Cut the Cord and Save Money With Google Chromecast Streaming Media Player

Our family spends a lot of time together, when we can.  Of course, things get in the way sometimes – errands, jobs, house repairs, and everything else that life demands of us before we get to the fun parts.  So when we sit down and want to watch something together, or put something specific in the background to match the mood of our activity, we realized that cable and satellite TV just weren’t for us.  DVR helped, but we really preferred the ability to avoid wasting time with commercials, and pick exactly what we want to watch instead of hoping it happened to be on tonight (so much has changed since we were young, right?!).  We really just couldn’t justify the cost of the television service when it didn’t fit our needs, budget, or lifestyle.

Google Chromecast Streaming Media Player

 

So we did it.  We cut the cord.  We use streaming services.  Even paying a subscription for multiple services has cut our bill drastically.  Our TV is a Smart TV, but to be honest, it’s pretty slow.  Bringing up menus or apps is almost worse than sitting through commercials, so we needed another option.  That’s when we added a little sibling to our Google Home, in the form of a Google Chromecast.  The Google Chromecast Streaming Media Player has made streaming easy, since we can go straight from our phones or our Google Home devices to the TV.  It doesn’t have a confusing software system to set up or navigate, you just pick what you want, and it plays.  We definitely recommend heading to BestBuy to see if it might be the perfect fit for your family, or some lucky friends, this Christmas!

 

Product Specs: 
Features
All together now
Watch movies, shows, live TV, YouTube, and photos streaming on your TV from all your family’s devices.¹
 
Stream from your phone to TV
Plug Chromecast into the HDMI port on your TV and to power and stream your favorite entertainment right from your phone with just a tap. Watch shows, listen to playlists, and more. And while streaming, you can still use your phone as you normally do.
 
Works with the streaming apps you know and love
Enjoy TV shows, movies, videos, songs, games, sports and more from over 2000 apps like Netflix, YouTube, YouTube TV, and HBO NOW. Find more at g.co/chromecast/¹
 
Start streaming with just your voice
Just say what you want to watch from compatible apps and control your TV hands-free, with Chromecast and Google Home working seamlessly together.²
 
“Ok Google, play Stranger Things from Netflix on my living room TV.” ¹
 
Upgrade your TV for less
Expand your home entertainment without buying a new TV. It’s so affordable you can get one for every TV in the house.
 
High-speed wireless connectivity
Built-in 802.11ac Wi-Fi connects to the Internet through your wireless home network (wireless router required and sold separately).
 
Compatible with your existing HDTV
Easily connects to high-definition televisions with HDMI connectivity.
 
¹ Subscriptions are required to view some content.
 
² Google Home, Chromecast, and compatible content required to cast to a TV using Google Home.
 
Web-based services and content require high-speed Internet service. Some services may require a subscription.
 
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored. I have been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

A Simple Guide To Re-Decorating Your Bedroom

 

Simple guide to re-decorating your bedroom

 

Thinking about revamping your bedroom?  The first thing you need to decide is what to do with your existing furniture.  Will you donate it, or mix and match it to fit your new color scheme?  Then you need to consider other things.  What color will you choose to paint the walls?  Do you need a rug?  Will there be enough room for a nightstand or dresser?  There are so many questions, but decorating your bedroom can be fun and exciting, especially with the right guide.

Consulting with interior designers might be a good start, but there are dozens of online sources to consider first.  There is no need for spreadsheets with floor plans or project management software to track your progress.  A simple to-do list will do the trick.  Here are a few tips to get you started! 

 

Create A Basic Plan

This plan does not have to be a fully thought out process.  Just create a short list of ideas to get you started.  For example, think about the type of furniture that you love and the different materials that excite you.  To get some ideas, visit Pinterest.  They have loads of ideas and pictures to get those creative juices flowing! 

 

A few checkpoints to follow for finishing touches include:

Wall Paint

A fresh coat of paint can create an environment that is warm and subtle.  By choosing the right colors, you can create a peaceful place to rest your head at night.  However, study what each color represents and how it affects the body.

