Cool and Unusual Uses for Fabric Softener Sheets

While you likely already know that you can use fabric softener sheets for, well, making your fabrics softer, you may not know that there are a number of other uses for these handy household items. Here are just a few smart and surprising things to do with your dryer sheets.

  • Wipe up fine, powdery spills like flour or makeup using dryer sheets, because the anti-static properties help to pick up these hard-to-scoop messes.
  • Likewise, dryer sheets also make great DIY dusters for shelves, television screens, and baseboards.
  • Freshen up musty places by placing dryer sheets inside of your smelly winter boots, gym bag, or in a musty closet.
  • Remove pet hair from just about any surface (including your clothing) by wrapping a dryer sheet around your hand and gently running it over the surface.
  • In the summertime, stuff dryer sheets in your pockets to repel mosquitos.
  • Remove hard water stains from faucets and the door of a shower by running a dry dryer sheet over the surface.
  • End static on your hair and clothing in the winter by running a dryer sheet all over yourself.

10 New Uses for Dryer Sheets [Real Simple]
20 Household Uses for Used (Yes, Used) Dryer Sheets [Apartment Therapy]
25 Alternative Uses for Fabric-Softener Dryer Sheets [Curbly]

Dependable Virtual Destinations for Apartment Decor and Accessories

It’s no secret that shopping online often yields affordable results, and the same goes if you’re looking for home décor items and accessories for your apartment. Any renter on a budget will love to browse those finishing touches that really make a house a home, and these are some of the best places to find them.

Urban Outfitters
While you may already shop at the trendy clothing retailer for all of your favorite T-shirts, Urban Outfitters also offers a great selection of stylish home goods. From eclectic art prints to colorful duvet covers and even mid-century modern inspired furnishings, you’ll find a number of great items on the convenient website.

Wayfair
If your home décor style is classic with a touch of modern, Wayfair is just the place to shop online. Here you’ll find chevron print area rugs, gold metallic picture frames, and antique-inspired clocks to hang on the wall.

CB2
For those who prefer sleek, minimal décor and bold pops of color, CB2 is a great option. Discover things like low-profile sofas, interesting throw pillows, and industrial bar stools, or browse the limited edition art selection to find affordable pieces from some of the biggest up-and-coming artists in the art world today.

How to Make the Holidays Less Stressful

With all of the gift buying, cookie baking, and crowded homes filled with out-of-town visitors, you may forget that the holidays are supposed to be a time of fun and relaxation. Here are a few smart tips that will help you to take the stress out of the holidays and better appreciate time spent with family.

  1. Ask for a wish list. Instead of stressing out about buying the perfect gift for a loved one, just ask for his or her wish list. There’s no shame in asking what everyone wants to ensure that you feel confident about your purchases.
  2. Create a budget—and stick to it. Although it’s easy to overspend when you want to spoil your friends and family members, it will only leave you feeling more stressed afterward. It’s entirely possible to purchase thoughtful gifts within your means, provided that you set a budget for your gifts.
  3. Say “no.” You don’t have to attend every holiday party, volunteer to bring a side to every family dinner or even host the festivities at your own home. Carefully consider which things you’ll actually have time for, and say no to everything else.
  4. Keep things simple. Instead of trying to make your holiday celebrations the best on the block, focus on simply spending time with the family over a delicious meal. The rest will work itself out.

Peggy's Top Five for Stress-Free Gift Giving [Emily Post]
Our Stress-Less Holiday Guide [She Knows]
10 Steps to a Less Stressful Holiday [Parents]

Think Beyond the Salsa With These Cilantro-Centric Recipes

When you think of salsa, you likely think of the zesty flavor added by cilantro. Cilantro is also a great addition to many other dishes, however, even those outside of Mexican cuisine. These three recipes will have you rethinking the way you view cilantro in the most delicious ways possible!

