5 Ways to Get More Storage Space in Your Kitchen

A cluttered and disorganized kitchen is never a pleasant sight. In a small kitchen, limited counter space and storage area can result in a messy, scattered look and weather it is to impress those guests or for your own self-satisfaction, your kitchen will never be truly functional unless you take the time to assess and calculate how you are storing everything.

Needless to say, your kitchen contains all kinds of items from delicate dinnerware and glassware to electric appliances, utensils and various cookware. Thus, to maximize every inch of space available to you and battle cramped corners in your kitchen, we have listed five easy ways that tap into innovative storage solutions and provide you with methods and design elements to create a more spacious, organized kitchen space if you’re getting kitchen makeovers sydney.

Use Cabinet Doors

Have you ever noticed the large amount of unused space inside your cabinet doors? By installing hooks to store pots, pans, lids and even bowls and measuring spoons, and sliding plastic racks for Tupperware, plates, plastic wrap and foil rolls, you would be making a noticeable difference. Utilizing this extra space for significantly larger containers will save you counter space and create a clean, pristine looking environment that will not fail to impress.

Install Hooks for Mugs

There is nothing more aesthetic than colourful, mismatched mugs hanging in a corner of your kitchen. Essential for morning coffee and daily tea, mugs take a large amount of space when set haphazardly on the counter or placed in a tray or stacked in a shelf. The perfect solution to this is installing hooks on the kitchen wall or under a shelf and hang your various mugs in a perfectly assembled line. Not only does this save a significant amount of space, it also makes them easily accessible, radiating a domestic, homey warmth that alleviates the mood.

Use Pot Racks

Cooking utensils undeniably occupy the largest amount of space. Pots and pans can be assembled correctly by taking advantage of vertical spaces around the kitchen and adding a pot rack to help store large utensils, which otherwise sit on the stove or take up unnecessary cabinet space. Pot racks can even be installed over the kitchen sink in case of low ceilings. Additionally, this method allows you to arrange your utensils according to size and purpose, saving space and creating a more organized setup.

Utilize Below Sink Area

It makes a world of a difference by utilizing the space below the sink area. Install plastic racks, or sliding drawers to keep napkins and cutlery, or even cleaning supplies! This way, your essentials are always within reach and the vast amount of space below the sink is used in an economic way. If you have relatively larger room, you could even store mops, sponges, cleaning liquids and dishwashing capsule packets or soap bottles for easy access. 

Install Magnetic Knife Rack

The average knife block seen in every other kitchen is bulky and counter hogging. It also lacks space for more than a few knives, which is both inconvenient and a waste of useful space. Installing a magnetic knife rack gives your kitchen a professional glow and also provides easy access. You could even install a vertical rack in case there is not enough wall space available.


When it comes to small kitchens and counter spaces, every square inch counts! It is essential to plan and calculate design elements, space arrangements and storage techniques to ensure a clean, pristine look and avoid unnecessary cluttering. A little bit of management goes a long way and by following these tips, you could build a kitchen fit for royals!

4 Ways Working Moms Can Cut Household Work Into Half

No one said it would be easy for working moms to balance their work and family life altogether. But if you think you are spending most of your life in carrying out daily chores, stop and think! We have come up with few tips where you can avail time for yourself too. After all, it’s not about hard work, it’s about smart work plus you deserve it, working moms, more than anyone else!

A working mom roughly spends 4 hours of her day in dealing with household chores. Along with 8 to 10 hours of her office job. Plus kids are a full-time job. So how you can make your life easy? With few sensible tunes up in your daily routine, you can make the most of it.

Hire Help and lower your expectations

Don’t feel guilty of leaving your kids to someone else and not being there to listen to their school stories or daily adventures. Think of the bigger picture, the sacrifices you are making for them today would pay off tomorrow, but that doesn’t mean that your own life is less significant in any way. And you are there for dishwashing, mopping and to provide laundry service to your family and other unproductive stuff only. Hire cleaning services ballarat if you have to and make time for yourself, for your personal and emotional health. You are doing a great job already!

