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16 Budget-Friendly Home Decor Hacks

16 Budget-Friendly Home Decor Hacks

How many times do you secretly love sending your guests’ jaws to the floor as they admire your creative brilliance – and your professional home fashion sense? Playing it off like it was just “something you came up with on the spot.” A lot, right? Shhh, I do too. Makes me feel good to be the envy of friends and family who stop by for a visit. And, it makes me proud of myself – and I, ultimately, was glad I took the leap and just got down to it.

You know hacks, we know hacks. They make life easier. Sometimes, something so simple can end up changing the way you do things, which has an ever-lasting effect.

Especially when you’re decorating a property for rent, and want to make it as inviting and homely for your tenants as possible. But want to do it on the cheap, without letting them know. Home decor DIY hacks are awesome for “covering up the warts” (or flaunting them, if that’s what you’re going for) of old stuff that would’ve been thrown out into new items that make your home exciting (and actually fun) to be in.

Whatever you’re designing, it’s crucial to pick out exciting decor that spruces up any room you desire. No matter the room. A lot of the creative ideas you’re about to sift through put action into your home or rental unit. Doing away with the boring “matching sets” of some items… And are ideas I’m personally going to try out myself!

1. Paint, Paint, Paint

Some sweet-looking kitchen furniture, for a matching set, can be way outside your budget. Which is a shame… Because there are some really cool ones out there.

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Nevermore! Now, to save tens (or hundreds) of dollars – simply head to your favourite thrift or second-hand store, pick out cheap chairs (that satisfy you)… and a bucket of paint of your favourite colour. And get to work! Voila. A beautiful set of mix-matched chairs that spruces up your home. Who doesn’t love colour?

2. Hide Wires

Tired of having wires and cables run along your home? One thing you can do is buy small plastic “boards” shaped like fences. Then line them against your wall, and fit your cables behind them. Cute design and perfect function. Win win.

3. Tape Your Walls

Do you have kids who are at the age of “I’m a masterpiece artist!” Give your walls their artistic touch without the messy scribbling by letting them design their hearts out using neon masking tape. It pulls off easy and leaves no messy residue. All kinds of shapes can be made!

4. Candle Holders

Have a few Votive candles but no candle-holder for them? Flip over a wine glass on its rim and put the candle smack-dab in the middle.

5. “Tacky Art”

Grab a blank canvas and stick thumbtacks in it for literally endless designs. Use your imagination!

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6. Pack Up Your Towels

This sweet idea comes courtesy of WooHome. Grab an old suitcase nobody’s using anymore and hammer the inside of it to your bathroom wall. Now you have a “cupboard” for all your towels.

7. Hanging End Table

Grab a thick piece of wood, any kind of wood you enjoy. Then, simply use it as the base for a swing. Hang it up in a corner as a nifty little end table!

8. Swing, Swing, Swing

Have a wooden chair with broken legs, or which just doesn’t serve a purpose anymore? Give it a purpose by turning it into an outdoor swing with nothing more than lots of rope.

9. DIY Braided Rug

Tired of buying ten different rugs in a year? A Beautiful Mess lists a budget-friendly way to make your own braided rug that lasts for ages.

10. Plants and Ladders!

Some shelves are massive things that take up a lot of space. And can be expensive. Even if you find one that’s budget-friendly, chances are it doesn’t match the look you’re going for. That’s why old, rusty ladders that no longer serve their purpose are an absolute haven!

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Here’s why: Grab a wooden ladder you’re not using anymore, hammer in some two-by-fours (or whatever board is wide enough to hold your potted plants). And rest your favourite potted friends on the shelves. Presto!

11. Paint Your Cutting Board

Sick of looking at a thick, plain cutting board? Head to the stores and pick out non-toxic craft paint in your favourite colours and get to work! For best results, use 3 coats around each edge to make it pop even more. Just be sure not to use light-coloured paint. Overtime they’ll turn yellow. Unless that’s what you’re going for.

12. Put Your Pennies To Use

This tip comes courtesy of Lushome. In this article they show you 25 different creative ways to put your pennies to use. I mean, really. Who doesn’t have a thousand pounds of pennies that stores don’t take anymore?

One idea that punched me in the face was the “Penny Vase”. Simply grab a blank vase (bought for cheap at your favourite thrift shop)or a vase that’s too ugly to put on show in your home. And superglue each and every individual penny you have to the vase. Easy!

Check out Lushome for some really jaw-dropping ideas of what you can do with those pennies.

