8 Great Ways To Wear Cute Sneakers

Fashion’s recent liberation of casual clothes from part time use to full time fabulous has opened up wardrobe possibilities never before thought possible! For example, who would have thought that the sweatshirt would one day be the perfect match for a sequin skirt? Well, the same holds true for sneakers. Gone are the days of wishing you could wear them somewhere other than the gym. They are now a fashion staple and we think the trend is here to stay. It’s simply a matter of styling them so they look like an intentional part of your outfit. (Not like you got dressed in the dark!) To help you enjoy, even indulge, in this wonderful new option we’re sharing eight great outfits. To be sure our outfits make sense, we’ll start with a quick description of each kind of sneaker!

  • Sport sneakers – typically worn to work out or play sports
  • Low rise lace up sneakers – timeless sneakers, such as those made by Converse
  • Fashion sneakers – look similar to sport sneakers but featuring fashion colors and embellishments

Now that you’ve got the picture, here are the looks!

  1. Black sport sneakers, cropped black high waisted casual cotton ankle pants, any color basic t-shirt tied at the waist, funky necklace.
  2. White lace up sneakers, light blue embellished skinny jeans, basic white v-neck t-shirt, casual hip length blazer.
  3. Blue fashion sneakers, leather leggings, long basic grey crewneck t-shirt, thigh length denim shirt with sleeves pushed back to the elbows, statement earrings, watch, classic black leather bag.
  4. Green lace up sneakers, indigo blue casual cotton ankle length pants with pockets, classic grey sweatshirt, motorcycle jacket.
  5. Black sport sneakers, leather mini skirt, basic grey sweatshirt.
  6. Grey lace up sneakers, neutral sequin skirt, oversized white crewneck t-shirt, hip length classic denim jacket, black leather bag.
  7. Cream lace up sneakers, blue and white pinstriped button up shirt tucked in only at the front, white leather belt, distressed straight cut blue jeans rolled at the ankles, classic silver watch.
  8. White embellished lace up sneakers, basic white cotton shift dress, ¾ length grey cardigan with asymmetrical hem, silk scarf draped around neck, black leather bag.
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Vinegar – Your Smelly Best Friend For Cleaning the House!

It might be hard to believe that something as stinky as vinegar could help transform your house into a fresher more comfortable home, but it’s true. This inexpensive, multipurpose liquid works wonders with little to no effort on your part. Try these awesome ideas!

  • Restore some sparkle by using it to clean tarnished jewelry and polish the good silver. Grandma would be so proud!
  • Hand it to your husband and ask him to clean the windows. It works wonders. If he’s hesitant tell him it’s an old military trick. He’ll feel tough and smart.
  • Insist that when the kids help with the laundry they add vinegar to a load of towels. Kids are famous for starting the wash and never moving anything to the dryer. Hello mildew! Vinegar helps remove the mildew smell. Of course, if you’re not a fan of washing everything twice, it might be best to assign the “less focused” people in the house a different chore.
  • Speaking of kids, why oh why do they refuse to cover anything they put in the microwave? After a few uses by young ones in the house the microwave usually resembles some sort of food Armageddon! Make the resulting clean up job much easier by boiling ½ cup of water and ½ cup of vinegar in a microwave safe bowl. It helps loosen dry, stuck-on food particles.
  • Fresh fruit and veggies are delightful but what is with those pesky fruit flies that are so aggravating? Get rid of the nuisance by setting out a small dish of vinegar.
  • Do you have a husband who is obsessed with the grill, and then brings his grilling passion indoors when it’s cold outside? Thereby annihilating your clean oven with his creations? If so, there’s likely a great deal of grease to contend with. Using white vinegar on the cooking surfaces, such as the wire racks, works like a charm to degrease them.
  • Spruce up your shower experience by using vinegar to unclog the shower head. Use a gallon size Ziploc bag and fill it with 1 cup of vinegar and ½ cup baking soda. Use a strong rubber band to secure it tightly around the shower head, and let it soak for one hour. The grime will be gone, the shower head will spray evenly, and you’ll be singing in there in no time!
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Enclosed Showers

Glass enclosed showers have gained popularity and are increasingly popular in new construction homes. There are some things to consider, however.  Read below to see if this is the type of shower for you.

Showers that are enclosed by glass can dramatically open up a bathroom space. Large bathrooms look even more spacious and small rooms look larger when the shower is translucent or transparent. These showers often have a “spa-like” affect when the interior walls and floors are covered in tile. Shower tile for this enclosed space is nearly endless.