Don’t do what everybody is doing

Grocery shopping, an important household task, is usually done immediately after working hours. There you can experience heavy traffic on the road, packed parking lines of the store plus how can anybody forget the straining billing lines? So, don’t do what everybody is doing. Make a list and go shopping after dinner. Or choose the best option, order online, it will save you from all the unnecessary hassle.

Say Yes to less

Your kitchen and laundry are in your hands. Groom your family in a way that they would create little mess for you and be more accommodative. A t-shirt can be worn twice rather once, same is the case with your partner’s jeans. Or the kitchen sink could be less filthy and full every time you enter into the house. Remember, if you have two hours, household chores would take two hours, if you have six, it would take the whole six hours of your life. Plan and execute carefully!

Put your kids to work

This would not only increment their sense of responsibility, but it would also help them in accomplishing small tasks that can help them in the future. Go one step further and put rewards on tasks. This will help them do better in their jobs and create a healthy competition, again good for their adult life. So, assigning tasks to your kids can help you in daily chores plus it can elevate their commitment level. Win-Win for both! Don’t forget to use your husband’s services too. He could be really useful in providing laundry services and doing dishes.

SeaPak Popcorn Shrimp is Perfect for Snacking or Partying

Shrimp tastes good either by itself or as part of a salad or sandwich. I recently went looking around at my grocer’s frozen section for some frozen shrimp because I didn’t have the time to properly prepare fresh shrimp. I had once tried some frozen shrimp but the shrimp was chewy – and it really didn’t taste very good. This time, I tried SeaPak popcorn shrimp to see if my luck was any different. SeaPak Shrimp Company is popular – the company is several decades old and based out of Southeast Georgia.

Good Flavor, Nice Texture

SeaPak popcorn shrimp tastes great and has superb texture. As the word popcorn probably implies to you, this product is fried, so it may not be the healthiest way to eat shrimp if you’re on a diet or trying to keep an extra close eye on your heart health. However, if a good, tasty shrimp snack is in order for you and you have a little wiggle room for intake of fried food, I suggest SeaPak popcorn shrimp is a product you’ll want to try. Popcorn shrimp is great with a salad, on a sandwich, or as part of a mixed seafood entrée.

SeaPak’s cooking instructions don’t include a microwave option, but you can bake, pan fry, or deep fry the popcorn shrimp. I chose to bake mine in an oven. That took me 11 minutes at 450 degrees. I had to flip the shrimp over after 5 minutes to help the shrimp bake a little more evenly.

Nutrition Info

Nutritionally speaking, SeaPak popcorn shrimp does have a couple of health highlights, as you’ll see based on a 3-ounce serving:

  • 1 gram of dietary fiber
  • 10 grams of protein
  • Iron 8% of a typical person’s daily recommended intake
  • Just 2 grams of sugar
  • 0 grams of trans fat

But there are some areas you should know about if you’re trying to monitor your intake of fat, cholesterol, calories, sodium, and carbohydrates:

  • 210 calories
  • 90 calories from fat
  • 10 grams of fat
  • 1.5 grams of saturated fat
  • 60 milligrams (mg) of cholesterol
  • 480 mg sodium
  • 20 grams of carbohydrates

I enjoyed SeaPak popcorn shrimp as a nice part of a finger-food buffet I made one night in my house. They really are good, high-quality and – at $4.49 for a 12-ounce box from my local grocer – priced right. Make sure you look in your grocer’s frozen section or seafood department to try SeaPak popcorn shrimp yourself.

Maxfield’s All American Assorted Chocolates: Product Review

I received this product as a Christmas gift and loved it. Maxfield’s All American Assorted Chocolates was an item that I had seen in stores before but, had never tried. Here is my opinion on this candy.

