4 Easy Homemade Frozen Treats You MUST Try

Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches

One of my absolute favorite froze treats has got to be an ice cream cookie sandwich. Every summer when I was a kid, we’d visit my nana at her lake house in upstate New York. There was this massive multi-restaurant building, called the Charcoal Corral, that also had a mini-golf course, stage and drive-in theater. The ice cream parlor had these massive ice cream cookie sandwiches as big as my head! I stand by those being the best, but these delish Ben & Jerry’s ones are a fantastic second place – especially when you consider the slightly more normal portion size.

Homemade Sorbet

Four flavors of homemade sorbet on a black plate.

While I’m not here to discuss the differences between sorbet and sherbet (yes, there’s only ONE “r”), I can kickstart you on a magical journey of fruity deliciousness! Dump some frozen fruit, simple syrup and a bit of lemon or lime juice into a blender and you’ve got a fresh, magnificent summer treat anyone can enjoy. Follow this handy guide from The Flavor Bender to make it scoopable after a long-term freeze or, better yet, pour any extras into Zipsicles and make your very own freeze pops everyone will love!

Custom Popsicles

Homemade cherry and coconut popsicles.

Pretty much everyone knows how to make popsicles. Pour juice into a popsicle mold or ice cube tray, add the sticks (and some sort of wrapping if you’ve gone the ice cube tray route) and voila, custom popsicles in just a few hours. Take it a step further with one of these scrumptious adult popsicle recipes.

Slushies Galore

Red slushy in a clear plastic cup.

Everyone loves a good slushie, just as everyone loves a glass of refreshing Kool-Aid, or at least they probably did as kiddos. So, why not combine the two? Just combine ice, sugar and your favorite flavor packet in a blender and you’ll soon have a Kool-Aid slushie that’s perfect for kids from age 2 to 82.

What’s your favorite frozen summer treat? Did it make our list?

9 Ways to Keep Cool This Summer

Summer is officially on its way! Are you prepared for the heat? If you’re not (or even if you are) below are some great tips for keeping yourself and your home cool this summer!

Cover Your Windows

Essential Light Filtering Cordless Cellulars trap heat to keep your home cool.
Essential Light Filtering Cordless Cellulars in Mountain Air

An obvious way to keep cool in the summer is to block all that dratted sunshine and heat from coming in your windows. But, to get the best heat reduction, you can’t just cover your windows with any old thing. For optimal energy efficiency, cellular shades are easily your best bet. Their honeycomb shape traps heat to prevent it from invading your space and turning your home into a sauna. And if you’re worried about losing all that lovely light, you can always go with light-filtering cellulars instead of room-darkening or blackout.

Swap Out Your Bedding

Clean, white bedding on a wooden bed.

Strip off those winter flannels and switch to nice, breathable cotton or bamboo for the summer months. If you’re really feeling adventurous, you can even put your bedding in the freezer (in plastic bags, of course) for a bit before making your bed at night. Just imagine hopping into those perfectly chilled sheets after a hot day in the summer sun.

Take Advantage of Evaporative Cooling

Colorful water balloons in a blue tub.

This might not be as big of a deal in other parts of the country, but out here in Arizona, we take evaporative cooling very seriously. Between outdoor misting systems, swamp coolers, refrigerated spray bottles (or water balloons) and cheeky bowls of ice water sitting in front of fans, there are so many ways to stay cool!

Stay Hydrated

Sliced watermelon on a plate.

We all know how important staying hydrated is, especially during the summer. But, sometimes it can be hard to chug the recommended 64 to 80 oz water per day (more during the summer months). A fun, cheeky way to sneak a bit more hydration into your diet is to eat more water-rich foods, like fresh fruits and vegetables. As an added benefit, the University of Alabama found that an increase in vitamin C will also help your body tolerate the summer heat by delaying sweat gland fatigue.

Switch to Snacking

Almonds, olives and radishes on a wooden serving tray.

Forego big meals in favor of small snacks throughout the day. Digesting a huge meal takes energy, and energy means heat. Keep your body from overheating and working too hard with quick snacks all day long rather than two or three jumbo meals.

