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Blinds and Shades to Complement Your Interior Decor

Posted by The Frugal Diva on 10th November 2015

Are you looking to choose the right shades for your home but don’t know how? If so, this is just the article for you.  During any home renovation, especially when designing the interior, one of the biggest problems is choosing the right covers for your windows.

Curtains are typically the classic first choice, which are best for apartments or houses, and are great for conservative space decoration.  However, classic curtains simply do not fit into modern homes or business premises. Venetian blinds, vertical blinds, and roller shades are excellent choices for modern indoor spaces.

Venetian Blinds

Venetian blinds are a symbol of modern and new. They are a very elegant solution for modern residential or commercial spaces. Unlike classic curtains or roller shades, they are either made from a special kind of plastic, aluminum, or fine wood. Therefore, their life span is much longer. In addition, maintaining this type of blinds is very easy because all you need to keep them clean is a damp cloth for dusting.

Besides being easier to maintain compared to conventional curtains, they are gradually becoming a “must have” in modern indoor spaces. Modern designed apartments are often difficult to imagine without the Venetian blinds in places where curtains were previously. Venetian blinds are also practical because of the possibility to adjust how much external light you want into your home.

They also come in different colors and sizes, so you do not have to worry about fitting them in with your interior decor.

Vertical Blinds

Vertical blinds are an elegant solution for every home or office space. They come in several different colors to easily fit into any existing décor or atmosphere.  These blinds consist of a series of vertical strips of equal length which may, if necessary, gather or disseminate in order to let more or less light inside. Vertical blinds are increasingly popular because of their elegance that enhances the appearance of modern apartments and offices.

Fabric Shades

Shades are similar to external shutters, but they are installed inside the room and they are not made of wood or aluminum as classic shutters, but of hard fabrics. Fabric shades are a practical choice for rooms where you need to, almost completely, prevent the entry of all external light.

Right Color

The first thing you have to do is determine exactly what you want to highlight in the room.  After doing this, select the corresponding color for your window covers. The color of the blinds is very important and it must be in accordance with the color of the furniture in the room that it is intended for; whether it is a bedroom, living room, or nursery. The best way to choose the right cover for your windows is to check for wholesale blinds online before buying, there you can see what is offered, which should help you more with your choice.


The length of the blinds is just as important as the color. Slightly longer blinds will visually lengthen your windows and make the room look higher (and those that reach to the floor will make the room look more elegant and classical). Short blinds or shades make the room look more modern and informal.

Be sure that quality and modern blinds will make your space look much nicer, which will have a positive effect on your mood and the quality of your life.

About the author

Marie Nieves is a student and a blogger who loves unusual trips, gadgets and creative ideas. Marie loves to share her experiences and talk about practical solutions. She is an avid lover of photography interested in interior and exterior design and regular author on Smooth Decorator. You can find Marie on Facebook or follow her on Twitter and G+.

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Some Outstanding DIY Backyard Ideas

Posted by The Frugal Diva on 3rd November 2015

Some Outstanding DIY Backyard Ideas

Owning a house usually means that you have a spacious backyard as well and you should do what you can to maximize the potential of this space. In order to have a more functional backyard, make some cheap and handy decorations that look nice and serve a specific purpose.

Outdoor Bench

This project combines creativity, purposefulness and low price. Making a DIY outdoor bench will literally take you no more than an hour, yet its effects will be felt for years to come. All you need are some pieces of wood, a couple of long nails, a proper hammer and, if you are in an extra crafty mood, a bucket of paint. This bench will provide a comfortable place to rest and you can also store some gardening tools underneath it. The options are limitless and it is all up to your creativity.

A Rope Swing

There is nothing better for your children than to spend time in the open – and the best thing you can have in your backyard is a rope swing. This cost-effective piece is not just a source of joy and entertainment, but also a great way for your kids to channel energy. So, instead of allowing them spend endless hours in front of the TV or, on the other hand, letting them run around an unsecure playground, create a safe area equipped with a rope swing. This project will not take too much of your time or money, and it can be done rather easily.

