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How To Design A Bedroom That Unleashes Your Child’s Creativity

(NAPSI)—Many parents may be surprised to learn that, according to Harris research, children begin taking an interest in changing their rooms just after the age of 5, citing more space to hang out and play as the No. 1 wish for the space. The study also found that 71 percent of parents think the design of a child’s room impacts creativity.

“We’ve seen how room design can unleash a child’s creativity in our own family,” said Cortney Novogratz from HGTV’s “Home by Novogratz.” “For example, it’s important to give children their own workspace and play space filled with materials designed to help express their ideas in a productive and inspirational way, like arts and crafts supplies and construction toys such as LEGO Friends. It’s also important to give children plenty of floor space in which to play and get creative; this gives them their own personal space in which to spread out and use their imaginations to the fullest.”

In addition to inviting children to put their remodeling and rebuilding skills to the test using toys that encourage construction, Robert and Cortney Novogratz offer these suggestions for creating those special environments that children will find inspiring and parents will find appealing:

• Give kids more space. Leave as much floor space open for playing and hanging out as possible. Center the room with a soft rug and include easy storage solutions. The most effective storage is easily accessible to kids, where they can pull it out, play with their toys and be able to put it back without any help. The best storage solutions do not dominate the room but cleverly do the job without taking up too much space. Kids need room to build, paint, create and so on but they also need supplies to do so, so try to keep storage solutions simple.

• Show children their ideas have value by including them in the design decision-making process as much as possible, letting them offer their ideas. Bear in mind that boys and girls are equally interested in having a say in the design of their rooms. If you make your children a part of the creation process, they may be more likely to take better care of their environment and their belongings.

• Personalize with color and collections. Embrace bold colors and don’t forget to have fun with it. Add more personality and originality, and foster a child’s pride by displaying his or her collections. Fun solutions for displaying collections include corkboards or pin boards to display art; Lucite shelves and boxes to display collections; and simple cubed shelving units that are cost effective and great for displaying models, trophies and other things that kids gravitate toward.

• Learn more. For further visual inspiration from the Novogratz on how to put these tips into action, visit www.LEGOBuildTogether.com or call (800) 838-9647.

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A Better Night’s Sleep Might Lie In Your Blanket

(NAPSI)—Sleep is a wonderful thing, but for many people, getting that sleep can prove elusive. Tried-and-true tips include keeping a regular schedule, getting enough daily exercise and creating a relaxing bedtime routine, but a new approach to sleeping soundly suggests that the right blanket can be instrumental in getting plenty of zzzz’s.

For some people, the tried-and-true tips simply don’t work. That was the case for the founders of Mosaic Weighted Blankets™. Beth Peacock had interrupted sleep due to restless leg syndrome and her friend Laura LeMond had a history of sensory issues that kept her from getting enough shut-eye.

For years, LeMond stacked pillows and even books on her feet to fall asleep. That’s when she realized that using weighted therapy would be a good solution for people with sleep and sensory processing disorders, autism, ADHD and anxiety.

LeMond and Peacock developed Mosaic Weighted Blankets (www.mosaicweightedblankets.com), a safe and effective line of soothing blankets, wraps and lap pads. They believe their blankets are one of the newest sleep remedies to help children, teens and adults relax, sleep soundly and focus during school and work, calming mind, body and spirit “one blanket at a time.”

Mosaic Weighted Blankets also help ease symptoms and supplement treatment for cancer anxiety, menopause and many other conditions that might interfere with sleep.

The deep pressure touch stimulation or “swaddling” that happens when you cuddle up under a weighted blanket helps encourage the production of the hormone serotonin, which induces a more peaceful and happier state of mind, and melatonin, a natural hormone that helps regulate the sleep cycle. Studies show that melatonin not only helps people fall asleep, but also enhances the quality of sleep.

Earlier this year, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that an estimated 40 million people in the U.S. have chronic sleep disorder and 1.21 percent of the American population has ADHD. Symptoms of ADHD and treatments for ADHD can often cause insomnia.

Penny Williams, editor of her website, A Mom’s View of ADHD, and mom of son Luke, who has sensory processing disorder, ADHD and trouble sleeping, has tried various ways to help her son feel more comfortable and settle down.

After trying a Mosaic Weighted Blanket, Williams could definitely see a calming benefit. “Luke only uses his blanket at night but will not sleep without it. He feels grounded and secure under its weight,” said Williams, who reports that the blanket did lessen the number of times he woke during the night.

The handmade blankets come in various sizes and weights to fit the body and can be used at home and will add focus at work and in school. Depending on the need, they can be used to calm and relax by laying across the lap, wrapping around the shoulders, covering legs or the whole body for sleeping. Custom blankets can be ordered by the appropriate size and weight recommended by a health care professional or therapist.

