HOW TO MAKE YOUR OUTDOOR PATIO SOMETHING SPECIAL

Years ago, outdoor patios were fairly simple. A square arrangement of furniture that you used only in times of good weather, something that you typically only used when you would BBQ and basically never had any style to it. Today, things have dramatically changed as patios have now become an extension of your home and are filled with style and flair, but have new functionality added in.

So, when you want to give an average patio new life, make it inviting and something that people remember, yet you want it to function for your family, you don’t have to re-invent the wheel, you just have to stretch outside the box and bring some of the indoors out.

A quick way to make a total transformation on a covered patio would be to add something to the floor and add lighting. You probably already have some type of lighting in the ceiling, but lamps add great ambiance, especially at night. For example, my patio has two table lamps and a floor lamp all connected to a clicker so that when I start turning on lamps in my home, those automatically go on and immediately make the patio feel as if it is a room in the house. If you add a rug to this area as well, you can anchor the furniture and accompanying pieces and truly give it a warm, inviting appeal. Now that we have lighting and a rug, place your furniture around your focal point. Most likely this is either a fireplace or a TV depending on your type of entertaining. Make it functional and intimate and don’t be afraid to angle things or make multiple seating spaces out of your outdoor patio.

Throw pillows are another great addition to sofa’s on the patio or added to teak benches or chairs to add a little color. There are such huge varieties of outdoor fabrics these days that you can have real fun bringing in colors that you wouldn’t think of inside your home. Patio’s are supposed to represent you and be where you go to stop the daily chaos and relax, so pick what you like.

Another crucial element is to bring some of the indoors out. Have a little side table that has been sitting in a corner, bring it outside and put one of your lamps on it. Candles are great to put on tables, at the foot of benches, or mixed in with planters of greenery. Don’t forget artwork! You can use just about anything you would normally put inside your home. Big plates with pops of color, a mirror that you stumbled across and fell in love with, piece of antique tin, a clock that caught your eye or even a picture of your family in a frame that compliments the style of your outdoor space. Now draw in some of your planters filled with rich green colors and do the same with what you plant in the planters. Mix your styles of plants so that you have something tall in the middle and draping around the edges with varying shades color. You can also throw in some outdoor curtains to frame your space and make it totally unique.

Bottom line is let your imagination run and make your outdoor area something special.

Preparing for Evacuation: Are you ready?

via LSU Ag Center

Evacuation Traffic
FEMA News Photo
Family talking to authorities about evacuation route
Photo courtesy of EDEN
Turn off utilities before flood
Photo courtesy of EDEN

It is critical that you begin preparing to evacuate as soon as you become aware that a flood or other disaster may be approaching. Choosing to wait for an evacuation order to be issued before beginning preparation may be too late. Instead, plan for the worst and hope that it never happens. Vital preparation steps include developing an evacuation plan, preparing an emergency supply kit and preparing your home for the impending disaster.

Should you evacuate? Compare the ground elevation of your property to predicted flood crest and levee elevations. The LSU AgCenter has two mapping services/sites that ANYONE can use to find ground elevation at ANY spot in Louisiana. Also, monitor information available through TV, radio or the Internet for information or official instructions as they become available. If you are specifically told to evacuate, do so as soon as possible.

Make a plan. Plan for an evacuation before the need arises. Identify places where your family will meet if separated, both within and outside of your neighborhood.

Also identify an out-of-town contact for all family members to call, text, or e-mail if separated. Out-of-town contacts may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members as it may be easier to make a long-distance call than to call across town. Make certain that all family members know the phone number or carry a card in their wallet listing vital contact numbers. Provide each family member a cell phone, coins, or a pre-paid phone card to call the emergency contact. If you have a cell phone, program that emergency contact in your phone as “ICE” (In Case of Emergency).

Identify several destinations in different directions so you will have options when evaluating where to evacuate. Evacuation choices may include a public shelter, a friend or relative’s home or a hotel room. If a public shelter is your destination, identify its location in advance. If there are multiple sites, know all of the locations as accommodations at specific sites may be limited.

Keep your vehicle’s tank filled, as gas may not be available. Include a map that will enable you to take unfamiliar routes if necessary. Be prepared to follow designated evacuation routes and avoid any roads or shortcuts that are not recommended. Avoid flooded roads and watch for washed-out bridges. Plan to take only one vehicle per household to keep family members together and reduce the number of cars on your evacuation route. Move other vehicles to a safe place before leaving. Plan to evacuate early to beat the highway crowds.

