Where to Buy Fall and Halloween Home Decor on the Cheap

Decorating for fall is a great way to get into the autumn spirit, but that doesn't mean you need to empty your bank account to get the job done. Use these budget-friendly tips for where to buy Halloween-themed decorations, fall-friendly furnishings, and other seasonal home décor items without overspending.

Jo-Ann Fabrics and Craft Stores
This tried-and-true fabric store has much more than the craft supplies that you might remember. Stop in to find seasonal garland to drape around your door frames, realistic wreaths in your favorite fall colors, and festive embroidered pillows in shades of brown and orange.

World Market
World Market is well known for its eclectic selection of globally influenced home décor items, and the same goes for its adorable fall-themed touches. Pick up some spooky skeletons and silly mummified animals for your upcoming Halloween party, or decorate with a fall doormat perfect for those cool-weather boots.

Oriental Trading
If you’re really on a budget, Oriental Trading is a great place to buy fall home décor items in bulk for an upcoming party or occasion. Order party tableware, autumn-themed craft supplies, and even decorative touches like lanterns, wreaths, and faux pumpkins at bargain prices.

Household Remedies to Help You Ease the Itch of Bug Bites and Poison Ivy

There’s nothing like the itch of a bug bite or poison ivy to bring down your mood in the summer time. Instead of heading to the drugstore for relief, there are few household remedies you can use to ease the itch. (Some say they might work just as well as any over-the-counter medicine!) Here are some tips to help ease your poison or bites.

  • Wrap ice cubes in a towel and press it against your bites for around 10 minutes. The ice will numb the bite area and can help control the swelling.
  • Press a used tea bag against your bites until the itching seems to calm down. Tea contains natural tannins that act as an astringent, which removes the toxins from your skin.
  • Tea tree oil can help treat both bug bites and poison ivy. Just dab a little onto a cotton swab and rub it on to your bite or rash. The oil's antiseptic properties will help calm the itching and promote healing.
  • Use a mixture of water and baking soda to apply directly onto your bite and allow it to dry. This will help neutralize the pH and reduce itching. Apple cider vinegar will also do the trick.

DIY: 7 Best Natural Mosquito Bite Remedies [Gardenista]
Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac [American Academy of Dermatology]
9 Genius Ways To Relieve Bug Bites [Women's Health]

How to Safely Exercise Outdoors During the Summer

Even if you’re a very fit person, exercising outdoors in hot summer weather can be dangerous. Unless you take the necessary precautions, the heat and humidity can cause dehydration, dizziness, and exhaustion. Here are a few smart tips to help you exercise safely outside all summer long.

  • Stay hydrated. This one may seem obvious, but dehydration is the leading cause of illness and injury during hot weather exercise. Be sure to drink a lot of water not only during and after exercise, but also beforehand to fuel your body for your workout.
  • Choose smart times. Because the sun is lower (and so is the temperature) during the morning and evening, these are the smartest times to exercise outdoors.
  • Wear the right clothes. While you might wear sweatpants to exercise outdoors in the fall, you should invest in something lightweight and absorbent in the summer. Try synthetic fabrics like Spandex and Lycra, as these wick away moisture.
  • Listen to your body. Even if you’ve only been running for 10 minutes, that might be too much for your body in the dog days of summer. If you start to feel lightheaded and dizzy while exercising, make sure that you stop or slow down, no matter how long it’s been.

5 Ways to Exercise Safely in the Heat [U.S. News]
8 Tips for Exercising in Summer Heat [Active]
Essential Tips for Outdoor Exercise [Arm & Hammer]

Fun and Easy Spring Craft Ideas for Kids

The springtime is known for its long, rainy days, and on those afternoons when you’re stuck in the house, you’ll likely need an activity to keep the little ones occupied. Here are a few fun and creative craft ideas that offer hours of entertainment for your budding artists.

Tissue Cherry Blossom Tree [marthastewart.com]
Instead of hanging their artwork on the refrigerator, why not create a craft that you can use in your home decor? This chic cherry blossom tree sculpture is perfect for the springtime, and it’s also simple enough that the kids will have a great time piecing it together. Let them gather branches from outside, then get to work gluing pieces of pink tissue paper in the shape of delicate blooms.

Painted Canvas Bags [parenting.com]
If you’re looking for a craft that’s both beautiful and functional, this painted canvas bag is the ideal choice. Simply purchase plain canvas bags from your local craft store, set the kids loose with fabric inks and brushes, then use the completed bags at the grocery store or even for their school books.

Faux Tie Dye Spring Flower Window Display [momto2poshlildivas.com]
Because real tie-dyeing may be a bit to complicated for young children, this unique craft is a great alternative that produces similar results. Once your child is done, you can hang the colorful flower in a window for all to see.

Let the Sunshine In: DIY Spring Home Decor Projects

After your spring cleaning is complete, you may start to feel like your home could use a bit of a decorating revamp, as well. No matter your budget, you can easily give your home a springtime makeover with DIY home decor projects. Here are just a few of the best spring-themed decorating projects for every room in your home.

Colorful Egg Window Dressing [familycircle.com]
Set to work crafting colorful paper eggs that will dress up those newly cleaned windows. This simple tutorial only requires multicolored construction paper and some scissors to complete, and it’s easy enough that even the kids can help out.