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13. Ribbon Chandelier

Chandeliers are classy. Here’s how you make your own using good ol’ fashioned ribbon! Wrap ribbon around a 12-inch wreath form. Using three colours of ribbon – cut lengths of 16 inches. Create a pattern by knotting the cut pieces of ribbon around the wreath at midpoints. You can attach it (using string) to another chandelier or hang it anywhere in the house!

14. Turn a Dinner Plate Charger Into A Mirror

  • Put adhesive on the back of your mirror.
  • Gently press the mirror to the center of the charger.
  • Let the adhesive dry.
  • Flip the charger/mirror over and hot-glue a sawtooth hanger on the back.
  • Hang up your new mirror!

15. Hold More Salt & Pepper!

Find any fifth of vodka, bourbon, or whatever you happen to find. Jack Daniels’ bottles work. Just make sure it’s a bottle of fifth. Bleach them, rinse them out, run them through the dishwasher. Voila! New containers for your salt and pepper.

16. Tape Your Hangers

Rather than going out and buying new, whacky, and fun hangers that cost about 2 or 3 bucks a pop (around here, anyway), why not grab some cheap, colourful masking tape and go to town? Seriously! Be done with the plain stainless steel hangers that look so sad, old, and tired in your closet. Grab some masking tape and just let loose.

Final Thoughts

There is no reason, no reason at all you should settle with what you have. What good is being alive at this point in life if you aren’t out there. Trying new things. Spicying things up a bit. Starting with your home! Far for me to suggest you try and shake things up, but nobody ever died from letting their freak flag fly. Just a wee bit.

I hope these hacks have helped you.

Featured photo credit: Kmart – Online Shopping Australia via kmart.com.au

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Last Updated on July 28, 2020

14 Low GI Foods for a Healthier Diet

14 Low GI Foods for a Healthier Diet

Diet trends may come and go, but a low-GI diet remains one of the few that has been shown to include benefits based on science. Low GI foods provide substantial health benefits over those with a high index, and they are key to maintaining a healthy weight.

What is GI? Glycemic index (GI) is the rate at which the carbohydrate content of a food is broken down into glucose and absorbed from the gut into the blood. When you eat foods containing carbohydrates, your body breaks them down into glucose, which is then absorbed into your bloodstream.[1]

The higher the GI of a food, the faster it will be broken down and cause your blood glucose (sugar) to rise. Foods with a high GI rating are digested very quickly and cause your blood sugar to spike. This is why it’s advisable to stick to low GI foods as much as possible, as the carbohydrate content of low GI foods will be digested slowly, allowing a more gradual rise in blood glucose levels.

Foods with a GI scale rating of 70 or more are considered to be high GI. Foods with a rating of 55 or below are considered low GI foods.

It’s important to note that the glycemic index of a food doesn’t factor in the quantity that you eat. For example, although watermelon has a high glycemic index, the water and fiber content of a standard serving of water means it won’t have a significant impact on your blood sugar.

Like watermelon, some high GI foods (such as baked potatoes) are high in nutrients. And some low GI foods (such as corn chips) contain high amounts of trans fats.

In most cases, however, the GI is an important means of gauging the right foods for a healthy diet.

Eating mainly low GI foods every day helps to provide your body with a slow, continuous supply of energy. The carbohydrates in low GI foods is digested slowly, so you feel satisfied for longer. This means you’ll be less likely to suffer from fluctuating sugar levels that can lead to cravings and snacking.

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Let’s continue with some of the best examples of low GI foods.

1. Quinoa

GI: 53

Quinoa has a slightly higher GI than rice or barley, but it contains a much higher proportion of protein. If you don’t get enough protein from the rest of your diet, quinoa could help. It’s technically a seed, so it’s also high in fiber–again, more than most grains. It’s also gluten-free, which makes it excellent for those with Celiac disease or gluten intolerance.

2. Brown Rice (Steamed)

GI: 50

Versatile and satisfying, brown rice is one of the best low GI foods and is a staple for many dishes around the world. It’s whole rice from which only the husk (the outermost layer) is removed, so it’s a great source of fiber. In fact, brown rice has been shown to help lower cholesterol, improve digestive function, promote fullness, and may even help prevent the formation of blood clots. Just remember to always choose brown over white!

3. Corn on the Cob

GI: 48

Although it tastes sweet, corn on the cob is a good source of slow-burning energy (and one of the tastiest low GI foods). It’s also a good plant source of Vitamin B12, folic acid, and iron, all of which are required for the healthy production of red blood cells in the body. It’s healthiest when eaten without butter and salt!