Maxfield’s All American Assorted Chocolates are made from premium ingredients. This company uses dairy fresh milk, vanilla, creamy butter and sugar in their candy. They blend their ingredients the old fashioned way from traditional recipes. I received a box of twenty-two pieces of this candy, in eleven assorted flavors. I was very pleased with the number of pieces of candy that I got and the variety of flavors. The box of candy had butter caramels, butter rum, lemon cream, raspberry cream, strawberry cream, peanut clusters, coconut cream, maple cream and orange cream. There were dark chocolate and milk chocolate varieties of candy to chose from and I loved that fact! All of these flavors are in my list of favorites, so every piece of candy was a delight to experience. There were no unwanted flavors. I found all of the variety of flavors to be pleasing, tasty and enjoyable.

The candy with the fruit flavors had a fluffy quality and were light and delicious. The caramels were sweet but not too sweet and not hard, like many other brands of boxed candy that I have tried. I think that is what won me over most about this product. Maxfield’s assorted chocolates were softer than Whitman’s candy and the caramels in many other brands are always too hard or too chewy. Not so with this brand! Maxfield’s All American Assorted Chocolates impressed me with their fresh taste and soft texture. They were easy to chew and delightful! This candy really had a wonderfully fresh taste. The box stated that they used very fresh, premium whole ingredients and when I tried these chocolates, I was sold. The statement was true. These chocolates exceeded my expectations. That was fantastic.

I rate Maxfield’s All American Assorted Chocolates four out of five stars and found this product to be excellent in quality and flavor. I recommend them. My family all agreed that this product was a winner. These chocolates are very inexpensive. They do not taste like it, though and I felt extremely spoiled and surprised by all of the wonderful qualities that this brand had. This box of chocolates left me feeling pampered and I loved the box design, the picture of the product and the information that this company included on the packaging.

Maxfield’s All American Assorted Chocolates have a money back if not satisfied guarantee and state that they have been an American tradition since 1947. Maxfield Candy Company is located in Salt Lake City, Utah. They have a great web site if you are interested in learning more about this fine company.

Two pieces of this candy contains one hundred and forty calories and fifty of that is from fat. They have six grams of fat and zero cholesterol. I enjoyed them and feel that they are an excellent product. This item makes a wonderful gift for Valentine’s Day, Christmas, Birthdays, Mother’s Day or for almost any special occasion. They are a treat to give or receive. I was truly delighted with them.

These chocolates have great ingredients like sugar, milk, dark chocolate, coconut oil, peanuts, cream, egg whites, butter, raspberries and cocoa. For those with allergies, be aware that this product does contain soy, wheat, eggs, milk, peanuts and tree nuts. I loved this product and think that it makes a lovely gift to get or give. I enjoyed trying this candy. I will be looking for this product in the future. You can find Maxfield’s All American Assorted Chocolates at most places where you shop for candy.

Quick List: Home Improvements and Maintenance Tasks for the Spring

Once the snow and wintry weather is gone for good, it’s time to turn our attention to spring tasks around the home. I myself had to get my septic tank pumped on my georgia home (ughh) – But  Rearranging the furniture, planting primroses, airing out the house and tackling a bit of spring cleaning are all great ways to prep our homes for the upcoming year.

For new homeowners, however, prepping a house for spring involves a little more than deep cleaning. Spring is also the time for home maintenance projects to keep our homes running smoothly. If you’ve never owned a home before, this checklist of springtime repairs and home improvement tasks will get you started.

1. Have the air conditioner and furnace serviced. Heating and AC systems should be serviced at least twice a year, once in the fall and again mid-spring. HVAC technicians can make sure that your furnace and air conditioner are functioning smoothly for optimal efficiency and will catch small problems before they turn into big ones.

2. Sprinkler system start up. For homeowners with an underground sprinkler system, late spring is to the time to have the system turned back on. The guy who blew out the lines in the fall is the one to call to prime the system and get it operating again. If you’ve forgotten the name, check the yellow pages under “sprinkler services” for a technician who can do this job for you.

