Our Blog is Moving!!!

We’re Moving!!!

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We are moving to www.decoratorsvoice.com. All new blog articles will be posted on that site. According to our IT/web department, your subscription should be automatically routed to our new site. All old posts and comments have been moved to our new site. As always, we will continue to post twice a week on topics including home decor ideas, organizational tips, and planning & productivity strategies. Spoiler Alert… We are posting an awesome giveaway on Monday, August 31, 2015.. Stay tuned!!!

Please feel free to visit our main site, Divine Elements of Design for information about our interior decorating and organizational products and services.

Thank you and have a Divine Day!!

How to Turn Your Regular TV into a Smart TV

It’s almost impossible to keep up with technology. Each week there are newer and better things being released. (I heard from a friend of a friend of a cousin, the iPhone 27 plus will be released on Black Friday 2015…) Although the cost of smart TVs have dropped, many people are not in need of them due to having recently just purchased a “regular” TV.

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Having smart TVs can actually allow you to save money… Yes, you can actually use your smart TV to save money by getting rid of your monthly cable bill. Using your home’s current Wi-Fi, you can access multiple channels such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube, Pandora, Vudu, Fox Now, Amazon, Veno, and many others on your regular TB. Some channels are free, while others may require a minimum monthly subscription. You don’t have to pay for every channel, you can sign up for only the ones you and your family will use. In my household, we only pay for Netflix and Hulu Plus. (Hulu Plus has current shows that are in season, while Netflix has older shows which are out of season. They both have movies.)

There are multiple media streaming devices to pick from such as Roku, Amazon Fire Stick, Google Chromecast, Apple TV Media Player, and many more. From starting at approximately $50.00, these small devices can plug into the back or side of your TV using an HDMI input. Some devices come with a free trial revision of premium channels. I personally use a Roku 2 to transform an inexpensive small 18 inch TV in my home office and master bathroom into a smart TV. Using a Roku mount, I was able to mount the Roku on the wall behind the TV.

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DivineElementsofDesignBTV

The Roku 2 is a great option of the many Rokus because it is affordable and has a lighting fast processor. You can also connect your tablet or cell phone to the Roku to share pictures or video on the TV. Netflix is only a touch of a button away. It is one of the four featured channels on the remote control.

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Roku 2 $69.00

RoKuMount

Total Mount – Roku Mounting System $13.50

A Blu-ray player with wifi is also an excellent option for turning a TV into a smart TV and being able to play Blu-Rays and DVDs.

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Sony BDPS3500 Blu-ray Player with Wi-Fi $80.99

Check out my YouTube video to see first hand how I transformed a regular TV into a smart TV. 

I hope you found this video helpful. Please share your thoughts and suggestions in the comments. We would love to hear from you. As always, feel free to subscribed to this blog to stay updated on home decor ideas, organizational tips, and planning & productivity strategies. You may also visit our full site at www.divineelementsofdesign.net for additional information concerning our many services and to visit our Online Boutique. 

House vector designed by Freepik

5 Things to Do Before You Leave Work to Have a Better Work Day Tomorrow

Many people often run out of their office door when the clock strikes 5:00 p.m. They often leave behind papers, files, and incomplete projects on their disorganized and cluttered desk. They return to work on the next morning to the same mess on their desk. This can cause the feelings of dissatisfaction and work “Groundhog Day” syndrome. Take five minutes to do the following 5 things before leaving your office each day.