For a step-by-step plan and an interactive emergency contact sheet, go to the Ready America Program’s “Make a Plan” page and complete their online emergency information guide. You will be able to print several copies to give to each family member to take with them should you evacuate.

Be sure to make plans for your pets as shelters and many hotels do not allow pets. Plan your evacuation and leave in plenty of time. Do not wait until the last minute to evacuate. When rescue officials come to your door, they may not allow you to take your pets with you. Remember emergency responders are trained and required to save human lives, not animals. They may be taking physical and legal risks if they stop to help your animals.

Consider fostering your pets with friends, family members, veterinarians, or boarding kennels in a safe area. Pet-friendly hotels or facilities offering emergency pet sheltering may be located through websites such as www.petswelcome.com, www.travelpets.com, www.dogfriendly.com, or www.pettravel.com. But if you end up at a hotel with a “no pets” policy, ask the manager if the hotel can waive the policy during the disaster. Be sure to take precautions to provide proof of vaccinations, identify your pet and transport safely.

Prepare an emergency supply kit. You and your family will likely need supplies to “tide you over” for a few days while you are away from your home. This means having sufficient food, water, clothing and other supplies in sufficient quantities to last for at least three days. Plan on one gallon of water per person per day for drinking and sanitation. Select non-perishable foods that do not have to be heated or cooked. Include sufficient personal items, communication tools, emergency supplies, tools, utensils and other critical items to address family needs.

Taking the time prior to an emergency to prepare and organize important papers and documents will save you from unwanted stress and chaos. Prepare a “Grab and Go” box containing copies of important documents, financial records, account information, emergency contact information, prescriptions and other vital documents. Remember to back up electronic computer files and store on a portable storage device that can be included. Store the box in a secure, easily accessible location so that it can be grabbed at a moment’s notice if you need to evacuate. Keep the box with you at all times. Include cash or traveler’s checks for several days’ living expenses.

Traveling with very young children can be very stressful even under the best of circumstances. Be sure to supply young children (and older ones as well) with portable games, toys, favorite items that will travel well (and take up a minimal amount of space) and keep them entertained.

Make certain that your vehicle is equipped with a roadside emergency kit. Basic automobile repair items can make a difference between getting out before flood waters rise and being stuck for a long period of time.

Prepare your home. Flood insurance provides limited coverage for expenses that you incur trying to protect insured property from flood damage. You may be reimbursed up to $1,000 for preventative measures taken such as sandbags, supplies and labor; or, to remove insured property to a location other than the insured location outside the flood hazard area. Note that property must be stored in a fully enclosed building and that coverage for stored property will be for 45 consecutive days from the date you begin to move it there. Be certain to keep all receipts and submit them to your claims adjuster. Reasonable expenses include the value of your work, at the Federal minimum wage, performed by you or a member of your household.

Protect your property before leaving. Precautions include:

  • Secure loose yard items
  • Lock all doors and windows
  • Elevate furniture, appliances and valuables off the floor
  • Clean drains to allow water to flow away
  • Secure your home against looters
  • Turn off electricity, water and propane gas
  • Leave natural gas on, unless you are instructed to turn it off

For additional tips, see the LSU AgCenter’s following important documents:

Preparing Your Home for a Flood
Preparing Your Family for a Flood
Preparing your Business for Disaster

Fun family recipes for the Fourth!

Star Spangled Sandwiches
  • Mini ice-cream sandwiches
  • Sprinkles or nonpareils
  • Colorful cupcake liners
Instructions
  1. First, skewer mini ice-cream sandwiches on popsicle sticks.
  2. Then, press the exposed filling into a plate of sprinkles or nonpareils.
  3. To keep mess to a minimum, serve the pops in colorful cupcake liners.

Nations B-Day Nachos

Ingredients
  • 1 bag blue corn tortilla chips
  • Cooking spray
  • Aluminum foil
  • Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • Salsa
  • Sour cream
Instructions
  1. Place blue corn tortilla chips on a foil-covered baking sheet coated with cooking spray.
  2. Sprinkle the chips with shredded Monterey Jack, then bake at 350° for 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Top the nachos with salsa and sour cream.

Red Hot and Blue Wings

Red currant jelly and red curry paste lend a touch of sweet heat to an all-American classic, served with the traditional blue cheese dip.

