Winter’s Bright Side

5 Cold Weather Projects You Can Do Now

If all of this snow has cramped your style, you might be able to channel a different kind of style, for your home. These colder months can work to our advantage, if we use them as a chance to take on a few fun home improvement projects. Here are five big-impact ideas that just might take your mind off the cold.

benjamin moore accent wall

Photo: Benjamin Moore

1. Paint an interior wall (or door)

Maybe your walls took a bit of a beating this holiday season, or maybe you just crave some color to brighten up a room. Painting an accent wall adds definition and interest to a space, without a major time commitment.  A freshly painted interior door can have a similar effect, inviting a new perspective into any room.

2.  Polish your wood floors

Even with regular cleaning, a quarterly polishing is recommended for most wood floors. Polishing adds extra beauty, shine and longevity to your floors, helping to restore a floor’s protective layer of finish. Learning how to polish hardwood yourself is a relatively quick, cheap and easy way to properly maintain your floors. Polishing is different than refisnishing, in that you are keeping the finish that is on the floor intact, filling in microscopic scratches and evening out the appearance.

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closet-organization3. Organize a closet

Get ready for the busy season, by doing a little spring cleaning before the rush. After you’ve done the work of sorting (and possibly purging), a closet organizer kit will help you get the most mileage out of your hard work. Snow’s carries a couple of different kits (which are also a snap to special order) that can  expand your storage space and keep everything organized an within reach. The ClosetMaid Closet Organizer, for example, has over 10′ of hanging space and 13′ of adjustable shelving space. You can also neatly stow away odd-shaped items by using a variety of totes and baskets.

copper knob

Shown: Liberty Hardware 1-1/2″ French Lace Knob with copper highlights

4.  Swap out some hardware

Just like great jewelry makes a fashion statement, one of the easiest ways to give a fixture a facelift is by updating the hardware. Doors, cabinets, dressers and vanities will all love being accessorized with some new knobs or pulls. And there are lots of choices – whether you prefer a satin nickel finish, a more vintage-style distressed copper, or something in between.

Snow's has a large selection of new spa products to use at home, including SallyeAnder Almond Goat Milk, Seagrass, Milk and Mint and "No Bite Me" Soaps, and Camille Beckman's Mango Beach No.2, Secret Sea, French Vanilla, Orient Spice and English Lavender collections.

Snow’s has a large selection of new spa products to use at home, including Camille Beckman, B. Witching Bath Co., Pre de Provence and Caswell-Massey for men.

5. Give your bath a spa feel

Now is the time of year when we love the chance to relax in a nice, hot bath – so why not elevate the experience with some carefully chosen spa-inspired treats?  From soft bamboo towels to color-coordinated lotions, soaps and candles, it doesn’t take much to take your bath from basic to beyond.

Valentine’s Ideas For The Whole Family

A box of chocolates. A dozen red roses. A romantic dinner out. All of these things remind us of Valentine’s Day, and by all means – indulge and enjoy if you can. But if your plans for February 14th include more than a special “plus one”, here are some family-friendly ideas that celebrating all kinds of love.

candlelit-pizza-dinner1. Have a candlelit family dinner

Why not? You’ll still get to enjoy a special meal, and setting a festive table for more than two just adds to the excitement.  An assortment of  rosy-hued candles and flowers will create a simple yet striking Valentine’s-inspired table…and you can make the meal even more memorable by giving each family a chance to say something nice about the others.

p.s. Add sound effects to your candle display with WoodWick candles (they come in red, too!) – a natural wooden wick creates the sound of a crackling fire while it burns.

salted-caramel-chocolate-cake

Salted-Caramel Six-Layer Chocolate Cake (Martha Stewart)

2. Make a delightfully decadent dessert

As a bonus to your family dinner  – or anytime, really – you will be a Valentine’s hero with a cake like this. The kids might even enjoy helping you bake.  And to make your prep work a little easier, you might want to pick up a jar of sea salt & caramel sauce for the layers (available at Snow’s) – it’s just as good as homemade!

