Websites, Water, & The Wasp

 

First, let’s talk about the wasp because it just happened today and I’m still feeling a bit creeped-out by it. However, I want you to know, I believe ALL of God’s creation is amazing and beautifully made. But, as my husband can attest to, those good thoughts are meaningless, the moment an insect of any kind invades my personal space.

It began as I was pulling out of a parking lot and headed for home. That’s when I noticed a solitary wasp landing on my passenger side mirror. No worries, I thought, he’ll be gone once I’m on the road. But instead of being sucked into oblivion, as soon as I gained speed, the pesky wasp remained stuck to my mirror. I watched, as he seemed to spread his legs and lower his antennae, presumably to better “ride like the wind” on my car.

While I was fighting my inner musician, who insisted on playing “Born to be Wild” in my head, the striped bandit seemed indifferent to each of my driving maneuvers: stop, start, turn, fast, slow. Argh! He simply wouldn’t fly away! Which is when I realized, since I was almost home, that I couldn’t possibly pull into my garage with the wasp still attached to my car. Because at that point, my inner literary geek took over and began dramatizing lines that sounded like Edgar Allan Poe—being sealed inside a tomb, with a fiendish, stinging insect, etc.

The way I saw it, I had two choices. Either I could drive around aimlessly, for however long it took the wasp to fly away, or I could go get the car washed and make certain he was gone. Clearly, the car wash made the most sense and would be the best use of my time. You’ll be pleased to know, although the stowaway held tight all the way, he made a grand departure as soon as the water mist, billowing from the entrance to the car wash, filled the air. No wasps were harmed in the making of this little tale.

Water is Number One 

If you’ve been reading anything about disaster preparedness, you’ve heard of The Rule of Threes. Simply put, you can live only three minutes without air, three days without water, and three weeks without food. Since I’m not recommending you stockpile oxygen—we’ll be referring to water as the Number One item on your list of must-haves.

Remember, I set out on this preparedness quest, to help us understand how our homes can be both beautiful AND safe. Along the way, I’ve discovered some great books on the topic of water. My favorite is The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide—Harvest, Treat, And Store Your Most Vital Resource, by Daisy Luther. I cannot emphasize enough, what an eye-opener this book has been. For instance, did you know that many times, more people die from contaminated water, in the aftermath of a disaster, than actually die from the disaster itself?

Ride/Read Along With Me

Kind of like the wasp—okay, maybe not the best analogy. Still, while most of you would love to be reading more books, I know you’re already committed, or possibly over-committed, to plenty of important things in life. Well, preparedness is one of my commitments and I’m happy to share what I’m learning with you.

So, for the next few posts, I’ll be giving you my notes from The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide. In those notes, I’ll break down the information into smaller pieces. That way, you won’t have to absorb it all at once. Hopefully, you’ll begin to understand how important the topic of water is, for you and your loved ones. My hope is that you’ll take the necessary steps to prepare. First, prepare–then, relax.

Finally, you’ll notice I’ve been adding water preparedness products to my Amazon Shop—aka Prepperista Shop. Please take a moment to look at what I’ve personally selected. I’d love to hear your recommendations on this topic, via the comments section.

 Which Brings Us To – Websites

So what do websites, water, and wasps have in common you ask? Well, my story goes something like: I was happily blogging along, minding my own business, when something weird landed on my website and now I need to get it washed off—sort of like that, but different.

Anyway, I’m learning that websites, like life, are really about knowing when to drive around aimlessly, or when to go get the car washed.

All My Best,

Deb King

Prepperista

 

 

 

 

The Seasonal Entry Solution – Prepping For Spring

Seasonal Entry Chest and Arched Mirror
As seen on The House of Turquoise. Photo Credit: Dan Piassick; Design Credit: Shay Geyer of IBB Design.

Now that spring is near and because Easter is my absolute favorite holiday, I thought it was the perfect time for an “all about design” post. And yes, the purpose of this blog is discovering how we can create and live in spaces which are both beautiful and safe. In other words, interior design and preparedness are similar in oh-so many ways. But today, I’m in the mood to talk about decorating—just for the fun of it!

You see, as with most of my favorite design tips, the Seasonal Entry Solution came about after noticing several of my clients experiencing a common dilemma. They each loved decorating their homes seasonally, but they simply didn’t have time to go searching through basement boxes, several times a year. And for many of us, watching the seasons change is merely a hectic trip to Hobby Lobby {what would we do without them?}

When you think about it, the Entry to your home is the first scene your guests encounter, so it makes sense to give it design priority. The initial impression of how you live, may create in others an opinion about who you are. Unfortunately, accomplishing a fabulous Entry can be overwhelming and time consuming. That’s why my Seasonal Entry Solution is based on the Point of Use process we discussed in Post #2Additionally, I believe that today’s seasonal décor is best accomplished through the use of focal points and simple additions to what is already there.