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons barbecue sauce or ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup red currant jelly
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon red curry paste
  • 3 pounds halved chicken wings
  • 1 cup blue cheese dressing, store-bought or homemade
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 450 F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil, then coat it with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, garlic, barbecue sauce, salt, and red currant jelly over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, then stir until the sugar dissolves. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and curry paste. In a bowl, set aside 1/4 cup of the glaze.
  3. Using tongs, dip the chicken pieces in the glaze in the saucepan, then place them on the baking sheet.
  4. Bake the chicken for 30 to 35 minutes, until it’s shiny and cooked through. Remove the pan from the oven and brush the wings with the reserved glaze. Serve the blue cheese dressing alongside the chicken.
Tips:
If you can’t buy halved chicken wings (or the precut parts sold as drumettes), use a sharp chef’s knife to split whole wings at the joints, then save the tips for making stock.

Food Date Labels Can Be Confusing

via LSU Ag Center

Food date labels are worded in various ways, and interpreting them can be confusing. LSU AgCenter nutritionist Dr. Beth Reames hopes to clear the fog for shoppers who want to understand what the food labels mean.

The sell-by date tells the store how long to hold the food for sale. You should buy the food before the sell-by-date expires.

Reames explains that if the product has a sell-by date, the product may be stored in the refrigerator and then cooked or frozen within the recommended purchase period. Take perishable food home immediately after purchase and refrigerate or freeze it promptly.

Keep the refrigerator at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below. Refrigerator storage times for ground beef, ground poultry and poultry is 1-2 days; for beef, veal, pork and lamb it is 3-5 days. Keep an appliance thermometer in your refrigerator to check temperatures.

Once a perishable food is frozen, it doesn’t matter if the date expires because foods kept frozen continuously are safe indefinitely, the nutritionist notes. Keep the freezer set at zero degrees or below.

The best-if-used-by/before date indicates best flavor or quality. It is not a safety date and does not indicate when a food should be purchased.

If a food smells, tastes or looks bad, however, you should not use it for quality reasons. Spoilage bacteria can cause food to develop off-odors, flavors or appearance. If foods aren’t properly handled, food borne bacteria can grow and cause food borne illness – regardless of the date label. For example, if hot dogs are taken to a picnic and left out for several hours, they would not be safe to use, even if the date hasn’t expired.

The use-by date is the last date recommended for peak quality. The date is determined by the manufacturer of the product. It’s important not to buy or use baby formula or baby food, for example, after its use-by date. Federal regulations require a use-by date on such products to insure nutritional value and food quality.

If an egg carton has an expiration date printed on it, such at EXP May 1, that date is the last day the store may sell the eggs as fresh. The federal grademark, such as Grade AA, means the fresh date cannot be more than 30 days from the date the eggs were packed in the carton.

Reames adds, however, that as long as you purchase a carton of eggs before the date expires, you should be able to use all the eggs safely from three to five weeks after the date you purchase them.

Cans may display open or calendar dates. Usually these are best-if-used-by dates for peak quality. In general, high-acid canned foods, such as tomatoes, grapefruit and pineapple, can be stored on the shelf from 12 to 18 months; low-acid canned foods such as meat, poultry, fish and most vegetables will keep 2 to 5 years – if the can remains in good condition and has been stored in a cool, clean, dry place.

Closed or coded dates are packaging numbers that enable manufacturers to rotate their stock as well as to locate their products in the event of a recall. They don’t mean consumers must use the product by these dates.

Except for use-by dates, Reames says product dates don’t always refer to home storage or use after purchase. Even if the date expires during home storage, perishable foods should be safe, wholesome and of good quality – if handled properly and kept refrigerated or frozen.

Britax recalls 20,000 B-Nimble strollers

362712-Britax_B_NimbleWASHINGTON, D.C. – Britax is voluntarily recalling about 20,000 B-Nimble strollers due to a risk of the brake not being properly engaged. An audible click can be heard when the brake pedal is pressed, giving a false impression that the brake is fully engaged when it is not.
Britax has received seven reports of the brake not being fully engaged, but no injuries have been reported.
Consumers are being told to stop using their strollers and contact Britax to request an improved replacement stroller.
About 20,000 B-Nimble strollers were sold at juvenile products stores between September 2010 and June 2011 for about $200.

