Tag Archives: Design

The Easy Way To Create Stunning Graphics For Your Blog or Event #Giveaway


Are you looking for an easy way to create stunning graphics that will help make your blog posts pop? If so, let me tell you about some great graphic design software I discovered that makes it amazingly easy to edit photos, create graphics, logs, event invitations, collages, banners for your social media channels, hero images and more.

It is called FotoJet and it is free to use. To make things really easy, their site puts a massive amount of templates and resources at your fingertips. Tired of trying to navigate graphic design software that is so complicated all you get is frustrated? Then you will love FotoJet, because with just a few clicks you can get professional results even if you have no experience. That is because everything is user-friendly and effortless. You can try it for free for yourself right now. There is no registration or downloading required.

I was checking out the site recently and was playing around with some of their templates. I made these Save The Date examples to show you how easy it is to start with one of their designs and change it up to fit your style or the style of a client.

Both of those designs above were made using one of FotoJet’s templates. I just switched out backgrounds, fonts, colors, graphics etc. It was a lot of fun and I could easily undo anything I did not like.

Here are some graphics I made recently made to go with some of my blog articles.

Both of the above images started with a free stock image and I added overlays, frames, texts and other effects to dress them up.

Best of all, the free version gives you many options to create the graphics, flyers, collages, headers and more you need. You will be amazed at just how quickly you can create beautiful Hero Images that will make your posts pop and get shared and pinned all over social media. That means your blog traffic will increase and isn’t that what we are all looking for?

Add text and overlays to your photos or stock images, make graphics for your YouTube videos, create channel art and so much more for free with FotoJet. Check out their tutorials and resources to get your creativity flowing.  If you want to do even more, they do have a membership that is less than $3 a month when paid annually. Or pay just $4.99 a month.

We have great news because FotoJet is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings. One lucky blog reader will win a One Year Premium FotoJet Membership! Thank you FotoJet for my complimentary premium membership and for sponsoring this amazing giveaway on Mommy Ramblings. Open to US residents.

FotoJet Premium One Year Membership Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Good Luck!!!

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10 Amazing Ideas to Make Your Home Awesome

This is a sponsored guest post that may or may not reflect the views of Mommy Ramblings.

Most of us have a vision of what we would imagine to be the perfect home. Whether you want it to be modern, have amazing landscaping, or have a spectacular pool, customizing your home is one of the many rewards of home ownership.

If you need help in sparking your creative side, here are 10 amazing ideas to help make your home awesome.

  1. Moat Pool

At first glance, these pools may seem like some kind of home protection strategy, but the fact is they provide a great look and can be quite popular in the right situation. If the idea of a moat pool surrounding your home conjures up images of Medieval castles and drop-down bridges, take a look at modern moat pools and see how far they have come.

  1. Hanging Bed

Here is a trend that has been popping up lately. Suspend your bed from the ceiling and swing yourself to sleep. The bed can be made from wood, concrete, or plastic, but you’ll definitely want strong beams and a professional installation.

  1. Automatic Window Shades

There are few things more convenient than being able to hit a button and have all of your window shades go up or down. Motorized blinds and shades allow you to manage the ambience, privacy, and sun level of each room quickly without the fuss of cords and pulleys.

  1. Interior Cat Transit System

If you are a fan of cats, then you already know that they like to live in a world of their own. The cat transit system allows them to travel the house in the privacy of their own little tunnels.

  1. Glass Floors

How about a glass floor in one of your rooms? It can make some people a bit nervous standing on one, but having a glass floor adds a coolness factor to most homes. Instead of glass you can also have smooth concrete floors with tile or glass features combining the best of both worlds.

  1. Retractable Pool Table

Imagine having a few guests over for dinner and all of a sudden, a full-sized pool table appears from out of the wall. That is high-speed to say the least.

  1. Concrete Crib

There is a company called “Concrete Crib” that can make custom concrete furniture like tables, benches, pools, and counters. Any of their unique creations would be certain to add that special wow factor to any home. Concrete products are popular because not only are they unique, they are easy to clean and durable as well.