Seasonal Entry How-to

First, for those of you with an actual entry, or foyer, I recommend you begin by adding a decorative piece of furniture with drawers, or doors. If you have a small space, a tall end table may suffice. In a larger one, an appropriately sized buffet, or chest, is perfect. Also, look for furniture with feet, so you won’t block air vents. I realize some of you don’t have much of an entry. Perhaps you can identify a wall, or corner and designate it as a focal point. In that case, try hanging a unique shelf, or box on the wall and add a storage piece in a nearby room. Below are a few examples from the Prepperista Shop, to get you started.

Blue & Cream DemiluneGray Nailhead Chest

Distressed Green Chest

Next, for the surface of your furniture piece, shop for three specific items. I call these the Seasonal Entry Trifecta: a container, a lamp {or candle inside glass} and a piece of wall art, or mirror. More knick-knacks will be needed, but these 3 items are the basics and will stay in place year-round. Also, select a non-seasonal item to hang on the outside of your front door. Use a wreath, sign, basket, or handmade item that speaks to your style and looks great with your house. This will be the base piece for your door. Find more ideas, in the Prepperista Shop.

Ceramic Gourd LampBraided Gold Round MirrorBrass & Glass Display Box

Let the Season-izing Begin

Finally, let’s decorate for spring! Turn on the lamp {or light the candle} add faux Easter eggs to the container, hang a small boxwood wreath over the front of the wall décor and tie a bough of greens to whatever is hanging on your front door. Once these are in place, consider adding a pot of fresh hyacinths, or tulips, to the tablescape. Try leaning smaller family photos, or framed scriptures and prints, at the back. Continue adding knick-knacks, until it feels right to you.

Yay, you’ve done it! But what about the other seasons of the year and those empty drawers and shelves in the furniture piece, you ask? Easy. When Easter is over and spring is moving into summer, place the eggs in a baggie and stash them inside one of the drawers. Store any of the seasonally themed knick-knacks underneath as well. This way, they’ll be waiting for you next year and you can move on to a new season. Does summer make you think of daisies, or the beach? It’s all up to you. Seashells would be my choice.

Hopefully, you get the idea and the Seasonal Entry Solution has become clear: while keeping your year-round base pieces the same, simply change out the add-ons for each season.  And, with every change, store the previous season’s decor in the space below. You’ll have a year’s worth of seasonal display, all in one piece of furniture! Just think, by December, you can switch your entry decor from Thanksgiving to Christmas, in about ten minutes! And there you have it, yet another brilliant solution, using the Point of Use process.

All My Best,

Deb King

Prepperista

Door Umbrella with Tulips
As seen on Country Living online. Credit: Random Thoughts. 

Finding Your Safe Places

Photo: Nick Oxford for The New York Times

The amazing image, above, is one of those photos that tells a story without words. Notice, the beautiful, silver-haired woman, emerging from a closet. Incredibly, it’s the only room untouched by a tornado. Clearly, she chose a Safe Place to shelter from a devastating storm.

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Hopefully, you had a chance to read the last two posts and answer the Personal Risk Checklist. It will help you identify which natural, or man-made disasters may threaten you and your loved ones. And, the questions at the end of Post #2 remind us that we might not be at home, when disaster strikes. Instead, we may be at work, or shopping and very likely separated from the people we care about. Once you’ve identified where and when you’re at risk, then you can identify and prepare your Safe Places.

MY TORNADO STORY

Of all the natural disasters, listed on the checklist, there are two main ones we face in my area—winter snowstorms and tornadoes. The worst winter storm, left us without power for almost a week. As for tornadoes, I’ve personally known two people, whose homes were completely destroyed by a tornado. Thankfully, everyone survived, because they had identified the perfect Safe Place to take refuge.

Similarly, when our children were small, one particular storm came way too close for comfort. It was after the local news warnings, that we began sheltering in our basement Safe Place. Minutes later, we heard the distinct “freight train” like sound and the power went out. In total darkness, the whole house was shaking. Then, suddenly, it was quiet and we heard, what could best be described as, an intermittent pulsing sound, tracking from one corner of the house to the other. Later, it was confirmed that a tornado had touched down, but it must have risen back into the clouds, just as it was nearing our home. Thankfully, everyone on our street was safe, even with significant wind damage. Unfortunately, other areas of the city looked as though a bomb had hit.

FINDING YOUR SAFE PLACES

So, what threatens you? You’ll notice, on both the checklist and in Post #2, I’ve listed more potential hazards than could possibly apply to one person. That’s why the answers you select, to all of these questions, are to be about you—not me, or other people—this is about your personal safety!

Once you’ve identified your potential risks, make a list of your corresponding Safe Places to shelter. For instance, in a tornado, you would go to the basement, or a centrally located room. But if your area experiences earthquakes, or floods, where do you go? Sometimes, going to your Safe Place means leaving the area. Where will you go then and how will you get there?

Next, think of all the different places you and your family go to each day—work, home, school, gym, restaurant, etc. In a nutshell: Home, Work, & Play. Make a list of Safe Places for those as well and plan for ways to meet up with your loved ones.

Congratulations, you’ve completed the first steps toward becoming a Prepperista–and for all the right reasons.