Capitalize on Shaded Areas

Woman sitting outside under an umbrella.

If you’re planning on spending any time outside this summer, you’d better have a map in your mind of all the best shady spots to hide out form the afternoon sun. Take full advantage of any umbrellas, overhangs and trees around your home (or wherever you’re hanging out this summer) to maximize your time outside without risking overheating.

Buy a Remote Car Starter

Empty silver sedan alone in a parking lot.

Remote car starters, like these ones from Avital, are NOT gadgets of the future – they are the here and now, so get one while you can truly appreciate their awesomeness. Sure, car starters are great for winter, but who says they can only be used to warm up your cars? Set your AC to max and turn on your car a few minutes before leaving the house or work and your car will be nice and cool when you hop in.

Utilize Your Downstairs Living Space

Four people hanging out in a living room with a shag rug.

It’s common knowledge that heat rises, so make sure your summer hangout spot is on the ground floor. And if you have a finished basement, deck it out with all sorts of fun games or cozy hangout areas to create your very own summer escape.

Don’t be Scared to Use Your AC

Modern thermostat set to 63 degrees.

Electric bills in the summer can be downright terrifying, but if you aren’t too scared, we definitely recommend running your AC. Keep in mind that ideal sleeping temperatures generally range from 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, but if you’re used to 115-degree weather, we doubt you’ll be comfortable at 65, so just stick with what feels comfortable for you and your family. And if you don’t have AC, take advantage of public areas like malls, libraries, movie theaters and even restaurants to keep yourselves cool.

Creating the Ultimate Mom Space

Want to do something special for Mom but can’t find the perfect surprise? Update a space that will give her a little alone time to relax and unwind! Pick an overlooked alcove, room, or even a (hopefully air-conditioned) shed and deck it out as a special space just for mom!

Choose Calming Colors

Mom reading a book on a pale pink couch.

Neutrals are really in this year, but, honestly, when are they not? Choose some nice, calm colors mom will love. You can even throw in a few of her favorites to make the space more personalized.

Creature Comforts

Blue and green throw pillows on a couch with books.

A secret stash of mom’s favorite snacks plus an assortment of soft blankets and fuzzy pillows will go a long way to helping mom relax! Combine it with a good book or one of her favorite flicks and she’ll be ready for hours of relaxation!

Flowers Galore

Purple and pink tulips on a table next to a couch.

Sure, we might say we don’t need flowers or anything, but we definitely wouldn’t say no if they just happened to magically appear on the kitchen table or nightstand! Pick up some of mom’s favorites at the grocery store, a local flower shop, or think outside the box with a Manly Man Beef Jerky Bouquet or even Edible Arrangements! Not only will they fill mom’s heart with love, they’ll also flood her nose with their delicious aromas.

Set the Mood

Designer Series Woven Wood Shades in Nassau
Designer Series Woven Wood Shades in Nassau

Creating a relaxing space for mom wouldn’t be complete without the perfect lighting and atmosphere. Add some smart lightbulbs and even some motorized blinds or shades so mom can get the perfect combo of light and dark any time of day – all without getting up from her cozy couch or chair.

Going for the boho or farmhouse look? Try some wood blinds or woven wood shades. Looking for something high-class, go for or roman shades! There really is something for every style. Plus everything is 30% off with another 15% off that, and you know how mom loves a good deal!

Final Touches

Red pillow and hot cocoa on a window sill.

No relaxation room or she-shed would be complete without a few finishing touches to bring the room together. Add some mirrors, wall hangings, candles and even a miniature fountain! And don’t forget to pick mom up a good book so she can get in some reading during her “zen-time.” A card wouldn’t go amiss either – Mom’s love that stuff!

Celebrate Window Covering Safety Month in Style!

October is finally here and you know what that means (or at least you should)! It’s Window Covering Safety Month! And to celebrate the first Window Covering Safety Month since the introduction of the new standard last December, we’re offering free cordless upgrades on nearly all of our wonderful, custom products. 

Let SelectBlinds.com help keep your baby safe!