Get the recipe

 Tea Party

Photo: Little Ladies Tea Parties

3. Host a tea party for your little princess and her friends

If you have a little girl in your life, chances are she’d love to invite her friends over for a Valentine’s tea party. It’s a chance to break out some of that old fashioned china, and maybe a bake a batch of heart-shaped cookies to inspire a few more squeals of delight.  If you have some sophisticated tea drinkers in your group, our “Teas for the Heart” gift box from Tea Forte includes 5 different infusers and antioxidant-rich green teas. Proceeds benefit WomenHeart, a nonprofit which helps women living with, or at risk of heart disease.

homemade valentines card4. Craft some homemade cards

No matter how far we advance with technology, there’s something about a simple homemade card that remains timeless.  Heartfelt cards need nothing more than a little inspiration and some basic supplies – which you can find in our expanded craft department.

5. Do a heart-healthy activity

If you’re on Cape Cod this Valentine’s Day, you can do something good for yourself and for others by participating in this year’s 5K Run. Walk. Love Relay. Proceeds will be donated to this year’s Relay For Life of Mid Cape which will be held in June. Registration beins at 9:00 a.m. at the Barnstable County Courthouse; age-group awards will be given to top finishers in 10-year age groups and over 70.

 

Chase Away the Winter Blues… with Green

5 Cheery Ideas for Decorating with House Plants

Springtime is often associated with lush, green, living things  – but winter? Not so much. If the snow and ice leaves you longing for a taste of spring, indoor plants are a great way to bring some of that fresh outdoor feeling inside. And plants are not only aesthetic. Many common species (Pothos, Ivy, Chinese Evergreen and Ficus, to name a few), have also been found to filter out common volatile organic compounds (VOCs).*

Inspired to invite more plants into your home? Here are five ideas to get you started.

ferns in bedroom

photo: Houzz

1. Grace a room with ferns

Ferns come in many shapes and sizes, and their rich, leafy fronds can really help bring a space to life. Ferns are also pretty low maintenance: just keep them damp (they love to be misted) and in indirect light. When choosing a fern, remember that anything you see hanging can easily be relocated to a standing pot, if you prefer.

Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 11.22.55 AM2. Bring plants to the table

A colorful house plant is a lovely stand-in for a dining room table centerpiece.  Plants will last much longer than fresh-cut flowers, and a species like this red Anthurium is simply perfect for Valentine’s Day!

succulents

photo: Architect Lines

3. Create a live display

Make a striking  decorative statement with a selection of smaller house plants, mixing together both the plant types and the pots they are in.  This arrangement of mini succulents would be great for a windowsill, since these they enjoy direct light and actually prefer to dry out between waterings.

dracaena

photo: Real Simple

4. Combine and conquer

For an instant wow-factor, you can re-pot several smaller plants into one larger planter.  Dracaena is an excellent species to use with this approach; look for dense plants with glossy foliage.

bathroom-plants5. Take advantage of steam heat

The humidity in your bathroom might not be great for your electronics, but many of your plants love it. Chinese Evergreens, for example, are a hearty house plant that need some warmth to thrive – so you’ll be doing your plants a favor every time to turn on the shower to heat things up.

*Source: Mother Nature Network 

Take it Easy: Healthy Crockpot Cooking for the Big Game

What a storm. With all of the excitement, we haven’t had much time to think about the big football game on Sunday.  How will you celebrate?

Last week we talked about making fresh juice, but there probably won’t be too many of us setting up a Superbowl juice bar in front of the flat screen.  But that doesn’t mean we have to throw all the healthy options out the window. Many of the things we love to eat during cold weather football watching – stews, meatballs, pulled pork – can be healthy and easy.

Here are three good-for-you recipes that can be made in a crockpot, perfect for effortless entertaining. Go, Pats!

turkey meatballsMini Turkey Meatballs

Who doesn’t like a meatball? This version has comfort food written all over it, but lean ground turkey and quinoa (instead of breadcrumbs) keeps them healthy and light. From How Sweet Eats.

pulled pork tacosPulled Pork Tacos

A slow cooker is the perfect vessel for cooking up a batch of barbeque-worthy pulled pork while you sleep. For the game, add salsa, lettuce, guacamole, and any other toppings you like to a warm tortilla. From Iowa Girl Eats.

spinach-dipSpinach Artichoke Dip

Chips and dip are a hallmark of any great party. This cheese spinach and artichoke dip uses fat free mayo and feta to make it creamy, and a slow cooker to get it warm and gooey. From Cooking Light.

Enjoy!

 

 

Juicing for Health: Why and With What

In a poll conducted by USA.gov, half of the top 10 New Year’s resolutions for 2015 were about health. Specifically: lose weight, quit smoking, get fit, manage stress, drink less alcohol. Not surprising, but what you may not know is that there is one single practice that can help you succeed with every single one of these resolutions – juicing.
fresh juices

Juicing has been around for a long time, and hundreds of studies have been done on its benefits. Documentaries have been made, including Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, which tells the story of a man who lost almost 100 pounds and healed his autoimmune disease by following a 60-day juice fast.   