CPSC Recalls


bullet Dorel Asia Recalls to Repair Bunk Beds Due to Collapse and Fall Hazards
bullet Sandbox Medical, LLC Recalls Pacifier Clip Due to Choking Hazard
bullet Tween Brands Recalls Beaded Curtains Due to Risk of Entrapment and Strangulation; Sold Exclusively at Justice Stores
bullet Girl’s Hooded Sweater Recalled by El Gringo Imports Due to Strangulation Hazard
bullet Cribs Recalled by ducduc Due to Fall and Entrapment Hazards
bullet Children’s Scooters Recalled by Kiddieland Due to Laceration Hazard
bullet Disney Princess Plastic Trikes Recalled by Kiddieland Due to Laceration Hazard
bullet Wrist Rattles and Baby Booties Recalled by Midwest-CBK Due to Choking Hazard
bullet Girl’s Clothing Recalled by My Michelle Due to Risk of Lead Exposure
bullet Fashionviews Inc. Recalls P.Jamas Children’s Sleepwear Due to Violation of Federal Flammability Standard
bullet Pampers® Natural Stages Pacifiers Recalled by Key Baby Due to Choking Hazard
bullet Arm’s Reach Concepts Recalls Infant Bed-Side Sleepers Due to Entrapment, Suffocation and Fall Hazards
bullet Second Infant Death Prompts Re-Announcement of Delta Enterprise “Safety Peg” Drop-Side Crib Recall to Repair
bullet Girls’ Jeans for Toddlers Recalled by Parigi Due to Choking Hazard
bullet Matilda Jane Recalls Girl’s Chelsa Dress Due to Choking Hazard
bullet Atico International USA Recalls Holiday Rattle Baby Slippers Due to Choking Hazard; Sold Exclusively at Walgreens
bullet Children’s Hooded Sweatshirts with Drawstrings Recalled by Sunsations Due to Strangulation Hazard
bullet Fun World Recalls Little Pet Vet and Dr. Littles Halloween Costumes with Toy Stethoscopes Due to Choking Hazard
bullet AOSOM Recalls Wooden Playpens Due to Choking and Laceration Hazards
bullet FAB/Starpoint Recalls Circo Beaded Door Curtains Due to Risk of Strangulation; Sold Exclusively at Target
bullet Baby Jogger LLC Recalls Baby Jogger Jump Seats Due to Fall Hazard

Cowboy Chicken

Ingredients

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 (16 ounce) jar prepared salsa
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Place the chicken in a shallow baking dish. In a medium bowl, stir together the salsa, brown sugar and mustard; pour over the chicken. Cover the dish with aluminum foil.
  3. Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven, until chicken is cooked through. Remove the foil for the last 15 minutes to brown the chicken.
via allrecipes.com

Sleep Away Camp Q&A

How do I know if my child is ready for sleep away camp?

Most families consider sleep away summer camps for children 8 years and older. However, age is not the only factor in determining when a child is ready for sleep away camp. Consider your child’s level of interest and desire to explore this summer camp option. Consider your child’s experiences away from home without you. Has your child slept out at a friend’s house or spent a weekend away from home? Always be positive and talk with your child about the benefits of going to sleep away camp.


When should I begin my search for sleep away camps?

Many families begin their research one and a half years before their child will attend summer sleep away camp. Although it is not necessary to begin so far ahead, we do recommend this for families who plan to visit sleep away summer camps while they are in session. Most camps will provide tours for prospective families, by appointment, throughout the summer. These tours fill up quickly, so it is important for families to make appointments as soon as possible.
There are many advantages to seeing a sleep away camp while it is in session. Touring summer camps while they are “in action” allows children and parents to get a “feel” for the camp, its sense of spirit and camaraderie, as well as the level of adult involvement and supervision.
There are also advantages to securing your child’s enrollment a year in advance. Some summer camps do fill their allotted spaces early in the season, and many offer tuition incentives to those who enroll early. Rest assured that no matter when you begin your search, our expert guidance will assist you in finding the right summer camp for your child.

Are there different types of sleep away camps?
TRADITIONAL SLEEP AWAY CAMPS offer a tremendous variety of activities including land sports, water sports, arts and crafts, adventure, drama and more. These summer camps can be “coed camps”, “boys camps”, “girls camps”, or “brother-sister camps”, where boys and girls have separate campuses and facilities.
SPECIALTY SUMMER CAMPS offer focused activities in a particular area. These include sports camps, fine arts camps, performing arts summer programs, academic and travel programs.
SPECIAL NEEDS CAMPS meet the needs of a wide range of children. These camps provide an outdoor summer camp experience along with a therapeutic environment.

