Your Winter Warmer Checklist for Your Home

This is a sponsored post for MiniJumbuk not written by Venus Trapped in Mars

Your Winter Warmer Checklist for Your Home

It may be Spring right now, but when cold weather is just around the corner, it’s a good idea to be prepared and check what you have and what you need to be warm and comfortable in winter. There are many ways to be warm and cozy without having to spend a fortune on power bills.

1. Get winter bedding

One of the very best ways to be warm in winter is to ensure you have appropriate winter bedding. Investing in a high quality wool quilts created by a company such as MiniJumbuk, is an excellent investment and will help you to enjoy warm, restful sleep in winter. There are many benefits that come with woollen quilts and bedding, and this natural fibre is also a good choice for people who value clean and hygienic sleepingconditions.

2. Rug up

While this sounds ridiculously obvious, adding an extra layer or two of clothing can be just as effective in keeping you warm as using a heater. To maximise warmth, ensure your feet are kept warm, ideally with slippers, ugg boots or indoor shoes. In the cold temperatures late at night, cover your knees and legs with a rug or blanket.

3. Close doors

Rather than heating the whole house, heat only one of two rooms that you predominantly use. Close the doors to avoid the escape of heat and block the gaps between the bottom of doors and the floor.

4: Reduce the thermostat

Reduce your energy expenditure and consumption by lowering the temperature on your thermostat by just a degree or two. Setting your thermostat to between 18 and 22 degrees Celsius should be sufficient to keep you warm and comfortable in winter.

5. Cover windows

By using curtains to cover windows you are able to minimise the amount of heat that escapes from your home. Ideally, your curtains will fall to the ground and having pelmets (cornice boards) at the top is a good way to stop heat escaping out of windows. At sunset, ensure your curtains and blinds are closed.

6. Seal drafts

If you are aware of cold air coming through gaps, find the area and seal off the gaps. Air leaks of this type can be responsible for as much as 25% of heat loss from homes.

7. Check your insulation

When interior heat is retained, you stay warmer and save power. Insulation is important in both winter and summer. In the warmer months, adequate insulation will also reduce the amount of heat from the sun entering your home. It’s wise to use extra insulation in the walls, beneath the floors and in the ceiling.

8. Channel the heat

If you have air conditioning or central heating at your home, check the direction of vents. Vent directors can be purchased and used to direct air away from the ceiling and into the middle of the room.

By checking a number of features in your home and taking some easy steps, it’s actually quite straightforward to get your home ready for winter. When your home is equipped for winter, you will spend less on bills without having to sacrifice your warmth and comfort.


I've Got A Girl Crush

I'm sorry for everyone who came here today  to hear about Jordan Speith being Dallas' gift to golf (you're welcome, golf -- have I been a Texan long enough to say things like that? I think i have) and how you should go read this article for a good laugh. Or for those of you here to hear about Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn winning the Art Ross Trophy as the league's scoring champion (see Vanessa, I got you guuurl). Or it's possible you came here on a Friday to hear about Adrian Peterson getting reinstated and my personal thoughts on how he will be a Cowboy in a matter of moments. Or maybe you came here to learn that Tiger Woods has a stunningly gorgeous niece, Cheyenne Woods, playing on the LPGA tour. I don't know, it's even likely that you came here to get my take on the NBA playoffs which start tomorrow at 11:30am when the Wizards and Raptors tip off in Toronto. And by NBA playoffs, I of course meant, LET'S GO MAVS, LET'S GO MAVS, LET'S GO MAVS #MFFL. I'm sorry to disappoint those of you who came here to hear about 5 different things in the sports world, like those listed above, that you need to know before you go. Fan Friday is taking a little turn for the day. 

Why? Because I want to talk about Miranda Lambert again. I know, I know. I'm a borderline serious stalker at this point. I know what you're thinking, "Ok Sarah, we kinda understood when you drove to Lindale and cried at her store The Pink Pistol, and we were weirded out but were mostly ok with you crying when you first saw her in concert, and it was a little odd to write yet another blog post totally dedicated to the poor girl just a month ago, and even more unnerving when you dressed up as her for halloween... but again? Sarah, at this point we are getting concerned." 

I appreciate everyone's concern, I do. But with all due respect, and I'm saying with all due respect, I'm going to continue to profess my total girl crush until she flies me, General and Veenie to Oklahoma to play in her backyard with all of her foster doggies. Impossible, I think not. 

Yes, good eye. I did buy this top at her store in Lindale. Also, yes, these are her line of Cowboy boots which you can find at DSW. You guys are so impressive to notice that!  

But why do I need to talk about her today, you ask? Well thanks to a post I wrote about my hair care routine a few months back, Women's Rogaine invited me to attend the ACM Party for a Cause festival at Ranger's Ballpark, and the ACM 50th Anniversary Awards Show this weekend at Cowboys Stadium. Miranda + my favorite kind of music + Rangers Ballpark + Cowboys Stadium + an excuse to wear cowboy boots for an entire weekend + a day of getting glammed up and dressed up. In the understatement of the century, I'm excited. 

Here are some pics from my girl's show in Dallas last month

Yes, there are other, much smaller country music artists that will be performing that I doubt you've even heard of, like Alan Jackson, Alabama, Garth Brooks, George Strait.... Like I said, much smaller, I won't judge if you've never heard of those guys. Miranda takes up most of the country spotlight. 

On Saturday afternoon, I'll be hanging out at the Women's Rogaine tent in the interactive sponsor booth area outside Rangers Ballpark. They'll be doing makeovers, and talking all things beauty, which I absolutely cannot turn down. Not in Arlington this weekend but want to try Women's Rogaine, to get fuller, thicker more beautiful hair? Click here for a $10 rebate and a $5 digital coupon that can be redeemed at Walmart! 