But what is this standard we’re referring to, you might ask? Well, basically it means that any window coverings manufactured after December 15, 2018 have to either be cordless or have inaccessible cords. And that goes for all stock products, like those you would find prepackaged in big-box retail stores.

Custom products, on the other hand, can still be made with cords. Since cordless options don’t necessarily meet every individual’s needs, it’s important that corded varieties still exist. Even so, the new standard mandates that any cords be no more than 40% of the height of the window covering. It also requires the replacement of all corded tilt systems with wands.

However, if you’ve got kids or fur-babies around, we’d recommend against them. So, what can you do to make your home safe at the start of this holiday season?

Upgrade to Cordless Window Coverings!

The best option to maximize safety is to replace any corded window coverings with cordless. Eliminate the threat and you’ll never have to worry again. Start with rooms where your children and pets spend the most time and spread out from there. Pretty soon your entire house will be safe! And if you need help finding the perfect cordless window covering, check out our helpful kid-friendly cordless buying guide! 

Wind-Ups, Cord Cleats & Wraps – Oh My!

Use cord cleats if you don't have cordless!

You don’t necessarily have to replace your window treatments to make them cordless. Nor do you have to chop them down or board up your windows. Cord cleats, wraps and wind-ups, however, are much more reasonable and inexpensive options. They quickly and easily allow you to conceal and organize stray cords. If you aren’t sure which kind of cord management solution you want, try a few! We’re willing to bet there’s a solution out there that’s perfect for you.

Cut your cords to spite your cleats!

If you have cords, keep them short!

Can’t stand cord cleats or other cord safety gadgets? Take the easy approach and simply cut your cords. Careful not to cut them too short, though! And remember, don’t tie any knots in the end to join them. It might make organization easier, but adding a knot at the end of your cords can make them even more dangerous for wandering hands and mouths.

Rearrange your furniture to maximize safety!

Kelley Nan Nursery with SelectBlinds Shades
Designer/Blogger Kelly Nan’s Nursery featuring
Select Blinds Designer Reserve Woven Wood Shades in Bali White 

When you fill your home with furniture galore, a large part of our brain focuses on form over function. And while that’s important, it’s also important to keep in mind potential dangers. Move all beds, couches, cribs and any other climbable furnishings away from windows with corded coverings. If it’s impossible to move something, refer back to the previous three suggestions. 

Cords and kids do NOT go together.  Go cordless!

Do you have a solution we didn’t mention for maximizing blind cord safety? Not sure which is the best window covering for your little one? Try our kid-friendly cordless buying guide or give us a call and we’ll be happy to help you #gocordless and find your perfect covering.

Spread Joy on the International Day of Happiness

Happy Woman in a Field From DepositPhotos

Photo from DepositPhotos

Ever since Bobby McFerrin introduced us to “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” it has been the tune that is most associated with, well, being happy.

Unless of course you don’t like the song, in which case it may cause the opposite reaction like some of us do when Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” abruptly arrives on the radio or is heard through another medium.

That’s another discussion entirely; for now, let’s focus on the idea of being happy, which is what March 20 is all about. In case you were unaware it is the International Day of Happiness, a holiday created by the United Nations and a non-profit group known as Action for Happiness.

The holiday has not been around long, with it being celebrated for the first time in 2013. According to happinessday.org it spans 193 UN Member states, another two observer states and 11 territories.

Besides being happy, the holiday calls for trying to spread the goodwill all around. On social media, hashtags like #tenbillionhappy, #internationaldayofhappiness, #happinessday and #choosehappiness will be seen.

As long as you are happy, though, you’ll be celebrating properly. But thinking about it, what makes us happy? The answer of course varies, though there are certain things that most of us can probably agree on.

Like puppies. Because really, who doesn’t smile when looking at faces like these?

What else makes people happy? A quick survey among the Select Blinds Marketing team revealed a wide range of happiness bringers, some of which are likely more common than others.

For instance, babies probably make many people happy. That’s totally understandable.

One thing that popped up that may or may not be a popular choice is cheese fries.

