• How To Stay Prepared During Hurricane Season

    How To Home

    Before A Storm

    • Know all evacuation routes and create an emergency evacuation plan to ensure the quickest route to safety.
    • Have proper tools, supplies, and a hurricane kit:
      • Flashlights with extra batteries
      • Portable radio with extra batteries
      • First-aid kit
      • Necessary medical supplies including prescription drugs
      • Manual can opener
      • A waterproof, fireproof container with valuable documents
    • Always have plenty of non-perishable foods on hand and lots of water.
    • Make sure you have plenty of fuel in your car.
    • Secure outside objects.
    • Invest in an emergency generator.
    • Trim troublesome or low hanging trees.
    • Protect windows with plywood boards, or storm shutters if need be.
    • If called to evacuate, do so immediately.

     

    During A Storm

    • Remain indoors and stay in a secured room/space.
    • Lock doors and windows to reduce vibration, and close drapes and blinds to contain broken glass.
    • Stay away from windows.
    • Monitor weather broadcasts and bulletins if you can.
    • Have supplies on hand.
    • Wait it out.
  • 5 Decorating Mistakes You Might Be Making

    Decorating Home

    Decorating your space should be all about bringing your energy and personality into the room and making it flow the way you want. Think feng shui but solely for decorating. This means putting your special finishing touches on the place but…does it mean that you have to compromise on some integral designing tips and tricks? See if you're guilty of these decorating mistakes and switch it up today!

    Not embracing negative space
    Negative space may seem strange to those of you who love to see things all around the room but that doesn’t always lead to the room being balanced. Remember when measuring, don’t measure from end to end so there’s no room to even drop a piece of popcorn on the side of the couch. Instead, leave room because under scaled pieces of furniture can help make your space look bigger and more inviting.

    Oh that bad light
    If your space doesn’t have a lot of natural light coming in, that’s fine. There are tons of other ways to light a space. The trick is…avoiding fluorescent lighting especially if it’s placed directly overhead! Seriously. Consider softer bulbs and lamps to light your space. You can still get environmentally friendly soft lights and your space won’t feel like a hospital room.

    Full-length curtains that are too short
    Short, flooding curtains are awkward. That’s just a fact. Full-length curtains should break and rest slightly on the floor, even if it's just an inch. This will make your space look taller and sleeker.

    Awkwardly sized rugs
    Speaking of awkward, a weirdly sized rug can make you look down and say, what on earth is wrong here? A general rule for rug placement in a living room is that all four legs of a piece of furniture should be able to fit on the rug beneath it, with breathing room on all sides. Trust us, the bigger the rug the better.

    Hanging art too high
    When you’ve got a gorgeous piece of art or even a picture, your thought is to hang it high and mighty! Probably because you want to show it off but really, you should be hanging it at eye level for optimal viewing and balance. It’s less of a pain in the neck that way too.

  • Easy And Healthy Snacks For Kids On Vacation

    DIY Family

    Vacation time is here and the kids are either at home, at camp or at their grandparent’s house being spoiled rotten. Between all the fun times outside or binge watching TV, be sure that their diet still stays healthy and nutritious. General super foods that can be translated into snacks for kids are peanut butter, fruits, vegetables, oats, provisions and of course healthy dairy like yogurt. Here are just a few snack ideas you can try to spruce up these super foods and give the kids something healthy and fun to eat on the go.

    1. Apple slices with peanut butter and granola

    Like a mini but super healthy pizza! Feel free to add chocolate chips for some sweetness.

    Recipe: http://paleoeatsandtreats.com/apple-cookies/#sthash.E87Vm83u.wkcnpyNB.dpbs

    Image: Paleo Eats and Treats

    1. Fruit and cheese kebabs

    Whatever fruits you have at home, put them on a kebab and serve them!

    Recipe: http://www.mybakingaddiction.com/fruit-and-cheese-kabobs-recipe/

    Image: Pinterest

    1. Homemade granola bars

    Packed with lots of ingredients to keep their energy up, these granola bars look expensive and are really easy make.

    Recipe: https://www.blessthismessplease.com/granola-bar-recipe/

    Image: Pinterest

    1. Rainbow veggie plate

    Some kids don’t like to eat veggies but maybe it’s just the arrangement of them on the plate that turns them off. Try this instead!

