12 Arrowwood Court South Portland Maine

12 Arrowwood Court South Portland Maine
Under Contract!!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Scenes at the Cumberland Fair

Farn animals for pettimg
 and exhibits, seasonal displays, music and dancing
Lots of fun  for\everyone

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Selling Your House Next Spring? 5 Fall Projects to Do Now

Selling Your House Next Spring? 5 Fall Projects to Do Now

    Take the pressure off getting your home ready to sell with these ideas.

    Planning on selling your home in the spring? Good news — that leaves plenty of time to tackle all sorts of projects this fall that will help you snag top dollar when the tulips start blooming. Take an objective look around your home from a buyer’s perspective. What would stop you from making an offer? What do you need to do to put your home’s best face forward?

    Here are some fall projects to jump on now in order for your home to be in tip-top shape for a spring sale:
    1.  Update Your Curb Appeal
    Landscapers planting in a front yardImage: Laurin Lindsey, Landscape Designer

    Curb appeal is important,” says Steve Modica, sales associate and property manager at HomeXpress Realty Inc. in Tampa and St. Petersburg, Fla. “Make sure the bushes are all trimmed. Re-mulch or replace stone walkways and paths. Remove any dead plants and trees, and aerate your lawn so it will be lush come spring. Pressure wash the driveway, the front walk, and the exterior of your home. If need be, have the exterior of the house painted and, at the very least, apply a fresh coat of paint on the front door.

    Related: Tips on Aerating for a Lush Lawn in Spring

    2.  Get a Home Inspection

    The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® says 77% of homebuyers have an inspection done before completing a home purchase. To avoid nasty surprises once you’re in the process of selling your home, have your own inspection done and make any repairs over the winter months before you list the home. Homebuyers often use flaws and needed repairs to negotiate a lower price.

    3.  Replace Flooring and Paint Walls

    Determine if your carpets need replacing or just a deep, professional cleaning. If they need to go, consider if hardwood or another flooring material might be more appealing to buyers.

    You’ll also want to inspect interior rooms for dirty or scuffed walls that need a fresh coat of paint. “Paint the whole wall, don’t just do touch-up repair work, because it never looks as good,” says Modica. Also, if you have eccentric or loud wall colors, now is the perfect time to update to a more neutral palette. Stagers recommend beiges, light grays, and off-whites.

    4.  Tackle the Basement, Attic, and Garage
    Between the studs garage shelvingImage: Liz Foreman for HouseLogic

    Often overlooked, these storage meccas can become a catch-all for junk. Use cool, fall weather as an excuse to get down and dirty in these hot spots and organize them from top to bottom. Install shelving, pegboards for tools, and hanging brackets for bicycles and other large sporting equipment. Your goal is to pitch the junk, sell what you no longer need, and categorize the rest.

    “Donate or recycle clothes and bedding you don’t use anymore in order to free up storage space in your closets, basement, and garage,” says Amy Bly, a home stager at Great Impressions Home Staging in Montville, N.J. These areas should look roomy, well-organized, and clean.

    Related: Garage Storage Ideas Under $50

    5.  Consult a Stager

    Buyers need to picture themselves living in the house, and they may have trouble doing that if all your personal effects are on display. In order to accomplish that, a professional stager can create a plan for you that you can spend the winter months implementing. Bly spends about two hours walking through a property assessing curb appeal, interior flow, closets, bookcases, media cabinets, flooring, and more.

    “I give homeowners a multi-page, room-by-room form they can use to take notes on my recommendations,” says Bly. She typically recommends things like neutralizing out-of-date decor, removing old furnishings and carpeting, and updating light fixtures. She also suggests the type of shower curtains, towels, bedding, and pillows to display for an upscale look.

    Getting a jump on these fall projects will give you a leg up on selling in the spring. Today’s buyers are savvier than ever before, especially millennial first-time homebuyers who may have searched homes online for months prior to getting in the field. More than just listing your home in the spring, you want to make it’s as perfect as possible. That means everything works and looks immaculate, and there are no glaring issues that will turn off buyers. When you’re ready, have a friend or relative drop by for a tour and point out anything you may have overlooked.