3. Replace the screens. As soon as the weather is warm enough for windows to be opened, the windows should be washed and the screens reinstalled.

4. Prune back shrubs and trees. For those lucky enough to have mature landscaping in the yard, early spring is an excellent time to prune shrubs and tree limbs that are dead, diseased, or touching your home. After pruning away overhanging tree limbs, I’ll also sweep the rooftop of pine needles, bark, and dropped limbs.

5. Change out the batteries on the smoke alarms. April 15 is “replace the batteries in your smoke alarm” day. Smoke alarm and CO2 alarms should have their batteries changed out once a year; tax day is an easy day to remember this important home repair task.

6. Clean out gutters and down spouts. Before those April showers hit, the rain gutters and down spouts should be cleaned to keep them functioning properly. Don’t forget to orient the splash guards so they drain away from your house instead of into the foundation.

7. Replace loose weather stripping. Spring is also a good time to replace missing or loose weather stripping around the doors and windows. If you don’t know what kind to buy, do what I do and take a small sample to the hardware store for a match.

8. Check exterior siding for winter damage. Winter storms and freezing temperatures can cause serious damage to the siding of your home. To check for damage, walk around the exterior of your home to look for holes, cracks, loose or damaged boards and call a professional if repairs are needed.

9. Check the fire extinguishers. Fire extinguishers lose their pressure even when not in use. Spring is also a good time to check the pressure gauge and have all your fire extinguishers recharged and tested to keep them working properly.

10. Clean out the fireplace and have the chimney flue swept. Wrapping up the list of spring time home maintenance tasks is to muck out the fireplace and hire a chimney sweep to clean out the flue. Fireplace flues should be cleaned out at least once a year (preferably twice a year) to keep them working safely and efficiently.

Dollar Store: Decorating Your Home on a Budget

In today’s struggling economy, most of middle-class America is looking for ways to cut costs. During the budget-slashing process, funds for home decor are usually among the first to go. Here are a few simple tips on how to decorate tastefully without breaking the piggybank.

Thrift Store Finds

While you may cringe at the idea of buying previously owned shoes or far out-dated clothing, don’t let that aversion keep you from discovering some of the bargain shopper’s best-kept secrets. Thrift and Goodwill stores often carry everything from stemware to vinyl albums to window dressings and furniture. Combine a fantastic range of items with unbeatable prices and secondhand stores have suddenly become a veritable treasure trove of possibilities.


When shopping for home decor, consider creating your decorative pieces yourself. Take a stroll through your favorite store with a notepad and pen, and take notes on items that you can’t afford. Often you may find comparable components such as candlestick holders, vases, and frames elsewhere for much cheaper. Before you splurge on that one-of-a-kind floating candle display, entertain the idea of making a unique but similar piece yourself with a vase, a bag of decorative sand, and floating candles from your local Dollar Store. More often than not, the picture frame or vase that you can’t recreate yourself can be obtained for a far lower price online, too.

Look Beyond the Advertised Purpose

Learn to look at everything as a multi-use object. You might be amazed to discover what form a vase, candle holder, or picture frame may take. Try putting the cart before the horse, and see what happens. Pick out your flowers first, then browse for a creative vase. Select a candle without the restrictions on size or shape, and then play with different ideas for a holder. When a champagne flute becomes a classy vase, or a wooden clothespin decked out with ribbon holds your favorite picture, you’ll get it. And once you’ve got it, you’ve got it.

Metal Garden Ornaments Will Spice Up Your Garden

Decorating your lawn with metal garden ornaments can be the perfect way to greet visitors. Most people would love to have a big front lawn. Their dream home has lots of space inside, but it’s also sitting on plenty of land. Of course, in the case where they actually get that land, they find out that it must be taken care of. Yet even the best care will only leave you with a mediocre yard, like all the neighbors, and won’t necessarily provide the effect you want. Metal garden ornaments will spice up that green space and make your guests remember you and your home.