 

Pillows

Pillows are a necessity.  The more the better! However, you want to make sure that the bed is comfortable and you can actually sleep in it.  Any where from one to six pillows can be enough, just try not to over-do it!  

 

A Place To Sit Down

It doesn’t have to be a large chair that fills up too much space, but a small ottoman chair or bench will add a nice touch.  Think about having a place to put on your shoes or sit down while talking to a friend on the phone.  

 

Color, Color, Color

If you decide to have a whitewashed setting, think about including a pop of color. Something bold and playful.  This can be one of the most fun things about redecorating your bedroom.  Continue reading below for more color tips, or check out Pinterest for ideas on how to add in pops of color.  

 

Purchase A High-Quality Mattress

On average, you can spend eight hours a day in this one spot.  Choose a mattress store that has a large selection of good mattresses to give you the support you need.  If you are hesitant about spending much on a mattress, keep in mind that a good mattress can last up to 15 years and make a difference in not only your physical health but your mental health as well.

 

A Nightstand That Compliments Your Style

Do you enjoy having a place to put your favorite magazine or book, or need somewhere to put your wireless charging stand to quickly access your phone? A nightstand can be the finishing touch you need.  It solves so many problems yet can be a great compliment to the rest of your room.  

 

Color Color Color

 

Choosing Colors for a Relaxed Atmosphere

How colors can change the mood

Colors have the potential to change your mood and behavior instantly.  For example, the color red has a bold and intense feel to it, while blue can give you a calm and relaxed feel.  

While decorating your bedroom, think about the principles of color psychology and include it into your designs.  

 

How Colors Effect The Way We Sleep

Sleep specialists recommend using colors that are toned down.  Shades that give off a softer feel will enhance your quality of sleep.  Still don’t know what colors to choose?  Below is a list of colors that can get you started:

 

Purple

The color purple can inspire creativity.  However, it comes with a downside.  The color can induce nightmares and generally reduce you to 5 hours of restful sleep.

 

Dark Gray Blue

This color is soothing and retains a calm collective vibe.  It can be a boring color, however.  Adding that pop of color we discussed earlier will do the trick.

 

Soft Green

Soft green can enhance the feeling of contentment and serenity.  The color is similar to a light pistachio hue and offers an elegant, yet grounded design.

 

 

To conclude….

Your bedroom doesn’t have to be just a place to lay your head and get dressed.  By creating an atmosphere that is quiet and relaxing, it can give you a place to unwind at the end of the day.  Think of it as a peaceful safe haven that you have created to get you through some of the bad days.  Choose your designs carefully and your colors with certainty.  It may take a little longer, but you will definitely be happier with the end result.  

Favorite Hocus Pocus inspired products

Hocus Pocus door mat

Hocus Pocus has always been one of my favorite Halloween movies.  Not only is it an awesome movie but there is a character named Dani, just like myself!  It couldn’t be a coincidence :)  So naturally, with my love of Hocus Pocus, I had to find some movie inspired products to share with you!  

Here they are… and keep scrolling because they just keep getting better and better!  

“It’s just a bunch of Hocus Pocus” t-shirt available on Amazon

 

 

 

“I put a spell on you” charm key chain available on Amazon

 

 

Hocus Pocus Decorative Banner available on Amazon

Hocus Pocus door mat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I Smell Children” Door Mat available on Etsy

 

 

 

#SQUADGOALS Vinyl Decal available on Amazon

 

 

Sarah Cape available on Amazon

 

Hocus Pocus Tumblers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your choice of color/design Hocus Pocus inspired tumbler available on Etsy

 

 

Cute Hocus Pocus Mug

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Another glorious morning…makes me sick!” quote mug available on Etsy

 

 

Hocus Pocus themed digital download photobooth props

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hocus Pocus themed photobooth props (digital download) available on Etsy

 

 

Nurse Badge Reel "I Smell Children"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Badge Reel (nurse or other) “I smell children” available on Etsy

 

 

I put a spell on you & now you're mine - farmhouse sign

 

 

 

 

 

 

Farmhouse sign “I put a spell on you & now you’re mine” available on Etsy

 

 

Hocus Pocus Snow Globe from Spirit Halloween

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disney Hocus Pocus themed snow globe from Spirit Halloween

