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Seven Ways to Upgrade Your Living Room for Less

Seven Ways to Upgrade Your Living Room for Less

You may have been planning on upgrading your living room for months. Unfortunately, bills often keep adding up, so it’s difficult to do what you want on a tight budget. Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to improve your living room without spending a lot of money.

Here are some frugal ways to improve your living room.

1. Add a few floating shelves.

When you are designing your new living room, try to find ways to make it more convenient for you and your family. Adding some floating shelves is a great way to save time bending over and minimize stress on your back and joints.

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You can find floating shelves at Home Depot, Pottery Barn, WayFair, Target, and many other online stores. You can buy them for as little as $29.99.

2. Put up a couple of chalkboards.

It doesn’t take much time or money to put up a few chalkboards in your living room. They can also add a little décor and entertainment. Many people enjoy doodling with their friends and children. You can also use them to play a couple games of Pictionary or share quick messages (like reminding your kids to take out the trash when they get home from school).

Price range varies considerably, so it’s important to shop around. If you buy an Uttermost Cafe de la Tour chalkboard with a matching clock from ClockWay, then you will need to pay $151. You can also find a similar-sized chalkboard from Walmart for only $23.

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3. Buy pictures from a thrift store.

Old pictures can add a unique charm to your home. The nice thing about them is that you can usually get great deals at a thrift store. You can probably find some great pictures for $10 or less. They may not be contemporary, but there is nothing wrong with that!

4. Buy discount furniture.

Buying furniture will cost a bit more than most of the other options listed here, but it can go a long way. The trick is to buy sofas at a great discount. If you shop carefully, you can save 20% or more from the original price. Make sure to keep your eyes open for great deals.

5. Buy some colored pillows.

You probably bought matching pillows with your sofa. Do you really want them, though? Most people insist on making everything match without considering other options. The truth is that finding a different colored pillow may be a better way to go. If you have a dark blue chaise lounge sofa, you may want to buy a bright orange pillow. It will really add some character because it will stand out a lot more.

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The cost of sofa pillows also ranges quite a bit, even if you are comparing options from the same retailer. You can usually find some great deals from Kohl’s and other department stores for as little as $8.99.

6. Get some large mirrors.

Mirrors are probably the simplest addition to any living room, but they can really do wonders. They add dimension, character, and energy to the room.

You may need to shop for them used to find a decent deal. New mirrors from Pottery Barn, Kohl’s, and even Walmart tend to cost at least $100. However, you can usually buy used mirrors for $10 or less. Used mirrors will usually look older and more tinted, but they work great if you want to give your living room a more rustic touch.

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7. Make homemade lamps.

Are you having trouble finding a nice, cheap lamp? You may want to consider making your own! A couple of years ago, Camille Smith shared a couple of renovation ideas with Home and Garden Television. One of her ideas was to make a homemade lamp with materials that you can find around your home. She showed a picture of a lamp that was made out of a small globe and a couple of children’s toys.

You will need a little artistic inspiration to make a decent lamp for your living room. However, if you rack your brain you can make a unique lamp without spending a dime.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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