Heart-Shaped Sachets [countryliving.com]
Freshen up your drawers and closets with these adorable DIY sachets. Simply take some scrap fabric in a pattern that you like, cut out two heart shapes, and sew them together around the edges. Fill them with potpourri just before you sew them closed, then seal them shut and enjoy the scent.

Daffodil Flower Care [marthastewart.com]
One of the best ways to spruce up your home for the springtime is by adding fresh flowers wherever you can. Freshly cut daffodils are the picture of spring, but they can often be difficult to care for. This tutorial will show you how to properly cut daffodils and arrange them in a vase in a way that even a florist would admire.

How to Make Mulled Wine

Mulled wine is a warm, rich beverage that’s perfect for chilly winter evenings, and it tastes even better when enjoyed in the company of family or friends. Here are three tasty recipes for mulled wine that you can make right in your own kitchen.

Ina Garten’s Mulled Wine [Food Network]
The Barefoot Contessa’s mulled wine recipe is zesty, spicy and perfectly flavorful. It uses cinnamon, honey and star anise for a lighter flavor than most mulled wines, but it’s still just as tasty. All it takes is 10 minutes to make this delicious seasonal recipe come to life, and a few orange peel garnishes make it feel truly festive.

Bon Appetit’s Mulled Wine [Bon Appetit]
Clove lovers will adore this complex mulled wine created by Bon Appetit magazine, which includes 20 whole cloves and a number of other spices. It can also be made two hours ahead of time to help you prepare for a holiday dinner party without missing a beat.

Williams-Sonoma’s Mulled Wine [Williams-Sonoma]
This recipe helps you to make mulled wine in a more traditional way by steeping cloves and nutmeg in a square of cheesecloth. The result is a dark, flavorful beverage that will warm you up from the inside out.

Budget-Friendly Ways to Decorate for Fall

You might be tempted to hit the home decor store as soon as that first leaf falls from the tree, but why not try your hand at some DIY projects? If you want to get in the fall spirit without draining your bank account, use these budget-friendly tips to make your home an autumn wonderland.

Fall Pumpkin Tableau [southernliving.com]
Welcome your guests into your home with a fantastic fall vignette right in the foyer. This once uses a few seasonal gourds and miniature pie pumpkins, which only cost a few dollars at the grocery store. The rest you can get for free by simply using your own clear vases or bowls and some leafy branches from the trees outside.

Gourd and Pumpkin Lights [bhg.com]
Light up the night either inside or out by creating a stylish, chic version of the classic jack-o'-lantern. Instead of carving a face into a pumpkin, simply hollow out a few in varying sizes and place tea lights inside their openings.

Pinecone Lamp Finial [marthastewart.com]
Incorporate fall decor into even the tiniest touches in your home, such as the small piece that screws into the top of a lamp. Simply glue pinecones to the tops of all of your finials for a festive look, or even spray paint them gold or silver for a bit more glamour!

How to Make Your Own Spring Floral Arrangement

These fast and easy tips will help you to create a florist-quality spring floral arrangement that you’ll be really proud to display in your home.

  1. Begin with the color palette. If you want to mix and match flowers to create your own bouquet, it’s best to have a color palette in mind. Stick with muted tones, a blend of bold primary hues, or variations of one color to create a cohesive look.
  2. Create a space for each flower. Cheat by creating a sort of grid guideline inside of the vase. Place a piece of chicken wire flat inside of the opening, or even create a crosshatch of durable florist tape across the surface of the vase. The goal is to have a series of 1-inch squares where you can place each type of flower.
  3. Start with the largest flower. Create a base by adding the largest flower (or branch or fern) in the center.
  4. Add the thickest flowers. Arrange thick, heavy flowers around the tallest one in the middle.
  5. Finally, add accent flowers. Add tulips, daffodils, roses or other eye-catching accents last.

DIY Spring Flower Arrangement by Ashley Woodson Bailey [Design Sponge]
How to Make a Cool Flower Arrangement: 8 DIY Ideas for Spring [Stylecaster]
Simple Spring Centerpieces [Better Homes and Gardens]

What Are Your Favorite Spring Recipes? Here Are a Few to Try This Season!

As the days get longer and springtime (finally!) rolls around, you likely start to crave lighter meals made with bright, fresh ingredients. Retire your usual favorite spring recipes in favor of something new and exciting with these delicious dishes from around the web.

Grilled Artichokes [oprah.com]
Create a tasty side dish for chicken, steak, or fish with Oprah’s recipe for flavorful grilled artichokes. Grilling these layered veggies on a stovetop grill gives them a bit of a blackened taste, and the homemade dipping sauce that goes with them adds even more flavor.

Sautéed Fiddlehead Ferns [localfoods.about.com]
Fiddlehead ferns come into season during the spring, which makes this dish very fresh and delicious. This recipe also takes just 10 minutes to prepare and 10 minutes to cook, so it makes quite a quick last-minute side dish on busy weeknights.

Risotto With Prosciutto and Peas [realsimple.com]
If you’re looking for something heartier and more filling, this rich, creamy risotto recipe is the perfect choice come spring. Thin prosciutto adds a salty taste, while the sweet spring peas make it perfect for warmer weather. Cook the risotto in white wine and chicken broth to add a deep, complex flavor throughout, then serve it with your favorite grilled meats or as an entree with a fresh salad.

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