Top DIY Holiday Wreaths

The holidays are almost upon us and with the holidays come opportunities to create interesting and exciting decorations. These are the most intriguing and creative ideas for wreaths. Check them out and try one for yourself!

Candy Cane Holiday Wreath

Danny Yehia WreathCandy canes encapsulate Holiday Cheer. What better than to bring two of the holiday’s most prominent symbols together in one package. Take the joy that candy canes bring, and bind them together in a great big ring; or more precisely: a holiday wreath.

What you need: A foam circle, a hot glue gun, glue, mini candy canes

Option 1: Get a foam circle, get a hot glue gun, and glue on mini candy canes in a sort of collage. You can make any design you like but the shape of the canes limits you in a way. Don’t be afraid to break the canes to satisfy your creative streak!

Option 2: Get a square plane of cheese cloth the size you imagine your wreath to be. Next take your candy canes, and arrange them in a circle which looks pleasing to you. To secure the canes, poke holes in the cloth, and tie them on using a bread tie or a decorative ribbon. See the picture as a reference.

DIY Clothes Pin Wreath

Clothespin Wreath, DIY Christmas DecorationsAnother impressive way to break out of the box with new decoration ideas is to look through household objects, and see how you can fit them together. A creative person saw opportunity in a box of clothes pins of all things! An additional benefit to this clothespins design is that you can display holiday cards from friends out in the open, hanging from your wreath.

What you need: Clothes pins (50-100 pack), wire hanger, red beads, paint, red ribbon.

Paint the clothes pins green or blue! Get a wire hanger, unravel it into a circle. Alternate putting clothespins on the wire with the red or silver beads. When you are finished and have filled up all the space, add a ribbon to pull the wreath together at the top. Tie the ribbon into a bow, and hang from your place of choice.

Now hang cards from the clothes pins!

Snowman Wreath

Danny Yehia Snowman WreathWhat you need: Three sized wreaths. Our recommendation is 20 inch wreath, a 24 inch wreath, and a 30 inch wreath.

When you have them all together, tie the wreaths together with the smallest wreath on top, and the largest on the bottom. Now you have a series of wreaths in the shape of a snowman, ready to be decorated by children and adults alike.


Inside Out Design

During the summer, it is too hot to want to do much of anything outdoors, which is the perfect time to make your home look beautiful inside. You could take up project like creating a mosaic tile backsplash for your kitchen, or just move some furniture around to get a brand new feel in your home. But, now, as the summer months slip lazily into fall, you can take advantage of any outdoor space that you might have overlooked during the summer.

Outdoor arrangements like this are possible with modern materials.

Outdoor arrangements like this are possible with modern materials.

A lot of people love to grill in the summer and it is a great time to do it! The trouble is, do you really want to eat a hot meal outside when it is 100 degrees and sunny? You don’t have that same trouble when you are in the fall. Grilling in the fall gives you the best of all worlds, it is still warm enough to comfortably be outside but not so hot that you are begging to turn away from the flames. The question is, is your patio or deck or other outdoor space ready for outdoor dining, entertaining, and just general relaxing? Here are a few thing to think about as you get whatever space you have prepared for an autumnal adventure.

Interior design used to be restricted to the interior. This was because many materials simply could not stand up to unpleasant weather. So, unless you were willing to drag your patterned sofa and stained glass installation inside every evening and back out every morning, you just stuck with rod iron furniture or heavily weather-proofed wood. But now, thanks to innovations in fabrics and other materials, many items that used to be indoor only can be taken outside without a care for their wellbeing. This means that you can have the same ultra-modern looking glass coffee table outdoors that you have in your living room. So, shop around for pieces you love and then search for an outdoor friendly version.

Another tip is to spend a little extra on your outdoor furniture. Because it is exposed to the elements, outdoor furniture shows its true value much more quickly than the same quality piece would inside. Fraying, staining, rotting, and even breaking will occur faster outdoors if the piece is not of sufficient quality. Sure, it will be a little more upfront, but it will be worth it as a good piece of outdoor furniture can last for 25 years or more!

Light up the grill, put some logs in the fire pit and relax in your new-found living room outside! The fall is the perfect time for it and nothing is stopping you now from doing it in style!

Danny Yehia walks you through how to apply a mosaic tile backsplash in your kitchen.

How to Install a Mosaic Tile Backsplash

We spend a lot of time in our kitchens. It is not only where we prepare meals, it is also where we snack, have our morning coffee, and even just have a relaxing chat with a friend. So why don’t we spend some time making it look great?

Here is your kitchen before adding a tile backsplash. Dull and uninspiring...

Here is your kitchen before adding a tile backsplash. Dull and uninspiring…

The simple answer for some people is because it is too hard. They don’t know how to make a kitchen that looks outdated leap into the current century. Well, don’t be discouraged anymore! A simple update that will make any kitchen look terrific is adding a glass tile backsplash. And it is easy to do!

Step One: Find your backsplash

Most hardware stores have tons of options to choose from so take stock of the current color scheme of your kitchen and find something that you think would fit well. The multi-color options that provide a subtle pattern are especially attractive.

