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Farm-to-table is a movement that promotes serving local products, preferably food and beverages acquired directly from a producer.
Cool weather often drives people to spend more hours indoors than they do during the warmer months. Autumn is a time to winterize gardens, put away lawn furniture and prepare for the holiday season. Autumn also provides the perfect opportunity to begin home interior projects.
Many people decide to redecorate their homes to reflect each season. When temperatures change, it’s time to transition from the light colors and breezy fabrics symbolic of summer to thicker, darker materials that evoke coziness.
With some inspiration and a little know-how, any homeowner or apartment dweller can cozy up a space in time for fall and winter.
· Invest in area rugs. While wood floors can look beautiful and work well with many different design styles, wood can feel chilly underfoot. Thick area rugs add warmth to a room and can help it look more lived-in. Area rugs also help a room appear more cohesive, coordinating with other colors in a space and providing a visual border.
· Practice layering in rooms. An affordable and relatively easy way to make a room seem more cozy is to layer fabrics and other accents. Layers can include throws and blankets. Remove place mats from the dining room table and use them on accent tables or an ottoman in the living room. Table runners also can add a splash of color to the top of bedroom dressers.
· Play with texture. Look for fabrics that boast texture and can add a tactile feel to spaces. When used on throw pillows or small accents, faux fur can create that cozy cabin feel. Draperies made from nubby fabrics or those with grooves and ridges can add dimension to a room as well. Even a lampshade made of an unusual fabric, such as a waffle-patterned material, can add a little depth and warmth to a space.
· Reevaluate your lighting. Lighting a space is more than just flipping on a switch. Finding the right balance of lighting fixtures can instantly transform the feel of a room. Create more warmth and a cozy feel by switching out bulbs from cooler shades to warmer ones – those that give off yellow and pink hues rather than cool blues. Accent lighting helps establish a comfortable space for curling up and reading a good book. Spot lighting, such as fixtures that are trained on artwork or inside of a curio or china cabinet, also can set a more welcoming mood.
· Install a bookshelf and start a book collection. Piles and stacked books can add warmth to any space. Books evoke the hallowed halls of schools and quiet nooks in the library. Fill shelves with books interspersed with additional design accents, and you will instantly make a room feel more inviting.
· Choose dark paint. Do not feel nervous about incorporating deeper shades in rooms. Dark colors give rooms a more enclosed feel than lighter colors, and that can create a warm and cozy feeling. This works particularly well in larger spaces that feel vast and empty. If you’re scared to paint all of your walls, try a darker shade below a chair rail or just paint one accent wall.
· Add architectural elements. Think about adding rich moldings to crown the ceilings or to frame doorways. If you have the space for a nook, create a window seat beneath a picture window or add a bench and cushions in a corner for a nice escape spot.
Use the colder weather as an opportunity to reinvent some of the rooms in your home. With paint, texture, fabric, lighting, and more, rooms can be quickly transformed into cozy respites from the cold.
Summer is a season of relaxation, especially for school-aged children who are not yet old enough to work. Such youngsters no doubt enjoy the chance to spend summer days lounging poolside or at the beach, all without a care in the world or any homework to complete.
Though summer is synonymous with R&R, parents of young athletes who hope to compete in scholastic athletics when the school year begins in autumn may need to take steps to ensure their kids aren’t at risk of injury once the curtain comes up on fall sports season.
· Examine and replace equipment if necessary. The right equipment can protect kids from injury and help them realize their full athletic potential. But damaged or outdated equipment can increase kids’ risk of injury. Examine kids’ equipment long before fall sports season begins so you have time to bargain hunt should anything need to be replaced.
· Schedule a physical for your child. Many school districts mandate that athletes receive and pass physicals before they can compete. Speak with the athletic director at your child’s school to learn the guidelines that govern athletic physicals. The physical will need to be conducted by a predetermined date, but you may also need the physical to be conducted after a certain date for it to be considered valid. Speak with your child’s physician if any problems are found during the physical.
· Let kids heal. Kids’ schedules are busier than ever before, and many youngsters play several sports during the school year. Summer vacation may be the only extended period all year that youngsters’ bodies get to heal. While it’s important that kids stay physically active throughout the summer, make sure they don’t overdo it, as you should emphasize the importance of rest.
· Gradually get back in the swing of things. While rest gives kids’ bodies a chance to heal and develop, it’s important that young athletes stay in shape over the summer. As the fall sports season draws near, help kids gradually get back in the swing of things. Tryouts tend to be physically demanding, so kids who have not lifted a finger all summer may be at risk of injury or missing the cut. Let kids ease back into regular exercise to make sure they are not starting from scratch come their first tryout.
· Speak with coaches. Coaches can be great assets to parents who want to make sure their youngsters enjoy the summer without sacrificing their chances of making the team in the fall. Speak with kids’ coaches to determine if there is any area your son or daughter can work on over the summer to improve his or her chances of making the team. Make sure kids are the ones leading the charge to improve their games; otherwise, they may feel pressured into doing so and that can take away the fun of playing sports.
Scholastic athletes should take advantage of the opportunity to relax and recover that summer presents. But athletes who hope to compete in the fall can still work with their parents to ensure they’re ready once the school year and sports season begins.