Minimalist dining room with table; chair and two closed doors – rendering

  1. Outdoor Movie Screen

Everyone loves going to the drive-in and enjoying a giant movie screen outdoors, but they really don’t compare to having one in your backyard. You can invite friends and family over to see the latest and greatest movies without having to drive anywhere.

  1. Skateboard Room

This might appeal more to the younger generation but how about a room with built-in skateboard ramps? How many times have you seen something like that? If you want to impress your friends, add one of these to your contemporary house.

  1. Spiral Wine Cellar

You don’t have to be a huge fan of wine to appreciate the beauty of a spiral wine cellar. Your guests will be impressed at this amazing feature in your home.

Regardless of which route you take in personalizing your home, it’s always exciting to seek out fun and new things that you can add. Whether it’s a small bowling alley, or a rooftop tennis court, the options are practically limitless.

 


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Filed under Decorating, Home & Garden, sponsored guest post

New Kitchen Update

Happy New Year everyone! Hope everyone’s year is off to a great start. I have some updates on our new kitchen. While the demo and everything in the house is going to take another 8 weeks at least, we are making headway with our kitchen decisions.

I believe, I shared our choice of Wood-Mode Custom Cabinetry for our kitchen. We are going with their Brookhaven line and our door style is Winter Haven Raised.

The first time I went into the kitchen design center and started working with Regina, our kitchen designer, I was sure I was going with Antique White. Yesterday, when my husband and I were there together making final decisions, I changed my color choice. I am going with Vintage Lace.

Wood-Mode’s Vintage Opaque is a distinctive glaze applied over the base color which in our case is Lace and adds a brushed appearance to the surface while highlighting the details of the door style and architectural elements.

It is funny because the first time I was there, I was sure I did not want that look and yet, the second time, I was sold on it. I feel that is why it is so important to meet with your kitchen designer multiple times in the planning stages of your project. So far, we have been to the kitchen showroom 2 times and Regina has been out to our house once to take measurements.

Now, that we are getting closer to putting the order in, she will come out again to make sure everything is correct. It is so nice to work with a kitchen designer who has experience and guides you along through the process. Yesterday, I remember clearly  saying to myself, “Wow, I am so glad she thought of that!”

The other thing is, they can give you great advice that can save you money and headaches. For instance, since my cooktop is mounted against an outside wall, she advised me not to go with a pot filler. I was not sold on one either, you may remember my earlier post.

The reason is, living in upstate New York, there is a danger of the pipes freezing which would cause extensive damage to our kitchen. Dealing with the damage from a leak is something we are familiar with and do not wish to deal with again if we can help it.

I know you can mount them on deck but I don’t want that sticking out of the counter top. Truthfully, the more I read about them, the more I am glad to have that reason for not putting one in. You still need to carry the water back to your sink. We decided to add an island prep sink which is behind the stove area. This will allow us to fill pots even if someone is at the kitchen sink.  I am good with that.

I am really excited about how I was able to utilize a lot of what I considered dead space in my old kitchen. My kitchen did have a lot of bells and whistles but there were some things  I wanted to change. We have so many baking trays, cookie sheets, cutting boards, cooling racks etc. In my old kitchen, I did have a tray cabinet but it was not large enough for everything we had.

It is not a matter of getting rid of some of it because we cook and bake all the time and use it all. So we added more slotted storage to our kitchen. The cabinet above the refrigerator is one that we hardly used. It contained some light bulbs and a container of glue. We  added tray storage up there and I think it is going to be great.

We also have a bottom tray cabinet next to the stove as we did before and over the ovens we put more slotted storage. We have an oven drawer under the double ovens as we did before to handle frequently used pans and sheets.

