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Our blog includes valuable insights from the DAW'S Home Furnishings team!

Earth Day Series Part 4-Environmentally Protective Choices

April 22, 2013

Protect yourself from sun overexposure! In summer, always apply sun block SPF 15 or more to protect your skin from solar UV radiation. Just five or more sunburns can really increase your risk of developing skin cancer. The sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. so at those times, seek shade or wear protective clothing such as a long-sleeved shirt.

Heading to the beach? Check out the beach water before you go! We Americans take almost two billion trips to the beach every year, but people who swim at the beach sometimes get sick because the water is polluted. The good news is in the state where the beach is located, you can check with the state office to find out about the beach water – before you go.

Be extra aware of environmental conditions where older people live! As we age, our bodies become more sensitive to chemicals and environmental conditions. So you should carefully use products such as pesticides or cleaning solvents near areas where older adults live and sleep. Always follow the directions on the product package or label.

Read the label! You might not realize it, but on a pesticide container, the label is the law. Pesticide product labels provide critical safety information for handling and use. Pesticides are powerful substances, but when used according to the label they are safe and effective. So always use pesticides safely, at home or in the field. Always read the label.

Exercising outdoors? Regular exercise makes us feel great and keeps us healthy. Before you head out for your workout or run, check the air quality forecast for your local area. You can find out when air pollutants such as ground-level ozone or airborne particles are at acceptable levels where you live.

Don’t let pet waste run off! You can help reduce polluted storm water runoff by just picking up your pet’s poop and dispose of it properly. Leaving pet waste on the ground increases public health risks by allowing harmful bacteria or organic material to wash into the storm drain and eventually into local waterbodies. So remember – always scoop the poop!

Pollute less with clean diesel! Encourage your hometown or state to spend road construction funds on newer, clean diesel equipment to help cut air pollution. Contractors, owners, and operators of diesel equipment can retrofit existing diesel engines with new technologies that pollute less, as well as replace old equipment.

Source-Environmental Protection Agency, www.epa.gov

Earth Day Series Part 3-Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.

April 21, 2013

Compost it! Compost helps improve soil so it holds more water and plants grow better. Allow grass clippings to stay on the lawn, instead of bagging them. The cut grass will decompose and return to the soil naturally. Food scraps and kitchen waste also make good compost, and you save money on fertilizers or other additives.

Proper maintenance reduces waste! Keep your appliances in good working order and follow the manufacturer’s suggestions for operation and maintenance. Shop for products with high consumer satisfaction and fewer breakdowns. If kept in good working order, your appliances should last a long time and not end up as waste before their time.

Don’t trash it – reuse it! Be creative as you look for new ways to reduce the amount or kinds of household waste. Give cardboard tubes to pet hamsters or gerbils. Plant seeds in an egg carton. Make a flower pot out of a plastic ice cream tub. By thinking creatively, you will often find new uses for common items and new ways to recycle and reduce waste.

Just bag it! Help protect the environment when you shop. Keep reusable bags on your car seat or near your door so they are easy to grab when you go. And you can even combine shopping bags – just tell the cashier that you don’t need a bag, then put all your purchases together in one bag just be sure to hang on to your receipts! More tips for shopping.
Wait for the storm to pass! Don’t fertilize before a rain storm. Your fertilizer – along with your money – can just wash off your lawn and down the storm drain. Fertilizer runoff can pollute rivers, lakes, and bays, and cause problems in recreational areas or fishing grounds. Check the weather forecast before you head out, and wait for the storm to pass.

Travel green! Look for hotels that encourage guests to use less water or energy. Hang up your towels to dry so you can use them again. Use the sheets more than a night or two. When you go out, look for local foods and souvenirs to reduce transportation. Before you go, unplug your computer, DVD player, and other electronics, and turn down your thermostat.

Source-Environmental Protection Agency, www.epa.gov

Earth Day Series Part 2-Use Water Efficiently

April 20, 2013

Use Water Efficiently

Make it a full load! Run your dishwasher only when it’s full. Don’t pre-rinse dishes – tests show pre-rinsing doesn’t improve dishwasher cleaning, and you’ll save as much as 20 gallons of water per load. When you buy a new dishwasher, look for one that saves water. Water-efficient models use only about only about 4 gallons per wash.