What factors should I consider when selecting summer camps?
PROGRAM FLEXIBILITY – Summer camps recognize that children thrive in different environments, which is why programming options will vary from camp to camp. These options can range from FULL CHOICE to STRUCTURED. Full choice summer programs will allow campers to select all of their activities. A structured summer camp will allow some elective activities, however campers generally follow a pre-determined schedule.

LENGTH OF STAY – Today, there are many summer camp options. Camps offer anywhere from 1 to 7 week sessions.

DISTANCE FROM HOME – Different geographic regions provide different summer camp environments. Consider the environment you want for your child along with your level of comfort. Keep in mind that distance from home is not directly related to homesickness!
PRICE – Traditional sleep away summer camps range in price from $450 to over $1000 per week. Be certain to inquire about ‘extras’ such as laundry, canteen, trips or transportation, which may or may not be included in camp tuition. Specialty summer camps are priced from $300 and up.

Some Sleep Away Camps to Check Out:

Summer Camps 2011

Ascension Episcopal School

various | 337-233-9748 | http://www.aesgators.org

Summer programs at AES include volleyball and basketball camps, and T-Gator camp held at the River Ranch campus. For more information visit the school website.

Blue Ribbon Camp – Academy of the Sacred Heart

4 sessions | (337) 945-9041 | http://ashcoteau.org

Summer camps have become an American way of life for thousands of children each summer. The Blue Ribbon Camp is dedicated to the growth and development of children. We strive to build confidence, cooperation and understanding. The Blue Ribbon Camp staff recognizes the value of an enriching camp experience, and they are committed to providing a positive, happy, growth-producing week of exciting activities. It is our goal that each camper leaves Blue Ribbon Camp with memories he/she will treasure for life.

Cena Cooking Camp for Kids

| 337-852-7885 | http://www.cenalafayette.com/

Cena is a meal prep kitchen that offers nutritious meals to bring your family back to the table. We also offer cooking classes, cooking parties and extensive catering.

Crawfish Aquatics

| (337) 988-1415 | http://www.crawfishaquaticslafayette.com/

Crawfish Aquatics is the Total Swim Program for Lafayette and Baton Rouge.  Our focus is to build a “family” of swimmers, parents and supporters, all working together toward a common goal of excellence and FUN. Opt for a program with a proven track record!  By choosing Crawfish Aquatics, you are selecting an organization that will help your child grow and achieve their maximum potential in a positive and professional environment.

Drummin’ Up Sounds of the Caribbean with Troy Breaux

June 20th– 24th |  | http://acadianasymphony.org/

Younger students will be introduced to a fun and exciting array of world percussion instruments and musical traditions. This workshop is designed to develop rhythmic skills while exposing younger students to various cultures including West Africa, Brazil, and the Caribbean.  Session B is designed to develop and strengthen rhythmic skills in students with previous musical experience. Through the exposure to various world word percussion instruments, students will strengthen their understanding of pulse, subdivision, and polyrhythmic structures. Highlights of this session include developmental and historical perspectives of the African Diaspora and its effects on the musical traditions of Cuba, Brazil, and the Caribbean.

Firelight Performing Arts Academy

various | 337-857-6991 | http://www.firelightenterprises.com/

Firelight Performing Arts Academy is an educational tool designed to help children develop an abiding love of music and theatre as well as encouraging them to develop their existing talents. Classes include instruction, which focuses on acting, dancing, singing, make-up, costuming, stagecraft for performers age 4-20.  Our summer Camp Program offers both Broadway song and dance camps as well as acting camps for students ages 4 and up. The day camps are held at Firelight Performing Arts Academy in Youngsville, LA

La Toscana

| 333-319-8811 | http://www.latoscanadesign.com

Art classes for children and adults. Visit their website for dates and classes.

Mathnasium Summer Workouts

June 1- August 13 | 337-984-MATH | http://www.mathnasium.com

These flexible programs are desgined to give students an extra boost heading into the new school year. Two, 60 minute sessions per week are planned.

Morgan Street Dance Co.

| 337-837-3504 | http://morganstreetdance.com/Summer.html

Dance camps for various ages. Check website for dates, rates and ages.