Something else I am super excited about, are the great pull out cabinets we put on the other side of our cooktop. If you think our tray situation was excessive, our collection of spatulas, ladles, cooking spoons and other cooking tools rivals it. Currently, we had two large utensil drawers and 2 large crocks on the counter. I wanted to find a more useful and out-of-sight way to store what we needed.

Browsing Pinterest, I found these great pull out cabinets with crocks built-in. I showed them to my kitchen designer who incorporated them into the design. Next to that we have another pull out cabinet that can handle our cooking oils, sprays etc. In an upper cabinet to the right of the cook top we have a swing out spice cabinet.

Being tall, I hate having to stoop down to see all the way to the back of lower cabinets. In my current kitchen, there are only three cabinets I had to do that. The rest all had roll outs or were drawer units. In this kitchen we made sure that there are no cabinets that would cause me to lay on the floor or crawl into to see what is in the back.

I eliminated the desk area and glass door cabinet that was above it from my current kitchen. We did not use the desk and it was a catch-all for everything as were the glass door cabinets. In its place we added some more pull out pantry storage which I am crazy about.

The new refrigerator is being set into cabinets to give it a built-in look. On the side of my fridge in my other kitchen, I had decorative raised panels that matched the cabinets. In our new kitchen design we added some useful storage.  We are putting in a functioning cabinet that will have lower storage for our broom, dust pan etc and upper storage for cleaning supplies, garbage bags etc. Something similar to this design I saw on Pinterest.

In the new kitchen we have extended all our upper cabinets to 42″. This extra cabinet space will give us the room we need to store appliances that we don’t use every day. We are removing the extended sofits to make room for the taller cabinets. On top of the cabinets we will add a very nice crown molding.

We are in the process of picking out our new quartz counters. In my old kitchen I had quartz counters and I love them. However, I want a little more movement in the new ones. I think I have found my countertop but not 100% sure.

Regina had me bring home my door sample and a large sample of the counter to look at it in the kitchen to make it easier for me to decide.

We are putting in a Farmhouse sink from Nantucket sinks and it has a really nice drain that we also chose from their website that never lets your hands touch the mess in the drain. Really cool and that is not all!

The sink has two front sides so you can choose what design you want. The smooth front of the Hyannis or the decorative side of the Chatham. I still have to pick the faucet. Oh, all the decisions!

We love the built-in butcher block we have in our old kitchen and so we went with one in this design also. It will be built into the side of the island to the right of the prep sink. We placed the pull out waste and recycling underneath so you can peel and chop and then just shove scraps right into the trash. To the side of the cutting board we put a large knife storage drawer and next to that, we put our utensil storage.

Another big change we are making is using one of the large island drawers to hold our dishes with a peg drawer insert. This will make it easier to set the table and for the kids to get dishes themselves without having to climb up to reach them in upper cabinets. We added about 9 inches to the length of our island and this allowed us to put a 12 inch cabinet on the end with doors to store serving pieces, dishes and glasses.

Over the cooktop we have an English Country Elliptical Range Hood that matches the cabinets. I am not certain we are going with this style but I am leaning toward it.

The microwave will be hung over the counter next to the double ovens.

All of the cabinet doors and drawers are soft close and the doors are the full overlay style. We picked out our hardware too and I really like the way it looks and feels. The drawer pulls are nice and large and can accommodate hands of all sizes.

We have a large storage pantry in the same spot we did before but instead of having those wooden racks that pull and slide out to hold cans, we have added slide out shelf pull outs that our designer tells me I will find much more useful.

We are using commercial style appliances and I will update you on those in another post. For the flooring we are going to do a wood look porcelain tile. It is someone like the one I have but darker which I think will make the cabinets pop!

I think this is a long enough update for now. We have some exciting things to share regarding lighting with you soon. Let me know what you think of what we have picked out so far.

 


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Filed under Cooking, Curb Appeal, DIY, Home, Home & Garden, Kitchen

Do You Really Need a Pot Filler in Your Kitchen?