    Related: Best Projects for Return on Investment
    jennifer-nelson Jennifer Nelson
    is a Florida-based content writer who is always up for a home improvement project. She writes about remodeling, home repair, improvement, and design. Her work has appeared in Better Homes & Gardens, HGTV, DIY Network, and many other print publications and websites. Follow Jennifer on Twitter.

    Read more: http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/home-thoughts/selling-your-house-projects/#ixzz3mgPC9idb
    Follow us: @HouseLogic on Twitter | HouseLogic on Facebook

    101 Things I Love about Portland Maine

    Cia's in South Portland

    Wednesday, September 16, 2015

    Green Cleaning Products for the Bathroom

    Green Cleaning Products for the Bathroom

    Grimy grout. Moldy showers. Smells you’d rather not talk about. Given its frequent exposure to moisture, not to mention calls of nature, the bathroom needs to be one of the most frequently sanitized rooms in the house. But if you rely on conventional commercial products for your lavatory clean-ups, not only are you paying big bucks but you’re also bringing some of the harshest chemicals on the market into this small, often poorly ventilated space. The combination makes the bathroom a prime candidate for a green cleaning products.

    Environmentally friendly doesn’t necessarily mean expensive, however. While there are many sustainable off-the-shelf options, safe and effective cleaning solutions also can be mixed at home for pennies from common household ingredients like vinegar and baking soda. Here’s a tip sheet for transforming your bathroom from chemically contaminated to green and clean.
    Showers & Baths
    A serious bathroom-cleaning hazard is the accidental combination of bleach and ammonia, common ingredients in different all-purpose cleaners. On their own, each is unhealthy to breathe in and can seriously irritate skin. Combined, however, they can create a dangerous plume of chlorine gas, says Eric Richter, chemist for the Atlanta-based Ecodiscoveries. You can avoid this toxic reaction by staying away from conventional cleaners, or at the very least carefully scrutinizing labels.
    Another harmful chemical found in conventional all-purpose cleaners is 2-butoxyethanol. It belongs to a group of grease-cutting industrial solvents called glycol ethers, which are easily absorbed through the skin and have been linked to reproductive problems and birth defects in animal studies. “It’s just overkill in a bathroom, where your biggest problems are toothpaste in the sink or soap residue in the shower,” says Ali Solomon, director of communications for the environmental organization Women’s Voices for the Earth
    Solomon says you can save the $4-$5 you’d spend buying chemical concoctions at the store by making your own all-purpose cleaner for your shower enclosures or baths. Mix equal parts water and vinegar, then heat in a glass bowl. You can also add several drops of a disinfecting essential oil like orange or lemon, she says, to improve the smell and boost germ-fighting power. Food-grade vinegar runs about $4 for a 64-ounce bottle; that’s $1 per 32-ounce batch of cleaner.
    The commercially available cleaners for your porcelain throne contain some of the nastiest stuff you can buy. Mary Findley, author of “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Green Cleaning,” says you can skip chemicals like bleach, ammonia, hydrochloric acid, and naphthalene, and still score a white, clean toilet.
    Add about half a cup of a green all-purpose cleaner like Biokleen’s ($5 for 32 ounces) to the toilet, then sprinkle baking soda into the bowl. If you want extra bleaching power, substitute hydrogen peroxide for the all-purpose cleaner. The one-two punch will transform your toilet for pocket change compared to the $3-$6 you’d shell out for a bottle of the conventional stuff.
    Put away the $6 you’d spend buying industrial-grade acids when you’re trying to dislodge a hairball. Instead, pour a half-cup of baking soda down the drain, and follow with a half-cup of vinegar. Cover and let it set for at least 30 minutes, then flush with boiling water. If that doesn’t work, try an enzyme-based cleaner like Nature’s Miracle, which contains eco-friendly microbes that eat away at clogs, or buy a $5 plunger and dislodge the clog manually.
    Sinks & Vanities
    Many sink problems, from leftover toothpaste to stray makeup splotches, can be cleaned with hot water and a natural dishwashing soap like those from Mrs. Meyer’s ($4.50 for 16 ounces). If you want to disinfect, try Women’s Voices for the Earth’s green all-purpose cleaner recipe, or what Solomon calls the Creamy Soft Scrub.” It’s a mix of baking soda, castile soap, and essential oils that will foam up and clean away dirty sink and vanity problems. Castile soap retails for about $15 for a 32-ounce bottle. You can use the soft-scrub mix all over the house, and castile soap can double as a body wash or shampoo.
    Mirrors & Glass
    Pour on the vinegar to clean glass and mirrors, Findley says. Add a quarter cup of vinegar to a 32-ounce spray bottle, and fill the rest of the way with distilled water. Spray on and wipe with an old newspaper rather than a cloth or paper towel to prevent stray threads and towel bits from remaining on your glass. Your mirrors will be streak- and particulate-free, and for significantly less money than if you’d shelled out the $5 for a regular glass cleaner.
    Tile & Grout
    Tile grout’s prickly texture tends to invite dirt, mold, and scum. The soft-scrub mix is a good option, Solomon says. To mop tile floors, whip up a batch of water and vinegar-based all-purpose cleaner. In the shower, if you’re dealing with moldy grout, try borax. A 76-ounce box costs about $6.50. One cup of borax in one gallon of water with a stiff-bristled sponge should help scour mildew from your shower grout.
    Very few synthetic fragrances found in cleaners and air fresheners have been tested for human toxicity, Richter says. You can avoid the risk (and the $3 a spray air freshener will cost) by simply using common sense and ventilation. To freshen a stinky bathroom, turn on outside-vented fans or open windows, when possible. Otherwise try the age-old trick of sticking an open box of baking soda in your lavatory. It costs less than $1, and it sucks unpleasant smells right out of the air.
    writes regularly about home improvement, decorating, and “green home” tips; her work has appeared in magazines like Pregnancy, Kiwi, and Parenting and on many websites, including BobVila.com and HGTV.com.

