Category Archives: Shopping

Home winterizing checklist

Fall means colorful leaves, apple cider and cooler temperatures. It also means winter’s on its way, so now is the time to winterize your home.

Improve your home’s comfort and energy efficiency with a home energy audit. Making energy efficiency upgrades identified in a home energy audit can save 5 to 30 percent on your monthly energy bill, according to Energy.gov.

If you would rather perform your own walk-through, this checklist can help you prepare your home for colder weather:

Exterior home maintenance tips

* Clean those gutters. Remove leaves and debris, then flush your gutters with water. This will help prevent clogged drains and reduce the potential formation of ice dams, which can cause excess water to get backed up and seep back into the house.

* Clean your window and patio door screens and put them into storage.

* Install storm doors. Storm doors help insulate your home against drafts and strong winds.

* Clean the tracks of patio doors and windows. Use a dry paintbrush to loosen dirt and debris and then vacuum to remove.

* Wash windows.

* Touch up exterior paint where needed.

 

Indoor home maintenance tips

* Schedule a furnace check-up by a professional to prepare it for the season. Also check to see if the filter needs changing.

* Add insulation. The amount of money you’ll end up saving in heating costs is likely well worth the investment of adding additional insulation to the attic.

* Check with your utility company to see if they offer rebates for energy-efficient home improvements including replacing windows or adding insulation.

* Clean and repair air ducts.

* Wrap pipes. Freezing temperatures can cause pipes to freeze and burst. To help prevent this, insulate pipes with a pre-molded, foam rubber sleeve, available at most local home improvement or hardware stores.

* Reverse fans. Adjust your ceiling fan to rotate clockwise to push rising warm air down.

* Check for leaks and drafts. Stand next to window and door openings to feel if cool air is blowing through. Leaky windows or drafty doors may need to be replaced. If you find a small leak around a window, seal it from the outside with weather-resistant caulk. Also apply weather stripping to exterior doors as needed.

Replace energy-inefficient windows

For a more long-term fix, replace old, drafty windows with a more energy-efficient option. Upgrading from single-pane to double-pane windows can also reduce energy costs, according to Energy Star.

Weekend in Abingdon

Written by Julia Sherertz

Find yourself in need of a weekend getaway? Travel to the charming and cozy town of Abingdon, Virginia. Stroll the tree-lined streets, the brick sidewalks, and admire the beautiful nineteenth century homes. Indulge at one of the many shops and restaurants in this beautiful town. Abingdon is one of Virginia’s most historic cities, founded in 1778, located in the picturesque Blue Ridge Highlands.

To find out more about where to stay, shop, eat and what to do in Abingdon, Virginia, pick up our latest issue on stands now!

London’s Salt Spa

Air ten times purer than the outside air, minerals that are healing components used in the treatment of allergies, sinus infections, asthma, skin conditions, hypertension, weakened immune system and stress related conditions, a salt spa…the “not so new”, new, spa trend.

Salt therapy has a history spanning back to ancient times, but this healing, all natural, therapeutic spa idea took off in Wieliczka, Poland where salt mines were prevalent and the unique qualities of the salt and minerals within the salt were first put to use for modern healing. Salt contains elements essential to life, minerals that we need. Beginning in the 16th century, salt was mixed with other products to help cure diseases and as time went on, the necessity for salt for medicinal purposes. Today, Wieliczka, Poland is the home of the one of the largest and most extensive salt spas in the world, 135 meters underground.

How does salt therapy work? When salt particles are inhaled, the tiny particles travel to the lungs where the minerals break down to help support the body’s immune system, thinning the mucus (gross!) and reducing inflammation! Salt therapy works differently for each person, where your body needs healing, that is where the salt particles travel to.

Located in Forest, Virginia, right outside of Lynchburg is such a spa – London’s Salt Spa.  Upon entering the welcoming front lobby, guests are lead to a room that has been transformed into a complete salt cave.  Salt blocks cover the walls, floor to ceiling, and salt pebbles layer the entire floor of the cave.  You are transformed into a soothing, calming atmosphere of healing.  Comfortable reclining chairs are available for relaxation and it is recommended that guests lay back, relax and let the minerals work their “magic” for at least a 45 minute session. It might seem like quite a different spa experience at first, but the results are almost immediate-breathing is better, head is clearer, stress is relieved and aches have gone away…just by sitting there!

