measuring and drawing out the area. A simple way to create a floor plan is to use graph paper, and assign each square to a measurement, for example 1 square could equal 1 foot. You would then measure your room and draw each wall and piece of furniture at the scale you decided. It may take some practice, but it really helps when laying out tight spaces.

Clearing the clutter is another important part of . You will need a blank canvas so that the design of your space will show through. Too many times, a beautiful design becomes hidden under layers of clutter. Start by pulling everything out, and going through it all, separating things into categories (including trash and donation piles). Then, assign a place for each category. To keep a home organized, you really need to give everything a home, and always return it to it’s home. This way nothing can ever be out of place.

Don’t be afraid to try new ! The new year is a great time to use new and exciting paint colors, or go bold with artwork & accessories! Interior décor is a great place to show your personality and be really creative.

Find more great ideas for budget decorating at, and great home décor tips & resources at Angela Sullivan is an Interior Designer and budget decorating enthusiast. This article may be reproduced as long as it is not changed, and remains intact, including all links and this statement.

Additional Resources:
: Get Organized Now!, : The Ultimate Decorating Organizer,
Living Within Your Means

De-Clutter Your Home Fast

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posted by CuteNComfy @ 3:02 PM  0 Comments

Monday, December 18, 2006

Last-minute Holiday Decorating Tips

We all know that getting ready for the holidays can be a very hectic time. There is so much to think about. Family is coming in from out of town, food has to be prepared, Christmas gifts need to be purchased and wrapped. Well here are a few last-minute ways to prepare your home for the holidays. These tips should help you to budget your time and get your last-minute decorating completed without hassle.

1. Set out your Christmas Stockings- Everyone in the family should have one. Great places to hang them include on a fireplace mantle, or if you don’t have a fireplace, hang them on a stair railing, on the top of an entertainment center or China Cabinet, or you could even hang them on the wall in a diagonal pattern. Stockings can be fun to decorate as well. This is a great activity for kids and adults alike. What’s even more fun is choosing what to fill them with on Christmas Eve. Candy, small toys, accessories like gloves, hair clips, small jewelry and fruit are a great, inexpensive way to create a gift that everyone loves to open.

2. Check you live wreaths and greenery- Be sure that the needles aren’t turning brown or falling off. You may want to purchase new ones, or even add fresh greenery to your existing ones to keep them looking and smelling fresh.

3. Water your Christmas Tree- this is the best way to keep a live tree looking nice through the holiday season, and into the New Year. Be sure to check the water level every day, and keep it full! You will have a beautiful, full and green tree for days to come!

4. Fill your home with Christmas Scents- Candles are a wonderful way to create a festive atmosphere in your home. Look for peppermint, gingerbread, cookie, pine, pumpkin and cinnamon scents to add great holiday scents. Potpourri and Potpourri oil are also great ways to create scents in the home. Put out a fresh bowl of a holiday-themed potpourri, or set a light-bulb ring on a lamp in your entryway to create some great aromas. The ultimate way to make your home smell great is to bake! Fresh-baked cookies, pies, and cakes always fill the home with the scents of Christmas!

5. Light up you Home!- Don’t forget to put a dusk-to-dawn timer on your outdoor Christmas lights so the neighbors and passers-by can enjoy your lights during the dark winter hours. You can also add festive lights to your interior for a fancy Christmas party. In fact, when hosting a party, try to keep the room lights low and illuminate the room with lots of white or colored Christmas Lights!

6. Don’t forget about the reason for the season - A Nativity scene is a great way to remind guests why we celebrate this time of Christmas!

Getting ready for the holiday season can be a time of great fun and excitement. We hope these tips will help you get ready for those holiday parties and add great accents to your holiday décor.

About the Author
Angela Sullivan is an Interior Designer, and creator of the E-Book, Designing on A Budget, at She also offers advice, tips, photos & message boards about budget decorating and interior design on her website at
This article may be reproduced as long as it is not changed, and all information and links remains intact, including this portion.

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posted by CuteNComfy @ 11:34 AM  0 Comments

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Selecting Artwork for Your Home

Artwork is an important finishing touch for any interior. You can really express your personal style through the artwork you select. Be sure that the style of your artwork matches the style of the design of your room. Some exploration into design styles can help to determine this. Contemporary, Traditional, Country, Modernist, and Exotic are just a few of the many styles that can be exhibited through artwork. A contemporary piece of art would have a more simple, streamlined frame, or maybe even no frame. A country style painting could be a scene of a barn or cottage, and would have a weathered, casual-looking frame. If you enjoy traditional styles, you may want a photorealistic portrait, still-life, or an impressionistic painting, using a traditional, wood or golden frame.

Be sure that the scale and proportion of the artwork is right for your room. A common mistake is to use artwork that is too small for the wall, and gets lost. The arwork should be very noticeable to people who enter the room. Be sure that the placement of the artwork works vertically with the wall. A general rule of thumb is to center the artwork between the top of the furniture and the ceiling. It should be big enough to make an impact.

Artwork does not have to be all framed prints and paintings. There are also many other types of artwork, including tapestries, ironwork, clocks, murals, family photographs, wall sculpture, or just about anything you would like to display! Be creative when selecting decorative accents.

Also, the colors of the artwork should work with the colors of the interior (but not necessarily match them). Artwork is intended to be an accent, and it can have vibrant colors and textures. To save money on artwork, try looking for great frames at auctions, thrift stores, and outlet stores. You can then purchase posters or prints online or from a local art or craft store, and combine them with the frame. If you are really creative, you can create your own artwork. Your local art store carries pre-assembled canvases, and you can make your own painting. Contemporary designs may be easier to create because they usually have simple shapes and colors. You can also take a small section of a picture or fabric you like, and re-create it on canvas.

No matter what method or style you choose, be sure to fill your walls with beautiful artwork that reflects your personal style!
Angela Sullivan is a professional Interior Designer, and creator of the E-Book, Designing on A Budget. She also manages a website dedicated to Interior Design Resources, Articles, Photos & Message Boards, Interior Design Resources from Sullivan Interiors


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posted by CuteNComfy @ 7:08 PM  0 Comments

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