Enclosed showers are also very customizable.  Showers frequently include a niche in the wall or a built-in bench. Fixtures are another way to customize your shower. Fancy a rainfall showerhead? How about body spray jets installed on the walls? (On a side note, body jets often recycle the shower water for a continuous spray).  These are all possibilities!

The biggest drawback to having an enclosed shower is the need to clean the glass after each use. Water drops leave marks and make the glass look dirty. The glass can be cleaned with glass cleaner or a tool designed for this particular job. Selecting frosted glass can help lessen the appearance of water droplets.

Enclosed showers can offer privacy in several ways. The first is to select glass that includes various types of etching or frosting. Either style will keep the glass from being fully transparent and will provide privacy.

Guest baths are not a good place for transparent glass enclosure, simply because these baths may be shared by more than one person. Guest are most likely going to prefer a shower with a curtain. Save this amazing shower for the master bathrooms.

No matter what you choose, your space is sure to benefit from forethought and consideration.  If you have any questions about the best tile for your shower or bathroom, feel free to ask us at Levi’s 4 Floors!

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How To Use Hydrogen Peroxide To Sanitize

Amazingly, after all these years and the development of countless store-bought products, hydrogen peroxide still reigns supreme when it comes to cleaning. It’s unbelievably effective! Perhaps more importantly it gets huge points for being natural and environmentally friendly. It’s non-toxic as well and ridiculously cheap to buy. Win, win, win!

Here are three great ways to use it to sanitize around the house: 

Boost the power of your dishwasher

How many times have you been ready to put away the dishes, only to find that they aren’t quite clean enough? Sigh! Start the cycle over and wait again. Or, find success the first time by including some H2O2! Simply add 2 oz of hydrogen peroxide to your usual dishwasher detergent. It will significantly increase the sanitization process. Not to mention saving you a few buck by not having buy as much product, nor run the dish cycle twice because the first attempt wasn’t effective enough. (Make sure to check that this doesn’t void your dishwasher’s warranty)

Sponges

If sponges have been overused and are questionable in terms of contamination, or are ragged, it is best to throw them away. But if you have a perfectly good sponge that can continue to be used if only you were certain it was germ free, don’t get rid of it. Instead, soak it in a shallow dish in a 50/50 mixture of warm water and H2O2. Then, be sure to rinse sponge quite thoroughly because it will obviously absorb a lot of the mixture. Air-dry, and your sponge is ready for duty!

Clean up kids’ toys and lunch boxes

As it turns out one of the hallmarks of hydrogen peroxide is that it is not a lung irritant. Nor is it toxic. So, it’s harmless when used to clean up all of the surfaces that kids touch. They tend to be the culprits when germs spread around the house. Combat the germs and bacteria by topping a bottle of H2O2 with a spray nozzle and spray away! Let dry before returning toys to their owner.

Interesting trivia: Did you know that a mother’s first milk is full of H2O2 that is passed along to her baby when breastfeeding to help boost the immune system? Yep, it is!

What’s your favorite trick around the house using hydrogen peroxide?

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How To Use Your Wedding Bouquet To Design a Room In Your House

Have you yet considered what you will do with your wedding bouquet after you’ve tied the knot? Sure the flowers will eventually wilt, and you can try to preserve them. But wouldn’t it be marvelous to use it as inspiration for a room in your house? Whether you keep the actual bouquet or not, give it a permanent place in your home and heart by making it the central reference point for your next home design project.

 

If you’re newlyweds who are moving into a home together for the first time we recommend considering this for your family room. When friends and family come to visit they’ll be surrounded by an aesthetic inspired by the colors that were part of the beginning of your new life together. Or, use it as the color scheme for your bedroom. Each morning when you wake up you’ll always be reminded of how lucky you are to be married to someone you love.

How does one turn a photo of a wedding bouquet into interior design inspiration? Just follow our simple reference points below. We’ll focus mainly on color, mood, and ideas for furnishings. But don’t hesitate to take our suggestions and turn them into ideas of your own.

The color pallet: Raspberry, Brown, Dark Lavender, Icy Iris, Deep Violet

What makes the colors work well together?

  • They are essentially a monochromatic color scheme. This means they are all derivatives of the same color: purple.
  • The brown brick and rustic white paint are excellent neutrals for showcasing the colors, without competing for attention. They also ground the various forms of purple so it doesn’t feel like color overkill.

What types of furniture would work well?

  • Rocking chair with a plush cushion
  • White washed antique wood
  • Mirrored tables
  • Velveteen love seat

What architectural features would work well?