Summer Art Camp

June 5-30 | 337-989-8052 |

Classes offered in weekly intervals

Summers Rock at Pope John Paul II Academy

May 31st to August 5th | 337-504-5415 | http://kidcamcamps.com/

Exciting camp adventures await on the 40 acres of the future site of Pope John Paul II Academy (Christian Brothers De La Salle property). Located minutes from downtown Lafayette and the Lake Martin Nature Conservatory this site presents many enriching field trip opportunities. Sprawling fields offer many athletic opportunities as well as nature exploration. Shady oaks provide much covering and outdoor tunnels of trees for picnics and games. A fishing pond awaits exploration and nature study. Campers will be engaged in weekly field trips, swimming, water slides, and a variety of daily activities such as arts, drama, games, hands-on science, fishing, sports, on-campus activities and so much more!!! Join our team of highly qualified staff (qualified even to assist with summer reading assignments) to provide your camper an awesome adventure this summer. Warning, accidental learning may occur.

Theatre Camp with Stephen Cooper of the Acadiana Repertory Theatre

June 6th-10th |  | http://acadianasymphony.org/

Students will explore various aspects of drama and theatrical production including movement in theatre, character development, improvisation activities and play production. The week will culminate in a performance of the group on the final day of camp!

Visual Art Camp with Bonnie Camos

June 13th-17th |  | http://acadianasymphony.org/

Kids ages 5-13 will get a chance to explore art of various mediums through different projects daily! Working with artist Bonnie Camos for a fun-filled week with watercolor, printmaking, acrylic, mixed-media, collage, and more!

Zydeco A-Z with Chubby Carrier

June 27th-July 1st |  | http://acadianasymphony.org/

Students will get the truly unique experience of learning all about Zydeco with none other than Grammy-award winning artist Chubby Carrier and his band! Kids will learn about the instruments of Zydeco, Zydeco’s roots, learn to dance, take a special trip to an accordion workshop, and get a chance to perform on-stage with the ASO on our 4th of July concert downtown!

How to Make Your Teen Bedding Match Your Child’s Personality

Teen bedding can range from any age between 9 to 18, but the hard part about teen bedding is bridging the gap between what you both like and what works in the room. When you’re a teen, your room defines you, and is all about self-expression. So the big question is how do you help them express themselves. You don’t want them to grow up feeling like they didn’t have a special spot in their crazy teen world that was theirs. The one special spot, that when their life got hectic, or their world seemed to come crashing down, that helped them reconnect and make it all go away, at least for a little while.

That is a pretty tall order, but actually manageable. Teen bedding can be fun or muted, it can be colorful or neutral, but the main thing it needs to be is a reflection of them. When they’re 4, it is mostly a reflection of you sprinkled in with what they are in to at the time. trains, boats or sports for boys and bubblegum pink, lavenders with fairies and princesses for girls. But teens are different. Pinks are gone and personalization is in. Your teen’s bedding will be the cornerstone of the room, you just have to choose wisely so it will last through some of their most opinionated years, before they leave the nest. That raises the question of what are good colors to work with?

For girls, teen bedding tends to lean towards the lime greens, aqua sometimes lavender and always black. Not a bad color scheme to work with actually. The most common wall colors these days are the lime green or aqua. There are lots of available options to work with that color scheme. Great Black and White Damask prints that can be piped in Aqua or Robin’s Egg Blue, or Paisley Prints or Coral and Aqua Paisley add in a zebra chair, cute chandelier and a rug, and they’ll have a room they’ll love and want to show off.

For boys, it is mostly about texture and simplicity. An easy way to pull boy teen bedding is to focus on a more neutral color on their bed like a tan or navy coverlet and put the color and pattern in to their shams. Carry that design element to the window treatments, add in a comfortable chair in the corner, a rug on the floor and you have a room that will make them want to stay home. Boy teen bedding focuses on colors like rich chocolates matched in with gold and red, or for those teens who prefer more color, navy with gray and bold yellows.

Teen bedding is what makes the room, so start there and build around that. Put your money on what is the focus of the room, which is going to be the duvet or coverlet, and the pillows, which can be either Euros or Standard shams (or both). The next things to focus on are the window treatments. Teen bedding needs to reflect their personality, but the window treatments are what set the style. Finding a space for a reading nook is important if you have the room, then focus on the accessories like lamps, great teen wall art, rugs and picture frames.

If this seems overwhelming, don’t let it. Start by working with your teen on their favorite colors and let that lead you to teen bedding that incorporates them. Once you can figure out the bedding, the rest can easily fall in to place. Your rug can be simple and just pulls out a color from the teen bedding. The walls get painted to the favorite color in the bedding and the lamp can be neutral, but the shade is the same color as the rug. See, easy, but it all starts with their teen bedding. And finally, don’t be afraid to go with a pattern. This is only on the bed and possibly the window treatments, but the bottom line is work with your teen to create their teen bedding which will lead to a room they will love.