4. Bananas

GI: 47

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Bananas are a superfood in many ways. They’re rich in potassium and manganese and contain a good amount of vitamin C. Their low GI rating means they’re great for replenishing your fuel stores after a workout.

They are easy to add to smoothies, cereal, or kept on your desk for a quick snack. The less ripe they are, the lower the sugar content is! As one of the best low GI foods, it’s a great addition to any daily diet.

5. Bran Cereal

GI: 43

Bran is famous for being one of the highest cereal sources of fiber. It’s also rich in a huge range of nutrients: calcium, folic acid, iron, magnesium, and a host of B vitamins. Although bran may not be to everyone’s tastes, it can easily be added to other cereals to boost the fiber content and lower the overall GI rating.

6. Natural Muesli

GI: 40

Muesli–when made with unsweetened rolled oats, nuts, dried fruit, and other sugar-free ingredients–is one of the healthiest ways to start the day. It’s also very easy to make at home with a variety of other low GI foods. Add yogurt and fresh fruit for a nourishing, energy-packed breakfast.

7. Apples

GI: 40

Apple skin is a great source of pectin, an important prebiotic that helps to feed the good bacteria in your gut. Apples are also high in polyphenols, which function as antioxidants, and contain a good amount of vitamin C. They are best eaten raw with the skin on! Apples are one of a number of fruits[2] that have a low glycemic index. Be careful which fruits you choose, as many have a large amount of natural sugars[3].

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8. Apricots

GI: 30

Apricots provide both fiber and potassium, which make them an ideal snack for both athletes and anyone trying to keep sugar cravings at bay. They’re also a source of antioxidants and a range of minerals.

Apricots can be added to salads, cereals, or eaten as part of a healthy mix with nuts at any time of the day.

9. Kidney Beans

GI: 29

Kidney beans and other legumes provide a substantial serving of plant-based protein, so they can be used in lots of vegetarian dishes if you’re looking to adopt a plant-based diet[4]. They’re also packed with fiber and a variety of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and other beneficial plant compounds. They are great in soups, stews, or with (whole grain) tacos.

10. Barley

GI: 22

Barley is a cereal grain that can be eaten in lots of ways. It’s an excellent source of B vitamins, including niacin, thiamin, and pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), fiber, molybdenum, manganese, and selenium. It also contains beta-glucans, a type of fiber that can support gut health and has been shown to reduce appetite and food intake.

Please note that barley does contain gluten, which makes it unsuitable for anyone who is Celiac[5] or who follows a gluten-free diet. In this case, gluten-free alternatives might include quinoa, buckwheat, or millet.

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11. Raw Nuts

GI: 20

Most nuts have a low GI of between 0 and 20, with cashews slightly higher at around 22. Nuts, as one of the best low GI foods, are a crucial part of the Mediterranean diet[6] and are really the perfect snack: they’re a source of plant-based protein, high in fiber, and contain healthy fats. Add them to smoothies and salads to boost the nutritional content. Try to avoid roasted and salted nuts, as these are made with large amounts of added salt and (usually) trans fats.

12. Carrots

GI: 16

Raw carrots are not only a delicious low GI vegetable, but they really do help your vision! They contain vitamin A (beta carotene) and a host of antioxidants. They’re also low-calorie and high in fiber, and they contain good amounts of vitamin K1, potassium, and antioxidants. Carrots are great for those monitoring their weight as they’ve been linked to lower cholesterol levels.

13. Greek Yogurt

GI: 12

Unsweetened Greek yogurt is not only low GI, but it’s an excellent source of calcium and probiotics, as well. Probiotics help to keep your gut microbiome in balance and support your overall digestive health and immune function. Greek yogurt makes a healthy breakfast, snack, dessert, or a replacement for dip. The most common probiotic strains found in yogurt are Streptococcus thermophilus[7] (found naturally in yogurt) and Lactobacillus acidophilus[8] (which is often added by the manufacturer). You can also look into probiotic supplements for improving your gut health.

14. Hummus

GI: 6

When made the traditional way from chickpeas and tahini, hummus is a fantastic, low-GI dish. It’s a staple in many Middle Eastern countries and can be eaten with almost any savory meal. Full of fiber to maintain satiety and feed your good gut bacteria, hummus is great paired with freshly-chopped vegetables, such as carrots and celery.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking to eat healthier or simply cut down on snacking throughout the day, eating low GI foods is a great way to get started. Choose any of the above foods for a healthy addition to your daily diet and start feeling better for longer.

More Tips on Eating Healthy

Featured photo credit: Alexander Mils via unsplash.com

Reference

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