Those do look pretty good, right? Sure they’re not exactly good for you but the combination of fried potatoes along with melted cheese is something that many of us can get behind.

Disagree?

We’d be remiss not to bring up how happy our window coverings have made people, too. Whether it’s the hundreds of thousands five-star reviews or one of our many “Happy Customers,” Select Blinds has helped bring happiness to many a home and business.

Other things mentioned were family and sports — both of which while great at bringing joy also have a knack for causing anger and disappointment — along with seafood and music.

Ask other people, and no doubt things like exercise, dancing, going on vacation or sitting at the beach will pop up.

Really, though, no one can tell you what should or should not make you happy. It truly is up to us, and on March 20, let’s all do our best to try and spread that feeling to as many people as we can.

Are You After Some Lucky Charms this St. Patrick’s Day?

On Sunday, March 17, many around the world will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. A festive holiday, it often brings about festivals and parades and typically features attendees wearing green and enjoying some adult beverages.

Among the other themes that accompany the holiday is that of luck. You’ll likely hear someone mention the “Luck of the Irish” at some point. Besides being a basketball-themed movie released in 2001 or a different film of the same name from 1948, it is also something that boils down to someone feeling like you are a very fortunate person.

Of course, there are people out there who don’t believe in luck or maintain the perspective that one creates their own luck. It’s certainly a reasonable perspective to take, though many people in those camps likely still “knock on wood” every now and then or perhaps refuse to walk under a ladder or step on a sidewalk crack.

Even if you are not one to believe in things like luck, there are certainly plenty of others who do. Maybe they point to bad luck as the reason why something didn’t go their way, or perhaps they acknowledge good luck as a reason why things ultimately worked out.

No matter what one’s perspective is on the matter of luck, one thing we all understand is how folks turn to good luck charms as a way to try and boost their chances. There are plenty of things out there, some sentimental, that people will bring with them in hopes that it will lead to positive results.

Whether they have any tangible effect or not is surely up for debate, but at the very least it’s kind of fun to  think it helps. If you already have your lucky charm, congrats because you’re set.

But for those of you who don’t have anything to bring you luck, don’t despair because there are plenty of options. Looking at it, what are the most popular good luck charms?

The website Brandpointcontent.com looked into the matter, and they came to some interesting conclusions.

One you may be thinking of is the four-leaf clover, as that is pretty commonly known to offer good luck.  Well, actually you’ll need some pretty good luck to find one, as the odds of doing so are about one in 10,000. But if you can track one down then maybe it will give you double luck?

Another pretty common good-luck charm is the rabbit’s foot. Fortunately, most of the ones you’ll see are probably not actually from a rabbit. At least, we hope that’s the case?

Regardless, according to omgfacts.com, the concept of the rabbit’s foot being lucky originated from African-American folk spirituality known as “hoodoo.” In it, it is said the feet are lucky due to the rabbit’s reproductive habits.

There is even more backstory to it all, but suffice to say it’s kind of…umm….gross.

Other popular charms include the horseshoe, a penny (assuming it’s found head up) and the number seven.

Another thing that is believed to bring good luck? The color green. Actually, depending on where you come from its luck-bringing properties could go either way.

If you believe the color green offers good luck, though, or even just really like the color, you might want to check out our vast selection of window coverings that are available in the hue.

Celebrate National Pi Day with Your Favorite Slice

These days it seems as though there is a holiday for everything. Really, every day there is some “National Day of _____” that is being celebrated. In a lot of ways, it’s just too much.

But the holiday we celebrate on March 14 is perfect. For those who do not know, March 14 — or 3/14 — is known as “National Pi Day.”

It’s a math joke, of course, as the symbol Pi (π) equals 3.14 and then many more numbers most of us don’t know.

Fear not, as this blog is not about trying to teach you. If you are interested in the number, feel free to check out this Wikipedia  page that explains Pi in all its infinite glory.

As is the case for most people, Pi Day is about celebrating, well, pie. Sure we add an extra ‘e’ to make it work, but that’s beside the point.

The focus here should be on the glorious dessert that is pie.