Among metal garden ornaments, you’ll rarely see two that are just alike. Everyone has their own tastes, and many just let their imaginations fly loose. It’s certainly enjoyable to have a lot of land to decorate, and some will spend quite lavishly trying to get the right effect. Alligator, gazing balls, wishing wells and statues are just some of the metal garden ornaments you could throw into your yard’s theme. Be creative. It’s your yard, and you can do whatever you want to it.

Some of the all-time favorites are the alligator metal garden ornaments, for whatever reason. It does lend a somewhat exotic look to the right yards, something along the lines of owning your own everglades. These metal garden ornaments are a sophisticated artistic touch. You can position them however you like, even to the extent of giving the impression that you’ve actually got an alligator on your lawn. Try putting it among the plants in a flower bed, or whatever else might strike you as ingenious. You’ll be surprised at how much an alligator metal garden ornament can kick off your yard.

Alligator metal garden ornaments are available in three pieces, which, when placed correctly, provide the illusion that it’s swimming through grass, pebbles or sand that it’s situated on. An active landscape is always more interesting than something stagnant and boring. Well-placed metal garden ornaments like this one will truly beautify your lawn and set it apart from the others around it.

You have the yard, and now all you need is to make it look more sophisticated than the one next door. Metal garden ornaments are the way to go, giving you a wide variety of decorative options to suit your personal tastes. Just seeing your yard once will etch it in your guests’ minds for a long time to come.

Homemade Candies

This recipe for homemade chocolate-covered strawberries is perfect to make for your spouse, partner or lover. The message of sensual delight and the sweet goodness of chocolate-covered strawberries is fitting for a lovely day.


  • 1 dozen ripe strawberries. Choose well formed berries with nice tops.
  • 1 cup semi-sweet or milk chocolate chocolate chips
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips


  • Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Wash and dry the berries. Make sure that they are completely dry.
  • Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave. Put each type into a separate bowl and microwave in increments of 45 seconds and then stir. When the chips are melted and smooth, remove the bowls. It should take about 2 minutes for each type of chocolate but watch closely so that the chocolate does not burn.
  • Hold each strawberry by the stem and dip it in one of the chocolates. Swirl it so that it is covered evenly. You do not need to cover the berry all the way to the stem, but cover it about 2/3 in the chocolate. When you remove the berry, make sure that you twirl it to get the excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl. Set each berry onto the waxed paper on it’s side. Do 6 in semi-sweet chocolate and 6 in white chocolate.
  • Refrigerate the berries for approximately 30 minutes to set the chocolate.
  • Reheat the left over chocolates. Remove the baking sheet from the refrigerator. Using a spoon or fork, drizzle contrasting chocolate onto each berry. On the semi-sweet berries, drizzle white chocolate and on the white berries drizzle semi-sweet. Make little lines criss crossing the berries. This gives more dimension and decoration to the berries.
  • Return the berries to the refrigerator to set again.

These are best if eaten within 1 – 2 days of being made. I suggest getting an empty heart shaped candy box and lining it with tissue paper. Then, nestle each berry in more tissue so they are each in a little “nest”. Put the cover on the box and present it to your loved one on an occasion and perfect for Valentine’s Day too! Make sure you are ready to feed a few of these strawberries to your lover as they are best eaten when served up by a lover.

You can also experiment with double dipping these with one side in white and one in dark chocolate. Or, use flavored chocolates for even more of a taste sensation. I prefer my chocolate covered strawberries to be dipped in milk chocolate and fed to me by my husband…. but go wild and try out different ways to serve these!

Product Review: Halô UV-ST Ultraviolet Vacuum

The Halô Ultraviolet Vacuum kills germs, bacteria and dust mites as well as vacuums and cleans for a cleaner healthier home.