Follow along with me on Instagram throughout the weekend, where I'll be making ^^^ this ^^^ face at all times. 

Tickets to the ACMs were provided to me for free by Women's Rogaine, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.  

Venus Trapped in Mars

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Things I Would Give a High Five to

Today is National High Five Day! Here are some people and things I would like to give a big fat juicy open wide palm, redden your hand a little bit high five to!

1. General

I'm not saying this only because he is such a good boyyyyyy, but Gee gives the best high fives on the planet. You're like, "General High Five!" and he's all... BAM! HIGH FIVE BRAH! And I'm left feeling real good about that for the next 2-7 minutes. 

2. The Pizza Hut man that can figure out how to get up to my apartment without me having to come down to the street in my pajamas. Bless him or her. Bless his or her kind soul. I realize this should frighten me that someone is able to penetrate my building's security, but it does not. It makes me happy. Happy and full of cheesey goodness without having to show Deep Ellum my flannel pajamas. High five Pizza Hut guy or girl! 


3. This is when CB would pipe in and protest that he is the only one that goes to the street for the pizza man. And to this I say, sir, there were many street pizza pickups before you.... BUT there is no one else I'd rather have go to the street to meet the Pizza Hut man, and bring me pizza in bed more than you. You get a high five too. High Five CB! You're my favorite even though, coincidentally, you're listed third here. 

Ok moving on from pizza...


5. TRex

Orrrr, perhaps not. 

6. Andy Cohen. Thank you, you wonderful wonderful human. Thank you. I love you so much. I can never repay you for all of the hours I've spent watching Real Housewives of whatever, even though I've seen it twelve times already. You get all the high fives from me, which I hope will make up for the fact that you will get precisely zero high fives from a single heterosexual male on the planet. High five Andy!

7. Bears, and all of their puns they bless us with. High five bear...

Ohhh, ok. I can wait! I'll be here with your high five when you're finished. 

8. I'm surprised there is a cat on my list, but this cat. High five cat! 

9. Saturday. People get all "FriYAY" excited for Friday and I just don't get it. Am I the only one that works on Friday? In fact, Friday might be one of my least favorite days. Friday goes by way slower than the last half hour of commercials on a Bravo show. I'll take Saturday. High five Saturday. 

10. Jenna Marbles' and her dogs. I love Jenna Marbles. Like, love her. I think she is so cool, that when she is around others, she sucks their cool from them and gets cooler. Just like in Space Jam, only replace basketball skills with Coolness. And Muggsy Bogues can be Marbles. High fives for Jenna and Cermet and Paesh and Marbles. 

11. Blogging. I love blogging. I love that I can write a post this stupid and you sweet, kind-hearted friends will leave me a note saying how much you agree with #2, or maybe #5. When you're really thinking, "How many glasses deep on wine was she while writing this? I think the cat meme was just because she found that cat meme on google images and wanted to include it. Cats don't high five, everyone knows that. And was that really the best meme she could get to describe Saturday? It's 2015, come on Sarah, you really can't find a better Saturday meme? I might unfollow on bloglovin. For sure on instagram." 


How To Add An Instagram Feed Widget To Blog That Takes You Straight to Instagram

How to add an instagram feed widget to your blog's sidebar or footer that takes you directly to Instagram. 

I've had an Instagram widget on my sidebar for as long as I've been blogging. I used Snapwdiget to generate the code for the feed, which was very easy, but it drove me bonkers. Why? Because it took you to snapwidget's website rather than Instagram. Here is what I mean.... 

When you click on the picture, it doesn't take you to my profile. Instead, it takes you to some random snapwidget profile. 

Having a reader say, "Ohhh what a lovely picture" to themselves, at their computer screen is all well and good, but you want them to follow you. You want them to like the photo. Well, I assume you do. Bloggers tend to like numbers, particularly on Instagram! Myself included! If you are sending your reader to snapwidget, it is very unlikely you are going to get them to go click crazy in order to find your Instagram. 

Instead, I want to be sure to send them right to that image they clicked, on Instagram. Like this...

You also might want to put your instagram feed in grid form, on your blog's footer, like shown below from my design site or you can scroll down and see it on this blog.  I'll show you how to do that too!  

Let's get started! 

Whether you want to add your feed to your blog's footer, or your blog's sidebar head over to the website Instansive.

 Enter your details: Instagram username or hashtag. If not using a hashtag, which I doubt you are, just leave that blank. Times you might want to use a hashtag? If you have an Etsy site or are participating in a linkup. 

Select "Slideshow"
Number of photos - 60
Select your image hover effect

Hit preview, then click get code

 After you copy that code, proceed to step 3. 

 To post a grid of your instagram photos at the bottom of your blog...
Type of widget - choose grid
Number of columns - up to you, I picked 10
Number of rows - up to you, I picked 3
Select your image hover effects

Hit preview, then click get code

Go to LAYOUT in your blogger dashboard.

...For a slideshow on your sidebar... 

// Select Add a Gadget on the sidebar // 

// Add HTML/Javascript // 

//Paste your code, click save // 

// Your new instagram slideshow will appear at the top of your sidebar, move it down by dragging and dropping to exactly where you'd like it to appear // 

// Click Save Arrangement // 
...For a grid on your blog's footer... 

// Select Add a Gadget on your blog's footer // 

// Add HTML/Javascript // 

//Paste your code, click save // 

// Your new instagram grid will appear at the top of your footer, move it down by dragging and dropping to exactly where you'd like it to appear // 

// Click Save Arrangement // 

And that's how it's done! Any questions, leave a comment for me! 
Want more blog tutorials? 
Check out my Saturday Sessions page

You can also follow me on instagram, as a great big thank you, only if you wanna!