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How to Keep Your Furniture Looking Like New

Purchasing furniture is one of the priciest investments that you make in your home, so you likely want to keep it looking as good as new. Follow these smart tips for preventing stains, rips, and other signs of wear and tear on your new furniture.

  1. Invest in high-quality pieces. First and foremost, investing in good quality furniture is one of the very best ways to ensure that it keeps its original look for years to come.
  2. Protect your fabrics and upholstery. When you first purchase a new rug or upholstered sofa, pay a bit extra to have a professional administer a protective coating to repel stains.
  3. Flip sofa cushions. By flipping your sofa cushions monthly, you can distribute the weight from frequent use to multiple parts of the cushion.
  4. Minimize eating in the living room. If you’re already trying to break this bad habit, just imagine a food stain on your brand new sofa for a bit of extra motivation.
  5. Tackle stains immediately. Whether it’s on a rug or the sofa, the most important way to prevent permanent staining is by addressing it immediately so that it can’t sink into the fabric. Read the care instructions on your furniture or rugs when you purchase them so that you know exactly how to remove that red wine stain before it inflicts major damage.

How to Keep Your Furniture Looking Like New [WikiHow]
4 Steps to Keep Your Furniture Looking New [Apartment Therapy]
Keep Your Sofa Looking Like New in 3 Easy Steps! [Shofer’s]

Sewing 101: How to Sew a Button by Hand

Whether you’re making your own sewing project from scratch or simply replacing a missing button on an old shirt, knowing how to properly sew on a button is an essential skill to have. Even if you think you already know how, these ingenius tutorials will show you how to do it faster and to create a sturdier hold that will never tear or loosen.

Sew a Button in No Time Flat
This timesaving tutorial from Martha Stewart shows you how to sew on a button using simply a needle, thread and a common toothpick. The toothpick acts like a bit of a crutch to make the sewing process almost completely effortless.

How to Sew on a Button
The clever website Instructables offers some truly smart advice for sewing both shank and flat buttons. No matter what type of article of clothing you’re sewing, one of these processes is sure to work.

How to Sew a Button
Women’s Day also offers tips for sewing on a button, and these include step-by-step instructions and high quality photos for more visual learners.

How to Sew a Button On a Shirt
This tutorial from Real Simple will teach you to sew a button on a shirt or other garment made of lightweight material. With just three simple steps and about the same number of minutes, you’ll have a sturdy button with minimal effort.

Great Date Ideas in Alexandria

If Virginia is for lovers, Alexandria ignites sparks as the "Best Place for a First Date" (Washingtonian magazine) and "One of the Most Romantic Cities in the US" (Amazon.com). Get carried away for Valentine's Day this year! Delight in sweet treats from local, award-winning shops like Society Fair or Artfully Gifts & Chocolate, or indulge in a couple's spa retreat at the Lorien Hotel & Spa.

Whether you're looking for a romantic date, a date on a budget, a nice getaway, or even a delicious meal, Alexandria has it all!

For more date inspiration click here.

Groundhog Day 2015: Did Phil See His Shadow Today?

Punxsutawney Phil, the world’s most beloved and furry seasonal prognosticator, has seen his shadow this morning, predicting six more weeks of winter.

The groundhog’s predication came around 7:25 a.m. in Punxsutawney, Pa., with overcast skies and scattered snow and rain showers moving through the region from the latest winter storm.

Read more about Phil here.

Where to Read About Tech and Gadgets Online

If you love all things technology, you’re likely always on the hunt for the latest products and most recent gadget news. The Internet is filled with sites dedicated entirely to fueling your technology addiction, but these three are some of the very best.

Gizmodo
Although its name sounds silly, Gizmodo is a website for serious technology aficionados (or those looking to learn more about it). You’ll find journalistic articles describing the latest trends and advancements in the area of electronics, incredible life hacks and technology news from around the world—and even from outer space.

TechCrunch
With a number of different product reviews and gift guides, this is the site to surf when you’re choosing between smartphones or looking to purchase a new computer. TechCrunch also posts fascinating articles from the world of technology and high-quality TCTV online shows that are both funny and informative.

