Helping you DESIGN the Life of Your Dreams DeAnnaRadaj...Helping You Design the Life of Your Dreams From the Outside In
I wanted to write up some fun stuff & get it out to you before a) we get all caught up in the celebratory extraveganza that is about to hit & b) I have some more (!) dental surgery that will have me out of commission for a bit...
So...first up: I was asked to take part in an amazing telesummit, hosted by Phillis Benson of the PowerWithinCoach. Carol Look (EFT) & Jeanette Maw are just 2 of the amazing women I'll be sharing the platform with & it's a HUGE honor to be included in this group. Here is the copy on the summit for you to take a look at, & if interested, sign up! Hope to "see" you there!
I trust that you are having a fabulous week! And checking in to see if you are ready to start 2012 off with a clear plan?
If so I invite you to check out this NEW course developed and taught by Phillis Benson - The Power Within Coach. Phillis has developed her new TeleCourse – the 5 Steps to Freedom which is launching now and starting on January 10th. (BTW you’ll get to hear my ‘story’ and that of 24 other Special Guest Speakers!)
You can find out more here: http://tinyurl.com/PowerWithinCoach - learn about the 20+ Guest Speakers and many many special bonuses too!
INTERESTED in Creating a New Year a New YOU? Then Ask Yourself The Following:
PS – the Early Registration ends on December 18th – giving you a $200 Savings and a chance to WIN one of 5 $100 Gift Cards!
You can learn more and register by visiting: http://tinyurl.com/PowerWithinCoach
Now...I've just finalized the 2012 event/marketing schedule...Oh what fun!!! From tele-classes, webinars & group VIP workshops, to 2 Feng Shui for Romance classes complete w/my exclusive Feng Shui Chocolates to taste to REALLY amp up your romance vibe!...We will also be unveiling the Design YOU-niversity program-which will actually be the Group VIP workshops that will be occurring monthly. I'm so excited about these new offerings it just may get me through the pain of my liquid diet (ugh)...& yes, I'm going to have a post-Christmas party to make up for all the fun I'm currently missing out on!
And as a side note, I won't be conducting IN PERSON consultations after Jan 1, 2012 unless it's part of the MASTER Level service offerings. With out now international clientele & a focus on the teaching aspect of what I do, traveling (either by car, train or plane) just isn't efficient to service the ever expanding group we now work with.
This blog will also serve as our DEE-Zine for now so make sure that you subscribe and/or have LIKED us on Facebook to stay up-to-date on events, media appearances & other gems of wisdom that are passed along. That being said, if you're interested in getting "specials" sent to you, I encourage you to subscribe to the DEE-Zine list which is offered at the bottom of this page. If you have any questions regarding this, fill out the contact form & we'll make sure you get added.
January events include: The Clutter Counselor teleseries (4 60min calls starting Tues 1/10/12) & Group VIP on Sat 1/28/12, Designing the OFFICE of Your Dreams perfect if you work from home or are starting your own business-(3 60 min calls starting Thurs 1/12/12) & Group VIP on 1/14/12. The Vision Board class will be on Feb 2 & will be an IN PERSON workshop to be held in Hales Corners WI.
So...if you're intrigued, get on the list, LIKE us on Facebook, subscribe to us on Twitter. Have a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanakkah, Happy Festivus
I hope that you're getting your shopping done, attending some fun holiday gatherings & getting your 2012 plans set/scheduled for your business!!! (I'm in the midst of that right now...& boy do we have some good stuff coming up!!!). First off, here's a list of media from last week in case you missed:
DeAnna on Real Milwaukee talking Healthy Nursery Design: http://www.thenewsroom.com/details/4882699
(DeAnna will be on again on Monday, December 12th to continue the discussion!)
DeAnna in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on 2012 Design Trends: http://www.jsonline.com/sponsoredarticles/kitchen/135026563.html
Feng Shui Fabulous year-end episode w/guest Alicia Cramer on the importance of setting a positive INTENTION to achieve your New Year's goals: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/bante-design-llc
CasAVerde radio show "Having a GREEN Christmas": http://www.blogtalkradio.com/casaverde
OK...want to amp up your FAMILY vibe for the holidays? Want to help ensure calm & peace at family get-togethers? Here are some Feng Shui tips for holiday decorating AND gift-giving, so you give GOOD energy & not negative...(this was published a few years back for
Have a Happy Feng Shui Holiday!
Some great tips and gift ideas to add an ancient twist to your holiday celebration
By DeAnna Radaj
Bante Design LLC
Are you getting tired of the same old red-and-green decorations? Would you like to add more meaning to some of your holiday rituals? How about adding some Feng Shui principles to your holiday gift giving and decorations?