Be sensible! The Earth might seem like it has abundant water, but in fact only one percent of all water on the planet is available for humans. Buy fixtures and products that are water efficient – you can use less water to get the same job done just as well. When you go shopping, look for the WaterSense label to find water efficient products.

Shower power! A full bathtub requires about 70 gallons of water, but taking a five-minute shower saves water by using 10 to 25 gallons. Put a little timer or clock near your shower so you can see how fast you are. Save even more water, and money on your water bill, by installing a water-efficient showerhead, or ask your landlord to install one if you rent.

Don’t be a drip – fix that leak! Leaky faucets can waste thousands of gallons of water each year, like money down the drain. Repair or replace old or damaged fixtures. If you’re not sure you have a leak, check the water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, you probably have a leak.

Make it a full load! The average washing machine uses 40.9 gallons of water per load. If you buy a a new washer, shop for a high-efficiency washer that needs less than 28 gallons of water per load. To achieve even greater savings, wash only full loads of laundry or be sure to choose the appropriate load size on the washing machine.

Source-Environmental Protection Agency, www.epa.gov

Earth Day Series Part 1-Save Energy

April 19, 2013

Earth Day Series Part 1-Save Energy

As a member of society, we want to encourage everyone to help do their part in preserving our Earth. We will be having a four-part series leading up to Earth Day, April 22, on different ways to help reduce the negative environmental impact our Earth is currently experiencing.

Save Energy

Reduce your carbon footprint! Leaving your car at home twice a week can cut greenhouse gas emissions by 1,600 pounds per year. Save up errands and shopping trips so you need to drive fewer times. If you commute to work, ask if you can work from home at least some days, and you’ll reduce air pollution and traffic congestion – and save money. Reduce greenhouse gases on the road.

Don’t idle! Remind your school system to turn off bus engines when buses are parked. Exhaust from idling school buses can pollute air in and around the bus, and can enter school buildings through air intakes, doors, and open windows. Constant idling also wastes fuel and money, and school bus engines really need only a few minutes to warm up.

It’s electric! You can check how much of your electricity comes from renewable “green” power sources, such as wind or solar. Green power produces less carbon emissions, reduces air pollution, and helps protect against future costs or scarcity of fossil fuels. If green power is a consumer option, check price differences from suppliers before you buy.

Tread lightly! Use public transportation, carpool, walk, or bike whenever possible to reduce air pollution and save on fuel costs. Leaving your car at home just two days a week will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 1,600 pounds per year. If you can work from home, you’ll reduce air pollution and traffic congestion – and save money. Reduce your carbon footprint.

Make your home an Energy Star! When you do home maintenance, also do a home energy audit to find out how you can save money by making your home more energy efficiency. And if every American home replaced just one conventional light bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb, we would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes a year.

eCycle it! Take your old computer, DVD player, or other electronics to an electronics recycling center. Reusing and recycling materials like copper, gold, and others saves natural resources and reduces mining and processing. eCycling also helps avoid land, air, and water pollution by capturing and reusing hazardous substances such as lead or chromium.

Everyone can make a difference! High school students can study links between everyday actions at their high school, greenhouse gas emissions, and climate change. Become a “climate ambassador” leader in your school or neighborhood and motivate friends, schools, and community leaders. Talk to you friends – help spread the word!

Source-Environmental Protection Agency, www.epa.gov

DAW’S Home Furnishings is a home furnishings store in El Paso, TX, providing furniture, appliances, mattresses, TVs, and accessories to customers for over 62 years.

Buying Wood Furniture

April 12, 2013

BUYING WOOD FURNITURE

Every six months we attend Furniture Markets at various cities throughout the U.S. Year after year, one might think market visits are monotonous. Unlike the fashion industry, there are not drastic changes in the furniture industry, yet each market introduces many new and exciting home-furnishing innovations. My siblings and I are constantly reminded by our wise and conservative father, that buying furniture is an investment, and consumers want the most value for their money. In other words, be a smart buyer!
During market visits, displays are showcased of wood furniture, which are classified as case goods. Case goods are the basic pieces of wood furniture such as tables, chairs, bedroom, dining rooms, and cabinets. When shopping for case goods, it’s helpful to know some terminology to better understand the construction of the furniture.

