How to Have a Nice Smelling Living Room

In summer, life should be easy and relaxed but many of us are experiencing dangerous heat waves. Before I get into today’s topic, I’d like to say a few words about extreme heat. Last year I wrote about trying to stay healthy during extreme heat. If you are having trouble with the heat, do check out the ideas, stay hydrated, and stay safe.

Today I want to discuss fragrance in the home especially the living room. The living room is usually the first room visitors enter when they visit. Family members and pets sit, relax, and walk in and out all day. It’s a busy place. You want it be inviting right down to the air you breath. I know when I come home after being away 3 or more days, there is a faint odor like stale air and something else. I’ve stood at the front door and “fanned” the door to move the air around. I don’t like that smell.

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Green Bean Salad With Tomatoes, Olives & Feta

Summer is the time when fresh vegetables are plentiful. Today’s salad is a marinated dish of fresh green beans, tomatoes, red onions, and olives with a sprinkling of feta. The dish should marinate at least 3 hours in a refrigerated covered dish, but I like to leave it overnight. You can double the recipe for a big bowl for a cook-out or use the recipe for your immediate family. Make it to your family’s taste; my sister loves black olives while I love green. Fresh tomatoes can be small grape tomatoes or large heirloom tomatoes chopped into bite-sized pieces.

Green beans are a very healthy vegetable and are packed with nutrients such as Vitamin A, C and K, potassium, iron, and calcium. Green beans are also low in calories, low sodium, low carb and high in fiber. Plus the Greek inspired dressing is easy and so tasty.

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Raw Corn Salad for Hot Summer Days

In a few weeks we’ll celebrate the 4th of July here in the USA. Then we have the hot months of July and August. Today’s raw corn salad is quick, wholesome, and perfect for summer. No cooking required. We’re using fresh, raw, sweet corn on the cob, tomato, onion, and fresh herbs in a vinaigrette. I love cucumber, and you can add sliced cucumber, peppers, or avocado to tailor to your taste. Feel free to adjust ingredients to please your family. (If you don’t like raw corn kernels, steam or grill the corn first.) If you want to make this next winter, I would suggest frozen corn not canned for better flavor. The rest of the ingredients I’d still want fresh vegetables and herbs.

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Add Farmhouse Beauty With Plants

I love a casual farmhouse style that also includes a touch of modern. With the new year beginning, it’s time for a refresh with cozy, rustic details in my home.  One of my favorite decorative techniques is a  few plants scattered around the house. Real house plants add year round color and also filter the air naturally.  What if you can’t keep plants alive?  A quality faux plant can add texture and green to your home without fear of their death. I like to use a mix of real and faux plants and flowers, sometimes even in the same arrangement. No matter what design style you favor or the color of your rooms, adding fresh touches of green using indoor plants can be very much needed for interest and a bit of color.

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Windowsill Herb Garden

Make a little herb garden and grow fresh herbs on the windowsill through the winter or all year-long.  It’s easy to get started. A sunny windowsill is all you need to bring fresh basil, dill, rosemary, thyme and other herbs to your table.   Keep them happy all season so you can use them for cocktails, cooking, baking and more.  Have an herb garden outside? Move them inside but remember they will be in shock at the move and need to adjust. Move first to part shade. Then inside. Start new plants from plants, cuttings, or seed. Choose your small pots and start them on your window sill.  Individual pots with drainage and a saucer allow you to give the plant individual care. If you want a longer tray, try to use plants with similar growth needs.

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