Feng Shui is the ancient Chinese science of placement and living in harmony and balance with your environment through the use of color, space-planning and accessorizing. About 5000+ years ago, the Chinese developed these principles and applied them to choosing auspicious gravesites. It was thought that the better your gravesite, the better the fortunes of your descendants would be. There are 3 schools of thought practiced worldwide today: the Form School, the Compass School and the Black Hat Sect School. The latter is the one most practiced here in the US. To learn more about Feng Shui or any of the above-mentioned schools of thought, check out books by Lillian Too or www.dragons-gate.com for some great information to get you started.
Now, how do you apply Feng Shui to your holidays to usher in positive energy, new opportunities and abundance for you and your family? Let’s start with the focal point of most homes during the holidays…the Christmas tree. Follow these guidelines and enjoy a beautifully transformed home.
Use plenty of green. The holidays can be very stressful, so it goes without saying that using green, the most relaxing color, can have a cooling and calming affect on you and your home. In Feng Shui terms, green will also help to absorb all of the “fire” (action) energy of the lights, activity and red décor that is abundant in your home.
Angels and cherubs are lucky symbols. These items will help fill the room with good will and peace.
Start a tradition. Ask every family member and guest who enters your home to place something on the tree to put their mark/energy into the gathering and increase the sense of family and community.
Remember the Chinese phrase “five colors blind”-which means too much color, sound, and activity can create a numbing and exhausting affect on you and your family. After awhile, you will tend to look past and not notice things. Don’t put up decorations or play holiday music too early (We’ve all tuned out “Jingle Bells” and its 20+ versions usually by December 5th, right?)
Shake up your holiday color schemes from the traditional red and green, and try to incorporate some of these colors.
Gold & Silver: can strengthen your intuition and represents ostentation, money and fame. Use it if you want more recognition in the community, line of work and/or family.
Red: one of the most auspicious colors as it represents energy, passion and action. Word of warning-too much red can increase tension, anger and anxiety. If the holidays cause you stress and your blood pressure to rise, stay away from a red color scheme!
Blue: represents spiritualism, thoughtfulness, consideration, faith and aids in communication. Use blue to encourage more open conversation with family and friends. Also, it is a very calming and cooling color-great for helping you unwind after a crazy day at the mall.
Purple: considered the most auspicious color, as it is associated with high ideals, loyalty, royalty, truth and love. The color is used by high nobility and indicates power, riches and fortune. It adds a great touch of luxury and abundance to your home.
White: the color of mourning and loss in Chinese culture. Although our society views this color as representing purity, innocence and naivety, according to Feng Shui principles, you should not use this color.
Pink: a healing color also associated with love and romance. A soothing color that represents joy and happiness and lends a warm glow to the room.
Multi-colors: represents a union of all colors. Make sure to use on a green tree to balance and bring about an order and harmony to all of the colors. If you are unsure about what colors to mix, look to Mother Nature where green is a neutral. If you see the color combination outside, it will work on the tree.
Now, let’s examine tips for the rest of the house and tips on gifts to help bring about auspicious reunions, gatherings and events for the season and New Year. If you are hosting an event, make sure your entryway is warm and inviting. Can you enter without tripping over something? Does the door fully open? Remember that less is more here. Stand in the doorway and see what your guests see upon entering…do they see a festive room with lights and Santa or a jumble of wrapping paper and boxes? Keep this area neat, spacious and smelling nice (a natural candle or incense in pine, cinnamon, or vanilla is sure to set the proper mood). Your guests will feel welcome and ready to experience “glad-tidings!”
Adding some crystals, clear quartz or any other light refracting objects to your room will help add “positive energy” and light to the space. Hanging crystals from ceiling fans and lights is a great way to ensure this energy be spread throughout the home and the rainbows and prisms created by the refracted light will always bring a smile to your guests’ face.
Pictures can also help to enhance the holiday atmosphere in your space. Photos of family and friends taken at previous holiday parties will bring back happy memories (if not, don’t display them)! Displaying happy photos is a great Feng Shui practice that can help to nurture harmony and goodwill. Avoid decorating the home/room with artworks and pictures of sad events, overt gore and violence or anything negative, as this will create bad, undesirable energy. It should be noted that this tip goes for all the décor throughout your home/office all year round!
If you are planning on giving gifts this season, here are some items to stay away from:
Sharp Objects- Swords, knives, scissors and letter openers are not Feng Shui-friendly gifts since you can inadvertently send negative intentions, or “cutting” energy, towards the recipient with a sharp-edged gift.
Empty Wallets and Purses- If you wish to gift one of these items to a loved one, you can but remember to slip something inside such as coins, a few dollars and/or a picture. This will help to bestow auspicious “wealth” energy to the recipient.