5 Things to Do Before You Leave Work to Have a Better Work Day Tomorrow Divine Elements of Design Decorators Voice

  1. Get rid of all of the Post It (sticky) notes. Throughout the day, we often take a million notes on our Post Its to remind ourselves to call someone, follow-up on something, do something, etc…  We post them on our desk, calendar, file cabinet, or anywhere we can find a semi-clear surface. At the end of the day, go through all of the notes and throw away the ones you’ve already addressed. If there are things you need to do tomorrow, use the information on the notes to make a to-do list for tomorrow. You can also eliminate the use of multiple sticky notes by taking notes in a notebook. You can cross off of put a check besides each task after they are completed.
  2. Remove all of the trash and clutter from your desk. Throw away all gum wrappers, receipts from lunch containers, salt and pepper packets from your work space. Don’t forget to put used paper and water bottles in the recycle container. Don’t leave you desk filed with papers and rubbish scattered around.
  3. Make a list of the things you need to do tomorrow. Determine which things are the absolute top three things you need to accomplish tomorrow. If possible, plan on doing the hardest thing first. Mark Twain said ” Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” By getting the toughest task completed first, everything else will be easy peasy.
  4. Use folders for excess papers on your desk. Fellow blogger Nikki from At Home With Nikki, recommends using folders and binder clips to neatly organize papers on your desk. Try to eliminate loose papers floating around on your desk. When you arrive to work tomorrow, it will not look overwhelming. You will have each task or project binder clipped in a folder ready for you to tackle.
  5. Clean your keyboard, mouse, and phone with an anti bacterial wipe. Our office equipment may carry germs from daily use. Everything we have touched from shaking co-workers hands, our lunch, and the restroom door knobs all in our office. When you arrive to work for your next shift, your keyboard, mouse, and phone will be fresh and ready to use if you disinfect them properly.

I hope you are able to use these tips. Please share, in the comments section, some of the things you do to have a better work day tomorrow. Also, don’t forget to read our post 7 Things to do Tonight for a Successful Tomorrow. For additional planning & productivity strategies, home decor tips, and organizational ideas follow our blog, The Decorator’s Voice. You may also visit our main page, Divine Elements of Design to learn more about our decorating and organizational services or to visit our Online Boutique. Thank you and have a Divine Day!!!

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9 Tips For Saving Money During Your Cruise!!!

9 Tips for Saving Money During Your Cruise

Photo Credit: Regina Anne

During the past 6 months, I have cruised twice and I’m going on another cruise in October… I’ve discovered a few tips to help save money during your cruise… (to be able to cruise more, of course…). I’ve partnered with Jenn from Because I’m Cheap to provide my tips to her audience as well. Going on a cruise can be a very fun and exciting experience for you and your family. It can also be expensive if not properly planned. There are ways to save money and still have a fabulous time. These are my top nine tips.

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If you found this post helpful, please feel free to share it with your friends and family. As always, we would love for you to follow us so you can stay updated on our home decor tips, organizational ideas, travel tips, and planning & productivity strategies… Don’t forget to read my previous post 8 Must Haves For a 7 Day Cruise.

Also feel free to visit our main interior decorating website at www.divineelementsofdesign.net. Thanks and Have a Divine Day

5 Helpful Ways to Decorate on the Cheap!

Hello, my name is Jenn and I blog at Because… I’m Cheap. I’m so thrilled that Nakeya invited me to share with you all today. I enjoy writing about frugal living ideas, so today I’ll be sharing with you 5 helpful ways to decorate on the cheap.

I love personalizing our home with different accents that reflect our style and also being able to change things up with the season or just whenever the mood strikes. Redecorating can get expensive! If you’re like me, stretching the budget and getting more bang for your buck is important. So I’ve compiled this list of helpful ways to decorate on the cheap.

These tips are great to keep in mind when your decorating budget reaches its max out point or when unexpected expenses pop up. Which always seems to happen for me! Or you can use this list of ideas to help you decorate your first home when your money is tied up with other things.

So without further ado…

5 helpful ways to decorate on the cheap:

  1. Spruce it up. Wood furniture and picture frames can change drastically with just a coat of paint. Cabinets and dressers can be refreshed with new handles and knobs. Total cost: $5 and up.
  2. Shop secondhand. Our local Goodwill has a constant stream of new furniture and accent pieces. I love it because it’s organized and clean. Plus it’s cheap! I’ve found paintings for $3, head boards for $10, end tables for $5 and dressers for $20.
  3. Do It Yourself (DIY). Go a step further than tip #1 and build it yourself. Lumber stores often have free pamphlets with tutorials. Staff are also very helpful for beginners.
  4. Shop scratch and dent. If used or DIY just isn’t your thing, visit an outlet or warehouse store for slightly imperfect items. Even regular department stores discount display models by at least 20% off.
  5. Get it free. If all of the previous tips are too expensive for you, just get it for free. Browse Craigslist and your local paper for free things. I can’t tell you how many pieces of beautiful furniture I’ve seen free for the taking.