Along  those  lines, we all  have our favorites. Some prefer fruit pies while others will gravitate towards the cream. There really is no bad  pie, but some are more popular than others.

According to a poll by ThisIsinisider.com back in December 2018, the most popular pie in every state was either Apple, Pecan or Pumpkin.

That probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise, as there are few people who would really turn down a slice of any of those styles.

And  a little more than a year ago another study looked at the pies most searched for via Google by state, and while Apple, Pecan and Pumpkin were well represented, Peanut Butter, Hula,, Chicken Pot, Chess, Sweet Potato and Shepherd’s all made an appearance.

But what else do people  like? Let’s take a look at some other favorites. With help from EatThis.com, who looked at the most popular pies and then ranked them in terms of their health value (because who eats pie to be healthy?), we know that Coconut Cream, Strawberry and Blueberry are very popular.

Not to be outdone, Cherry, Peach, Banana Cream and Mixed Berry are also among the most desired.

Then again, who could forget about Chocolate Cream, Lemon Meringue, Key Lime or Rhubarb?

Oh, and speaking of Chocolate Cream Pie, our Chocolate Pie Select Double Cell Light Filtering Shades or Select Single Cell Light Filtering Shades would be a delicious addition to your home’s décor.

But don’t eat them, as window coverings are not food. And no, it doesn’t matter how good they look.

There are of course plenty of edible pies not named, but that does not mean they are any less worthy of being eaten.

Really, that’s one of the best parts about pie; there are so many different kinds, be them fruit, cream, pizza or meat-filled, while the crust they rest on also varies. Some are savory while others are sweet.

All have their place in our world.

So on this day where we celebrate all things pie (and Pi), it just makes sense to grab a slice or two and enjoy. Because even though you don’t need an excuse to eat pie, the last thing you want to do is get caught not taking advantage of this most wonderful of holidays.

The Time Is Now to Prepare for Daylight Saving 2019

Analog clock showing 2:00 on daylight savings time 2019

Full disclosure: Being that we are based out of Arizona, the concept of Daylight Saving Time is kind of lost with us.

Yet, while most of us (the Navajo Nation not included) in this state will not be doing anything with our clocks Sunday, we understand that pretty much the rest of the country will be adjusting to their new reality on Sunday.

For at 2:00 a.m. on  March 10, 2019, clocks will need to turn ahead to 3:00 a.m. Fare thee well, hour.

While we cannot necessarily understand your plight, we can at least empathize with the difficulty that comes with the time changing.  It doesn’t take too much thought to figure out some ways it could be problematic.

The first one most of us think about, most likely, is running late for something because you forgot to change the clock.

That’s no doubt an issue for many, but that’s not the only thing that comes from the switch.

Besides messing with punctuality, Daylight Saving Time could  also be bad for your health.

Back in March 2018, CNN posted a story about how the time switch can cause all sorts of problems. Who  knew?

According to the article, a 2016 study discovered the rate for having a stroke increased by 8% in the two  days following the time change. Of that percentage, cancer patients were 25% more likely to suffer a stroke and people older than 65 about 20% more likely.

Interestingly, those are not the only issues that arise from needing to rise an hour earlier.

A 2012 study by the University of Alabama at Birmingham discovered the Monday and Tuesday following the “spring forward” switch were associated with a 10% increase in the risk of having a heart attack. Conversely, the risk decreases by the same amount when it is time to “fall back.”

Taking the time to think about it, those conclusions actually make a lot of sense.

Suddenly losing an hour of sleep is not a good thing. Numerous studies have shown how lack of sleep leads to weight gain, which then increases the chances for something like a heart attack, other heart ailments and diabetes.

There is also the issue of messing with one’s circadian rhythm. Not to be confused with the cicada bug, which is kind of freaky but doesn’t do much for your health one way or another, the circadian rhythm (or clock) is pretty important.

At a base level, it is simply the concept of how your body understands and adjusts to time at a biological level. Being ready to do certain things, like wake up or go to sleep, doesn’t just happen because we want it to.