The Sanderson Sisters Pop Figures

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hocus Pocus Sanderson Sisters Pop Figures 3-pack available from Spirit Halloween

 

 

Hocus Pocus SVG clip art

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Create your own with this bundle file available on Etsy

 

 

Sanderson Sister Printable Wall Art available on Etsy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8×10 Printable Wall Art Downloads available on Etsy

 

 

Hocus Pocus Pregnancy Announcement available on Etsy

 

 

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Adorable onesie – Halloween Pregnancy Announcement prop available on Etsy

 

 

It's just a bunch of hocus pocus - tshirt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“It’s just a bunch of Hocus Pocus” tshirt (color options) available on Etsy

 

Considerations of Remodeling Your Home

Considerations of Remodeling Your Home

 

You’re ready to remodel the family home or another property that has peaked your interest. Time to look at what features need to be updated or upgraded. Even if you’ve lived in the property a while, it may be a good idea to bring in a property examiner or home improvement specialist to help determine a list of priorities. They will also be able to help you determine cost estimates as well as budget and financing. Necessities like electrical, plumbing and heating also need to be addressed. Make a list of any needed improvements to bring the home working operations up to date. Include the improvements you desire to make to the home features. Maybe it is time to get that dream bathroom, modern kitchen, or provide a new game room or family room.

 

Determining Upgrades, Improvements, and Benefits of Remodeling

After you have had a little help determining what work to do, expected costs, budgeting for unexpected costs, and have arranged affordable financing, it is time to map out who will do the work. Some remodeling projects such as laying tiles, wood floors or painting may be done relatively easy by yourself. Unless you are highly skilled, you will want to find qualified reputable contractors to perform any electrical, furnace or plumbing work. For complicated jobs like installing new kitchen cabinets or a new tub or shower, you will probably want to consider outside help to complete the job. Many projects may even overlap. 

Utility improvement should probably be tackled first. It is important to have working plumbing, safe and efficient electrical systems, and reliable heating and cooling. They will maintain a home’s value. If the home is ever resold, they will add value to the property, giving buyers confidence in a purchasing a quality home. Updating heating, cooling, plumbing and electrical systems of a house can be the most expensive part of any renovation. Updating these from the start will provide easier access and reduce costs. Old galvanized pipes can be converted to copper and PVC. Outdated electrical systems can be changed from hazardous to modern by rewiring and adding new electric panels. You may want to check out Mr. Electric for reliable, professional service upgrading your electrical systems.

 

Use New Technology

Use modern technology to assist your efforts. New, efficient water heaters are easy to install, cost less to operate than old water tank systems, and provide heated water quickly and for as long as you need it. No more running out of hot water because one family member took an extra long shower or the washing machine is running.  I can tell you that as a mom, I have experienced that a few too many times! 

Replacing pipes reduces the risk of breakage or leaks and offers increased flow. New technology can make your entire water system more efficient. One homeowner had a second system added to provide safe used filtered water to maintain gardens, shrubs, and trees, while also saving water.  It is a win win! 

Electrical system upgrades offer more technological services today, providing tracking and making daily usage more efficient. These upgrades save costs and offer remote tracking of your home while away, monitoring a long list of items in your home. Remotely turn on or off lights, the television, or any other appliance. Add a security system as part of an electrical upgrade at a low cost to provide additional safety. Efficient electrical or even electric assisted gas heating systems are another advantage to updated electrical work for heating your home.

 

Added Value

All of these utility upgrades add value to your home. When you add in remodels to the bathrooms, kitchen, windows, walls, and flooring, the value of the property may increase far above the cost of the remodel. Home renovations to improve home efficiency as well as kitchen, bathroom, and window upgrades normally recoup the cost of the upgrades in later resale value. Taxes and interest costs may be deducted from income taxes, providing an additional benefit.

Think of the benefits you will create for your family: a beautiful new efficient home with reduced operating costs. Your family will enjoy the new home and its added value. If you follow the adage of ‘more efficiency, not bigger’, you will also enjoy the use of more storage space at little cost. As you begin your renovation project, you can look forward to making your house the beautiful, efficient home you have wanted.

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