As you can see, it is possible to decorate on the cheap. Even just using one of the ideas up above, you can easily save money. I hope these tips inspire you to get a little creative to stretch your budget. With a little ingenuity it doesn’t have to cost a lot to personalize your home.

Which way to decorate on the cheap was your favorite?

If you want to follow along with more frugal living ideas, please stop by my blog BecauseImCheap.com. I’d love to see you there!

How to Keep Your Sofa Toss Pillows Looking Fabulous When You Have Kids or Pets

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Lets face it…. Our sofa pillows have a tremendous responsibility. In addition to providing style and function in our divine spaces, they are often used as tools of war during children’s pillow fights, a chew toy for our fur babies, and a napkin for a sloppy spouse. So how do we keep them looking “company ready” at all times..? Hum… I will share a few tips with you…

Buy Doubles: As simple as it may sound, just buy two sets of pillows for the sofa. One inexpensive set for everyday use and one set to be used only on special occasions or when you have company. If you would love to buy pillows with beautiful bead work, but afraid they will not hold up to day-to-day wear and tear, don’t let that stop you!!! Purchase the pillows that are calling your name (and wallet) and only display them on special occasions or when you have company. They will look fabulous and fresh at all times… When your company departs, simply replace them with your everyday pillows that your 9-year-old rests his head on when watching The Thundermans on DVR every night.

Use Pillow Covers: You can always chose to only purchase pillows which contain pillow covers. This allows you to wash or dry clean the pillow covers when needed. You can always wash the covers and replace the filling with a quality foam or down material. This will extend the durability of the pillows and allow for a longer life.

Remove From the Sofa Completely: Who says you need to have toss pillows on your sofa everyday. I don’t think you will be breaking one of Martha Stewart’s basic home decor rules if you omitted pillows completely. Your home, your rules.

I know these tips may seem simply, but sometimes we forget some of the basic things we can do to make our lives (or decorating) easy. Please like this post if you found the information useful. Also, I would love to hear some of the tips you use to keep your home looking “company ready” at all times. Please leave your comments below.

As always, the Decorator’s Voice is my voice as an interior decorator from Divine Elements of Divine. Please feel free to visit our main website for details concerning our interior decorating services and products.. Don’t forget to ask us about our ready to ship and custom pillows. Thank you very much and have a Divine Day!!

8 Must Haves For a 7 Day Cruise

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Photo Credit: Phil Kelsch

Recently my family took a 7 day cruise to the Caribbean. Of course, I did my research and wanted to be 110% prepared before we debarked. I started planning and packing about one month prior. The following 8 items are my absolute must haves…

Digital Waterproof Watch

watchgWoman’s Timex Watch

There is no need to pack your fancy Rolex watch. While some people may think having a watch on vacation is not a good idea, I disagree. I purchased inexpensive watches for everyone in my family. When you first arrive on your ship, I recommend setting your watch to the ships time. Therefore, when you arrive to the different ports, you will know exactly what time the ship is leaving. Many people have missed their ship because they returned to the port on the port’s local time and not the time of the ship. When searching for a watch, I recommend a waterproof watch with an alarm. It will serve multiple purposes and you don’t have to worry about it being damaged in the pool or at the beach.

Favorite Lanyard 

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Black and White Damask Lanyard

Your ship’s cabin key card (sail and sign card for Carnival cruisers) is basically your life line while on the ship. In addition to being your cabin (room) key card, it also contains your account information, used to make purchases on the ship, and used for identification for boarding. On some ships, it is also used to turn the light on in your cabin. You need to keep your card with you at all times. I recommend putting your card on a lanyard. The customer service desk will punch a hole in your lanyard for you. I also recommend taking your own lanyard so you don’t have to settle for the over priced laynards at the ship’s gift store. I absolutely love this damask laynard I found on Amazon.

Nylon Drawstring Bag

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Liberty Bag

I also purchased everyone in my family a drawstring bag. Each person’s bag was a different color. These bags made by Liberty and sold on Amazon came in 16 different colors. Drawstring bags are excellent for taking your books, ipad, or sunglasses to the pool. You can also use the bag off the ship in lieu of a purse or backpack.

