How to Design a House and Make it Your Own

Add a personal touch to your living space.

Fortune Cookie Life Lesson #18

Keep in mind that home is where your heart is.

How important is it to make a house your own? A home should be where you feel happy and safe. A place where you can go away from all the worldly distractions and breathe. A person’s home has their memories of the life they have lived and loved. Here are ten ways to take any home and make it your own.

1. I love plants

I love plants but plants tend not to like me very well. I am not the best at being a green thumb and have had many failed attempts at keeping greenery in my home. Over the years I have come to realize I do best with plants that are low maintenance. I enjoy succulents especially as they are easy to care for and are very beautiful. Plants clean the air in the home and are aesthetically pleasing to the eyes. Putting a small herb garden in the kitchen will also help with cooking. If you are not too fond of plants putting up plant pictures can brighten up any mood.

2. Decorate in your style

Everyone has there own take on style and using yours will make a home feel more inviting to your senses if you incorporate it. If you are looking to add or replace things in the house, take a look at what you already own and decide if these things are what make you happy. Find the things you already love and work off those and discard the things that don’t connect. Take a mental picture of what you want this room to look like and work off that. It helps if you already have a few things in the space you love, and you can add more to it. Also incorporate the shapes, colors, and textures that make you happy. If you have a room that seems plain add a pop of color or add a different texture and by doing this you will give your space life.

4. Make Your Living Space Comfortable

Comfort is key when living in a house. I prefer my home to be comfortable especially after a long day. I like a place to relax and put up my feet and enjoy the remainder of my day in a peaceful setting that is warm and inviting. Add pillows to couches, chairs or beds. Pillows are always welcoming and who doesn’t love a beautiful soft pillow? Blankets are the bomb especially if you are coming home on a cold and blustery day. I am very picky when it comes to blankets and bedding and prefer softness to the touch. One of my favorite comforting blankets I own is a Berkshire Blanket. They are soft and keep you nice and toasty. You can wash them, and they stay the same just as you bought them. If you have hardwood floors, get an inviting rug that feels great on the feet, and place a lovely lamp on a side table for evening reading.

5. Clean Your Home

A clean home is a happy home. Keeping your home clean and organized will help you relax after a long day. Clutter is chaos and if you don’t get a handle on the clutter how can you have space to give you the peace you need. You don’t have to be a clean freak either to keep your home clean. Back in the day, I would slave all day to clean my house to perfection. I did chores that merely only had to be done once a week, and I found I caused more chaos for myself when that is all I would do is clean all day. I never gave myself a chance to enjoy life. Nowadays I don’t have enough hours in the day to be the cleaning freak I used to be and so I usually only spend 45 minutes to an hour doing the things I consider priorities and whatever doesn’t get done will then move to my preference the next day. It also helps to have a small cleaning crew which I have enlisted both of my children when it comes to laundry, dishes, and bedrooms.

6. Every Item Has its Place

Practicing this method can also help keep your home nice and tidy. Make sure that you don’t fill your house with too much stuff. My family has been guilty of this, and the last couple of years I have taken a minimalist turn in the way I live, and this is by far a way better option. I make sure every item in the house has a place to go, and if it does not, I will then decide if something needs to go so that I can find a place for this item. By making sure each possession has its spot not only does it keep the clutter out but I feel it will also help you from spending extra on the things you don’t need. An excellent example of this is clothing. I will only buy new clothing when I need to replace an item. If my jeans have holes or my top is too worn to wear I will replace it and not discard the object that is no longer needed.

7. If Your Space is Bare Spruce it up

I usually have trouble with making sure my walls are not too bare. If I come across a wall or space that is bare I typically add a cool looking print or maybe add a nice shelf and fill it full of your favorite trinkets or books. It doesn’t take much to make a spot more appealing a little can go a long way.

8. Flowers are a Nice Addition

Not only do flowers make a house smell great they are gorgeous to look at and will boost any mood when walking in the door. My kitchen is pretty dull, and when I need to add some flair to it, I do it with flowers. I love orchids, and nowadays you can find them in exciting bright colors that can catch any eye. Not only are flowers an excellent piece for most any space they are pleasing to smell and can brighten our day.

9. Find an Empty Wall and Decorate It

I did this with our wall that goes to our downstairs, and I will say it is my most favorite spot. I didn’t like the space that it left and decided that I would decorate the wall with pictures in a variety of frames and also some of the artwork that my kids have done. It is by far my favorite decorating spot. Walls are blank canvases, and you can decorate them any way you want. You can also use anything to decorate a wall. Prints, shelves and even plants can be used to put some decoration on your wall. Make your walls your own.

10. All Else Fails Change Your Sheets

I do this quite frequently, and I would say I change my bedding in my house more than anything else to add something new. When my covers start to look drab, and I want to spruce up the bedroom I go new sheets. You can change the color, texture and it does make a difference. I also will add different pillows and maybe a different throw to give it a total bed makes over and who doesn’t love new bedding that is probably my most favorite thing in the world.