 

  • Cast iron fireplace
  • Exposed ceiling beams made of repurposed wood
  • Knotty pine floors
  • Brick walls

What accessories are well suited to the space?

  • Cotton textiles
  • Elegant plant life
  • Ribbons
  • Lace
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Ceramic Tile for a Backsplash

Ceramic tile is one of the most popular materials for designing backsplashes, valued for its durability, easy of installation and versatility. You can find almost any style of ceramic tile to fit your design needs and it is a great way to add texture and personality to your bathroom or kitchen.

 

Backslashes serve as a great way to spice up the design of your kitchen in a room where there aren’t usually many decorating options. It also protects your walls from showing food splashes that may occur when cooking or doing the dishes. As an added bonus, you can expect minimal fuss with cleanup. Ceramic is extremely easy to clean, just run a damp cloth over the backsplash to wipe away any food or grease. This is also great in bathrooms, where toothpaste and other toiletries can sometimes splash onto the wall around your sink. Installing a ceramic backsplash makes cleanup easy for this area.

 

Another benefit of working with ceramic tile is that it can be found in almost any shape, size, color, and pattern you may desire. Tile is great to work with because your options are almost endless and so nearly every idea is possible. If you are trying to go for a modern look you will be able to find a ceramic tile that fits your needs. Perhaps you are looking for a more colorful option. There is absolutely a ceramic tile out there that will suite your design needs. If you are looking to go with a patterned backsplash you will definitely be able to find the tile needed to create the design you are hoping to accomplish.

 

And finally, ceramic tiling is incredibly durable. It can last quite a long time if maintained and cleaned properly. Maintenance is made easy because cleaning ceramic is a snap. And your tile will resist stains and dirt.

 

Ceramic tile is a great option when considering your backsplash design. It’s versatility and durability makes it timeless and long lasting. Your design options are endless and cleaning it is a breeze. Come in and visit us or visit our website at Levi’s 4 Floors to find ideas and inspiration for your ceramic tile backsplash needs!

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7 Ways to Think More Clearly During Your Workday

Did you know that the average person has over 70,000 thought per day? This is the equivalent of 49 thoughts per minute. That is a mind boggling number, both figuratively and literally! It’s no wonder then that we all struggle to stay focused and on task. Try these seven guidelines for helping your mind to stay clear and on point throughout your work day!

  1. Keep your desk clear of everything except for the task at hand.  A clear desk equals a clear and focused mind.
  2. Keep a fresh glass of water on your desk at all times. And drink it!
  3. Learn to write with as much brevity as possible. Getting caught up with writing verbose email responses, text messages, and social networking posts clogs up your brain. (It also creates unnecessary garble for the person receiving it.) Make your point and move on.
  4. Relax and unclench your jaw and stop hunching your shoulders. Both of these give your body a tense and closed feeling which in turn influences your brain to feel the same way.
  5. Take 10 deep breaths at least 10 times per day. Oxygen is your brain’s greatest ally.
  6. Listen to and follow your gut when your brain is taking way too long to sort something out. If you’re not 100% confident in either one of them, and the decision you’re trying to make is too big to wing it, move on and come back to it later. Either you are or aren’t going to figure it out within about fifteen minutes so any pondering it any longer is a waste of energy. Let it go and come back to it. Ninety percent of the time your brain will figure it out while processing it “in the back” of your mind.
  7. Learn to be comfortable with a “pregnant pause.” All too frequently people don’t get things done because everyone involved feels the need to fill any silence that occurs after a point has been made. This robs the mind of the processing time it sometimes need. It’s ok for everyone to just hush for minute during a meeting in order to avoid unnecessary lengthy discussion.
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5 Best Ways To Use White As The Focal Color In Your Home Décor

Do you have the perfect vision of a glamorous all white room in your home? If so, good for you! It’s a bold choice that requires care and attention. Before you dive in, consider the fact that strictly white in a room can feel a little institutional. Keep the focus on white, but try one or two of these suggestions to keep things visually balanced.