Garden Pathways

If you have a garage or a garden in your backyard, you need a proper way of accessing it. So, unless you want to step right onto the grass and dirt, you should build a DIY pathway. There are various options to try and you can use gravel, stones, wood, mulch or even pallets as a basis. Most people choose concrete, but seem to forget that taking care of the pathway is just as important as planning and constructing it properly. That is why you should protect it against the rain and changes in temperature by applying a coat of concrete sealer. This way, your pathway will last longer and be the best possible addition to your backyard.

Seating Areas

Your backyard can also be a great place for a morning coffee, a family lunch or an afternoon tea. Proper garden furniture – a bench, a couple of chairs and a coffee table will suffice – will ensure you have picnics in your backyard every single day. You can even take some old pieces of furniture, clean them properly with DIY cleaning supplies and they will work just fine. Decorate this area with hanging jar lanterns, protect it against the rain and you are good to go!

The Benefits

These DIY projects will turn your backyard into a more enjoyable area and give you a chance to make the most of your property. They will inspire you to spend more time outside, which is good for your health, and also make your backyard nicer and cozier.

About the author

Marie Nieves is a student and a blogger who loves unusual trips, gadgets and creative ideas. Marie loves to share her experiences and talk about practical solutions. She is an avid lover of photography interested in interior and exterior design and regular author on Smooth Decorator. You can find Marie on Facebook or follow her on Twitter and G+.

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The Best and Worst Things to Buy in November

Posted by The Frugal Diva on 28th October 2015

This guest post is from dealnews.com

TVs, laptops, and apparel are just a few of this month’s can’t-miss promotions. But watch out, because not everything is a deal.

November is the ultimate shopping month for deal hunters. Not only will you find above-average sales every week, but this month you also get to shop Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday.

These days represent the ultimate trifecta for bargain hunters, with price lows that you simply don’t see throughout the rest of the year. However, not every sale you come across in November will offer true price lows. Thus, we’re here to tell you what you should buy this month, what will be cheaper next month, and what you should avoid at all costs.

Need more shopping tips? Make sure you check out our Black Friday predictions and timely features, and consider subscribing to our DealNews Select Newsletter so the best deals of the day are delivered to your inbox.

Prepare for an Explosion of Kitchen Deals

Whether you’re a casual cook or an every day chef, November is the absolute best time to buy kitchen goods and appliances. Even high-end devices like KitchenAid mixers and Pyrex container sets will see extraordinary deals. Last year, a whopping 44% of kitchen deals earned our coveted Editors’ Choice seal, meaning that they were at their lowest price point ever. By comparison, only 18% of kitchen deals generally get that distinction throughout most of the year. Look for deals from stores like AmazonSears, and Walmart.

Now is the Time to Make That Major Appliance Purchase

From Dyson vacuums to washer and dryer units, November is the month you want to make your major appliance purchase. Black Friday week in particular will offer an abundance of deals on laundry units, vacuums, dishwashers, and refrigerators. The best deals will come from Sears, Best BuyHome Depot, and Lowe’s. Also keep an eye out for significant discounts on drills and handtools, from stores like Home DepotSearsHarbor Freight Tools, and Ace Hardware. Some hand tool deals may require in-store pickup, otherwise you can expect the usual free shipping discounts to apply.

Opt for the iPad mini 4, not the iPad Pro

Although we don’t have an exact launch date, Apple gave the impression that its new iPad Pro will be out in time for Black Friday. However, because it’s such a new device and essentially a new category for Apple, your chances of scoring a deal on the iPad Pro are slim-to-none. Even if a retailer decides to discount the tablet, don’t expect anything substantial. Instead, look for deals on the recently-released iPad mini 4 (which is essentially an iPad Air 2 in a mini’s chassis) or if you require a bigger screen, the iPad Air 2. Last November brought a deluge of iPad deals with both the iPad mini and iPad Air 2 receiving $100 off.