Terms helpful to know:
• Grouping – a collection of furniture pieces that complement each other
• Suite – refers to matching furniture items intended for use in a particular room
• Genuine – the term used, such as “genuine mahogany” indicating that all exposed parts of the furniture must be mahogany
• Hard Wood – woods with distinctive grain patterns and maybe finished in their natural color to include sturdy woods such as oak, ash, maple, birch, walnut, cherry, pecan, hickory, and mahogany
• Soft Wood – woods such as pine and cedar that are easily dented and scratched, a more weathered look
• Veneer – a decorative wood finish with layers bonded together, may be stronger than some solid wood, sturdy and difficult to crack or split, yet very thin veneers can chip and be difficult to repair
The construction of case goods furniture varies from the detailed high-end products to the mass produced lower-grade. Here are a few pointers I look for at market when shopping case goods:
• Better quality chairs will have diagonal corner blocks with lag bolts to give strength
• Sit on chairs to see if they are balanced, sturdy, and comfortable
• Tables should rely on corner-blocks for strength and lag bolts to secure legs onto the frame
• Table sections should fit snugly together, with or without leaves in place
• Better quality cabinet and dresser drawers should have dovetailed joints with plywood bottoms fitted into grooved sides, fronts, and backs to prevent dust infiltration
• Particleboard or plywood covered with a veneer of wood grain often is used for side drawer construction
• Display lights in cabinets and hutches should have easily accessible switches
• Hardware on dressers, cabinets, and hutches should be smooth and not easily removable
• Backs of quality furniture will be fastened with screws, lower-end pieces will be stapled
• Doors should open and close properly and line up evenly
• Look for a smooth furniture finish with no streaks or excess finish in the corners
When shopping, be sure to ask about the construction, durability, and wood quality of the product. Furniture may be manufactured differently and varies between product and features. Determine your needs, your investment, and select the furniture best suited for your lifestyle.

DAW’S Home Furnishings is a home furnishings store in El Paso, TX, providing furniture, appliances, mattresses, TVs, and accessories to customers for over 62 years. Stop by to check out all of our wood furniture today!

Dining In Style

December 26, 2012

Holidays…the time of year when family and friends experience the sheer joy of celebrating in our most sacred room of the home, the dining room! This revered room is the primary place for hosting special meals. The Daw family is notorious for lively family gatherings, lots of delicious home cooked meals, mouth-watering desserts, and a party atmosphere that never ends. Who doesn’t enjoy a delectable feast and look forward to the holidays ahead with anticipation for long-lasting and warm memories! Imagining these special gatherings, be sure and select dining room furniture that receives your guests with a pleasant and cheerful atmosphere.
A dining room set is an investment that will last for years, and even generations. The formal area of the dining room is a treasured place for guests and special occasions. The variety in dining room shopping covers a broad range. Do you prefer the contemporary pieces created from iron, aluminum, copper, and pewter finished steel with glass, marble and other finely crafted tabletops? Or are you more into the elegant feel with sets created from carved fine woods such as cherry, teak, walnut, oak, pine, mahogany, and birch? A dining room table made to fit any size room can be found as a square, oval, round, or rectangular top, typically with or without extensions to fit every room and every occasion. Completing the room’s décor is simple with a buffet, china cabinet, sideboard hutch, or teacart.
A grand dining room embraces elegance. Guests enjoy dining in the confines of luxury-laden furnishings. Grand dining room furniture is usually the very best in quality, and often expensive, too. Large heavy pieces intricately carved, and classical antiques are sure to make a dining room “grand”.
Formal dining rooms usually impress everyone who enters. Extravagant pieces such as an heirloom cabinet, over-stuffed wing chairs, a tall china display unit, or an exquisite inlaid dining room table are sure to draw attention. The room and its furnishings speak of “class” to guests who come to share a meal and celebrate happy occasions. Just imagine the bright and breezy ambiance provided by the graceful curves of Mediterranean styled dining room furniture.
A casual dining room is great for more practical, everyday purposes. With a more relaxed and casual setting, simple and contemporary furniture designs work best. Honey tones of natural oak or the marvelous gloss of black lacquered dining room furniture will appeal to your casual, contemporary senses. Finding that perfect place to have a nice meal after a long day at work is inviting.
The choices are endless to find the perfect piece for your home. With the holidays come and gone, it’s time now to prepare for the dining room of your dreams for your future holidays. Don’t forget a striking centerpiece, accessories, flowers, candles and linens to match any holiday or season!