For more information, call (512) 868-0207 or visitwww.mosaicweightedblankets.com. Calming mind, body and spirit.

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Solar Roofing Your Neighbors Will Love

(NAPSI)—According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, heating and cooling costs the average homeowner more than $1,000 a year, or nearly half a home’s total energy bill—but you can reduce utility bills. One of the best ways may be to install a solar roof. In the past, bulky, expensive, rack-mounted solar panels were the only option available to homeowners who wanted to reduce their reliance on traditional electricity sources. And if you wanted a cool roofing shingle, going green meant going white.

Now there are affordable, aesthetically pleasing photovoltaic solar panels manufactured to seamlessly integrate with asphalt roofing shingles. When combined with solar reflective shingles, homeowners can create a beautiful, energy-efficient system with exceptional curb appeal. Perhaps even better, this combination benefits the environment by reversing the solar radiation absorption that can cause a rise in temperature, or heat island effect, in highly populated areas.

One of the new, affordable residential solar panel options available is the CertainTeed Apollo solar roofing system. It is lightweight, durable and easily installed into either an existing roof or a new asphalt shingle roof. Each slim photovoltaic module features polycrystalline silicon solar cells that can offset 30 to 70 percent of a home’s electricity usage. If it exceeds power usage, the excess flows back through the meter into the power grid, creating a credit to your account.

Generally, these new integrated solar systems are installed with solar reflective roofing shingles, such as CertainTeed Landmark Solaris with rich colored granules, which reduce a roof’s surface temperature by as much as 20 percent in hot weather. This means while the solar panels are working overtime to collect the sun’s rays, your family won’t have to adjust the cooling system to stay comfortable indoors. These Energy Star−qualified laminated asphalt shingles come in a variety of popular styles and colors.

A roof makes up approximately 40 percent of a home’s exterior. However, investing in a cool roof is now a practical option, with an integrated system feasibly paying for itself in as little as four years. Also, solar panel installation qualifies for a 30 percent federal tax credit—available through 2016. Many roofing contractors throughout the U.S. are also taking advantage of solar training, and communities and utilities often have money-saving programs, which can be found at www.dsireusa.org.

To learn more about solar roofing, visit www.certainteed.com or call (800) 233-8990.

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How To Tell When Your Home Needs A New Roof

(NAPSI)—Investing a little time and effort in monitoring the condition of your roof can pay big dividends when it comes to your home and your family’s well-being.

Industry professionals believe it’s a good idea to inspect your roof regularly, particularly if you live in areas of the country that experience extreme weather.

You can inspect your roof yourself, either by climbing on your roof or by using binoculars from the ground. Another sound option is to have a professional do it for you.

If you do go up on the roof yourself, remember to always use proper safety equipment to prevent falls or injury.

Learn to Read the Signs

Look carefully for the following signs your roof may be in need of repair or replacement:

• Leaks in the attic after a wind-driven rain or ice buildup;

• Blistering and peeling of interior and/or exterior paint;

• Stains, mold or mildew on interior ceilings and walls;

• Exterior decay of sheathing and/or siding.

When it comes to examining the roof itself, start by looking at the shingles for any that are missing, cracked, curled, torn or warped. Also, look for any open seams or joints that could lead to leaking. Popped or rusted nails, or stains around nails, are also signs that your roof is in need of repair or replacement.

A Roof Is More Than Shingles

Many homeowners are surprised to learn that a roof is more than just the shingles. A roof is actually a system that, in addition to the shingles, includes other components, such as leak barriers and ventilation components.

While each element has a particular job to do, they are also designed to work together to cover a house.

Designed to Offer Peace of Mind

There is good news for homeowners who want to cover their financial investment as well as their house. One manufacturer of roofing products has a program that offers what it calls “limited lifetime coverage” when a homeowner installs any of its Lifetime Shingles, as well as three or more qualifying accessories made by the same company.

The Lifetime Roofing System from GAF is designed to provide homeowners with peace of mind and support contractors who are selling and installing complete roofing systems.

The company’s roofing products have been specifically designed to work together for superior, long-term protection and have been proven to be effective on millions of homes nationwide.

To learn more, visit www.gaf.com.

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DIY Made Easier 

(NAPSI)—If you’re like most people, you’ve probably spent time wandering the aisles of home improvement stores pining over pending projects and then, feeling overwhelmed, left empty-handed. Do-it-yourself projects, while cost effective, can be a little scary—especially for those who aren’t creatively inclined or extremely handy. Luckily, there are many value-boosting projects that can be completed with little home improvement knowledge. With a small budget of no more than $100 and a little sweat equity, these DIY projects can spruce up your home and make it a cozier place to live.

Curb Appeal

Paint Your Front Door: Costing approximately $50 to $100, a fresh pop of color on your door can be a great way to help your home stand out and look appealing.