  1. Use wood as a neutral, natural element to balance the starkness of the white. This is a softer, smoother way to counter the white and it will thus feel more serene. While blonde woods might come to mind and they certainly look lovely with white, but don’t be afraid to try modern wood colors such as grey.  
  2. Colorful details and accessories. The trick is to use them minimally so as not to overpower the white at all. Yet use them enough to make an impact. This often requires that the accessories be smaller in scale so it is helpful to have a way to display them nicely. For example, in the bathroom you can install cabinets and shelves that don’t have doors. Then use the space to display small decorative accessories that provide pops of color.
  3. Add metallic elements. Reflective surfaces in colors such as silver, bronze, or gold are an elegant way to balance white. They add a bit of sheen to the room, and they still keep the overall pallet neutral which is ideal if you aren’t a fan of bold color. 
  4. Incorporate one furniture element in a bold color. In a dining room this could be the chairs. In a bedroom it could be the bed frame. It will help rival the white in the room, but not win over it because you’re only using one furniture element to get the job done. Even better, use slip covers to add versatility. If your bold item of choice is a couch, for example, use a different slip cover every few months. You can time it with the seasons or even have fun with coordinating it with holidays.
  5. Try a large scale patterned rug in a stand-alone room. Or, in a conjoined space such as the layout of an apartment try one medium and one small rug. Opt for bold patterns that make a statement. Try bold colors or stark contrast such as a blue and white zigzag.
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Adding Value and Enjoyment To Your Home

Upgrading a house is no small thing and it requires a great deal of consideration. After all, it’s typically really expensive and major changes are hard to reverse if you wind up unhappy. Here are some ideas about ways to make smart changes.

  • Consider your neighborhood. Any home improvements should fit reasonably within the context. In other words, don’t pave the driveway with gold if you live in a neighborhood where pavement would clearly look better.
  • Changes should reflect the amount of time you intend to remain in the house. If you plan to call it home for several more years your decisions should play, in part, to the enjoyment factor. Yes, think about the end value, but spend money on changes that make you and your family happy! If you’re selling in the near future, then focus on ROI.
  • Start with standard home maintenance. Cosmetic changes are frivolous if the basic form of the house needs improvement. Consider things like siding, the roof, and the windows.
  • New Kitchen. This particular space is one which is easy to get carried away with. A high-end designer kitchen sounds like a dream to most people, but it’s important to ensure that it makes sense with the rest of the house. If you live in an older home with a modest design make logical changes to the kitchen.
  • New Bathroom. Again, consider a moderate rather than a grandiose change. In the long run the value of your home is actually increased by not getting carried away. Make all the changes necessary to complete your vision, but stay on budget. If you overspend the value of the bathroom upgrade actually goes down.
  • Most popular and effective changes to increase ROI:
    • Loft Conversion – create a living space
    • Redecorating – such as fresh paint or flooring
    • Central Heating – house should be up to date
    • An Extension – benefits of more space
    • Going Green – start with energy preservation
    • Conservatory – bring the outdoors inside
    • Deck or Patio – increase enjoyment of the yard
    • Finishing the Basement – benefits of more space
    • Landscaping – increase curb appeal
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11 Beautiful, Natural, Versatile Ways To Battle Mosquitoes

Plants, herbs, and flowers the repel mosquitoes and other insects

We absolutely love this list of ways to repel bugs because it serves so many purposes. Rather than buy store-sold treatments that are expensive and sometimes overwhelmingly smell, try this method. Here’s a list of 11 fabulous live plants that can get the job done while also beautifying your home or garden, and offering practical uses such as when cooking. 

  1. Lemon Balm – (aka horsemint or beebalm) part of the mint family, easy to grow, hardy, drought resistant, grows well in shade, grows fast and aggressively so a pot is a good idea to keep it from taking over the garden, can also dry the leaves and enjoy as herbal tea.
  2. Catnip – discovered to be 10 x more effective than strongest store bought mosquito repellant, easy to grow; do not plant near other herbs, flowers, or vegetables or kitty will roll all over them and smash them.
  3. Citronella – clumping grass that emits a strong aroma that masks other scents thus keeping insects from being attracted to them, easy to grow, stronger than store bought, grows 5-6 feet tall, can grow it in pots, place them where needed.
  4. Lavender – soothing, calming scent, indoors near sunny window, in a flowerbed, can make tea.
  5. Marigolds – hardy annual, contains Pyrethrum (a repellent), distinct aroma that bugs hate, beautiful as border plants, also great way to create a mosquitoe border.
  6. Basil – perfect for double duty, tastes great in lots of recipes.
  7. Peppermint – most bugs hate it; also effective if you do get bitten, rub the leaves directly onto the skin to relieve the itching; can also be used in many recipes.
  8. Penny Royal –natural deterrent, plant around flower beds, excellent ground cover, attracts butterflies; some people use it to cook.
  9. Rosemary – add to herb garden to keep bugs away, great addition to recipes, attracts butterflies.
  10. Garlic – add it to your garden beds of flowers and vegetables.
  11. Geranium – repellent that can hang in a container of cascading flowers that will create a barrier and look lovely.
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