Roses- These flowers are actually bad Feng Shui as they denote “thorny” love prospects! It’s better to stick to other sweet-smelling or romance related flowers with no thorny stems. Examples are peonies, jasmine, chrysanthemums, narcissus and lilies.
Timepieces- Watches, clocks or other timepieces are never a good idea as they represent a limited life span and always “watching time go by”.
To all of you and your family, have a happy and safe holiday season!
...for the colder weather that is! If you missed the defacto recognized day (Halloween) for getting your outside winterizing done or you forgot about getting the inside of your home ready for the cold weather...we discussed it on the CasaVerde radio show today (archived if you missed it live) & here are some tips so you can a) make use of good weather, b) have no football to watch or c) want to avoid the mall:
For the INSIDE, you need to stop energy leaks to keep the WARM air IN & the COLD air OUT!
Weatherstripping & caulking is probably the least expensive, simplest, most effective way to cut down on utility bills-even in the summer! This is also easy to do for the novice or diy-er.
*** Improperly sealed homes can waste 10 to 15 percent of the homeowner's heating dollars***.
1. Check around doors and windows for leaks and drafts. Add weather-stripping, wood putty & caulk any holes you see that allow heat to escape. Make sure doors seal properly.
2. If your windows leak really badly, consider replacing them with newer, more efficient ones. Keep in mind, however, that replacing windows can be expensive - it could take you quite awhile to recover your costs from the energy savings alone. But new windows also provide other benefits, such as improved appearance and comfort. There's also tax credits for this, so check w/your accountant to see if you qualify. This is also a good way to increase home value if you're thinking of selling your home, but again, as this is expensive, make sure that the cost is worth it for the price you'll get for your home.
3. Every duct, wire or pipe that penetrates the wall or ceiling or floor has the potential to waste energy. Plumbing vents can be especially bad, since they begin below the floor and go all the way through the roof. Seal them all with caulking or weatherstripping. This is a HUGE one!!! Check ALL vents to the outside to make sure they are sealed properly.
4. Electric wall plugs and switches can allow cold air in. Purchase simple-to-install, pre-cut foam gaskets that fit behind the switch plate and effectively prevent leaks. This one was new to me. A quick trip to Home Depot helped solve this one for me & is a super easy & inexpensive fix!
5. Don't forget to close the damper on your fireplace when not in use! Your chimney functions as a large open window that draws warm air out of the room and creates a draft. Does it get easier than this one?
6. Examine your house's heating ducts for leaks. Think of your ductwork as huge hoses, bringing hot air instead of water into your house. Mostly out of sight, ducts can leak for years without you knowing it. They can become torn or crushed and flattened. Old duct tape - the worse thing to use to seal ductwork, by the way - will dry up and fall away over time, allowing junctions and splices to open, spilling heated air into your attic or under the house. It's wasteful.
***According to field research performed by the California Energy Commission, you can save roughly 10 percent of your heating bill by preventing leaky ducts.***
Check Your Insulation
1. Insulate your attic. In an older home, that can be the most cost-efficient way to cut home heating costs. Before energy efficiency standards, homes were often built with little or no insulation. As a result, large amounts of heat can be lost through walls, floors and - since heat rises - especially ceilings. The home I currently home wasn't insulated when I purchased it 7 years ago, needless to say, living in WI, this was the 1st thing I did before I moved in. Energy bill decreased over 20% that 1st winter compared to the previous owner's bills. I recommend spray foam if you can afford as this is more efficient & offers better coverage, however, the traditional insultation by the roll is easier to install for teh DIY-er. Make sure you install the correct "R" rating & that you aren't blocking any vents & soffits.
2. Weather-strip and insulate your attic hatch or door to prevent warm air from escaping out the top of your house. I have a double-sided draft stopper on the door leading to my 2nd floor which works just fine.
3. Seal holes in the attic that lead down into the house, such as open wall tops and duct, plumbing, or electrical runs. Any hole that leads from a basement or crawlspace to an attic is a big energy waster. Cover and seal them with spray foam and rigid foam board if necessary.
Check Your Heating System
1. Get a routine maintenance and inspection of your heating system each autumn to make sure it is in good working order. You should be on a 6 month schedule for inspection.
2. Replace your heater's air filter. My programable thermostat has a "change filter" reminder. If you're doesn't, doing a monthly check is quick & easy. Your heating system will work less hard, use less energy and last longer as a result.
*** If your home is heated by a hot-water radiator, bleed the valves by opening them slightly and when water appears, close them. Remove all flammable material from the area surrounding your furnace.***
3. If your heating system is old, you might consider updating it. A pre-1977 gas furnace is probably 50 percent to 60 percent efficient today. That means only half of the fuel used by the furnace actually reaches your home as heat. Modern gas furnaces, on the other hand, achieve efficiency ratings as high as 97 percent. By replacing an old heating system with one of the most efficient models, you can cut your natural gas use nearly in half! Again, there are tax credits available for this, check w/your accountant.