Watch the trailer 

Benefits of Juicing

        • Quick, efficient way to get your nutrients
        • Boosts immunity
        • Gives you more energy
        • Flushes out toxins
        • Helps with weight lose weight
        • Gives your digestive system a break
        • Helps prevent cancer and disease

Impressive list, right? But if you’ve never juiced before, you might wonder where to start.  Before you stock your fridge with celery, beets, apples, carrots and kale, you’ll need a good juicer.

Which Juicer?

Breville juicer Breville juicerThere is indeed a juicer out there for every budget: from $20 to $400 or more. While Snow’s carries juicers in all of these price ranges, we always love to recommend Breville – moderately priced, heavy-duty, high quality juicers.

In fact, it was a Breville juicer featured in the documentary we mentioned earlier.  We carry both the the Breville Compact Juice Fountain ($99.99) and the Breville Juice Fountain Plus ($149.99). They are both great machines; the Fountain Plus is built to make more juice at a time, faster – so it’s a better choice if you plan to juice frequently and/or have several juice fans in your family.

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For more reasons, recipes and reviews, take a peek at one of our other posts on juicing: Glass Half Full. Here’s to a healthy 2015!

 

 

Nespress Yourself

Is a Nespresso Coffee System for You?

If you’re considering a premium home coffee machine, there are lots of choices. Nespresso, iCoffee, Capresso… we carry them all at Snow’s, and they all have their distinct features and benefits.

Today we’re highlighting Nespresso systems, because through the end of the month, you’ll get a $100 club credit with the purchase a system valued at $199 or more*. This gives you $100 toward mail order purchases of Nespresso coffee capsules – the most efficient and cost effective way to buy them.

There’s a whole Nespresso movement out there, evident by more than $4M Facebook page likes, and the many fans dedicated to documenting their ‪#‎NespressoMoment‬. But for those of us just trying to figure out if taking stock in the world Nespresso is for us, here’s what you need to know:

How the machines work and what they make:

vertuolineThe VertuoLine Makes coffee and espresso.

Technology: Gentle Centrifusion™ extraction makes for a smooth, rich and highly aromatic coffee, with high intensity and body, finished with a silky and generous crema.

Capsules come in 2 sizes, for “long” cups of coffee or espresso.

 

original lineThe OriginalLine  includes a range of machines, including some that feature an integrated milk-heating and foaming system to produce lattes and cappuccinos, in addition to espresso and coffee.

Technology: High-pressure extraction system releases all of the aromas contained in each coffee capsule. This guarantees an optimum distribution of the water through the ground coffee, resulting in a smooth and authentic taste.

Capsules come in espresso varieties, or the specially crafted grand crus.

Other interesting tidbits:

  • Nespresso coffee was top rated by a Good Housekeeping taste panel
  • There are different coffee “strengths” you can choose from: lungo (mild), espresso and ristretto (intense)
  • Easy to program and use controls; intuitive “smart start” guide included
  • Brews a shot of espresso in about 20 seconds
  • Nespresso is known for excellent customer service

Another important piece of Nespresso’s platform is sustainability and environmental consciousness. They have featured their coffee farmers in many campaigns, thanking them for their commitment in quality and sustainability (‪#‎MeetOurFarmers‬). Regarding their green initiatives, they have a free capsule recycling program.

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And if you’re still not convinced, you might want to indulge in one of the many ads featuring George Clooney. At least for many of the ladies out there, that’s reason enough to be a Nespresso fan.

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* Some restrictions. Click here for details.

 

Creative Winterization

5 ways to cozy up your home

Reclaiming your spaces is certainly a post-holiday perk.  No longer are you tripping over boxes and bows – or continually sweeping up tree needles.  But after the festive feeling of the holiday season, some of us may feel like our homes are a bit stark once the trimmings are all packed away.

With the cold weather, we’ll be spending more time inside than ever. Here are 5 easy ways to “winterize” your decor, to give your home more of that warm ambiance we love to snuggle up to.

canvas-flatweave21. Colorful Accents

Keep spirits bright with strategically placed pops of color throughout your home. It doesn’t take much: you can invest in bold decorative pillows, a cheery bedspread or a multi-colored throw for the living room. Bonus: These colorful accents will happily stick around, inspiring you for spring and summer decor, too.

candles in mirror2. Warm Reflection

Using mirrors as part of your home decor reflects light, helping you maximize it on these shorter days.