Cruise Ship Luggage Tags

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Cruisetags

I never felt comfortable printing my luggage tags from home and simply stapling them together. I found these luggage tags and they were perfect. They are designed specifically to hold and display cruise ships e-documents. You don’t have to worry about the risk of your tags being torn apart and having your luggage lost. The tags come in a pack of 8 and can be used multiple times.

Power Strip or Extension Cord

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Belkin 6 Outlet Surge Protector

Cabins have very limited outlets. On my first cruise, I was unable to charge my ipad, fitbit, and mini lapotp at the same time. I was prepared for my last cruise. For under $15.00, I purchased the set of two Belkin Surge protectors.

** Verify your ships requirements for power strips and extension cords. They may only allow power strips or cords without the surge protector option. **

Over the Door Shoe Organizer

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Whitmore 24 Pocket Shoe Bag

Counter space in the bathrooms of the cabin are very limited. I purchased this over the door shoe organizer for $9.99. It was perfect for holding my toiletries in the bathroom. Initially I was concerned that I would hear the organizer move constantly when the ship is moving or when opening and closing the door. To my surprise, I never heard it.

Small Bills

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Make sure you take plenty of small bills. Small denotations can be used for tips while at port. Also if you plan to do shopping and negotiating, you don’t want to have large bills.

Over the Counter and Prescription Medicine

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Photo Credit: Clip Art Sheep

Don’t forget to basically pack a full medicine cabinet. In addition to your regularly scheduled meds, pack things such as motion sickness pills, band aids, sun block, insect repellent, upset stomach meds, anti-bacterial creams, etc.. I would rather pack an item and not need it than to have to purchase it for three times the price in the gift store.

I hope you found these tips helpful. Please comment below with some of your must haves. Please subscribe to this blog for other home decor tips, organization ideas, and planning  & productivity strategies. You may also visit our full site at http://www.divineelementsofdesign.net and follow us on other social media sites. Thank you and have a Divine Day!!!

8 Quick, Easy, & Stylish Updates to Your Bathroom

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1) Paint the Walls – Many people often forget to paint the walls of their bathroom. If you are not a fan of a lot of color, opt for a neutral tan or beige. You may also feel free to paint an accent wall for a quick boost of color. Your bathroom should be a calming and relaxing environment. For assistance in selecting a paint color, visit your local Sherwin WIlliams store or contact your favorite Certified Interior Decorator for a color consultation.

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2) Frame Your Mirrors – Aren’t you tired of looking at that plain bare mirror in your bathroom? You don’t have to settle for that. Mirror Mate Frames are a very affordable option for upgrading your mirror. Mirror Mate will instantly transform the plain mirror into a beautifully framed focal point. If you are in the Dallas/Ft Worth Metroplex, make an appointment for a free Mirror Mate Consultation with Divine Elements of Design. If you are outside of the Dallas/Ft Worth Metroplex, visit www.mirrormate.com to locate an authorized installer near you.

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3) Hang a Small TV on the Wall – Having a TV in the bathroom is not only for homes that were once on MTV Cribs.. A small smart TV or a TV with a Roku player can turn your bathroom into a modern retreat. With your homes wifi network (no cable or satellite needed), you can listen to your favorite station on Pandora while getting dressed, watch your favorite movie on Netflix while taking a relaxing bath, or watch a makeup tutorial on YouTube while applying your makeup for a special occasion. Watch my video on how I turned a regular TV into a smart TV.

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Picture from Decor Pad

5) Update Your Towels and Rugs – Take a visit to your Bed Bath & Beyond (or local department) store to update the towels and rugs in your bathroom. You may be surprised how these new items will provide a fresh new look in the bathroom. (Don’t forget your Bed, Bath & Beyond coupons… FYI… They may be redeemed even after the expiration date.)

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6) Change your Faucets & Lights – Your general contractor (or ours) can easily update your bathroom’s faucets and light fixtures. Experiment with different colors and textures. Be creative and have fun.