Android and Windows Tablets Will Hit Rock Bottom

If you don’t want to invest a lot of money on a tablet, November is an ideal time to buy a budget tablet. Off-brand Android tablets will drop to as low as $20, whereas Windows tablets (excluding the Surface) will hit around $45.

SEE ALSO: Black Friday Tablets 2015: Android Doorbusters & Lots of Deals on the iPad mini 4

If you want to spend even less, you could opt for refurbished units, which we expect to sell for $15 and $30, respectively. However, for a better tablet experience, it will be hard to top Amazon’s latest $50 Fire tablet. Moreover, you can expect to see deals on previous-generation Fire tablets in the $45 price range.

End of Year Apparel Sales Bring Stackable Coupons

November apparel sales are easy to predict because retailers tend to offer similar deals to the ones they had the previous year. That means you can expect the average apparel deal to shave 54% off, whereas the best sales will take up to 80% off. Coupons, of which there will be many, will take as much as 60% off. However, stackable coupons will be a little more moderate, taking between 20% to 30% off. One thing to keep in mind is that online retailers will start their Black Friday clothing deals early in the week, so don’t wait until Black Friday to do your clothes shopping. Instead, start on the Monday of that week.

Look for Console Deals You’ll Actually Want

Sony gave the PlayStation 4 its first ever price cut in early October shaving its price down to $349, which is on par with Microsoft’s Xbox One pricing. Here at DealNews, we had already seen deals lower than that (for both consoles) and now that Black Friday has arrived, we expect to see the best bundles of the year. Look for bundles that offer not just one, but two free games. And make sure you do the math. If each game in the bundle comes out to under $60, then you’re getting a good deal.

SEE ALSO: 10 Things NOT to Buy on Black Friday

Some shoppers may be tempted to purchase refurbished consoles in order to save some money, but depending on your budget, they may not offer the best value. We predict refurbished/used Xbox One and PS4 consoles will sell for around $250. However, new bundles (with up to two free games) will sell for about $300, which makes the latter the better value in the long run since many of the refurb units don’t include any games.

Make Your Roku Purchase in December

November is an excellent month for most consumer electronics, with the exception of some streaming set-top boxes. The Roku set-top box, for instance, may see slightly better deals in December than in November, especially the newer Roku 4 model. While you may see modest deals in November, which take $10 to $15 off, December could see better deals as the Roku unit could come with a gift card.

Wait for December to Travel

According to Hopper, a site dedicated to tracking airfare prices, domestic flights will be up to 5% cheaper this fall and winter than they were last year. However, whereas Hopper predicts November prices will be in the $252 range, they predict December rates will be slightly cheaper, averaging just $244. So if you can, buy your travel tickets in December and not November.

TV Buying Season is Finally Here

Month after month we’ve warned shoppers to stay away from TV deals. Well, now is the time to upgrade to a new HDTV. For the most value, we suggest looking at deals on 60″ sets. We predict these sets will drop as low as $549. 32″ TVs will also see massive price cuts dropping to just $70. And if you think Black Friday is all about cheap TVs, think again. We predict name-brand 55″ 4K sets will drop to $650. Already we’ve seen a new price low on a 60″ Vizio 4K HDTV, which Dell Home’s confirmed Black Friday circular is advertising at $800, an incredible price low for any name-brand 4K TV of this size.

Mainstream Laptops Will Dominate Doorbuster Sales

In addition to TVs, Black Friday is also traditionally the best time of the year to make a laptop purchase, and this year we predict that 15″ mainstream laptops will provide the best value. These machines will provide significantly better hardware than their bargain bin counterparts at just twice the price of about $300. Look for machines that use either Intel’s current generation Core i5 processor (Skylake) or ones that use the still-respectable Broadwell Core i5 CPU.

Bargain bin laptops will also see incredible lows, but deals will remain close to last year’s prices in the $149 range. Extreme budget laptops, however, may once again drop as low as $99, but keep in mind these machines will offer inferior hardware usually consisting of an 11″ screen, Celeron or Atom processor, and just 2GB of RAM. They’re fine for simple tasks like Web browsing and social media, but can struggle with more powerful tasks like streaming HD video or multitasking.