If you are designing a new kitchen, you probably know all about pot fillers. You might be wondering how we lived all these years filling our pots at the kitchen sink and carrying them over to the stove. Maybe you are thinking, it makes no sense because you still have to carry that pot of boiling hot water over to the sink to drain or empty at some point. There is also a point to be made that it is  another source of a potential leak, problem and of course expense in what already is a very expensive project. So, let’s take a look at the reasons why they are becoming so popular.

Less Strain on Your Body

Water has a weight of about 8 pounds per gallon. If you are filling up a large stock pot with water at the sink it can put a strain on your back as you carry it. However I don’t sit my pot in my sink and fill it, I usually set it up at counter height and fill it with my extended spray arm. If you are setting a large pot down in a deep sink and then hoisting it up and out, that could strain your back, especially if you have issues. However, most people have been doing this for years and are just fine.

Saves Time

The other point that is made to the advantage of a pot filler is that it saves time. I like to save time and work more efficiently but really, I doubt I am saving that much time to really make a difference. It is true you can turn it on and fill your pot on the stove and then go back to your sink to wash veggies or prep other foods. That could save you a few minutes, as long as you remember to keep watching the pot and run over and turn the water off before it overflows. I can see the advantage that you can easily be sauteing or cooking another part of the meal while you have a pot filling up on the stove. Not sure if this really is enough of a reason to convince people they need a pot filler.

Adds Style

I think this is the biggest reason you see them in more new kitchens today. It adds a touch of style and sophistication to your kitchen. I think many would say it adds a certain status to your project. I was speaking with a woman a couple of weeks ago and she was telling me about her son and how well he was doing. She went on to describe his house and said, “You know he even has one of those pot fillers in his kitchen.”

 

The facts remain that you need to carry that pot of water back to the stove which can strain your back as can hoisting it and pouring over a colander to drain pasta or other foods. That kind of negates the first reason. Sure, it may save a few seconds to minutes but does that truly justify the additional cost and of course potential source of a problem like a leak? I think the reason people put them in is based heavily on the third reason. Pot fillers look nice and they add a wow factor to your kitchen.

Some other cons are that they collect grease from cooking and it is another thing to clean. Cleaning the pot filler is something you would not have to do if you did not have one. Cleaning the pot filler will actually take longer than the time you saved in filling the pots on the stove. For those that like clean lines, having a pot filler extending from the backsplash may be an eyesore. There are deck mounted pot fillers as well but that is another permanent fixture protruding from your counter top.

I am still deciding if I am going to put one in my new kitchen. What do you think? I would love to hear your thoughts.

 


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Do You Know What Everyone is Screaming About? #Giveaway

Can you hear the screaming?  You can’t?  Listen close, hear it now? Can you hear me screaming? I am, and I think you are too. I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! See, I knew you would hear the screams. Who doesn’t love cold, creamy, delicious ice cream? Sorry to the lactose intolerant, you might want to stop reading now. Oh wait, you can stay, what I am going to talk about works for more than ice cream. It works for sorbet, gelato, sherbet, ice milk, lemon ice and more. You can have sorbet right? No dairy in there. See, feel better?  Okay, so let’s get this ice cream truck on the road shall we?

ice cream ball

So whether you are serving ice cream or any other frozen delicacy, you need something to serve it with. Let’s talk about ice cream scoops for a minute. How about something functional and fabulous. A scoop with unparalleled style and performance. One that is attractively boxed and presented, you just might say it’s the whole package.

ice cream scoop

The Belle-V Kitchen Ice Cream Scoop is a work of art! A weighted sculpted handle that is balanced to feel perfect in your hand along with an angled head that works with the natural rolling action of your wrist. This team work between your wrist and the angled head gives you the leverage you need to cut through the hardest ice cream like a hot knife through butter. The spade shaped head lets you get right into those hard-to-reach corners of ice cream containers.

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ice cream scoop scooping

Built to last this scoop is crafted from stainless steel for strength and durability. Each Belle-V Kitchen ice cream scoop is unique because they are hand polished. Storage pouch and box are included with each scoop. To keep your scoop looking great all you need to do is hand wash with nice, warm, soapy water and dry with a soft cloth.