My Best,

Deb King

Prepperista

Life Lessons From A Coffee Station

Point of Use Coffe Station

Photo: Melissa Maria at Architectural Digest

For my talented mother, it was the natural way to do anything.  In design school, they called it Point of Use. The actual concept involves organizing your kitchen, your home, and all the other spaces in your life, so that the tools and products needed, to perform a particular task, are at the Point of Use. Simply put: store it where you use it.

THE PREPPED-OUT COFFEE STATION

Today’s home coffee stations are perfect examples of Point of Use in practice.  Let’s say you’re hosting a casual dinner party, or entertaining houseguests for several days, in which case, a well-stocked, self-serve coffee station will make your guests feel both pampered and right at home, all at the same time.

The well-stocked station is vital, even when it’s for you alone, as you face yet another busy commute to work. None of us want to waste our mornings gathering items from various kitchen cupboards, just to prepare something for one travel mug. Instead, spending a few moments, easily preparing your morning beverage at a beautiful and efficient space, can set the tone for the rest of your day.

With somewhere around 100 million coffee drinkers in the US, chances are you could benefit from a Point of Use coffee station. However, for some of us, coffee isn’t our cup of tea—literally. So, preparing a refreshment station to accommodate a variety of tastes, will help you stay organized, while showing your guests how thoughtful you are.

Yes, it can take some time to bring it all together, but I’d like to make the process easier for you. That’s why I’m giving you my complete Prepped-out Coffee Station Shopping List for free. It’s the perfect way to get a welcoming spot up and running, as quickly as possible. Also, be sure to check out the Prepperista Shop, where I’ve carefully selected items to help you prepare your coffee station. Then, try using your new Point of Use skills in other areas of your home and work. Where could the Point of Use method make your life easier?

SO WHAT’S THE PREPAREDNESS LESSON FROM A COFFEE STATION?

Hopefully, you read last week’s post and filled out my incredibly short Personal Risk Checklist.  If you missed it, or misplaced it, please fill in the sidebar boxes to receive the free checklist by email again—don’t worry, the mail service will remedy duplicates.

Essentially, the checklist is designed to get you thinking about what types of natural and man-made disasters you might personally encounter. Additionally, who are the people in your life that depend on your protection? Once you realize how much is at stake, prepping is a no-brainer.

The connection here is Point of Use. Where do you need to stock the appropriate resources, based on your possible needs? Ask yourself:

  • Where and when are you most vulnerable to potential disasters?
  • Where are your loved ones the most “at risk”?
  • Of course, you will want to prepare at home, but what if a disaster occurred when you were at work and the kids were at school?
  • What if you’re at a crowded shopping mall?

Think about your answers, perhaps writing them down and adding them to the folder I suggested last week. This is where we’ll be focusing in the coming posts. In the meantime, be sure to enjoy a warm cuppa and be grateful for another New Year.

My Best,

Deb King

 

Prepperista Shop

Prepped-out Coffee Station Shopping List

Blending interior design with prepper safety: maybe we should talk about it?

Welcome to Prepperista and the very first post! I’m Deb King and as an Interior Designer, I’ve spent years helping clients create beautiful interiors. And while each of them had different tastes and styles, the one thing they all had in common was the goal of creating the picture perfect environment for themselves and their loved ones.

IT’S SCARY OUT THERE

But lately, I’ve been thinking about ways we could make our homes not only beautiful, but safe as well. Hardly a day goes by that we don’t hear tragic news about floods, earthquakes, and other natural disasters. Besides that, we live, work, and move in different types of environments every day—how can we better prepare those spaces, making them attractive and safe?

HELP IS ON THE WAY

To be honest, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed about it all. Especially when I began reading disaster preparedness blogs and books. The topic seemed confusing, expensive, and frankly, unattractive (at least from an interior design perspective). That’s when I recognized the similarities between preparing for a disaster and designing a room.

At the start of each design project, there can be dozens of choices to make and many variables to be considered, all of which can be overwhelming to any client. But as a college educated interior designer, my goal has always been to assist the client in creating a plan that first, fits their personal needs, wishes, and budget; second, makes good design sense and follows best industry practices; and finally, brings about a space that is exactly what the client would have made, if they had acquired my training and experience. Clearly, this is a similar way to making the preparedness experience both enjoyable and rewarding.

WHERE TO BEGIN?

So, I’ve decided it’s time to begin the path toward my own disaster preparedness, mainly because I want to take care of the people I love, but also because, now that I’ve read a little bit about the topic, I would be so mad at myself for not following through. My heart would break, if my family’s lives were ever in danger and I had not prepared.

How about you? Won’t you join me, on this preparedness journey, where we’ll connect beautiful design with stress-free safety? In the same way my design clients depended on me to plan beautiful interiors, I would love to help you achieve the peace of mind that comes from planning for your personal and family safety. Believe me, there will be lots of smart and pretty design tips too, mingled in with the preparedness plan. You can start by submitting your request for my short Personal Risk Checklist—you’ll find it at the top of the right sidebar—that’s where we’ll begin. I promise, our trip will be fun, simple, and perhaps even life saving.

My Best,
Deb King