It takes some programming, so suddenly switching things up can be a real jolt to the system. Now,  the good news is that our bodies will eventually adjust to the new reality, but the time before it does may lead to a ride on the struggle bus.

None of this is to say it is impossible to survive the time change. We’re going to assume you’ve been through this before, which means you have found ways to persevere.

We’re proud of you.

But if you are new to it all or are hoping to find some tips to make it less awful, the study by UAB also provided some ideas to help your body adjust more quickly.

Some of them are less pleasant, such as waking up a half-hour earlier than you need to on Saturday and Sunday in preparation for that Monday start time, while others — like eating a decent-sized breakfast — are more palatable.

It is also recommended that you go outside in the sunlight early in the morning and/or do some a.m. exercising over the weekend.

Do all of that, it is noted in the study, and your body will be better prepared for the sudden shift. And the more prepared you are, the less likely you are to experience any health-related issues due to the change.

Of course, if none of that works for you, there’s always the option to move to Arizona, though we don’t necessarily advise that now since summer is just around the corner.

Ready to Celebrate National Day of Unplugging?

Beautiful Arizona Scenery by @the_hiker

Instagram photo by the_hiker

If you’re reading this, you obviously aren’t taking part in the National Day of Unplugging. Actually, if you’re using a phone or tablet to read this and you don’t end up plugging it in to recharge, you might have found a loophole.

At any rate, beginning sundown March 1 there is a 24-hour period in which it is hoped people will put their devices down and…umm…go outside? Talk to each other with their voices and not through text messages?

Ugh, whose terrible idea was this???

We kid, of course, as going outside isn’t really all that bad (unless you live here in Arizona in the summer when it’s 118° out). The whole point today is for us to take a break from the electronic devices that seem to control our lives.

Just think about how you’d make it through a day without having a screen to look at. Can you even imagine?

If not, that’s why this holiday exists.

The Mother Nature Network jotted down a few signs that we depend too much on technology, and they include things like how nobody seems to know a phone number anymore, failure to live in the moment and a feeling of being naked when you don’t have your phone on you.

Want some more disturbing facts? A post by King University Online revealed that apparently we touch our phones, on average, more than 2,600 times per day, while iPhone owners unlock their devices around 80 times per day.

And before you start feeling proud of yourselves, Android people, the same page says you unlock your gadgets around 110 times a day.

Wow!

Once unlocked, we all spend about five hours each day browsing with our mobile devices, including 12 percent of adults who do so in the shower. (These people really need to use today to make a clean break from their phones.)

A whopping 75 percent of people admitted to texting while driving at least one time, and an alarming 26 percent of car accidents were attributed to someone using their phone. (Wake up, folks. Seriously. No message is that important. DON’T text and drive!)

This, too, from the Daily Infographic paints a somewhat disturbing, albeit colorful, picture.

So yeah, most of us could stand to unplug a bit.

Of course we all know that’s a difficult thing to do. Many of us rely on our phones to get our jobs done, and others require them in order to keep track of family members and other life events.

That’s why maybe the National Day of Unplugging should be less about totally shunning our devices than understanding how much we have come to rely on them. After all, even if we can’t really get through our day without them — for legitimate reasons — it doesn’t hurt to see the numbers.

Will they help to inspire change? For some, maybe.

Instead of spending an hour perusing social media sites, why not go for a nice hike? Or  rather than check emails on the weekend,  go out and fly a kite, play a board game, or check something off the to-do list. Or maybe actually just talk to the friend, loved one, or co-worker sitting right next to you instead of using IM.

Then again, maybe this knowledge will not lead to any changes at all. For some, being connected is too important to give up, and that’s fine. We understand. (After all, if you’re not connected, you couldn’t buy blinds from us, could you? ;-))

But no matter if you ignore your phone for a day or continue to cling to it, information about how much our phones mean to us is not a bad thing. Thomas Jefferson once said “knowledge is power,” so enjoy this power, even if you use it to keep your phone charged.

 

Tasty Turkey Day Decor Ideas

Thanksgiving Decor - Pumpkins and More!