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We love this scoop and it has become our go-to ice cream scoop. My husband and kids don’t go a night without ice cream. They are active and fit so it is their dessert of choice in the evening. Needless to say our scoop gets its own evening workout and rises to the challenge again and again. This scoop goes the extra gallon and never lets us down. They even have a left-handed scoop too and I think we need it with 3 left-handers in our family of 7!

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Giveaway

Belle-V Kitchen is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!  One lucky blog reader will win a Right Handed Belle-V Kitchen Ice Cream Scoop. Thank you to Belle-V Kitchen for the review product and for sponsoring this fantastic giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!!!  Open to US residents.

Belle-V Kitchen Ice Cream Scoop Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

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bele v ice cream scoop

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New From: $59.99 USD In Stock


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Master Bath Renovation Update, Vanity Decisions!!! #CurbAppeal

It has been a very busy few days on the master bath renovation front.  We finally decided on a whirlpool tub and vanity!!!  The tile was supposed to start tomorrow but I had to hold him off due to our indecision with the tub and the vanity.  The other big part that was in limbo until today was what to do with the upper portion of the vanity.  Mirrors, medicine cabinets, lighting and logistics had me feeling like my head would explode.  I felt so out of it last night because I just could not find anything that would work.  I mean, I had renderings putting cabinets that matched the lower cabinets on top and it did not look good even though it did in my mind.  We thought about a large framed mirror but I did not like the look of that.  I also wanted upper storage in the way of a medicine chest.  I looked at the typical options and they looked dated and so I felt like calling it all off, lol.

Today however, while browsing through Houzz I found inspiration even though the other 999 times I didn’t.  We have now made a decision on what will be on top.  Well I should say we narrowed it down.  We also made a small change to the vanity.  The center drawer we were keeping at the same level but we decided to drop it down like the pictures below.

We are going to do three mirrors similar to the ones above and what we want to do for the medicine cabinets, since our vanity is the same layout as the ones above with a wall on either end.  We are going to build a concealed cabinet to the side with some decorative piece of artwork as a door that hides the recessed cabinet.  The top picture has a neat idea too with the corner cabinets and so that is something I am still thinking about but at least right now I feel like I have some clear plan and a vision about what I want.

Now I just have to find the mirrors and I don’t know that I am going to  just go with the rectangular kind shown .  I may find what I want and paint it and glaze it to match the vanity.  I think I am going mirror shopping tomorrow or Thursday and I want to go to Hobby Lobby and Home Goods to see what they have to use as a door for the concealed cabinet in the size we need.  The next step after that will be the lighting but I want to get the mirrors first.

The whirlpool we choose is from Hydro Systems and the story behind how we did will be a post in itself.  I never spent as much time picking one out as I did this time.  The first time, there was no Internet, it was go to the plumbing supply showroom and they just showed you a couple, you picked it out and boom you were done.  I have literally spent months going from brand to brand, comparing features, prices, shapes, sizes and Saturday we had the Eureka moment!

We decided on the Makyla from Hydro Systems and they are building the tub to order as we speak in California.  Like I said, I will post about it and share what I learned in the event it can help someone pick out the right tub for them.  One of the best things with this company is since the tubs are built to order you can change the placement of jets, add things, move things around etc.  You really have a chance to make it your own, like they say,”If you can dream it,we can build it.”  Oh and one of the great features we are getting is 2 neck masseuse pillows on either end.  These pillows send hydro massaging water in three different pulse settings to your neck for a soothing to ultra stress relieving neck massage.  I think that with the chromotherapy feature is going to be the first thing I indulge in when all this is finished.

So tell me what are your thoughts on mirrors?  Favorite places to shop for accessories?  How about off beat places where you have found something great? Please share, I love to hear your stories.


