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

Happy National Coffee Day!

How did you spend National Coffee Day?

Share a picture of your favorite mug with us on Facebook!

It's National Coffee Day!Nothing, per one of the most popular memes ever, gets done before coffee. Consider: 31% of coffee drinkers make coffee the most important part of their morning, brewing a cup first before any other morning behavior or activity. Coffee is such an important part of most peoples’ daily routine that, according to Huffpost:

  • 55% of coffee drinkers would rather gain 10 pounds than give up coffee for life.
  • 52% of coffee drinkers would rather go without a shower in the morning than give up coffee.
  • 49% of coffee drinkers would rather give up their cell phone for a month than go without coffee.

And while 75% of the caffeine consumed here in the U.S. comes from coffee and the average American spends about $1092 on it each year, we are not the world’s leading coffee consumers.  The “Coffee per Capita of the World” title goes to … Finland! (We don’t even crack the Top 10, landing at #25 on the list of top coffee-consuming nations.)

But  today is not the Fins day to celebrate. Saturday, September 29 is National Coffee Day here in the USA, and celebrate we will with great National Coffee Day Deals at favorites like Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts and Peet’s. And be sure to look for that “Hot Donuts” sign for special coffee-glazed doughnuts at Krispy Kreme!

Celebrate, too, with one of the hottest home design trends — the coffee bar! From converted bar carts to custom built-ins, design magazines and Pinterest are percolating with DIY and other ideas for creating your own personal corner cafe.  Looking for a fun project this weekend? Get brewing with some of these ideas!

Photo credit: Chelsea Mohran

This cute coffee cart gives Chelsea Mohran  extra storage space while organizing all her coffee essentials for easy access. Love how she’s staged it with fresh florals, too.

Photo credit: Style Me Pretty with Harwell Photography

A simple rolling bar cart makes an elegant way to take your coffee wherever and however you want it. Post from Style Me Pretty with Harwell Photography.

Photo credit: @mrscarlissa

Everyone needs coffee … and cake. And dancing in the kitchen. @mrscarlissa really knows how to perk up a bland corner cabinet.

Photo credit: A Beautiful Mess

So I have to say I’m kinda obsessed with the photo wall behind Elsie’s restyled cafe cart. But I also love how she turned this flea market find into a space-saving service area (note the Thermoses on the bottom) in her very small kitchen.

Photo credit: Carrie Waller with Dream Green DIY

This colorful coffee station has it all! Carrie Waller created this IKEA hack to display her collection of colorful mugs and cookware. Especially love the little shelf for Keurig cups.

As a dramatic backdrop, keep the coffee theme going with a new window covering in a rich, bold java-inspired color. Try a sip of our Designer Series Blackout Roller Shades in Cafe au Lait (shown below on the left) or Mochaccino, or treat yourself to an Espresso in our 2″ Select Classic Basswood Wood Blinds. We think you’ll love them a latte!

P.S. This weekend is your last chance to enjoy September Wood Blinds Savings and get an extra 5% off any of our wood blinds!

The Feels of Fall – Get Inspired!

antique wooden bowls
#fallisintheair and wood is the new pumpkin! This collection of old wooden bowls shared by Sarah @graceinmyspace serves up one of the hottest trends in fall decor this year. Get on the Fall Follow Train on IG for more like this. 

Ah, September! Cooler temps, vibrant fall colors and warm, woodsy feels. Sweater and boots weather is finally here, ushering in the season of fab fall decor. Time to break out those fuzzy, furry throws along with some other easy ideas on how to change up your interiors with the change of seasons.

Bring in fall and warm up a room with rich looking wood blinds paired with voluminous and dramatic panel drapes in a deep color like burgundy or brown.

We love the look of darker drapery with our lighter colored real wood window blinds!

Here’s a switch. Go darker with drapes over light wood blinds, like our 2″ American Hardwood Blinds.

Reclaimed wood is a good arbiter for fall. Bring in reclaimed accents in a bench, chair, mantel, or wall art. Spruce things up by pairing pieces with seasonal greenery gathered during a walk in the woods or a stop at the local florist for some fall florals.

(BTW, you can also get the reclaimed wood look on your windows with our 2″ Artisan American Distressed Wood Blinds, shown here in fall-look Endinburg. 

Window Treatments from SelectBlinds.com

One of my go-to inspo sites any time of the year is Housebeautiful.com, and they certainly don’t fall short on ideas. One super-simple suggestion I found there is to put firewood on display. Practical and pretty, just grab a large basket by the handles to easily lug your logs to the fireplace.

Photo credit: Don Freeman - Found on House Beautiful

Get the fall feels with fringe and pom-poms to add some whimsy and unique texture to a plain throw, pillows, even shower curtains.

Add a warm, patterned rug to your bathroom to fall in love all over!

I already had pom-poms on my shower curtain, but saw this cray-cray idea on HB for cozying up the bathroom with a throw over the tub. Had to do it! Just realized it even has fringe. Bonus two-fer! Like how it turned out? (And adding a warm, patterned rug they say will make you fall in love with your bathroom all over.)

Leap for leopard-print accents this fall! Choose softer tones for a more subtle, almost neutral look, then layer on some wood accents for a totally earthy, grounded feel.

Any other favorites you’re falling for this season? Leave a comment and let us know!

Fun Facts About Father’s Day

Father's Day is a special day

Stop me if you’ve heard these before.

It’s Father’s Day weekend and what better time to throw out a few legendary Lame Dad Jokes. (Seriously. Somebody should throw these out.)

When a dad drives past a cow pasture: LOOK! That cow is OUT-STANDING in his field!

MOM: “How do I look?” DAD: “With your eyes.”

CASHIER: “Would you like the milk in a bag, sir?” DAD: “No, just leave it in the carton!”

Not only have lame dad jokes become a real “thing” (just Google for plenty more), here are some other fun facts about how we came to celebrate dad’s day every third Sunday in June.

Historical Timeline

Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington, is credited with starting Father’s Day after hearing a sermon on Mother’s Day while attending church with her father.

Dodd wanted to honor her father, William Jackson Smart, a Civil War veteran who raised six children after his wife died during childbirth. The first official Father’s Day was celebrated in Spokane on June 19, 1910. Since then:

1924 – President Calvin Coolidge publicly supports plans for a national Father’s Day.

1966 – President Lyndon Johnson signs a proclamation calling for Father’s Day to be celebrated on the third Sunday of June.

1972 – President Richard Nixon signs into law a permanent recognition of Father’s Day.

Dad’s Day by the Numbers

According to the U.S. Census Bureau:

70.1 million — Estimated number of fathers across the nation in 2008, the most recent year for which data are available.

24.7 million — Number of fathers who were part of married-couple families with children younger than 18 in 2014.

1.9 million — Number of single fathers in 2014; 16 percent of single parents were men.

211,000 — Estimated number of stay-at-home dads in 2014.

According to Hallmark, Father’s Day is the fourth-largest card-sending occasion, with 72 million cards given every year. 50% of all Father’s Day cards are purchased for fathers, and almost 20% are given to husbands.

Dad’s Day Gift Ideas

Besides a card, what do you plan on giving the dads in your life? Check out these 13 Insanely Cool Father’s Day Gift Ideas we found.

Dads always like a good deal, too, so check out the insanely cool sale we have going on this weekend. This is no lame dad joke, just serious savings of 40% PLUS extra BOGO 50% off EVERYTHING on our site, now through Sunday, June 17, 2018! (And did we mention free shipping on everything, too?) Happy Father’s Day!

A dad hanging curtains in the 1950's!