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Cozying Up: A Fall Blanket Preview

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Cozy Cotton Blankets

Courtesty Inspired Habitat — There are some things that just go together – wine and cheese, chocolate and port, fall and blankets. As days turn cooler and nights get crisp, we naturally reach for cozy blankets and throws to ward off the chill. Sometimes all that’s needed is something light and soft, other times only the thickest, warmest of blankets will do. Outside or in, a cozy throw is comfortable, a little shot of nostalgia, and stylish as well. How to choose a fall blanket? We’ve got you covered.

From Drab to Fab: Making a Rental Feel Like Home

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Courtesy Bambeco— Whether it’s your first real place after college, temporary digs after moving to a new city, or you just prefer renting to owning, looking at the plain white walls and expanse of blah design that dominates most rental apartments can be enough to make anyone feel like they’re living in the drab zone. But you don’t have to sacrifice personal style just because you signed a lease, not a mortgage. Rentals can feel  like a plain box that you can’t do anything to, but that’s not the case. Of course, check with your landlord or rental company before doing anything, and decide for yourself what level of work you’re willing to undertake when you move out.

Assessment
List the good and the bad in your space. What do you want to accentuate and what would you like to minimize? Visualize how you really want the space to look and note the things you need to make that work. Write it all down and keep looking at the list as you consider everything else.

Inspired Habitat: Creative Ideas for Gardens in Tiny Spaces

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Start talking garden and most of us picture lush expanses of greenery, or maybe row upon row of planted vegetables. But what if you don’t have a big yard? Or your only outdoor space is a tiny balcony? Or there’s that awkward piece of dirt next to the driveway or garage. Whatever the reason, square footage doesn’t a garden make. Really, a garden is what you make it, and you can make it almost anywhere there’s enough sunlight to grow things. All you need is a little dirt, some organic seeds or plants, a way to water and a lot of creativity. The Urban Organic Gardener has an entire blog on managing a thriving vegetable garden – on a NYC fire escape!

Inspired Habitat: Don’t Drink the (Fake) Green Beer…Try Fresh St. Paddy’s Day Libations

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OK, if you want to drink organic beer, especially if it’s locally produced, by all means, enjoy a green beer. But let’s skip the food-coloring-enhanced “green” beers that dominate our favorite bars on the 17th of each March. Then again, why stick with beer? There are plenty of festive options, and with organic liquors, juices and mixers, they can be a whole lot greener than those green beers you’ve quaffed in the past. Grab your cocktail shaker and some cool glasses and get shakin’!

SHAMROCK SHAKER

  • 1 ½ ounces reposado tequila
  • ½ ounce sour apple liqueur
  • ¼ ounce agave nectar
  • 2 ounces lime juice

Pour everything into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with thinly sliced green apple.

Inspired Habitat: Out With the Old…Detoxing Your Home

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Most of us have done a detox of some sort, acting to help clear internal toxins, but have you detoxed your home? It’s surprising how many unpleasant chemicals can be found around the average household. Spring time, and the traditional spring cleaning, is the perfect time to give your home a detox. Indoor air is typically more polluted than outdoor air thanks to thinks like home insulation, wall-to-wall carpeting, cleaning products, adhesives, and all the things we use to keep our homes nice, neat and pleasant to be in. While it’s not possible to completely eliminate potentially harmful chemicals from our lives, it is very possible to reduce the number of them in our homes, and their impact on us.

Inspired Habitat: Keeping Green in 2013

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Just because January is over doesn’t mean we can’t look at ways to make 2013 green. A new year means a new start, and the first few months are the perfect opportunity to make a few little changes for big, eco-friendly impact.

CHECK YOUR SOAP AND CLEANERS

All those body washes and antibacterial hand soaps are full of everything from petroleum-based chemicals to unnecessary antibiotics. Switch to basic, natural soap and water for your hand washing needs, studies have shown it’s just as effective as the antibacterial stuff. Around the house, make the switch to cleaning green with environmentally friendly kitchen and bath cleaners.

Inspired Habitat: Zen and the Art of Home Decor

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As we ring in the new year, most of us make a set of resolutions. To lose weight. Eat better. Live healthier. Get organized. De-stress. Finding tranquility and relaxation can seem like finding a needle in a haystack. A few simple concepts can transform any home into a haven of peace and relaxation. All it takes is a little zen.

Literally translated, zen simply means meditation. In décor terms, it means balance, harmony and relaxation. There isn’t a list of strict rules and design styles that mean “zen” though it is usually associated with a minimalist tendency, simplicity and purity of line. It’s simply a way of arranging and decorating to create an atmosphere that combats stress. Sound good?

Inspired Habitat: Make a resolution for a clean, green 2013

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2013 goals

Ah, New Year’s resolutions… it’s easy to think about all the big changes you plan to make, but most of us give up on our big plans by the time February rolls around. The key to making resolutions you can stick to is to make them easy and achievable. With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of 13 easy resolutions for a clean, green 2013.

Inspired Habitat: Shaken Not Stirred…Toast the New Year in Eco Style

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What would New Year’s Eve be without a fabulous cocktail or two? We like our retro cocktail theme so much that we decided to continue it for NYE with a selection of party-worthy beverages that are sure to shake up a good time. True to the NYE theme, each of these calls for champagne, or you could use a locally-produced sparkling white wine! To make these drinks as eco-friendly as possible, choose organic or sustainable alcohols when available. And no matter what cocktails you decide to whip up, skip the Technicolor pre-packaged mixers; opting instead for natural, organic juices and your own homemade simple syrup (have some real flavor fun and infuse your syrup with herbs or fruit). If you just have to go pre-done mixers, look for organic bar mixes like Nature’s Flavors. Skip the Day-Glo cherries and garnish your beverages with fruit slices, citrus zest or even an herb sprig. It may not be possible to make a 100% organic cocktail, but it’s certainly possible to get most of the way there. Once you’ve assembled your bar necessities, it’s time to get shakin’ and stirrin’ up some New Year’s Eve cheer.

Classic Champagne Cocktail (AKA – Goodnight Kiss)

  • 1 sugar cube
  • Organic bitters
  • Champagne
  • Garnish: Lemon twist

Soak sugar cube with bitters and place in the bottom of a champagne flute. Top with chilled champagne and garnish with a lemon twist. 

Inspired Habitat: It’s a Wrap! Green Gift Wrap Alternatives

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Recycled paper gift wrapsIt’s the holidays and you’re looking at all the gifts you still need to wrap and wondering just how to do it without creating a mountain of non-recyclable trash. There’s got to be a better way!

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