For Apple fans, Black Friday is also an excellent time to buy a new MacBook Air. (Just be sure to steer clear of any deals from the Apple Store, which are always undercut by authorized Apple resellers.) Last year, stores slashed the price of the entry-level 11″ MacBook Air to $780 (or $220 off), but this year we predict MacBook Air prices will drop lower to $730. Also expect to see up to $300 off the current-gen MacBook Pro Retina. Apple’s luxury 12″ MacBook, however, is unlikely to see any significant price cuts. To date, we’ve seen retailers on eBay take $100 off the machine, dropping its price to $1,199.

Excited for Black Friday deals? Consider subscribing to the DealNews Select Newsletter to get a daily recap of all our deals; you never know when a Black Friday price will be released! You can alsodownload the DealNews app, check out the latest Black Friday ads, or read more buying advice.

Senior Features Writer

With over a decade of experience covering technology, Louis Ramirez has written for CNET, Laptop, Gizmodo, and various other publications. Follow him on Twitter at @louisramirez.

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Last-Minute Halloween Deals: Disney Store, Amazon, Spirit Halloween

Posted by The Frugal Diva on 28th October 2015

This guest post from dealnews.com

This, Halloween procrastinators, is your very last chance to buy something scary before the holiday hits. Although the shipping deadlines have passed for many sites, here’s where you can still find spook-tacular treats like costumes, decor, and candy. Read on to see the best Halloween dealsfrom Spirit Halloween, Amazon, and Disney Store, among others.

The Best Halloween Sales

  • New! Spirit Halloween: 20% off one item via coupon code “20FORU2015″
    Details: This coupon trims 20% off just about any one thing, including decor and costumes, at Spirit. Shipping starts at $5.99, although larger items will incur oversize shipping fees. Coupon ends November 1.
  • New! Disney Store: 50% off kids’ costumes; free shipping via coupon code “FREESHIP”
    Details: Whether you’re shopping for princess dresses or superhero swag, this Disney Store sale is sure to have the kids’ costumes you need — and at half price, no less! Better yet, the coupon above bags free shipping on your whole order. Hurry, this deal ends October 28.
  • New! Amazon: Extra 30% off costumes via coupon code “HAL30WEEN”
    Details: Take advantage of your Prime 2-day shipping to score a last-minute Halloween costume at 30% off with this Amazon coupon. (Non-members can qualify for free standard shipping with orders of $35 or more.) Coupon expires October 28.
  • New! Walmart: Up to 65% off costumes
    Details: Walmart has cut up to 65% off a wide selection of Halloween costumes and accessories, with prices starting from around $3. In-store pickup is available for most items, so opt for that to avoid the shipping charges. (Shipping adds $4.97, but orders of $50 or more bag free shipping.) Note that sizes may be limited.
  • Amazon: Up to 75% off horror movies on Blu-ray
    Details: Thrills and chills abound in this second Amazon sale, where Prime members can score horrifying blu-rays at up to 75% off with free shipping. (Non-members can spend $35 or more to qualify for free shipping; otherwise, shipping starts at $4.98.) Choose from titles such as Christine, Halloween, The Cabin in The Woods, The Ring, and Insidious, all priced as low as $5.
  • Bass Pro Shops: Free Halloween events
    Details: Participating Bass Pro Shops are hosting a series of Halloween events in-store forfree through the end of the month. You can also score a $5 photograph package featuring the Peanuts Gang via this printable coupon. Offers end October 31.
  • Frederick’s of Hollywood: 20% off costume orders over $50 via coupon code “SHOPATHOME20″
    Details: Shopping for something spicy this Halloween? You’ll save an extra 20% on costume orders over $50 via the coupon above. Plus, all qualifying orders bag free shipping. Coupon expires October 31.
  • Toys”R”Us: Up to 40% off costumes
    Details: Discounted prices are marked in this Toys”R”Us sale, with accessories starting at around $2 and kids’ costumes starting at $10. Plus, orders of $19 or more qualify for free shipping; otherwise, shipping costs $5.99.
  • Pottery Barn Kids: Up to 60% off Halloween items
    Details: The prices on a wide variety of kids’ costumes, treat bags, and more have been slashed by up to 60% in this sale. Better yet, all Halloween items bag free shipping with code “FREESHIP”.
Features Writer