    Image: Meet The Duiens

    1. No bake peanut butter and banana cookies

    Nothing better than no-bake cookies! Save yourself the time, energy and mess and still get a great snack.

    Recipe: http://blog.feelgreatin8.com/3-ingredient-peanut-butter-banana-cookies/

    Image: SuperHealthyKids

     

    1. Sweet potato chips

    Thinly slice 1-2 sweet potatoes, add some oil, salt and pepper and pop them in the oven. The kids will love these healthy chips.

    Image: Pinterest

  • 7 Reasons To Become A Tea Drinker

    Lifestyle

    It’s easier than coffee
    Making a cup of tea is basically some hot water and a tea bag or diffuser. Making a pot of coffee, if you’re not into the individual instant packets, takes a lot longer.

    Tea contains antioxidants
    Most teas have antioxidants that work to prevent the body’s version of rust; it helps to clean out your system so that it continue to work at its best.

    Less caffeine than coffee
    Herbal blends of tea have no caffeine, while traditional teas have less than 50% of what typically is found in coffee. You’ll be consuming less caffeine and your nervous system will be grateful.

    Green tea can help with weight loss
    The active components in green tea when it’s brewed can aid in boosting the effects of fat burning hormones within the body.

    Black tea can keep your bones healthy
    Many studies suggest that black tea contains healthy plant chemicals called flavonoids that can help ward off bone-weakening illnesses.

    Herbal tea may soothe the digestive system
    You’ve probably heard your grandmother saying you should drink ginger tea to settle your stomach and she’s not wrong. Herbal teas like chamomile are good for people with irritable bowel syndrome because it is an antispasmodic.

    It’s a great tasting relaxant
    Not only does tea taste great, it comes in a range of flavours and has been linked to being a relaxant for anyone who feels stressed or nervous. Pick up a cup today!

  • Man Cave Essentials: Our Gift Guide For Father’s Day

    Lifestyle Product

    Dads need their own space…for what reasons we don’t know but that’s the way it’s been since the dawn of times which is assumedly where the name “Man Cave” even comes from. That being said, at Courts we offer a wide range of tech and appliances to outfit from the most primal to modern man caves with the greatest essentials around. Here’s our gift guide for Father’s Day!

    TV
    What’s a man cave without a TV…a BIG TV…a BIG Smart TV. See where we’re going with this? Get Dad a TV that can handle watching the game with his friends and streaming his favourite show on Netflix.

     

    Home Theatre System
    This ties into the TV gift we talked about before. A home theatre system is a great gift for the Dad who’s into surround sound action!

     

    Audio Stuff
    If your dad is a music lover then look no further. Headphones or speakers make a great gift that he’ll want to show off time and time again. Especially when he feels the urge to relive the memories of all his favourite songs.

     

    Laptop
    Whether he’s a businessman, an artist, a construction worker, a stay at home dad or anything else…a new laptop is always a great gift. With a range of brands to choose from, you can find the one that best fits his lifestyle.

     

    Phone
    If your dad isn’t very flashy and he’s been using the same phone he got back in 2001, then it’s time to give him an upgrade. Plus, when he gets his new phone you can show him how to use it and make sure that he programs you in as his favourite child!

     

    Fitness Equipment
    If he’s into fitness, that’s no problem. Come in and check out what we’ve got! Maybe he needs a new piece of equipment or he just needs the accessories, either way, it’ll make a great, thoughtful and useable gift!

     

    Small Appliances
    If he’s into his cooking skills, get him something he can show off with. A new slow cooker or a blender might be just the thing to keep him happy and singing in the kitchen.

  • 10 Fun Wedding Photo Ideas You’ll Want To Try On Your Big Day

    Lifestyle Event

    Your wedding day is coming! Congrats, congrats! By now 98% of things are in order so it’s time to have a little fun. Your wedding pictures will be with you for years to come so it’s best to make them memorable! Whether you’re going for sweet and sentimental or downright hilarious, here are 10 fun wedding photo ideas you’ll want to try!

    1. The before and after reveal
    When the perfect dress is revealed, it makes for a great shot!

    Image: velaimages


    2. The couple reading their letters
    If you’ve written letters for each other, get a shot of you reading them. Sweet and simple.