Ease of Use/Performance: 23/25
Convenience/Storage: 22/25
Appearance/Design: 24/25
How much I enjoy:


Total: 89/100

The Halô is a unique industry first ultraviolet vacuum cleaner. The vacuum cleaner works well for vacuuming those carpets and rugs but where its unique design comes in handy is the killing of germs, pests and anything that lurks in your carpets that you don’t vacuum up.

The Halô ultraviolet vacuum has a UV-C light bulb that is commonly known to kill bacteria, mold, dust mites, germs and all kinds of other little nasty’s hiding in your home. The ultraviolet light in the C spectrum is used in many city sanitation systems and water purification to kill germs and bacteria in water and works equally well under a vacuum to kill any bugs hiding in your home.

The vacuum comes with plenty of safety features when working with the UV-C light, after all this is the same stuff doctors warn against getting too much of due to cancer hazards. The lights are safely under the head of the vacuum with a switch in the handle that operates the light; you also need to have the vacuum in the tilted back ready to vacuum position.

The motor has to be running for the UV light to come on as well as the head of the vacuum has to be on a level surface. I believe little mercury switches such as those used in old thermostats control this leveling requirement. You can actually shut off the bulbs momentarily just by moving the vacuum too fast in any direction as well as tilting it.

The safety features simply mean it is very tough for anyone to accidentally be in direct contact with the light bulbs underneath. You are also not supposed to look directly at the lights as they may cause vision problems so the safety features are a must with this device.

The safety features aside there is another feature on this beauty that I have not seen on other vacuums that I really like, you can shut off the beater brush and still vacuum. I have not seen a vacuum that you could actually turn the rotating bristle brush on and off when you are moving to hard floors and still vacuum. This feature is due to the beater brush being run by a separate motor that is attached by gears which also means no belts to replace ever.

The Halô vacuum works very well but is not an exceptional vacuum for the regular job of vacuuming your carpets and home. It comes with a pretty standard sized motor but the motor for the suction only runs that, a separate motor runs the beater brush. This allows more power going to the suction and an independent brush for a better overall vacuum.

The bagged HEPA filter system works well but is nothing you could not get in another less expensive vacuum. The cost ($399 approximately) may be an issue with the Halô UV-ST but who can put a price on the ultraviolet killing properties especially when your health is concerned. This vacuum would make a great addition to any allergy or health conscious person who needs the additional cleanliness it offers.

Day cares, hospitals, clinics and any other areas that health and safety standards need to be at their highest would definitely benefit from a good thorough cleaning and germ killing that the Halô offers. This great health benefitting vacuum is not your everyday ordinary vacuum with a new gimmick or just a better vacuuming system.

It kills the germs to provide a healthier environment as well as vacuuming the dust and particles with its 99.97% HEPA filtration bags. The Halô is a light weight and rugged vacuum with nice rubber bumpers along the edges and a well built solid design inside and out. The separate motors for the brush and suction mean less wear and tear for each separate function for a longer lasting product.

The Halô Vacuum comes with 13 foot extension hose and 31 foot cord, a crevice tool and duster tool, extra HEPA filter bags and the manual. The filter bags are the heavy duty cloth filtering to catch a lot of dust and debris that is very small. These are the great bags to use and the HEPA 99.97% trapping of particles means great filtering for a better, healthier environment.

Where the Halo literally shines is the germ and bacteria killing UV-C ultraviolet light that kills what is left behind to ensure an overall cleaner environment. Allergy sufferers, kids, any one with breathing difficulties and those that need a cleaner more germ free environment would do well with one of these in their homes.

The obvious advantages of killing all those bugs and germs in your carpet are not overshadowed by using the Halô on your mattresses as well. Just run the vacuum over the mattress when you change out the sheets for an even cleaner bedroom. You can even hit the couch and chairs equally as well but you may not get the entire area of couch cushions as the vacuum needs to be level.