    Read more: http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/green-cleaning/green-bathroom-cleaning-products/#ixzz3lvVIxl5f
    Follow us: @HouseLogic on Twitter | HouseLogic on Facebook

    101 Things i Love about Portland Maine

    The new Soakology at larger better location.

    Wednesday, September 9, 2015

    Best Fudge Ever!

    Boothbay Harbor Maine
    Downeast Candies!
    It's soooo creamy  buttery good!!

    Monday, September 7, 2015

    Why Being Organized Saves You Money

    Why Being Organized Saves You Money

    Find out how big a bite being disorganized takes out of your bottom line.

    If you’ve ever accrued a late fee after losing a bill, thrown away spoiled peaches you forgot to eat, or bought yet another pair of sunglasses because you couldn’t find yours, then you know being disorganized can cost you money.

    At best, clutter in the home causes mistakes, late fees, overdue payments, and missed deadlines. At worst, a house in chaos can eat away at your finances, mar your credit, and reduce your productivity. That’s a whopping price to pay for being disorganized.

    According to an Ikea “Life at Home” survey, 43% of Americans admit to being disorganized, and the average American wastes 55 minutes per day looking for stuff they’ve lost or misplaced.

    “Do you think organizing is just for appearances?” asks Lisa Gessert, president of Organizing.buzz, a professional organizing service in Staten Island, N.Y. “Organizing your home is financially beneficial.” Gessert stresses to clients the need to sort, purge, assign things a home, and containerize. “This process saves people tons of money.”

    Related: The Link Between Clutter and Depression

    Here’s why being organized saves you money, and how to get your home into shape:

    Disorganization in the Home Office Costs You:
    • Lost papers = time spent looking for them, money wasted on duplicates
    • Misplaced bills = late fees, bad credit causes higher interest rates
    • Missed tax deadlines = penalties
    If any of these sound familiar, you’ll need a home office system for dealing with important papers, bills, and personal correspondence. The Ikea survey found 23% of people pay bills late because they lost them. Wall-mounted bill organizers can help you stay organized. Look for ones with two or more compartments to categorize by due date.

    “Having your papers organized will save time, help you pay bills on time, and allow you to be more productive,” says Alison Kero, owner of ACK Organizing, based in New York City.