Marcy pens consumer news stories of all sorts, in addition to adding pithy prose to many of the roundups you see every day. Her work for DealNews has appeared on sites like Lifehacker, the Huffington Post, and MSN Money. She is by far the most metal member of the DealNews staff, and you can see why by following her on Twitter @ThatBonebright.

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Student Savings

Posted by The Frugal Diva on 29th September 2015

Tuition is expensive enough. Make sure you are getting the following discounts.

Gift Card Granny has 95 student discounts savings.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are more than 19-million students enrolled in higher education institutions across the country. Whether you’re gearing up for your first day on campus or are counting the days until graduation, make sure to take advantage of your status as a student while it lasts.

Besides the prize of a degree or just learning something, students get to partake in many savings around town and around the Internet. Here are some other ways to save as you pay your way through school.

JourneyEd.com has all the best software and fantastic prices for those enrolled at a degree giving institution.  They will need verification of your student status and then you are free to roam this site for Microsoft, Adobe, and some good deals on hardware.

Before you start the school week in Los Angeles, take a break with the Laemmle Sunday Night Student deal.  For all shows that start after 6pm on Sundays, Students with ID are $7 and  popcorn is $1 for the small size.

Amtrak will help you get home for the holidays with a student discount.

Yapta.com will make sure that plane ticket is the cheapest even after purchase. Track prices for free.

Get the the Student Advantage Card, the nation’s largest student discount program, giving students access to thousands of discount locations across the country, near your campus and online. Get a full year of savings for only $20.

Stores and restaurants near your campus have plentiful discounts and coupons for students.  Remind them you are a struggling student who needs every break they can get.

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Shopping Tips For The Fall

Posted by The Frugal Diva on 29th July 2015

The Frugal Diva wants to share a great guide for fall shopping tips.  Who knew that wine was a good buy in early fall. I like this guide because it not only tells you what is a good buy, it tells you why. Let me know if your experience bears this out.

FreeShipping.org’s “Best Time to Buy Guide”

Some August highlights from the complete list:

Best time to buy computers, MP3 players, lawn movers, and seasonal produce including great prices on cucumbers, corn, eggplant, tomatoes, summer squash, green beans, strawberries, cantaloupe, lettuce, watermelon, peaches, apricots, plums and raspberries.

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Spring Yard Sales

Posted by The Frugal Diva on 18th May 2015

Those novels you read on vacation, the shirt you haven’t worn for five years, the toys your college bound student won’t need, and the sheets for a single bed that you don’t own anymore. Sound familiar. We all put things away for a rainy day or because they remind us of a favorite event.

This is a great time of year to reorganize, declutter, donate, and stash stuff  in boxes for a future yard sale.

In fairness to yourself before selling or donating anything that you feel might be worth something check the ebay price of the same or similar item.

If you feel something is very valuable check with a professional auction house. Bonhams Auction House . Is it treasure or trash?  They are a neutral party who can provide an auction value estimate.

If you decide to go forward with a yard sale here are some good rules to follow:

Put a price on all items! You can have individual prices or grab bags where everything in the bag goes for a set price. Put stickers on everything and you can also segregate areas for different prices. All fifty cent items on one table. Remember nobody comes to yard sale to spend big bucks. Everything you sell is one thing you don’t have to carry back into the house.

Don’t let early arrivers throw you off. Post a sign that says when you start and don’t let anyone into your home. You want good coverage so if you don’t have enough family members, invite friends to help out or sell stuff along with you. If you can get your neighbors to join in – all the better.  Everyone has a unique inventory so the more the merrier.