Happy Holidays from the Daw Family!

DAW’S Home Furnishings is a home furnishings store in El Paso, TX, providing furniture, appliances, mattresses, TVs, and accessories to customers for over 62 years. Stop by to check out all of our dining room sets today!

Warm Your Home for Winter!

October 26, 2012

WARM YOUR HOME FOR WINTER
By: Bryan Daw

The holiday season is just around the corner, and December is the month that typically signals the start of our winter weather time of year. With the change of seasons it means more time will be spent within the safety and comfort of our homes. Planning in advance to make your home a warm and inviting shelter this winter can be fun and inexpensive, too! It’s always soothing to visit a home that is friendly and cozy. How can you make your own home a place for those you love and for the surroundings be loved by all? Maybe it’s time to spruce up your “nest”.

A few minor touches can make a big difference to the look and feel of your home. Try a few of these ideas and experience the welcome changes.
• A colorful welcome rug at the front door, maybe even in bright red, will set the tone for your home as guests arrive.
• Oriental or area rugs will add texture and elegance to any space.
• Warmth in a room can be achieved by adding rich drapes that may be closed in the evening, but definitely open during the daytime.
• If you have a fireplace, moving your sofa and chairs closer to the fireplace may enhance the warmth and intimacy of the room.
• Extra lamps and incandescent lighting will achieve an intimate glow.
• A cozy reading corner with an over-stuffed chair, table, and lamp is a great place to spend an afternoon reading a good book.
• Pillows and accessories with splashes of rich warm colors such as reds, oranges, and gold will help create a feeling of friendliness.
• Down or chenille throws, afghans or quilts draped over chairs and sofas invite cuddling on a cold winter night. The various fabrics add texture to the room.
• Furniture can be warmed up with slipcovers in soft colors and fabrics.
• A nice way to brighten a room is to paint your walls in rich shades of red, orange or yellow.
• Table arrangements in fall foliage or pine wreaths compliment the season.
• Holiday scented candles throughout the house add warmth and softens a room.
• Fresh flower arrangements from the season’s favorites will remind you to live, relax, and enjoy.
• Treasured family pictures throughout the home reflect good, happy times.

A few creative touches will ready your home for cold winter days and night. A basket of freshly baked cookies, cocoa, hot-spiced wine or chai tea is sure to be a hit. What better way to warm the heart and spirit than a cozy evening on a cold winter night, fire glistening, and room filled with the laughter and love of family and friends.

Bryan Daw is the blog manager and internet guru, as well as a design consultant with DAW’S Home Furnishings.

Feel free to contact him at bryan@dawshomefurnishings.com.

DAW’S Home Furnishings is a home furnishings store in El Paso, TX, providing furniture, appliances, mattresses, TVs, and accessories to customers for over 62 years.

Accessorizing Tips for Your Home

October 10, 2012

Accessorizing Tips for Your Home

Did you know that anytime you purchase a new picture frame, tassel, plant, decorative box, or pillow you are accessorizing your home? Without realizing it, many consumers are constantly making decisions that enhance the beauty of their homes. Nowadays, consumers have many artistic talents that reflect their own personality, giving them great pleasure and satisfaction to be able to say, “Yes, I decorated my home!” or “Yes, I created this new arrangement!”
If you are unsure or somewhat in doubt about the skills of decorating, let me share with you a few pointers to consider when making improvements to your home accessories. The very first thing is to remove the clutter that seems to collect. If you have an item that has been around too long, then maybe it needs another home. Another question to ask, have my floral and silk arrangements been around for years? Updating a few pieces will give your room a new, clean look. What about your picture frames, wall hangings, and other artwork, could they use updated matting, new frames, or better placement? It’s hard to be objective with items of sentimental value, mom’s hand-me-downs, or the first artwork you ever purchased. You will be surprised to see how great it feels to restage your old items, invest in a few new, and create a more pleasant room, just like they do on TV! So here we go. Ten tips for accessorizing your home!
1. Personalize your home with art and accessories.
2. Arts should relate to its surroundings. To create a unified look, place art prints about 6” to 9” above a sofa.
3. Achieve proper proportion with one or more pieces of art above furniture, covering two-thirds of the space.
4. Artwork should be viewed at the center, which means placing it at
“eye level” from a sitting or standing position.
5. To achieve a formal look for art, create a symmetrical grouping. To achieve an informal look, create an asymmetrical grouping.
6. Mirrors add dimension, expand space, and reflect the light in a room. Place them to reflect something of interest or beauty.
7. Art displayed on easels will create interest in a corner, on a bookcase, or table tops.
8. Custom framed artwork should compliment the decorating style of the room. The mat colors should enhance the artwork itself and the color scheme of the room.
9. Select a color and repeat it at least three times in a room.
10. Tabletop accessories should vary in height for balance and interest.
If ever you feel uncertain about your decorating ideas, ask a friend’s opinion or seek advice from a professional. So what do you have to loose? Give your room new eye-appeal with some constructive evaluation, a little clean out and rearranging, and a few updated frames or accessories. What a difference it can make and how great you will feel about your home then you too can say, “Yes, I am my own decorator!”