4. Use a programable thermostat. If you have an older home, consider installing one. This allows you to program your HVAC system to turn down the heat when you're at work or sleeping, & then increase the temperature to a comfortable level when you're at home. Remember - it takes less energy to warm a cool home than to maintain a warm temperature all day long. Proper use could cut your heating costs from 20 to 75 percent.
5. Reverse the switch on your ceiling fans so they blow upward, toward the ceiling. By reversing the fan's direction, the blades move air upward in winter. This is especially valuable in high ceiling rooms, where heat that naturally rises is forced back down into the room. This is fairly simple to do & anyone handy w/a screwdriver is good to go.
6. Make sure all hearing vents are opened and unblocked by furniture or other items. This will ensure that the air is evenly distributed through the home.
Some other General Tips to get & KEEP your home warm & cozy:
Get the Fireplace Ready:
• Cap or screen the top of the chimney to keep out rodents and birds.
• If the chimney hasn't been cleaned for a while, call a chimney sweep to remove soot and creosote.
• Buy firewood or chop wood. Store it in a dry place away from the exterior of your home.
• Inspect the fireplace damper for proper opening and closing.
• Check the mortar between bricks and tuckpoint, if necessary.
Check the Exterior, Doors and Windows
• Replace cracked glass in windows and, if you end up replacing the entire window, prime and paint exposed wood.
• If your home has a basement, consider protecting its window wells by covering them with plastic shields.
• Switch out summer screens with glass replacements from storage. If you have storm windows, install them.
Inspect Roof, Gutters & Downspouts
• If your weather temperature will fall below 32 degrees in the winter, adding extra insulation to the attic will prevent warm air from creeping to your roof and causing ice dams.
• Check flashing to ensure water cannot enter the home.
• Replace worn roof shingles or tiles.
• Clean out the gutters and use a hose to spray water down the downspouts to clear away debris.
• Consider installing leaf guards on the gutters or extensions on the downspouts to direct water away from the home.
Service Weather-Specific Equipment (OK...I still have to do these...yikes!)
• Drain gas from lawnmowers.
• Service or tune-up snow blowers.
• Replace worn rakes and snow shovels.
• Clean, dry and store summer gardening equipment.
• Sharpen ice choppers and buy bags of ice-melt / sand.
• Rake away all debris and edible vegetation from the foundation.
• Seal up entry points to keep small animals from crawling under the house.
• Tuckpoint or seal foundation cracks. Mice can slip through space as thin as a dime.
• Inspect sill plates for dry rot or pest infestation.
• Secure crawlspace entrances.
Install Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
• Some cities require a smoke detector in every room.
• Buy extra smoke detector batteries and change them when daylight savings ends.
• Install a carbon monoxide detector near your furnace and / or water heater.
• Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they work.
• Buy a fire extinguisher or replace an extinguisher older than 10 years.
Prevent Plumbing Freezes
• Locate your water main in the event you need to shut it off in an emergency.
• Drain all garden hoses.
• Insulate exposed plumbing pipes.
• Drain air conditioner pipes and, if your AC has a water shut-off valve, turn it off.
• If you go on vacation, leave the heat on, set to at least 55 degrees.
Prepare Landscaping & Outdoor Surfaces
• Trim trees if branches hang too close to the house or electrical wires.
• Ask a gardener when your trees should be pruned to prevent winter injury.
• Plant spring flower bulbs and lift bulbs that cannot winter over such as dahlias in areas where the ground freezes.
• Seal driveways, brick patios and wood decks.
• Don't automatically remove dead vegetation from gardens as some provide attractive scenery in an otherwise dreary, snow-drenched yard. I do this around the back fence as cover for birds for protection.
• Move sensitive potted plants indoors or to a sheltered area.
Prepare an Emergency Kit (We will actually discuss this in greater depth in upcoming show!):
• Buy indoor candles and matches / lighter for use during a power shortage.
• Find the phone numbers for your utility companies and tape them near your phone or inside the phone book.
• Buy a battery back-up to protect your computer and sensitive electronic equipment.
*** Don't forget about the pets! Store extra bottled water and non-perishable food supplies (including pet food, if you have a pet), blankets and a first-aid kit in a dry and easy-to-access location.***
So, for now...get your home warm & cozy for you & your loved ones...& clear that chimney for the upcoming Santa visit!!
Make sure to visit the CasaVerde & Feng Shui Fabulous radio show pages for upcoming shows...And LIKE us on Facebook (/bantedesign) to stay current on all media appearances (there's a LOT in