It’s scary to think that Halloween is already behind us and the winter holidays are almost upon us. You’ve barely recovered from your candy coma and packing the costumes away, and it’s time to start digging out the next onslaught of inflatable lawn ornaments. Often overlooked in between is Thanksgiving decor. But we found some fun ideas you can be thankful for that don’t take a lot of time or cost a lot of money, so you don’t feel like a turkey and can make the next few weeks before Black Friday more festive.

Turkeymingos

Photo credit Pink Inc. on Amazon.com

Fine feathered Turkeymingos like this one are available on Amazon.

Who needs inflatable turkeys when you can have a yard full of Turkeymingos? Yes, Virginia, turkeymingos really are a thing.  As in the iconic pink plastic flamingo dressed as a turkey or pilgrim.  Pinterest and Instagram are awash with ways to outfit everyone’s favorite lawn decoration in traditional Thanksgiving garb. No time to get creative? You can even find them on Amazon completely “dressed.”  No stuffing required.

Spice Up Your Napkins

Photo credit Sandra Nilsson from Vintage House

This Thanksgiving, you don’t need to settle for paper plates and napkins or spend a fortune buying all new table dressings for the big feast. Just spice things up a little, like Sandra Nilsson from Vintage House does. She tied her cloth napkins in string and then tucked a sprig of greenery and a stick of cinnamon, for a simple but elegant touch to the table that smells great, too.

Go Wild

Beautiful Fall Flower Arrangement - Photo Credit Elle Decor by Getty Images

This is the perfect time of year to bring the beauty of the outdoors in. For all-natural styling, gather some branches, leaves and other plants from your own backyard to create wildly unique floral arrangements, or to add a personal touch to store-bought arrangements.

Tangerine Is the New Pumpkin

Tangerines in Glass Bowl - Photo Credit Elle Decor by Getty Images

Photo from Elle Decor by Getty Images.

Pumpkins aren’t your only option when it comes to adding a splash of orange to the table. We love this idea for filling a vase with clove-studded tangerines and pine cones. It’s a quick and easy way to adorn the dinner table, kitchen counter, or wherever you need a pop of fall.

Nutty Candles

Walnuts around your candles is an interesting look.

Stealing it! This super simple idea from Good Housekeeping was too good to pass up. Use everyday glass containers (think juice glasses) filled with chestnuts, acorns, or unshelled walnuts to hold short candles in place. Finish it off by attaching a ribbon or trim around the base and place anywhere in the house, or wind ribbon between each vase to string them together in an elegant but simple centerpiece on your dinner table.

Create a Warm Welcome

Photo Credit Pam Markowski

Welcome guests with a whimsical display using a small cart filled with friendly scarecrows. Add some pumpkins and cornstalks and a seasonal welcome banner, and they’ll never want to leave. Photo by Pam Markowski

Make a welcoming wreath for the door from fall foliage found in your front yard. Don’t live in an area affected by the change of seasons? Wrap porch pillars and railings with fall-flavored garland from your local craft store. Line steps and porches with pumpkins and potted plants. Throw some crimson and gold cushions and pillows on outdoor furniture.   And don’t forget to stick your turkeymingo in the yard.

The best part (besides looking good) about these decorations is there’s no need to store them when Thanksgiving is over (just undress your flamingo and put a Santa hat on it for next month). Then, after the table is cleared and the kitchen is clean again (or not), it’s time to get ready for the Big Black Friday sales, like the one we’ll have here on selectblinds.com. We’re starting the cell-abration early with extra servings and savings all month long on our best selling honeycomb/cellular-style shades. And you still have time to decorate your windows for Thanksgiving with brand new blinds or shades. Just order by November 6 for guaranteed delivery.

Premier Double Cell Light Filtering Shades in Rainforest Green from SelectBlinds.com

Complement your holiday table setting with Premier Double Cell Light Filtering Shades (shown in Rainforest Green).

“Happy Thanksgiving … it’s your turn to say Happy Thanksgiving back.” — Joe Fox

“Happy Thanksgiving back.” — Rose, Zabars Cashier