Get change the day before and post that you will only give change up to $10 or $20.  Most yard sale shoppers know the drill and will come with appropriate coinage.  Since many items will be $.10 or $.25, get a few packs of quarters, dimes, and nickels plus twenty to  fifty in singles. Keep your cash on you or with a helper who is designated the cashier.

Feel free to sell sodas or lemonade for a modest price. This is a great learning experience for small children. Let them set up a stand and feel they are part of the experience.

Now to let people know about your sale.  Many local papers have free listings, put it up on bulletin boards at your grocery store, school, church, and gym, and post signs at all major intersections in your neighborhood. Many people still drive around looking for yard sales and neon colored paper will attract attention.

The most important thing about a yard sale, have fun, watch your stuff enhance another person’s life, and make a few dollars in the process.

Whatever is left over can be boxed up and delivered to Goodwill.

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Mother’s Day is Almost Here

Posted by The Frugal Diva on 8th May 2015

There are so many mothers these days. Between moms, grand-moms, step-moms, step-grandmoms, moms-in-law, step moms-in-law, surrogate moms, egg donors moms, birth moms, and Heather has two moms, make this day special with choices tailored to your mom or moms.

If my own mom were here she would be so happy to see me featured  in GoBankingRates.com advice to mothers on saving money bit.ly/1Ihv9ad.  She would also be laughing at how it was her advice that eventually seeped in and made me into The Frugal Diva. As a Nature Loving Mom, a day at Descanso Gardens would have been her idea of perfection.

Here are some ideas for other types of moms on Mother’s Day

Art Lover Mom reads the Calendar section first, collects catalogs, and thought your first grade drawings were influenced by Kandinsky. Take her to the local art museum and have a bite at the cafe.

American History Buff Mom knows the name of every U.S. President, fact checked your homework, and easily quotes what happened on this day fifty years ago.   Head out to the a historical site in your city and have a picnic nearby.

Environmental Mom recycles everything, knows global warming is not a hot flash, and uses both sides of the printer paper.  Spend the day helping out at a beach clean up or food bank.

Design Mom knows what is the new black this year,  how to use Photoshop to make your holiday pictures more interesting, and only sees French films.  Take an architectural tour of your city.

Sports Mom was always at little league and knows all the baseball stats. Take her out to the ball game for some peanuts and cracker jacks.

Spiritual Mom stays flexible, eats vegetarian, and believes that meditation will solve all your problems.  Take her to a yoga class and then to the newest vegan spot.  Sit outside afterwards and chant OM (almost spells MOM).

Let me know if you have interesting ways to celebrate Mother’s Day.

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What To Buy In May

Posted by The Frugal Diva on 29th April 2015

From Mother’s Day to Memorial Day, May is a busy month for retailers and shoppers alike. In addition to being the unofficial start of the summer, it also marks the start of spending more time outdoors, and that can lead to additional spending. But, before you purchase a new grill or try on summer apparel, you’ll want to read DealNews’ latest monthly buying guide, which reveals the best (and worst) products you can buy this month.

From mattresses to mobile devices, here are the Best and Worst Things to Buy in May: http://dealnews.com/features/what-to-buy-in-may/

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Military Discounts

Posted by The Frugal Diva on 29th April 2015

CouponLawn.com is a deal based site that offers coupons and money saving resources. They have just released the largest publicly accessible list of companies that offer discounts exclusively to active military members, veterans and their families. Unlike other hard to navigate smaller lists available online, users can sort their list according to the company name, discount amount and category with an added search function that lets users find exactly what they are looking for. This master guide can be found on their site at http://couponlawn.com/special/400-discounts-for-military-veterans/.

Here’s another awesome resource from Gift Card Granny. She has compiled an exhaustive list of 133 military discounts – just in time for summer fun.  It’s a little way of saying thanks to those who serve. Included are ways to save for veterans, all active branches and, in some instances, the families who stand behind them. Participation may vary at different locations, so check first!

“133 Military Discounts”

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