Teresa Daw Hicks is co-owner of Thomasville and Daw’s Home Furnishings

Do's and Don'ts for Cleaning Your Leather Furniture

August 29, 2012

Do's and Don'ts for Cleaning Your Leather Furniture

Leather furniture adds a rich texture to any home in addition to being extremely comfortable. Because leather is so durable, many people forget that leather requires gentle and frequent cleaning to maintain its beauty and luster. Leather furniture can last for a long time provided that careful attention is paid to maintaining and cleaning leather furniture. Just as it is a “don’t” for leather furniture to be placed in direct sunlight, there are certain do’s and don’ts for cleaning leather furniture.

Don’ts for Cleaning Leather Furniture

1. Don’t use tap water when cleaning leather furniture. The chemicals (such as chlorine) may discolor leather. Use distilled water to clean leather furniture for better results.

2. Don’t use oils such as mink oil or lemon oil, furniture policy or any product containing wax or silicone (i.e. car wax) as these will make leather furniture sticky and cause damage to the leather.

3. Don’t use baby wipes to clean leather furniture. The alkaline in baby wipes (and other alkaline products) can damage the leather.

4. Don’t use harsh chemicals or products that contain them such as varnish, ammonia-based cleaners or bleach to clean leather furniture. They will discolor the leather and cause serious damage.

Do’s for Cleaning Leather Furniture

1. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning leather furniture. If you do not have an owner’s manual, contact the store where you purchased the furniture or the manufacturer for instructions for cleaning your leather furniture.

2. Purchase a high quality leather furniture protectant and use this to help prevent damage, wear and tear to leather furniture.

3. Immediately wipe up any spills on leather furniture to keep them from soaking into the leather.

4. To keep leather looking great and in good condition, mix 1 part white vinegar with 2 parts linseed oil and apply to leather furniture with a clean white cloth. Work in small sections, applying mixture in a circular motion and buffing after ten minutes.

5. Dirt and body oils will be absorbed by leather furniture; therefore, regular cleaning is a must for leather furniture. First, dust the leather furniture to remove any loose dirt and dust. Next, clean by using a mild, moisturizing soap (neutral soap with a pH of 7 as acidic soaps can damage the leather) mixed with water. Working in small areas, apply the soap suds with a clean sponge, immediately wipe off suds with another sponge and dry the leather thoroughly. Never allow the soap or water to sit on the leather.

6. If you have stained your light-colored leather furniture, try removing the dark stain with lemon juice and cream of tartar. Mix one part lemon juice and one part cream of tartar to make a paste. Apply the paste to the dark stain, allow to sit for ten minutes and apply another layer of paste. Use a damp sponge to work the paste into the dark stain, then remove with damp sponge, and dry thoroughly. Test on a hidden site first!

Sources:

DIYnetwork.com

DoItYourself.com

HowToCleanStuff.net

Our New Line of Gel-Enhanced Memory Foam Mattresses is Here!

June 29, 2012

Our new line of Gel Enhanced Memory Foam Mattresses is here! Temperature neutral MicroTec Gel™ enhanced memory foam provides targeted contouring support and great cooling effect. Only Boyd combines cooling gel-infused memory foam with exclusive, patent pending STAY COOL channel venting to increase comfortable air flow and circulation. MicroTec Gel™ enhanced memory foam is placed at or near the top of the mattress to achieve the maximum cooling benefit. Boyd Gel Rest line was featured in Furniture Today.