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7) Disassemble the Body Gift Baskets – If you are like 75% of the population, you have tons of body soaps and lotion gift baskets. People often leave the items in the plastic wrapped basket and place it somewhere in the bathroom. Many times, the items are not only not used, they are still sitting in the basket unused. Take those items out of the basket and use or donate them. The basket may be recycled for another purpose, in another room if necessary.

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Picture From Wholesale Central

8) Replace the Switch Plates – Toss those white plastic generic switch plates away. You can purchase switch plates in various textures or colors from your local hardware store, big box store, or even Amazon. You can change the switch plates yourself using a flat screw driver.

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Thanks for reading this post. I hope you are able to take at least a few of our suggestions for your bathroom makeover project. Let us know which items you are considering or let us know other quick and easy updates you’ve completed. As always, please visit our main page at www.divineelementsofdesign.net for information concerning our services and products.

Thank you Very Much & Have a Divine Day!!!

11 Strategies for Keeping Your Home Clean!!

home-interiors-2-1234950Picture by FreePik

The struggle is indeed real when it comes to maintaining a clean home. Even with the assistance of occasional help, keeping a home clean takes effort. These 11 strategies have been proven to help. Trust me!! Take the challenge for yourself and let me know how it worked.

1) Wash a small load of clothes each day. Do not let your clothes pile up. A large stack of laundry can be intimidating. Wash only as many clothes as you can comfortably put away at one time.
2) Don’t let your dirty dishes stack up. Wash dishes immediately or place them in the dishwasher after use. If necessary, use paper or plastic disposal dishes.
3) Clean your refrigerator often. Do not let left overs or to go containers take over your refrigerator.
4) Vacuum after you dust.
5) Use a swifter sheet or microfiber cloth to wipe down baseboards, window seals, and other surfaces.
6) Remove clutter, not create more storage space. Please refrain from constantly buying items to hid things.
7) Keep flat surfaces clean. Its easy to drop paper or other items on your coffee table, dresser, kitchen counter, etc..
8) Keep coupons in a clear poly folder in your car. We often have great coupons but accidentally leave them at home.
9) Use your calendar and create a realistic daily routine. Do small projects each day.
10) Return borrowed items immediately. Assign a home for everything.
11) Politely decline unwanted items of friends and family. Limit the amount of items that you bring into your home.

Please share some of the strategies you use to keep your home clean? If you haven’t subscribed to the Decorator’s Voice, please do so to stay updated on interior decorating tips, organizational ideas, and planning & productivity strategies.

How to Organize those Tacky Cords on Your Desk!!


cordclippic

I recently transformed a small 7 x 8 closet into my home office. It’s equipped with everything I need from my desk to my files to a decorative light fixture. Of course, it has to be divinely decorated!! One thing that was not divine was those tacky cords on my desk. I basically had two options… Pull the cords towards the middle of the desk when they are not plugged into anything or take the risk of allowing them to fall behind the desk. Since my desk is against the wall, I would have to crawl under the desk to awkwardly try to pull them up and ask someone to grab them from the front. I did not like the look of those cords on my desk. Not Divine.

Cordbefore

You can imagine how excited I was to be asked by Adhesive Cable Clips to review their clips. I couldn’t wait to test the product for them and report my findings. Being able to receive the product for free was a win/win for me. When I received the package, I was pleasantly surprised to see it contained a total of 6 channel clips. Three were single clips and three were double clips. I loved the double clip option for managing multiple cords using one clip. As a person with multiple devices, having different options is great. I decided to use three clips in my office and use the remaining three clips on the nightstand in my bedroom for my cell phones and iPad.

You can watch the instructional video on how I actually installed the cable clips on YouTube here.

Initially, I was a little nervous that the clips would not stay in place. However, the strong 3M adhesive assures it will stay in place. I am very satisfied with this product and give it two thumbs up.

cordafter

As you can see (or not see), the cords are out of sight…. How Divine!! I was surprised to see these cords are only $8.95 and can be purchased on Amazon.com.  Free shipping with Amazon Prime…

I would love to hear what you are using to organize the cords on your desk, bedroom, or office. If you aren’t following this blog or our other social media, please do so. We would love to share our decorating tips, organizational ideas, and planning & productivity strategies with you. Thanks and have a Divine Day!!!

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