Asian Noodle Salad with Chicken and Cilantro [Martha Stewart]
Instead of the usual Southwestern cuisines, try cilantro in an Asian-cuisine-inspired dish for a change. This noodle salad requires no cooking at all to create a fresh, interesting meal with a traditional Vietnamese sauce. Top it with cucumber and cilantro for a bit of added flavor.

Miso-Maple Sweet Potato Tacos with Coconut-Cilantro Sauce [The Kitchn]
There are so many delicious flavors in this taco dish, your taste buds will hardly know where to begin. Tender sweet potatoes covered in a miso and maple syrup glaze take the place of the usual taco meat, and avocado, cilantro, and toasted pepitas make a tasty garnish. The cilantro comes in at the end, when it’s blended with coconut to create a uniquely flavorful sauce for topping.

Zesty Quinoa Salad [AllRecipes]
If you want to eat healthily without sacrificing taste, you’ll absolutely love this quinoa salad. Fresh vegetables and black beans make it bright and nutritious, while cilantro and black pepper add major flavor.

Easy Decorating Tips Every Renter Needs to Know

Decorating the bare walls of your new apartment may seem overwhelming at first, but even if you’re not a professional interior decorator, you can create a magazine-worthy rental by following a few simple tips. Here are just a few smart tricks that you should know before hitting the home goods store.

  1. Incorporate storage wherever you can. Choose furniture items that contain built-in storage, and make sure to hang shelves in spaces like the kitchen or bathroom.
  2. Replace the hardware. Showerheads and drawer pulls are easy to replace to reflect your style. Hit up your local hardware store and invest in a high-pressure, filtered showerhead, and then choose kitchen and bathroom pulls in whatever style you like. You can easily switch these back once you move out.
  3. Work around a rug. Unsure about the color scheme for a room? Choose a rug first, then decorate around it since it will likely be the largest item in the space.
  4. Add temporary wallpaper. Try temporary wallpaper in a fun color or edgy pattern to create a designer-inspired look that you can easily remove.

The 10 Commandments of Rental Decor [PopSugar]
5 Easy, High-Impact Rental Decorating Ideas (That Can Move With You) [Apartment Therapy]
6 Ways to Decorate Your Rental—Without Losing the Deposit [Oprah]

How to Transform an Old Piece of Furniture With Paint

Do you have a well-made but outdated piece of furniture in your home that you hate to throw away? Luckily, it’s easy to transform that ugly wooden chair or banged-up dresser into something fresh and modern with only a simple coat of paint. Here are a few tips that will save you money on new furniture by showing you how to re-vamp your existing pieces.

  1. Sand it thoroughly. One of the most important steps when painting furniture is to completely remove the old stain or paint first. Sand the entire piece with a medium-grit sandpaper on an electric sander, or if you don’t own one, get to sanding by hand—just make sure you don’t sand too much and damage the wood underneath.
  2. Wipe off the residue. After sanding, wipe the entire surface using a tack cloth designed specifically to remove sawdust.
  3. Prime the piece. Some people say that you don’t need to prime a piece of furniture, but if there’s a chance that the wood might be laminate, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Purchase a primer designed for your specific needs and smooth it on with a foam roller.
  4. Paint. Apply at least three coats of paint using a different foam roller, allowing at least eight hours of drying time between coats. Once the third coat dries, your furniture will look like new!

The 5 Biggest Mistakes You Make When Painting Furniture [Country Living]
Paint Makeovers: An Expert Tells All [Bob Villa]
Quick Furniture Makeovers for Fashionable Results [Benjamin Moore]

Must-Know Tips When Shopping for Furniture on a Budget

With sofas costing upwards of $1,000 and many discount furniture stores sacrificing quality for a lower price tag, it may seem impossible to furnish your home on a budget. If you know what to look for, however, you can afford to invest in some new furnishings without breaking the bank. Here are some smart tips for budget-savvy furniture shopping.