The Memory Foam mattress category is the largest segment of the Specialty Sleep market with sales in excess of over $1 Billion. BOYD Specialty Sleep has taken this popular Specialty Mattress concept and made it even more appealing by developing three unique memory foam mattress lines.

The Boyd Planet Sleep memory foam mattress provides the same contouring support as our Responda Flex line, with several additional features,such as natural bamboo fiber covers and patent pending channel cut foam. The quality and comfort of these mattresses is unsurpassed, and can be seen here in greater detail.

Planet Sleep memory foam is manufactured using a certified eco-friendly process, utilizing pressure rather than chemicals to control the foam’s properties. The beds feature an eco-friendly anti-microbial rayon fabric cover made from sustainable bamboo fibers.

The Boyd Responda Flex memory foam mattress provides the same look and contouring feel as the more expensive Tempurpedic brand Memory Foam Mattress. Our entire Responda Flex line can be viewed here.

Furniture Styles for Your Home

January 16, 2012

Have you every wondered what style of furniture you prefer, or which style adorns your home? Furniture styles cover hundreds of years and are influenced by geography, politics, and even religious issues of historical periods. The American furniture style is effected by the blending of diverse cultures in our country.

The experts from Furniture Brains give us a brief outline to quickly assess furniture tastes and the five basic styles: Contemporary, Traditional, Country (Early American), Oriental, or Casual.

Simple and clean lines characterize CONTEMPORARY furniture. Many pieces utilize geometric forms and futuristic appearances. Practical function takes precedent. Contemporary designers may incorporate classic and traditional features in subtle ways. The wood and fabric used is often light, exotic, and trendy. Colors will follow the path of “ready to wear” clothing and are subject to change as fashion changes.

Distinct features characterize TRADITIONAL furniture. Carvings, overlays, pilasters, columns, pediments, claw, ball, masks, and animal heads are often incorporated. The classic details reflect the influences of years gone by. The ornate and elaborate features are made possible by the skill of old world craftsmen. Modern day technology can duplicate many of these craftsmen inspired design. The woods usually include cherry, walnut, mahogany, and oak. Fabrics include damasks, brocades, tapestries, and prints.

COUNTRY furniture is often called Early American. It evolved from the traditional designs of the European continent but adapted to the more rugged life in the new America. Practical function and form are accented by simple carvings, turnings, and trim accents. Pine, maple, birch and other softer woods are used in the construction. Fabrics contain patterns of plaid, checks, and country scenes to add to the folksy nature.

ORIENTAL furniture is a reflection of the orient and culture of that region. The furniture is practical and functional, with lines and designs that have simplistic, distinct accents. Long sweeping curves, painted finishes with stenciling, and gilding are common. The hardware used for drawer pulls and hinges reflect intricate details with a feeling of simplicity. Fabrics used include cotton prints, satin like feel, and a variety of solid, vivid colors. Prints may include scenes of the countryside or of animals.

CASUAL furniture is a combination of contemporary and country styling with emphasis on comfort and function. Rustic may be used to describe this particular category. Casual furniture appears to be well-built and ready to use. Materials used are oak, pine, birch, and maple. Fabrics are in textures and solid colors, with emphasis on durability.

So it may be that you have one or more styles in your home, and even prefer a combination of styles. Let’s just say you’re Eclectic!

Why Buy "Made in the USA?"

November 4, 2011

Top Ten Reasons to Buy American

“Buy American!” might sound like nothing more than a slogan advanced by American manufacturers to sell products made in the USA, but the truth is that there are many reasons to consider buying American-made clothing, American-made toys, and other US-manufactured goods. We’ve listed just a few of the benefits of buying American below:

Top Ten Reasons to Buy USA Made Products:

10) Foreign labor standards allow unsafe worker conditions in many countries. When you buy American you support not only American manufacturers but also American workers, safe working conditions, and child labor laws.

9) Jobs shipped abroad almost never return. When you buy goods made in the USA, you help keep the American economy growing.

8) US manufacturing processes are much cleaner for the environment than many other countries; many brands sold here are produced in countries using dangerous, heavily polluting processes. When you purchase American-made product, you know that you’re helping to keep the world a little cleaner for your children.