At night, candles place in front of a mirror creates a stunning effect, making it look like you have twice as many candles burning!

dash and albert 3. Snug as a Bug in a…

In addition to the decorative statement they make, area rugs are a great way to  warm up a wood or tile floor.  But a striking decorative rug can also be layered on top of your existing carpet, adding more depth and interest to the room.

Stylecraft lamp4. Lamp it Up

Even if you are not “overhead light challenged” – free standing lamps can be a staple in your home decor wheelhouse. They offer focused light where you need it, and a warm glow to a room when used alone.  And when you’re ready for a change, moving a lamp to a different room couldn’t be easier.

eclectic-roman-blinds5. Get the Full Window Treatment

From kitchen valances to floor length panels, window treatments add texture and warmth from within.  If you like to switch things up seasonally, fabric panels make it easy.  If you’re in the market for a more custom solution, companies such as Levolor (sold at Snow’s) offer a wide selection of blinds and shades, many of which are incredibly energy efficient.

Snow’s: 2014 Highlights

Before we turn over a new year’s leaf,  it’s fun to take a short stroll down memory lane. Here is some of the best (or at least the most memorable) moments from 2014:

JANUARY

Seniors save: January started our expanded senior discount days, with 10% off every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, all month long. It’s on again for 2015!storm

Let it snow: Not one blizzard – but two – this month. So much that Snow’s had to close on the 3rd and the 22nd!

FEBRUARY

Fall in love (with great coffee): This month, we began our continuing love affair with java’s best. Capresso, Nespresso… several promotional offers and in-store demos followed throughout the year. Did you get your brew on?

MARCH

sue-pikeDesigner on Duty kickoff: Spring wasn’t necessarily in the air, but the excitement about renewing our home decor certainly was. Visiting experts Madeleine Bickert, Susan Pike and Lori Mead were on hand to guide customers through their interior design projects. Stay tuned for our expanded designer program in 2015!

trains

APRIL

Train fun:  Many of our local families love coming to Snow’s during April school vacation. The kids never tire of our interactive train display, and the parents love to take advantage of the diversion and get a little shopping done.

 

MAY

Resin Mermaid Bookends

Coastal cravings: May marks the time of year when lots of our customers come back to the Cape to begin opening their homes for the season. They were delighted to find lots of new coastal decor, from mermaid-themed accents to local pottery. 

JUNE

hydrangeaIn full bloom: June was a delightful time to visit our newly expanded garden center.  Beautiful blooms as far as the eye could see!

JULY 

Sandbox reinvented: Beach mode or not, families loved one of the best games of the year – Sands Alive!  A fun, “un-technologied” activities for busy hands of all ages… even on rainy days.

AUGUST

berkshire_glamourTax-free deals: Massachusetts approved another state tax-free weekend on the 16th and 17th of this month, giving residents a chance to get some great savings on higher ticket items.  We’ll have to wait and see in the Commonwealth does it again for 2015, but if they do – there’s no better time to invest in something big, such as outdoor furniture. In 2014, our customers saved the 6.25% tax on top of our already discounted prices.

SEPTEMBER

Women’s wear:  This fall, Snow’s introduced an expanded line of women’s fashion, with lots of universal appeal.

OCTOBER

Green and serene: Benjamin Moore announced their Color of the Year: Guilford Green.  A beautiful, calming shade of green with endless color combinations.

NOVEMBER

The holiday season is here: Snow’s holiday shop (including the annual holiday train display) is in full swing.  We hope you had a chance to share some holiday spirit with us.

DECEMBER

Good cheer, and giving back: We has many special events in the store this month, including free knife sharpening, wine tastings, book signings, a visit from our local school choir, and of course, visits from Santa, Mrs. Claus and Frosty.

One of our most special memories in December was sharing the 13th annual Giving Tree gifts with the Housing Assistance Corporation of Cape Cod. Our community really came together, donating many generous items to our neighbors in need.

Thank you, for being a part of it all.  Looking forward to a memorable 2015!

 

 

10 Unique Gift Ideas for Every Budget

With just a week to go before Christmas, there are bound to be a few gifts – or more than a few – left to buy. But even if it feels like the 11th hour, there are plenty of unique and thoughtful gifts in every price range… available at Snow’s, of course!

pinterest
See the list on Pinterest!