    Mount shelving and create a file system for important papers, such as insurance policies and tax receipts. Look for under-utilized space, such as converting a standard closet into built-in storage with shelves and cabinets for your papers, files, and office equipment. If you need to use stackable bins, don’t stack them around equipment that needs air ventilation, such as scanners and Wi-Fi receivers, since they could overheat and malfunction — costing you money.

    Disorganization in Your Closets Costs You:
    • Missing clothes = money spent on duplicates
    • Hidden items = wasted time since you can’t see what you own
    • Accessory mess = wasted money on items you don’t wear, can’t find
    Clothes organized in a closetImage: Libby Walker for HouseLogic
    “Organizing often reduces duplication of possessions,” says Lauren Williams, owner of Casual Uncluttering LLC, in Woodinville, Wash. “No more buying an item for a second, third, fourth time because someone can’t find it.”

    If closets are crammed, paring down is a must. First, take everything out. Rid yourself of multiples, anything you no longer wear, and assess your shoe collection. Create piles: purge, throw out, or donate.

    For what’s left, you’ll need a better closet system. You can choose a ready-made system that simply needs installation, or create your own. PVC pipe can be used to create additional hanging rods, and you may also want to add shelving to store folded clothes, hats, and bulky items. Look for wire mesh shelving, solid wood shelves, or an all-in-one closet shelving system depending on space. Large and small hooks can be wall-mounted to hold belts, accessories, and scarves.

    Related: Savvy Closet Organization Tips and Tricks
    Disorganization in the Kitchen Costs You:
    • Expired food = wasted money
    • Overflowing pantry = can’t see what ingredients you have and duplicate them
    • Crammed cabinets = overspending on multiple dishes and gadgets
    Since the kitchen is often the hub of the home, it has a tendency to clutter. No wonder the Ikea survey found 50% of the world’s kitchens have junk drawers. Categorize yours by adding small plastic or wooden drawer organizers for things like thumbtacks, rubber bands, scissors, and tape.

    To avoid buying your third jar of oregano or second potato ricer, buy or build an organizational system for your pantry. Built-in lazy Susans work great. Use pull-out mini shelving to corral items like dressings, hot sauces, and vinegars. Tackle cabinets and counters by mounting behind-the-cabinet-door racks to hold items like pot lids or cutting boards.

    Add pull-out drawers in your bottom cupboards to make everything easily accessible and easy to see. You’ll thank yourself when you get older, too.

    Related: Smarter Ways to Use Your Kitchen Cabinets and Drawers

    Disorganization in Your Living Areas Costs You:
    • Lost keys, missing wallet = late for work, lost productivity
    • Not being able to fully enjoy your home = you spend money elsewhere for fun
    • Blocked ventilation = utility costs rise
    Your living space is where you want to get the most enjoyment out of your home. If you can’t relax and enjoy yourself there, you’ll constantly be seeking out other places to find solace and fun — and that can add up to a lot of money spent on entertainment and recreational venues.

    And, meanwhile, you could be paying more than you should for the living space you’re not enjoying.

    “I run into people whose homes are unorganized to the point of papers, boxes and ‘stuff’ blocking air vents that supply heat and air conditioning to their homes,” says Gessert. This costs a fortune in utility bills. Likewise, a jumble of electrical wires around TVs and home entertainment systems can be sucking energy from always being plugged in. Connect them all to smart power strips that can turn everything off with one switch.

    Once you’re living with organization, you’ll start to see the benefits everywhere. No more dealing with late fees on bills, having to buy replacement earrings or bread knives when items go missing, and — perhaps best of all — no more having to leave your home in order to find relaxation and entertainment. After all, saving on bills can be a big boost to your monthly budget, but there’s no greater value than getting more enjoyment out of your home.

    Related: Storage Solutions You Didn’t Know You Had
    jennifer-nelson Jennifer Nelson
    is a Florida-based content writer who is always up for a home improvement project. She writes about remodeling, home repair, improvement, and design. Her work has appeared in Better Homes & Gardens, HGTV, DIY Network, and many other print publications and websites. Follow Jennifer on Twitter.

    Read more: http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/home-improvement/why-being-organized-saves-you-money/#ixzz3l4ueEPM1
    Follow us: @HouseLogic on Twitter | HouseLogic on Facebook