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Tile Update & Picking The Perfect Toilet For Our Bathroom Rennovation!!!

american_standard_logo_detail

Well, I heard from our tile store that they’re just waiting on our tile to clear customs as it shipped right from Italy!  So, it looks like it will be full speed ahead on our master bath very soon.  We are still finalizing the vanity.  I can’t tell you how much stress it’s creating for  me.  I have the bottom the way I want it, but cannot find what I want on top.  The company I am working with is fabulous, but the renderings never match what I have in my head and keeps sending us back to the drawing board.  I have to finalize today or tomorrow or we will have a big set back.

Toilet Pic American Standard

Good news is the toilet we decided on will be arriving tomorrow.  I went with American Standard since they are the brand I have right now for all of the toilets and sinks in our bathrooms.  We knew we had to have certain features.  We needed a 1.6 gallon per flush, elongated bowl, had to have a trap size of 2-3/8 in,  but the most important thing is the flushing power.  I wanted one of those toilets that you see them dumping everything down and it just flushes without a problem, I am talking ping-pong balls, dog food etc.

So working with the good folks at American Standard they recommended the Champion Series.  I was very impressed at what I saw.  There were fewer choices with the 1.6 gallon that we needed, but we found a one piece with everything we wanted and even had the soft close toilet seat with quick release hinges as an available option.  The only thing I could not get was the concealed trap area.  It’s not such an issue since it’s our master and our little ones usually use the other bathrooms.  The Champion 4 Right Height Elongated One-Piece 1.6 gpf Toilet we choose also comes with the EverClean Surface, Power Wash Rim that cleans the bowl with each flush and it’s a chair height which they call right height.

EverClean Surface

We chose the flush lever in the brushed nickel to match our faucets, shower panel, and sinks.  The reviews we read on the model we chose were excellent and that made us feel really good with our choice.  I had to laugh when I read a review about the right height feature, one guy said it was so comfortable he could sit there all day, lol!!! So, we’ll let you know more when we receive it and get to the installation in the next couple of weeks.  It’s getting exciting but now I must run and finalize the vanity.

 


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Keka, Design Your Own Ipad, Phone and Kindle Case Review & Giveaway!!! Exclusive 20% Off Discount Code

keka

I love photography and I’m always looking for great ways to display favorite shots.  Keka offers protection for your iPad, smart phone or Kindle with a fabulous case you design yourself.  I designed my iPad 2 case with lots of favorite family photos.  It was so neat to see when it arrived and my husband and I nearly had to arm wrestle for it because once he saw it, he wanted it!  The case is so easy to put the iPad into, it just snaps securely in and still allows full use of all the features like the camera and the cover wakes your iPad every time you open it.  Best of all no one will have a case like yours and what a beautiful gift idea for moms, dads and grandparents!

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 Special 20% Discount Code For Mommy Ramblings’ Readers:  20MOMB

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 Keka is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings.  One lucky blog winner will win their choice of case (subject to availability).  Thank you Keka for the review case and for sponsoring this awesome giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!!!  Open to US residents.

Keka Case for iPad, Phone or Kindle Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

Please enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter widget below.  Good Luck!!!

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ujena logo

I am excited to tell you about a great special at UjENA that may just warm you from the bitter Arctic blast that seems to be making its way around the country.  Even places like Las Vegas and Arizona were getting hit with temps way lower than normal.  In the Northeast we are bracing for that Arctic blast to hit this week and this past week has been pretty cold.  So if you are like me and are trying to think of warmer days ahead and summer fun, I think you will really like what I am about to share.  Think summer, think sun, think swimming and then think about designing the perfect swimsuit yourself that will fit your body and look great.  If that sounds good to you, you should head on over to UjENA.com and become your own swimsuit designer. Choose from their best-selling top, bottom and one-piece styles and then mix, match and create the fabric combination that YOU love!  Start YOUR design TODAY and receive your suit by the end of the week (UjENA will hand-cut, hand-sew and complete your design within 48 hours from your submission.

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