Step Two: Prep your wall

To really make the backsplash look seamless, you will need to remove appliances and install a temporary ledger. Make sure to use a level to keep everything straight.

Choose a focal point, usually at the center of your oven/range, and mark it with a piece of tape. This will serve as the starting point for the adhesion of your backsplash.

Next, line up the tiles on the wall in order to identify where you will need to make your cuts. Follow the age-old adage, “measure twice and cut once” to avoid unnecessary cuts. You can always press the tiles slightly together or stretch them slightly to make the tiles fit more snugly in your desired section.

Step Three: Apply the Thinset

Mix thinset in a easy to hold container and, beginning at the center point, spread the thinset across the surface you will tile. Try to use the edge of your trowel to achieve a thickness of about ¼ in. The thicker you go, the more there will be to press through the spaces in the tiles; the thinner your thinset layer, the more risk there is that the tiles will not set.

Step Four: Placing Your Tiles

Place your tile sheets into the thinset layer and lightly press them to ensure a strong bond. You can also use a flat hard-cover book or a piece of wood placed flat over the tiles and hit it lightly with a hammer in order to get the tiles to adhere completely.

Step Five: The Grand Finale

Danny Yehia walks you through how to apply a mosaic tile backsplash in your kitchen.

And here is your finished kitchen. Gorgeous! The mosaic tile backsplash truly brings it to life.

Peel the paper off the tiles by first wetting the paper and then peeling carefully from one of the corners. The tiles could be a little dirty so take a wet cloth and gently clean them. Then, apply your grout and wait for everything to set. Replace any appliances you removed and step back and admire your beautiful new kitchen!


Now Is the Time to Act on Climate Change

Give this a quick read – The Huffington Post always has some great posts on the environment.

Emilio Cogliani

Climate change has been one of my top priorities since the day I took office in 2007. I said then that if we care about our legacy for succeeding generations, this is the time for decisive global action. I have been pleased to see climate change rise on the political agenda and in the consciousness of people worldwide. But I remain alarmed that governments and businesses have still failed to act at the pace and scale needed.

Time is running out. The more we delay, the more we will pay. Climate change is accelerating and human activities are the principal cause, as documented in a series of authoritative scientific reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The effects are already widespread, costly and consequential — to agriculture, water resources, human health, and ecosystems on land and in the oceans. Climate change poses sweeping risks for economic stability and the…

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Plant-Based Pause No 35: Why Living Plant-Based is Better for the Planet

I’ve met a lot of people that do these plant-based diets. The more I get to know about it, the more I realize that it might be something we should all look into. Maybe not live entirely this way, but leaning more and more toward a plant-based diet could benefit all of us.


In November 2011, I made the decision to progress towards a plant-based diet and lifestyle. Since then, I have learnt so much about where our food comes from, and what it does to our bodies and the environment. Along the way, I have encountered many obstacles and challenges. I have also been asked lots of questions, most of them valid and a few off them more than a little odd. One of the aims of my blog is to chronicle my experiences as a plant-based traveller. So, hopefully these Plant-Based Pauses will provide a little more explanation and maybe answer some questions that my readers may still have.

‘Pollution is a symbol of design failure.’ – William McDonough


So far in these plant-based pauses I’ve talked a lot about how eating plant-based is better for your personal health, but did you also know that ditching the animal products is also much…

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Are Smaller Families Mother Nature’s Best Friend?

Interesting take.

KidFreeToday (beta)

The studies and statistics about global warming, pollution, overpopulation, hunger and depleting natural resources are everywhere. Polar bears are starving, bees are dying, and that big Pacific Ocean garbage patch is growing. These sad things are all the result of… us. Some scientists even think that the grandchildren of the current generation are facing an “unprecedented environmental crisis.” Yikes.

Not cool, people. Put your trash in the trash can. Not cool, people. Put your trash in the trash can.

Certainly some folks are far bigger environmental offenders than others, but more and more people are thinking hard about their carbon footprint and trying to control the overall impact that their day-to-day life and even their goals have or will have on our fragile planet. And we’re coming to realize that more people = more strain on the environment.

Environment aside, (and never mind expenses of parenting) many current and future parents are making conscious decisions to have only…

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The Heart of Wilderness

Happy anniversary! Protecting over 9 million acres of land – we need more of these acts in our life.

Emilio Cogliani

September 3, 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of America’s passage of the Wilderness Act.

It’s fair to say that we each have our own relationship with wilderness. For me, wilderness has touched me in very special ways: I once scattered ashes of a dear friend in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a place of peace, solace, and wonder for her, a place she wanted to belong to for eternity. I especially remember the time I pitched a tent in Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, dozed to the sound of a myriad of frogs, and awoke to a chorus of wood storks and warblers. While there I canoed through tea-colored waters, cypress forests, and wetlands – a home to bears, herons, alligators, and egrets. It was the most peaceful I have ever felt.

Wilderness is special, for us and for wildlife. It provides some of the last great places for…

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