The Halô has all the standard features of household vacuums like the height adjustment, extension hose and a couple of attachments but where you will really be impressed is all these features in a good quality vacuum along with the health benefits of the germ and bacteria killing of the UV bulb.

Of course to actually test and find out for certain if the Halô performs the germ killing you would need to perform lab culture tests and other tests to see if the UV-C bulbs actually killed the things they say it does. The Halô Company has continuously tested their vacuums several times and had independent tests performed, confirming their product capabilities. Two tests that I think are very relevant are one for dust mites and one for fleas, the one test showed that all dust mite eggs are killed after four seconds exposure to the UV bulb while a one second exposure killed 97%.

The other test confirmed that a four second exposure killed all lice in the test group and further testing resulted in a 100% death rate of flea eggs and 91% of flea larvae death exposed to one second of the Halô. These independent test results can be viewed in a PDF format at the Halô website.

I am very glad I was able to find this kind of independent lab tests that used verified scientific research and testing to conclude the Halô does in fact kill bugs and pests we have crawling around our home. The Halô vacuum does a great job of vacuuming up the dust and debris I have but it also kills the bugs left behind. In continued use the Halô would reduce the amount of germs, bacteria and pests in the carpet and other surfaces you can vacuum. This would be a great addition to an allergy sufferer as well as health care facilities and day cares.

It does a great job at not only vacuuming but in killing germs, bacteria and dust mites that may be present in your carpets. I highly recommend this Vacuum cleaner for a more pleasant environment anywhere.

Decorate with Apples on a Holiday

By the time a holiday  rolls around, most of us could use a bit of color to contrast the bleakness of winter. The color red in the holiday decorations brightens up the home and also offers a mental lift. While decorating your home for the holiday this year, go a little outside the box and use several bunches of apples to add some fun and flair. Not only will your home look wonderfully festive for the holiday, the decorations will add some warm country feeling to your every day decor.

Hang an Apple Wreath on Your Front Door. An apple wreath is easy to make and lasts for several weeks. You can easily create this piece  and have it still be fresh and lovely for an occasion. Cut a length of floral wire into the shape of a heart. Use a sharp knife to cut slices of apples about one fourth of an inch thick. Dip the slices into a mixture of one part lemon juice to four parts water. Allow the apple slices to dry in the sun for two to three days.

Slide the slices onto the wire in bunches of four or five. Tie a length of red and white plaid ribbon into a bow in between the fruit. Twist the wire together at the top and cover the ends with larger fabric bow. Hang on a front door to greet your winter guests in style. My daughters and I make this wreath every year for Valentine’s Day and it is always a big hit. You can do it anytime you want.

Make a Table Centerpiece. Visit your local craft store to buy a bag or two of artificial crab apples. Layer moss inside a clay pot, allowing an inch or two to hang over the sides. Make an apple arrangement on the moss, piling them higher in the center than the sides. Use a hot glue gun to secure in place. Finish off the centerpiece by tying a red and white gingham ribbon around the base of the pot. Set on top of a white table runner over a red tablecloth to admire while enjoying Valentine’s Day dinner.

Make Your Own Holiday Place Settings. Hosting a holiday brunch or dinner? Red delicious apples make terrific place settings for a very small price. Select the biggest and boldest pieces of fruit from your bag. Tie a red ribbon around each stem. Cut out heart shapes from white card stock. Print the name of each guest on the heart shapes and then lean them up against the apples. Your guests will know where to sit for the festivities and can take the place setting home to enjoy a healthy snack.

Go Simple and Elegant. A heart shaped bowl or tray filled with the lush red fruit is perfect for dressing up a table, counter, shelf or mantel for a romantic holiday or occasion. An oblong tray can be filled with sand, clear stones or white beads before adding the apples for a little more splash. Not only does this holiday decoration make any space look a little more holiday ready, it encourages healthy snacking between meals. Keep a bag of extra fruit on hand to replenish as necessary.