Engadget
On Engadget, you’ll find photos, videos, must-read news stories and a wide variety of different types of media all entirely dedicated to technology. The site also offers the Engadget Daily, a roundup post of quick snippets of the most recent tech news, which makes a fun read first thing in the morning.

Tips for Proper Disposal of Old Technology

Q: Where can I take my old electronics for proper recycling?

A: This time of year, many of us are asking this question after getting new electronics during the holiday season.

This article encourages people to think about repurposing electronics before recycling them. Just because the device is no longer good enough for you doesn’t mean that it won’t be useful for others.

Click here to learn more.

How to Organize Your Bedroom in 4 Simple Steps

The bedroom is supposed to be for sleeping, but for many of us, it’s also where we eat, where we work, and where we lounge around with the whole family. You bedroom takes a lot of wear and tear, but these four simple steps will help you to organize it with ease.

  1. Make your closet work for you. If your closet is overflowing with clothes and shoes, reassess what you need it to do. Add extra shelving if you have an abundance of sweaters, or invest in higher quality hangers if things are always falling on the floor. Having an organized closet takes a major weight off your shoulders.
  2. Keep furniture free of clutter. If your nightstands are covered in decorative knick knacks or personal items, minimize them. Keep only a few functional items on these surfaces, such as a bedside lamp or a jewelry box for storing rings and bracelets.
  3. Update your bed. Invest in a matching sheet and comforter set, or use a simple quilt for warmer weather. Having a full set that functions properly eliminates the need for lots of blankets and pillows that don’t match.
  4. Maximize storage potential. If you still need extra storage space, look in unexpected areas. Purchase a headboard with built-in shelves, or add rolling storage bins underneath your bed.

    Organizing 101 [Style at Home]
    Bedroom Organization Tips [House Beautiful]

Delicious Egg Recipes to Jazz Up Your Breakfast

Eating simple scrambled eggs in the morning is fine, but there are so many other options for preparing eggs. Poached eggs, quiches, frittatas, and even burritos are all equally nutritious and much more delicious options, and they’re much easier to prepare than you might think. Check out these websites to get some breakfast inspiration:

All Recipes
The All Recipes website is packed full of recipes for every meal of the day, but their egg section is truly something special. Super scrambles full of crispy bacon, ripe tomatoes, and nutritious greens are healthy ways to start off your morning, and quick quiches are fast and easy alternatives to the delicious French dish. You’ll also find creative recipes for breakfast sandwiches, biscuits, and wraps that feature eggs as the main ingredient.

Real Simple
Real Simple’s "10 Easy Egg Recipes" round-up provides great inspiration for even your busiest mornings. In just a few minutes, you can prepare these flavorful, protein-packed egg dishes that will keep you full all the way until lunch. A curried egg salad sandwich is a welcome alternative to your usual bowl of cereal, and though an omelet with spinach, feta, and sundried tomatoes may seem difficult, you can actually prepare this impressive dish in under 10 minutes.

Sweater 101: How to Care for Cashmere

Cashmere is one of the most luxurious materials, and it is especially appreciated in colder weather. Because cashmere sweaters and scarves are so expensive, however, you want to take some precautions to keep it in top condition. Here are a few smart tips to help care for your cashmere.

  1. Hand wash. This is one of the most important ways to keep your cashmere clothing feeling as soft as ever. Although many people resort to dry cleaning in order to wash delicate fabrics, cashmere is actually so delicate that the chemicals will make it coarse and rough. Instead, gently wash cashmere items with baby shampoo in lukewarm water, then hang to dry.
  2. Do not use a high-powered sweater shaver. If your cashmere starts pilling, gently comb the surface with a boar-bristle brush or use a sweater shaver on the lowest setting.
  3. Store cashmere items in separate bags. When packing your winter clothing away for the summer, keep cashmere protected by storing it in a plastic bag. Also, be sure to store each piece in its own bag to avoid ruining the whole stash if a moth, mold, or another intruder gets inside of the bag.

How to Hand Wash a Cashmere Sweater [Apartment Therapy]
How to Clean and Care For Cashmere [Oprah]
How to Care for Cashmere [Real Simple]