When trying to make a home your own remember this place will be a piece of you.  Adding plants and flowers will give you not only a wonderful aroma but adding them can help elevate how you are feeling that day.  Make the space you live about you and what you like and discard the things that you are not so fond of, and of course, try to build a home of comfort that gives you an escape from the rest of the world.  Keeping a clean and clutter free house will reduce stress levels and help keep things organized.  Decorate your walls with pictures or colorful items to add pop to a spot that has been ignored and make sure that your bed make you happy and if it doesn’t change it.  Doing small changes and adding things here and there will take an ordinary home into your extraordinary space.

6 Ways to Gain Leadership Style

Fortune Cookie Life Lesson #10

Leadership is action not position.

Am I a leader or a follower? A question that I was asking myself when I received my next fortune out of the jar and the answer was merely I have no idea. For most of my life, I would consider myself to have been a follower. I was the type of person that usually goes with the flow and never sighted many opinions about anything. I felt that it may have been easier to live my life that way and that I would avoid social confrontations. Unfortuanlty I think I was holding myself back by not taking the lead in certain situations in my life and that was something I needed to change.
What is leadership? By having leadership skills, one is taking action, and usually, this is done with a group of people or a situation. Leaders help those around them and set the tone for the group. They are vision builders and have a talent for creating new things. I decided that I wanted to have more leadership skills. Doing this takes me out of the comfort zone, and I will feel more secure in my decisions. Being a mom I already have a few leadership skills involving my kids, but I decided that I was going to take action in my choices that include more of myself. Here are 6 six things I practiced to help me to build my leadership style.

1. Set Expectations
Setting expectations for yourself will hold you accountable for your leadership. When I set certain expectations in some of my dealings, I noticed that I did not back down as much. By placing a set of rules ahead of time, I was more willing to stick to them. This was true when I was working on my budget. There were times that my kids or even myself would be tempted to do a little extra, and by setting my expectations on how much I was going to spend, I found it more comfortable to hold myself accountable. When I exceeded my expectations, it gave me a sense of strength and control in my finances.

2. Educate and Learn
Knowlege gives you power. The more you learn about something, the more leadership you can share with those around you. If you want to move up in your job become an expert in the field not only will this give you confidence but you will also find that those around you will respect your skills. I love to learn about health and fitness. Back in the day, I used to be a personal trainer, and I helped individuals get healthy and in shape. I loved the job and loved to help people work toward healthy goals. Even though I am no longer a trainer, I still take these traits with me everywhere I go, and I share my knowledge to help those around me.

3.  Positivity Spreads Like Wild Fire
Be a positive role model for those around you. This especially is true when you are trying to find your leadership style. I work hard not to be a downer, but there have been times that I have that little bit of dought in the back of my mind, and I have had to learn to put a stop to that kind of thinking. Not only will a negative attitude affect you but it also affects those around you. By looking at the glass half full instead of half empty, you are giving yourself a way to think outside the box. Being positive is also a great confidence booster instead of you can’t you start to think you can automatically.

4.  Set Goals and Conquer
Goal setting is an essential characteristic of leadership.
Goals get us where we need to be. By setting goals and conquering them, we show that we can lead a path to success. This is especially true for my husband and me with our finances. We have set goals for our future and have worked hard at attaining each one. Although this has not always been an easy road, we have been able to learn so much about taking control and gaining the reward of financial freedom. For every small goal, we conquered we would add another one to the list and gradually we are advancing to where we want to be in our future. The motivation we have received from conquering our goals is what keeps us going.

5. Manage Change
Nothing in life is smooth sailing. One thing a leader can do is manage those little-unexpected twist and turns in life. If you can achieve the vision even when there are changes you show strength to those around you. The changes you may face could be functional, or they could be dysfunctional, but either way, indicating that you have control over the situation will be appealing to those in the position. I personally like change and feel that change is here to challenge and why not accept the challenge.

6. Be a Coach
Coaches have leadership skills. They have the skills to get the job done. Be your own coach and watch your leadership soar. Coaches build up the team and give the motivation to excel expectations. You can’t sit around waiting for your goal to happen and unfortunately, it may never happen. Be a part of making that goal happen. Make a plan and stick to it and if the plan changes keep moving forward. Work hard, and this will lead to significant results.

What I learned in last few weeks is that having leadership qualities gives you a sense of freedom and control. The probability of getting things done is far more likely with leadership. Becoming an expert in what you want to achieve will help those around you and give you some respect. A positive attitude is everything when working to get what you want out of life. Make sure to set some goals and conquer them. Attaining the goals gives you the strength to keep going and overcoming the next one. Manage changes in your path and gain a sense of power, and be a coach to yourself and those around you by having the tools to build what you want. Be a leader in your life and go forth to motivate and inspire.