Screen Shot 2014-12-17 at 12.48.49 PM$15 range

Town Tribute – Give them the gift of their favorite Cape Cod town. Choose from coasters, mugs and classic weathered signs. 100% handmade, earth-friendly and made in the U.S.A.

felt bagHandmade Handbags  – Felt clutches, handcrafted by artisans in developing countries, Each is one-of-a-kind!

colorful socksColorful, Cozy Coverings – A little something fun for your feet: whimsical and mismatched socks for adults, children and babies. Knit with recycled cotton yarn – hats available, too!

nat jules stuffed animalSnuggle Buddy – Soft plush toys from Nat & Jules are so adorable, it will be hard to choose just one for your favorite youngster. This dinosaur is named Staggie. :-)

 

diffuser$25 range

Summer Breeze in a Box – Sea Salt + Ocean Surf fragrance diffuser by Paddywax, hand-poured into a 4 oz. aqua glass vessel. Many oter “flavors” available, such as  Blood Orange + Citrus and Lavender + Thyme.


fish bowlGo Fish!
– Whimsical “Aqua Fish” design from Le Souk Ceramique. Platters, bowls and assorted matching tableware, hand painted in Tunisia. Forget formal – go festive! Pieces start at $10.

antique thaisExotic Earrings – Antique Thai earrings by jewelry designer John Michael Richardson. Metals are hand crafted in Thailand and finished by hand in the United States. Rich in look, affordable in price = the perfect gift! Snow’s is one of a very select group of retailers offering this special jewelry collection.

soft blanket$50 range

Blanket Bliss – Soft, woven boucle throws from Kennebunk Home and Bedford Cottage.  Classic designs, timeless colors, excellent quality. Many styles available.

scout bagScout it Out– Scout bags are a stylish way to carry just about anything, and a must-have for road trips and beach outings.  Snow’s carries a myraid of shapes, sizes and colors; shown is the “Original Deano” covered in a pink paisley pattern.

blue dressDressed for Success – This everyday dress from Pomegranate Moon flatters nearly any figure, but it’s as soft as your pjs! It also works as a tunic with leggings – and pairs with countless accessories. Light enough for spring with enough coverage for winter, this will be a true staple in your closet. Several colors available.

Real or Fake: It’s All Green.

christmas-tree-decoratedMore than 79% percent of all American households will display a Christmas tree in their home this holiday season. That’s a lot of trees … more than 94 million!

But as much as we all love to deck our halls with a holiday tree, there are definitely two different camps when it comes to the type.  You know what, though? Artificial or real, they’re both green.

A study by Life Cycle Analysis comparing artificial and real trees found that neither one has a major impact on the environment. Interestingly, what makes more of a difference are factors like length of ownership, disposal method and “tree miles” (how far your tree travels to get to you).

So there’s no right answer. But here are few things to take into consideration:

fresh cut Christmas-Trees1. Stay local. If you get a live tree, purchase one that’s grown locally, if you can.

2. Think about tree miles. Not just how far the tree traveled, but how far you travel to get to the tree.

3. The magic number is about 9. If you’ve purchased a cut tree for 9 years or more, consider transitioning to an artificial tree.  If  you already own an artificial tree, make sure and keep it in use for 9 years.

4. Disposal is important with both types. If you plan to transition from artificial to real, donate your tree rather than disposing of it.  If you have a real tree to dispose of after the season, make sure to check with your town on how to dispose of it properly.

 

watering the tree

The most important part of keeping a live Christmas tree healthy is making sure it gets enough water from the start. The first day it will downright guzzle: up to a full gallon of water in 24 hours. Don’t let it dry up: if it does, the base of the trunk develops seal that prevents it from drinking in more water.

Whether you go artificial or fresh, Snow’s has a large selection of both.  Artificial trees are from 2’ to 7’ tall and come in a variety of shapes to suit your home and decor.  You can also purchase pre-decorated (and pre-lit!) trees in a variety of themes, such as gardening, pets and ‘country’ Christmas.

If you prefer a fresh cut tree, you will find a lovely, lush selection at Snow’s. And of course,  a friendly  staff member will be happy to give you tips on keeping it fresh before securing it safely it to your vehicle.

Happy trimming!

 

 

Source: Nielsen survey on behalf of the American Christmas Tree Association, (ACTA).

Snow's Home and Garden Blog