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5 Fall Fashion Trends to Add to Your Home

by Rachel Jacks
Fashion runway
Photo: Kris Atomic 

If only because they're more difficult and expensive to change, home trends tend to move much more slowly than fashion trends. But even though you probably don't want to update your whole house every season, you might find yourself drawn to particular fall fashion trends, and there's no reason you can't incorporate touches of those trends into your home decor. Here are five 2018 fall fashion trends worth checking out for home decor inspiration.       

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What I Learned About Interior Design from Living with a Video Game Designer

by Rachel Jacks
What I learned about interior design from living with a video game designer
Photo: Chris Liverani

My husband designs video games for a living, and over the years, I've realized that video game design and interior design actually have a surprising amount of overlap. Room designers and game designers are both designing experiences for people to interact with, and though they may have very different end goals, some of the principles are the same.                 

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Summer Bucket List: 10 Things You Should Do Before Summer is Over

by Rachel Jacks

Summer activities that you should make sure not to miss out on. #summer

While you’re suffering through a heat wave, it may seem like summer is lasting forever. But as the back-to-school ads remind us, it’ll be over before we know it. So if you’re determined to make the most of summer while you can, here are ten classic summer activities to make sure you fit in before fall.         



Spotting a meteor in a starry night sky is a summer activity that you should make sure not to miss out on. #summer #stargazing #stars #meteors
Photo: Juskteez Vu 

1. Go Stargazing

The peak of the Perseid meteor shower is coming up in mid-August (the nights of Aug. 11-12 and Aug. 12-13 in 2018). If regular stargazing isn’t exciting enough for you, those are the nights you’re most likely to spot fireballs shooting across the sky. All you need is a dark area, and some patience. More information about the best way to watch the Perseid meteor shower here


Enjoying fruit you've picked yourself is one summer activity that you should make sure not to miss out on. #summer #berries
Photo: andrew welch 

2. Pick fresh fruit 

Berries are a summer mainstay, but peaches or other stone fruit are also ripe for the picking in the summer. If you can resist eating them straight from the source, turn the fruits of your labor into jams, preserves, pies, cobblers, and crumbles.


Going on a road trip is one summer activity that you should make sure not to miss out on. #summer
Photo: Annie Spratt 

3. Take a road trip

Life is busy, so if you don’t have time for a multi-day cross-country road trip, even a day trip counts. There are probably places worth visiting within a few hours drive of where you live.  Bonus points if your trip is to somewhere you’ve never been before! (Be sure to read the ultimate guide to road trip games before you hit the road.)


Eating homemade frozen treats is one summer activity that you should make sure not to miss out on. #summer #icecream
Photo: Mark Cruz 

4. Make frozen treats

If you have an ice cream maker, what are you waiting for? It’s time to fire it up and make some ice cream. Popsicles are a delicious alternative that don’t require any special appliances.


5. Watch movies outdoors

All but five states in the US have at least one drive-in movie theater, and especially if you’ve never done it, it’s a really fun way to see a movie! will tell you the closest drive-in to you. If it’s too far away to be practical, many places have outdoor movie nights in parks, or even on city rooftops. Or you could always throw your own backyard movie night with our guide.


6. Have a picnic

It’s a well-known fact that food just tastes better outdoors. Prepare a meal, pack it up, and eat it on a picnic table or blanket in a park. Make this waterproof picnic blanket to protect against soggy lawns, and follow this guide to packing the perfect picnic.


Swimming is one summer activity that you should make sure not to miss out on. #summer
Photo: Jakob Owens 

7. Go swimming

Whether it’s a manmade pool, lake, river, swimming hole, or the ocean, getting wet is classic summer fun, and a great way to cool down.


Throwing a summer party is one summer activity that you should make sure not to miss out on. #summer
Photo: Eric Nopanen 

8. Throw a Party

If you need a reason, make it a homemade-ice-cream-tasting party, a pool party or an outdoor movie night (see 4-6 above). Otherwise, just put together some drinks and snacks, and invite your favorite people over. You can keep it as simple, or make it as complicated, as you want. Steal ideas from posts on how to throw a backyard summer solstice party, how to throw the ultimate DIY summer party, and the secret that will take your parties to the next level.


Roasting marshmallows  is one summer activity that you should make sure not to miss out on. #summer
Photo: Leon Contreras

9. Roast marshmallows over a fire 

Do it while camping, picnicking, or stargazing. If that's not in the cards, build your own backyard DIY fire pit 


Going camping  is one summer activity that you should make sure not to miss out on. #summer
Photo: Jonathan Forage

10. Go camping

Get back to nature by sleeping in the great outdoors. Bonus: The stargazing is usually great, and every meal is a picnic.


Summer activities you should do before the summer is over
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Did I miss anything you consider a summer must-do? What's on your summer bucket list? 

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Dull No More: How To Clean and Sharpen Your Garden Tools

by Rachel Jacks
How to clean and sharpen garden tools

Photo: Rachel Jacks

Spring and summer is growing season, but that also means it's time to trim your yard. Trees, bushes, and shrubs need to be kept in shape, and to do that, it really helps to have sharp tools. It's faster and easier to cut with a sharp blade, plus it's better for the plant. In just a few minutes, you can actually sharpen garden tools yourself.        

Yard work is hard enough without trying to do it with dull tools...

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Why and How I Never Check Luggage, Even for International Trips

by Rachel Jacks

In the last five years or so, I've been fortunate to go on several international trips. Even though it would be free to check a bag on those flights, I never do, and it has saved me so much time and trouble that I can't imagine doing it any other way. If you're doing any air travel, internationally or not, I'm here to tell you why and how you should avoid checking luggage.          


Why to Avoid Checking...

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