7) Many countries have no minimum wage restrictions, or the minimum wage is outrageously low. When you choose products made in the USA, you contribute to the payment of an honest day’s wages for an honest day’s work.

6) The growing lack of USA ability to manufacture many products is strategically unsound. When you seek out American-made goods, you foster American independence.

5) The huge US trade deficit leads to massive, unsustainable borrowing from other countries. Debt isn’t good for you and it isn’t good for America.

4) Foreign product safety standards are low. For example, poisonous levels of lead are in tens of millions of toys shipped to the USA. When you buy toys and other goods made in the USA, you can be confident that American consumer protection laws and safety standards are in place to protect your family.

3) Lack of minimum wage, worker safety, or environmental pollution controls in many countries undermines the concept of “fair and free trade”. No Western nation can ultimately compete on price with a country willing to massively exploit and pollute its own people. When you buy only American-made products, you insist on a higher standard.

2) Factories and money are shifting to countries not friendly to the USA or democracy. When you avoid imported goods in favor of American-made items, you help ensure that the United States doesn’t find its access to vital goods impacted by political conflict.

1) As the US manufacturing ability fades, future generations of US citizens will be unable to find relevant jobs. Buy American and help keep your friends and neighbors-and even yourself-earning a living wage.

By Todd Lipscomb, founder of MadeinUSAForever.com.

The Importance of a good night's sleep for students!

October 17, 2011

Better Sleep Council’s back-to-school survey results—U.S. and U.K., too!

As kids headed back to school this fall, the U.S. Better Sleep Council teamed up with the U.K. Sleep Council to survey parents’ attitudes about the importance of sleep in their children’s lives. The results were alarming! Only 45% of U.S. parents and a just 22% of U.K. parents believe their children earn better grades when they get more sleep, showing a surprising lack of awareness of the role sleep plays in school performance.

However, a majority of U.S. parents (85%) said that their kids seem crabbier when getting less sleep during the school
year, while less than half (44%) of U.K. parents said that was a problem. Both the U.S. and U.K. councils are alerting parents that sufficient nightly sleep is an important factor in classroom success.

Tips for parents include:
✓ Remove electronics from the bedroom or establish an electronics curfew an hour before bedtime.
✓ Make sure the bedroom is cool and quiet.
✓ Try to get the child into a routine.
✓ Encourage 30 minutes of exercise daily.
✓ Talk with your child about the day, ask about fears and concerns and offer reassurance.
✓ Check the quality of your child’s mattress. If it is seven years old or older, replacing it may be vital to improving the sleep environment.

The BSC is the consumer education arm of the International Sleep Products Association (ISPA). To learn more, visit
www.bettersleep.org.

The Sleep Council is funded by the National Bed Federation, a trade association for British manufacturers. To learn
more, visit www.sleepcouncil.org.uk

Decorating Within Your Budget

September 21, 2011

Tips for decorating within your budget:

1. Decide ahead of time on a budget or payment plan, pace your decorating. Include money for accessories.
2. Decide on one room at a time and designate a priority within your room. That’s where you should begin.
3. Have a plan, color scheme, style, & atmosphere. Have a target date for completion.
4. Your confidence level in tackling your decorating project makes a big difference. If you are the least bit unsure, contact a professional designer. He or she will save you time, energy, money, and frustration. Select a designer that you are comfortable with and trust. He/she should know your likes and dislikes. Whatever is done needs to suit you and your family.
5. Measure your room to scale. Show windows and doors. Decide on a focal point. Measure furniture, rugs, etc. before purchase. Draw your furniture to scale and cut out the drawings. Place these on your floor plan, moving them around until you get an arrangement that you like. This is very easy on your back. This procedure will also help you decide if the items are proportionately correct for your room. Think too about ceiling height and traffic flow.
6. Repeat each color in your scheme at eye level, mid level, and floor level to achieve good visual balance. Repeat any pattern and/or textures at least twice in the room.
7. Paint and wallpaper/borders go a long way in updating and freshening a room and usually cost very little.
8. View colors and patterns in your home during daylight hours before making a purchase.
9. If you do not plan to be in your home for a long time, invest in accessories (artwork, area rugs, decorator pillows) that could easily be used in another home.