Landscape: You can freshen up your yard with flowering plants available at home improvement stores for only a few dollars a plant. New mulch also makes a big statement for a small price.

Interior Details

Refresh Your Bathroom: If a big remodel isn’t in the budget, consider updating the faucet hardware. It can be a great way to add personal style to your powder room. Whether the new addition is traditional or modern, this eye-catching update will likely run under $100.

Maximize Your Storage: Adding storage to the master bedroom and kitchen is not only a good investment, it will save you time and stress down the road. Add useful space to your closet with DIY products such as ClosetMaid® Selectives™. For about $100, you can add a starter kit or shoe racks. For more storage in your pantry, there’s the ClosetMaid 4 Drawer Wire Basket System.

For more information on how to solve your storage and organization dilemmas, you can log on to www.ClosetMaid.com or call (800) 874-0008.

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Boil Water Advisory: Think Before You Drink

(NAPSI)—The power goes out. There is construction in your neighborhood. A flood strikes. A water main cracks. Each of these can cause a disruption in the flow of water to your home. This disruption can affect the quality of your water for drinking, cooking and household chores. In these instances, Boil Water Advisories are issued to ensure consumers take proper precautions to make sure water is safe to drink. Boil Water Advisories do not mean that water is contaminated, but rather that it could be tainted.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention work to ensure consumers only use water that has been properly disinfected for drinking, cooking, cleaning dishes or for personal hygiene during a Boil Water Advisory.

Follow these safety tips until the Boil Water Advisory has been lifted:

• Drink bottled water. Drink water from a source you know wasn’t affected by a water main, such as water from a bottled water cooler or single-use bottled water. You may want to contact a local bottled water delivery service to quickly get access to three- or five-gallon jugs of water.

• Boil water to disinfect. This is the best method for ensuring drinking water is disinfected. Boil water for one minute, let it cool and store it in clean, covered containers. Boiling will kill any disease-causing organisms and provide you with clean, potable water.

• Use household products. If you cannot boil your water, an alternative is to use unscented liquid household chlorine bleach to sanitize the water. Simply add 1/8 teaspoon (or eight drops) of unscented liquid household chlorine bleach for each gallon of water. Stir well and let it stand for 30 minutes before use.

• Filter cloudy or murky water. Look at the appearance of your water in a clear glass. If it looks discolored or murky, you may want to filter it and disinfect it. You can create a very basic filter using a clean cloth, a coffee filter or a paper towel. However, it will still need to be disinfected.

• Call your Culligan Man. If your neighborhood or community is under a Boil Water Advisory, make sure to follow sanitizing procedures for water softeners and drinking water systems installed in your home. You can find these procedures outlined in your Culligan product owner’s manuals. It is also important to call your local Culligan Dealer. Your local Culligan Man can answer any questions about the quality and safety of your water, availability of bottled water services and what steps to take to address your home’s water treatment system.

For more information, visit www.culligan.com,

http://water.epa.gov/drink/emerprep/emergencydisinfection.cfm 

andwww.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/poweroutage/needtoknow.asp.

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Investing In America

(NAPSI)—There is a growing trend among consumers across Americatoward seeking out locally designed and produced products. Investing in American products is easier than you might think, especially when it comes to quality.

Hunter Douglas window fashions for your home, for example, are designed and manufactured in America and exported to 38 countries on six continents.

Why buy American products? Here are a few answers:

• Stimulates Job Growth: Every dollar spent on American products helps support American jobs.

• American Standards: Local products are marked with a special brand of American excellence, efficiency and service.

• Giving Back: U.S.-based companies that manufacture products throughout the country are well-positioned to give back to their local communities.

• Eco-Friendly: American companies are consistently renewing efforts to promote environmentally responsible manufacturing. Also, their goods require less transportation than imported ones, which cuts back on carbon emissions.

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Big News Of Small Spaces

(NAPSI)—Living large in a little home may not only simplify life, minimize costs and reduce environmental impact, it can be easier to achieve than many realize. Following these easy tips can help make rooms feel bigger and brighter.

1. Open floor plans and furniture placement that leaves views open make spaces easy to navigate and the room feel bigger.

2. Lighten up. Light colors on walls and furniture help small spaces feel large. Letting in natural light extends the feel of the room beyond its boundaries.

3. Get double-duty furniture: tables and ottomans with hidden storage space. Clean spaces look bigger, so keep clutter out of sight.

4. Store smart and stay organized. Shelving units maximize wall space for storage; add baskets on the bottom shelves for extra capacity. Fill clear containers with seasonal clothing and items and slide them under couches and beds.

5. Convert a closet into a home office by adding a desk and shelves. Hang organizers on the back of the door for extra storage. Close the door and the computer and paperwork are out of sight, instantly opening up the room.

For more tips on making the most of small spaces, visit the www.homes.comIdea Gallery.

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AMERICA'S HEROES



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