One of the most common types of salts at London’s Salt Spa is Pink Himalayan Salts. Pink Himalayan Salt contains over 84 minerals help keep the cave’s air 10 times purer than the outside air. Some of these minerals include: calcium, copper, magnesium, zinc, selenium, lithium, iron and iodine, all with numerous health benefits.

Pink Himalayan Salts can be used in many different ways. Use the crystals to gargle with warm water and sooth a sore throat, mouth sores or bathe in them for skin issues.  Salt sticks can be helpful with insect bites, fever blisters or even acne (just wet the stick slightly and rub it on your problem area…then let it air dry!) You can even use the salt blocks for a deodorant or to help with eczema or psoriasis. Salt scrubs help remove dead skin and relieve dryness, leaving your skin feeling smooth and silky (and is also a great natural cleaner for silver and gold).

Aside from London’s Salt Spa’s Salt Cave, London’s Salt Spa offers massage sessions in another salt covered room with glistening smooth salt bricks on the walls, memberships, group packages and a wide array of salt products to take home with you to continue your healing experience.

After London’s Salt Spa’s owner, Debbie Naff’s husband and son received such an incredibly healing reaction from a salt spa they visited on vacation, Debbie decided to research what it would take to bring a salt spa closer to home. Large salt blocks were shipped from Poland to Forest, Virginia where salt spa specialists carefully and strategically placed each stone to create a salt cave….and the rest is history.

Visit London’s Salt Spa in Forest, Virginia on 6152 Thomas Jefferson Road or online at www.londonsaltspa.com. Call 434-525-7727 for appointments

Magnolia

Magnolia carries furniture, lighting, carpets, and offers custom upholstery. A major part of the business includes in home interior design services. There are a wide variety of price ranges and decorating styles offered in the store. Not only does Magnolia offer home furnishings and designing services, but it also has small gifts and jewelry.

To read more about Magnolia, pick up our latest issue on stands now!

Visit Magnolia on Starkey Road in Roanoke, open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.

Written by Julia Sherertz

Floral Trends

As seen in our March issue…

Spring is coming! The sun will be shining, gardens will be built and flowers will be blooming. It’s time to learn about trends in the world of florals. Debbie Miller, owner of Lynchburg’s Doyle’s Florist & Gifts and bloom by Doyle’s, gave Bella the inside scoop on all things floral for the new year.

Miller says that for weddings, “Brides are still in love with vintage but moving away from the ‘wild, weedy, woodsy’ informal floral design. They are still desiring flowers that feel natural…fresh-picked from the garden.”

Wedding floral décor trends will be influenced by The Great Gatsby and Downton Abbey.

“A blend of the 1920s and 1980s with lace and garden roses,” says Miller. “Peonies will be popular—the downfall is they bloom for only two months out of the year. Succulents, fruits and vegetables will be seen in bouquets and arrangements. Garland will be huge with brides in 2013 with ribbons and paper hung from chandeliers, and garlands of flowers running the full length of tables.”

As for floral arrangements inside your home, Miller predicts that large-scale patterns, big bold hues, and vibrant blooms are the things to watch, and she shares that “floral patterns are back in style with white backgrounds.”

Bringing the outside into your home is a must-do.

“Botanicals and insect prints will be popular,” she shares. “Nests, owls and birds will be enjoyed in floral designs.”

Hot colors for spring, both inside and out, include tangerine and orange hues as well as emerald and greens with some coral or gold touches. If you’re wondering what to put your Doyle’s arrangements in, try wooden materials or vases with brass or gold accents. Place them around the house to bring nature inside as Miller suggests.

Now that spring is coming closer, there are also lots of new ideas and trends to try out in your garden.

“As the economy leads people to smaller homes and spaces, gardeners find pleasure growing fruits and vegetables in containers” says Miller. So try ornamental pots and containers or window boxes and raised beds for small spaces.

With all these tips from Doyle’s, there is surely something for everyone blooming in the new year of floral designs!

Check out Doyle’s Florist & Gifts at 2134 Langhorne Road, as well as bloom by Doyle’s, located at 109A Tradewynd Drive – both in Lynchburg.