    Image: Pinterest

    3. Goofy groomsmen and bridesmaids faces
    If you’ve got some characters for groomsmen, immortalize their fun with some snaps of their best faces to make a collage!

    carlzochImage: carlzoch

    4. Mirror image
    Use a full-length mirror to capture a picture of the bridal party that’s unique and fun.

    Image: Pinterest

    5. Fun with the kids
    Don’t leave the kids out. They make the cutest pictures anyways!

    bobbyearle.comImage: bobbyearle.com

    6. The aerial shot
    If your wedding photographer is using a drone, get him to take some great aerial shots to show off your romantic sides.

    Image: ben-chrisman-photography

    7. The friendship board
    Your bridal party is made up of the very best of the best. Grab a chalkboard and have them write down when or where they first met you for a cute and nostalgic photo.

    Image: bridesofadelaide

    8. Using props
    If you want to add a little extra pop, bring props to your photo shoot. Things like balloons, umbrellas, funny socks/signs all make for a memorable photo.

    Image: balloonscharlotte

    9. The staged group shot
    If you have a vision of something funny, don’t be afraid to ask to have it captured. Photos like this are easy to recreate and of course, tons of fun.

    Image: maria vicencio

    10. Jumping on the bed
    There’s nothing better than having some genuine fun at your wedding. When it’s just you and your lifelong best friend alone at last, be sure to let your personalities show with some epic photos like this one!

    Image: huffingtonpost

  • Removing Clutter From Your Home, Room By Room

    How To Home

    Time to throw out the old and bring in the new…energy! Oh clutter, how do you even get so out of hand? Every home has spots that clutter just gravitates towards and eventually, you’re wondering why you even bought that chair in the living room if it’s only going to hold old newspapers? Here are our best ways to remove clutter from your home, room by room, and they don’t even take that much time! Win-win!

    What to toss from the living room:
    The name says it all. Your living room is where your family does the most living and as a result, the most clutter grows. Here’s what you can go through and toss quickly:

    • Old newspapers or magazines
    • Trinkets that you don’t really like or need
    • Any chipped, broken or faded mementos or vases
    • Framed photos that aren’t relevant anymore
    • Old remotes that are no longer needed
    • Empty candles

    What to toss from the kitchen:
    Oh boy, the kitchen. A hub for all things not needed! Here’s what you can go through and toss quickly:

    • Plastic containers that have missing tops. (Yes, let them go)
    • Any appliance that’s never used or doesn’t work
    • Food that’s past expiry in the fridge, cupboards or pantry
    • Old cups or mugs that you don’t use
    • Cutlery or pans that have been worn out
    • Old kitchen towels

    What to toss from the closet:
    Your closet can turn into the wardrobe of forgotten things in no time. Here’s what you can go through and toss quickly:

    • Old pillows that have seen their time
    • Clothes and shoes that you haven’t worn in 6+ months
    • Old or broken bags
    • Any gifts that were given that you never used
    • Sheets that are old

    What to toss from the foyer:
    The entrance to your home accumulates quite a bit of clutter due to the fact that it’s a heavily trafficked area. Here’s what you can go through and toss quickly:

    • Toss out that little bowl that collects old receipts, batteries, hair clips, etc.
    • Keys that are no longer needed
    • Mats that are old and used
    • Broken umbrellas
    • Slippers or shoes that have missing sides or have seen their time
  • 5 Ways To Stay Cool And Sleep On Those Hot Nights

    Lifestyle How To

    Is there anything worse than getting cozy in your bed only to realize it feels less like a cool cloud and more like a clump of foam with heat radiating from it? On those hot nights, how do you stay cool? Stop tossing and turning and check out our 5 ways to stay cool and sleep on those hot nights.

    If you have an AC unit, use it
    Studies have shown that the ideal and recommended temperature for us to sleep in is about 65 degrees Fahrenheit or 18 degrees Celsius. The cooler the room, the more relaxed your body feels and soon you’ll be entering sleep land.

    Be a smart mattress shopper
    Mattresses are large, dense and greatly affect the heat levels in your room because of how much they retain during the day. Of course, your skin isn’t having direct contact with your mattress but trust us that heat does seep out and up! Mattresses with latex layers are actually the coolest whilst memory foam is known to stay the hottest so keep that in mind when shopping.

    Pick the right fabric
    Your sheets contribute to trapping a lot of heat from the day so it’s best to invest in sheets made from breathable fabrics like linen or cotton. Cool, comfy and also quite soft!