  • Consider the time of year. Most furniture stores release their new collections in February and August, so they’ll likely try to clear out their old inventory in January and July. As long as you don’t mind having last season’s styles, you can usually find a great price around this time.
  • Check online. You can often find better deals on furniture by shopping clearance websites like Overstock.com and Amazon. You also might get free shipping by spending more than a certain amount.
  • Buy secondhand. Another person’s mistake might be your gain when it comes to furniture. Check sites like Craigslist to find brand new sofas, beds, and other items that didn’t work in someone else’s home.
  • Check consignment stores. If you don’t mind gently used furniture, thrift shops and consignment stores often have great deals on fairly modern styles. Check back often, as you never know what they’ll have from day to day.

How to Choose Furniture on a Budget [Overstock]
4 Tips for Finding Budget-Friendly Furniture [U.S. News]
Best Places to Find Budget Furniture [About Home]

Three Fun Halloween Decor Projects

Who said that Halloween is just for kids? From spooky cocktail parties to elegantly scary decorations, there are a number of ways to celebrate the year’s scariest season in a truly grown-up manner. Here are three Halloween decor projects that even the adults will love.

Cocktail Clip-Art Labels [Martha Stewart]
If you’re having a Halloween party for your of-age friends, they’ll certainly get a kick out of these cocktail labels. Sure, you know that your drinks are perfectly safe for human consumption, but with labels like Toxic Tonic, they might give your guests a bit of a fright.

Illuminated Pumpkin Topiary [DIY Network]
For something a bit more elegant than the usual stringy faux cobwebs, this pumpkin topiary makes a festive centerpiece on the kitchen table or mantle. Cover a few carving pumpkins with chic metallic spray paint, then drape them with beaded strands and white twinkling lights for a beautiful look that’s still a bit haunting.

Spooky Terrariums [Country Living]
Instead of filling a terrarium with plants and moss, place some spiders, dead branches, and even a creepy crow figurine inside. Place the terrariums on a shelf and you'll have a spooky decoration for a party.

How to Add Mixed Patterns to Your Apartment’s Decor

Think it takes a decorator’s eye to mix patterns? Think again! With a few smart tips and some simple rules to keep in mind, you can mix patterns like the pros in any room in your home.

  1. Choose a color scheme. First, pick a color scheme that you’ll stick with throughout the room. Whether it’s basic black and white or something brighter, like yellow and blue, this will make your pattern mixing much easier.
  2. Limit the number of patterns. While it may seem overwhelming to mix a dozen different patterns, even the most novice home decorator can work with three or four. Keep things simple, but still incredibly impactful.
  3. Decide where you’ll mix your patterns. Adding a variety of different throw pillows on the sofa or the bed is one of the most popular ways to incorporate a few different patterns in a room, but you might also want to add even more fun prints. For even more depth and dimension, try a temporary wallpaper in a big, bold pattern, or use a funky rug with simpler throw pillows and curtains.
  4. Make your own. If you’re having a hard time finding pillowcases or curtains in patterns that go together, try creating your own! It’s very easy to sew these items at home, and some tutorials don’t even involve any sewing at all.

How to Mix Patterns in a Room [For Dummies]
Learn How to Mix Patterns [BHG]
10 Easy Ways to Mix and Match Patterns in Your Home [Freshome]

Edgewater Events and News

The traffic alert scheduled for Thursday Sept. 10 has tentatively been re-scheduled for Monday September 14, at the intersection of Vreeland Terrace and River Road, traffic will be reduced on River Road to one lane in both directions between the hours of 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Due to the weather forecast for Thursday September 10, the free concert at the Marina has been re-scheduled for Friday September 11 at 7:30 p.m.

The September 11 Memorial Service will take place in the Borough Hall Courtyard, Friday September 11, 55 River Road at 9:30 a.m. Let us not forget our three residents who perished on that fateful day, Robert M. Levine, Anne T. Ransom, Jayesh Shah and recognize those brave Americans who answered the call to duty.

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