Bryan Daw is a 3rd generation family member and sales consultant at DAW’S Home Furnishings. Contact: bryan@dawshomefurnishings.com

Choose the Best Mattress for You

July 18, 2011

Buying a mattress is one of the most important purchases a person makes. On an average, most humans sleep a third of their lives. So, what should you look for when buying a mattress? The experts at the Better Sleep Council recommend the following:
· Comfort – A mattress doesn’t have to be hard-as-a- board to be good for you. You should feel cradled in comfort and secure. Today’s top quality mattress sets are built for superior comfort with luxurious new cushioning materials and extra-soft surface treatments to create a plusher, more comfortable fee.
· Support – A good mattress will gently support your body at all points. The only way to find out if the support is right for you is to lie down and try the mattress right there in the showroom.
· Durability – Buy the highest quality sleep set you can afford. A sleep set may still usable after 15 or 20 years, but not giving you the good night’s sleep you deserve.
· Space – A healthy sleeper moves from 40-60 times a night so you need freedom of motion to sleep and relax. If you sleep with a partner, a queen or king size is best. Both are wider and several inches longer than a full size.
The Council also suggests this easy tip to remember when shopping:

Select a mattress
Lie down in your sleep position
Evaluate the level of comfort and support
Educate yourself about each selection
Partners should shop together

The old adage, hard mattresses and hard floors are good for your back is not necessarily true today. In the past, doctors recommended that patients with lower back problems buy a firm mattress or even sleep on the floor to ease the tension on the back’s spine and curtail pain. Recent studies found that people who have slept on mattresses of medium firmness are twice as likely to report improvement in lower back pain symptoms than those who slept on firm mattresses.

A plush or pillow-top mattress and box spring set can provide great body support. Manufactures now offer the same construction in mattress sets with varied firmnesses. Individual working coils in a mattress seem to be the best and most comfortable mattresses today.

How important is a good night’s sleep? Your performance throughout the day at home, work, and recreation will be more effective while your overall well-being and morale will improve. A good night’s sleep will help you maintain a healthier and longer life. Shop wisely for that new mattress. Sleep good at night….a less-stressed life!

Furniture Arranging Made Simple

June 20, 2011

Have you ever stepped into a room that felt inviting? The mood and atmosphere of a room is not only dictated by color and lighting, but by the arrangement of furniture. To make a room comfortable and functional, arrange the furniture to compliment your lifestyle. Here are some tips to give your home a welcoming atmosphere.

· Utilize Space
Take a look at the contents of your room. Think about how the room is used, its traffic pattern, and how many people frequent this space. Determine the focal point, such as a fireplace or bay window, and arrange around it. Create a focal point with a grand piece of furniture or an interesting collection of artwork.

· Floor Plan
Graph paper is an excellent way to draw a floorplan. Use one graph square for every foot of actual space. Don’t forget the windows, stairs, fireplaces, doors, or other focal points of the room. Cut out templates of furniture and color them the desired hue. This allows you to move the templates around and experiment before physically arranging the furniture.

· Guidelines
When mapping out a room, consider the traffic pattern and how it effects furniture placement. Arrange your largest piece of furniture first. Place seating pieces facing each other to allow people to talk comfortably. A table may compliment the area. Chests should have ample space for drawers to open. Televisions should be placed three times the distance of the size of the screen. For instance, if you own a 25” tv, you should sit 75” away. Dining room chairs require a 2 foot clearance from the back of the chair to the wall or other pieces of furniture. Clearance space is also needed in bedrooms, where beds should allow 36” between a door, wall, or furniture.

· Interest and Balance
There are several things to consider when achieving the right balance in a room. Large and small pieces should be mixed throughout the room. A huge ornate table next to a petite rocker creates unbalance. Smaller items should be grouped together to balance heavier pieces. A sofa may be balanced with two wing chairs and a table. Mixing color and patterns throughout the room also creates a sense of balance. Various heights of accessories and furniture add interest. If space provides, pull furniture away from the walls, place a table behind it, or angle the item.

· Remember
Plan to make your rooms more inviting and be careful not to overfill with furniture. Pieces seldom used may be a distraction, and might enhance another room. Be creative and sensible as you arrange a room for comfort, warmth, and eye appeal.

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