    Watch your layers
    If you’re used to sleeping with heavy covers like comforters, try just using a sheet with the comforter to the side, just in case you do get chilly or want that extra cushiony feeling. When those hot temperatures creep up on you in the wee hours of the morning, you’ll be happy you’re just wrapped up in a thin sheet and not something heavier.

    Find the right pillow
    Your pillow is a huge factor in keeping cool because just like your mattress, they come in a variety of materials. Some run hot and others stay cool…on both sides of the pillow. Look for cotton once again when choosing your pillow. Catch you on the much cooler flip side!

  • Gift Guide: Great Gift Ideas For Mother’s Day

    Family Product

    Firstly, we have to note that everything we suggest in this wonderful gift guide for mom can be found at Courts! Come in and browse items that are sure to make mom say “Wow, thanks!” this Mother’s Day. You’ll have to buy the card though…we haven’t gotten into that market just yet!

    Appliances For All
    Now we’re not saying you have to go out and get your mom a brand new fridge (By all means do if that’s what she really wants. Have you seen our selection?), but we are saying that we supply a wide variety of appliances, small and large! If she loves to bake we’ve got standing mixers, blenders, baking sheets and more. We’ve also got coffee machines and slow cookers so she can perfect her Sunday lunch ox tail! If she’s been talking about wanting a new washing machine, well…you get the gist!


    Some Entertainment
    Don’t think just because she’s a mom that she won’t love to sit back and relax with her favourite show at the end of a long day. Trust us, a brand new TV with a big red bow might be just the thing she wants for Mother’s Day. Good luck taking the remote from her though!


    Ever-Popular Electronics
    Oh kids these days with their phones and their tablets…oh and let’s add moms to that list too! Browse all the latest in tech like tablets, phones, laptops and more and get her something so she can always keep in touch. Trust us, you’ll be receiving a video call more often than you think.


    Home Sweet Home
    If you want to really impress, get mom something she can show off in her living room. We’ve got lounge sets, coffee tables, recliners and more. Maybe she’s always wanted a patio set? Either way, a piece of furniture that becomes a staple in her home will always remind her of how much you appreciate and love her.

  • How To Plan A Special Mother’s Day Brunch

    How To

    Mother’s Day is around the corner and yes, we totally agree that we shouldn’t just have ONE day to celebrate moms because they are the actual core of the Earth and light of life, but at the same time it’s also nice to show her your appreciation on the day. If you’ve already gotten a gift for her or you’re still searching for something to do on the day (It does fall on a Sunday so it’s perfect for planning something) then check out our tips on how to plan a special Mother’s Day brunch.

    Get the invites going
    Round up your favourite family members and the…mandatory ones and let them know in advance that you’re planning on having a Mother’s Day brunch. If it’s a potluck brunch you want to have, be sure to tell them specifically what they can bring but if it isn’t, go ahead and count how many people are coming so you can make food to suit and have enough chairs.

    Choose a location
    Honestly, the best location to have a Mother’s Day brunch is…at home. Don’t groan just yet. We know that having events at home usually means extra clean up for the host but because it’s for moms, you can make the exception. Having the brunch at home gives it a cozy and relaxed feel that all the guests will enjoy.

    Plan a menu
    A brunch menu might be the most exciting menu to plan because you can mix breakfast and lunch for a great buffet of flavours that everyone will love. Mix up dishes from both meals like adding breakfast eggs with things like quiche, small sandwiches with pasta salad, and of course a lovely dessert. Don’t forget to incorporate mom’s favourite dish!

    Have some drinks
    One of the greatest parts of brunch, depending on if you drink alcohol, is…mimosas. It’s a quintessential drink and can add flair and fun to your get together. Of course you should also plan other drinks for non-alcoholic members.

    Get all the necessities
    Things like plates, cutlery, napkins, cups, and the entire kitchen sink are needed of course. Do a little shopping around and see if you can get matching sets so your brunch can follow an aesthetic or theme! Don’t forget things like extra chairs (for that unexpected Aunt or Uncle) and garbage bins for easy clean up.

    Add the extras
    By extras we mean things to tie the brunch together and give it a little extra life like mom’s favourite flowers as a centerpiece, a small, easy party game to play over the table, a special Mother’s Day sash for her to wear, etc. You choose what extra you want to add and enjoy the day!

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