5 Things New Window Treatments Can Do for your Home

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Curtains can add character to a room

Looking for some upgrades to your home? There is plenty you can do to your home, from remodels to window and door treatments. No matter what you aspire to do, there are a lot of projects that can help improve the look of your home, as well as its market value. If you’re looking to complete a project that doesn’t cost too much money or create work, you should consider new window treatments for your home. Windows are one of the most neglected parts of any home and helping improve them can build on their durability and appearance. All the work done and money spent will be returned if you plan to sell your house later. Also, during hotter or colder months, treating your windows can even reduce your electric and heat costs as well. This guide will review the types of window treatments for your home and five ways they can benefit you.

The Basic Types of Window Treatments

When searching for new window treatments, there are a few different options. Your choice will depend largely on your personal opinion, the design aesthetic of the room and your budget. Here are a few of the window treatments to choose from:

  • Curtains
  • Blinds
  • Shades
  • Drapes
  • Sheers
  • Shutters
  • Cornices

Top 5 Benefits of Window Treatments

  1. Helps Protect Against Weather and Sound

Even the most expensive homes on the market come with less than secure windows that are prone to weather, rain, snow, and sunlight. However, window treatments can help secure the windows in your home. The serve as both noise canceling insulation and weather protectors to help lower your monthly energy bills. Plus, you’ll be surprised how well window treatments can reduce exterior noise, such as traffic and construction.

  1. Adds Necessary Privacy

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New window treatments can help add privacy

Window treatments also help add privacy to the rooms in your home. You can use drapes or curtains to cover windows completely, reducing the chance of anyone seeing into the house. This has also proven to be effective in offices, when privacy is needed during work meetings.

  1. New Lighting Can Affect Your Mood

Lighting in your home plays a larger role in your life than you may think. Neutral colors can often look dull without the proper lighting. Homes can feel comfortable and secure if sunlight is completely blocked out and replaced with more defined interior lighting. Since window treatments come in two main categories, blackout and open, it’s important to choose the right one to fit your home. With the slightest change, you can change the lighting in your home to promote healthier and happier moods.

  1. Block Out The Sun

We all know about the dangers of the sun’s UV rays. Sunshine can be very strong, depending on which way your windows face. Too much sunlight can cause harm to the people and objects in your home. It can cause colors to fade and wood to dry out. With new blinds or curtains, you can control how much sunlight is coming into your home. You will be able to protect your family, your furniture and your home from any damage that may be caused by the sun.

  1. Add a Splash of Design To Your Room

Window treatments are available in a wide range of colors, patterns, and textures. There will even be window treatments for large windows or small ones. There will surely be one to match your current design aesthetic or even enhance it. Shades and blinds are often used to compliment the colors, decor and furniture in a room. New treatments can elevate a room from looking just alright to amazing. However, this is often overlooked detail during a redesign. Without new window treatments, a room can look incomplete or, at worst, clash with the new decor. By purchasing new blinds, curtains, or shades, you will have a beautifully designed room that everyone will love being in.

Windows treatments are becoming more and more popular in the modern home. So, if you want to knock out a project that doesn’t require a lot of money, work or time, you may consider getting your windows treated. Not only will this help secure your home, but can also cut out high-costing energy bills as well. You can dip into your creative side and get aesthetic shades or blinds to suit your home better. For custom window treatments, contact us today!

Break Free of the Office & Celebrate Anti-Boredom Month with Your Team

Why is July anti-boredom month? It’s a natural time of year for the doldrums. The holidays are far away and there are no urgent rush seasons going on. Summer days drag by, as workers leave for or return from vacation time. For an office job, it’s the worst season, because it is bright and sunny, a perfect day for recreation, and you’re wasting it in an office cubicle. In addition, the kids are out of school, which makes parents feel like they’re missing out on spending time with their kids.

The Benefits Of Fighting Boredom

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Strive to keep employees happy

Companies should care about employee apathy because the quality of work sometimes suffers. More mistakes happen that need to be corrected and more productivity gets lost due to lagging performance. Surprisingly enough, investing in just a little frivolous diversion can help your workers buckle down to work later.

Some studies have also shown that a brief period of mental stimulation helps clear the cobwebs and improve attention and cognitive performance. At the very least, some diversionary tactics help break the stress and routine of the long summer days and weeks.

Creative Ideas to Fight Boredom

Team building exercises are often just manager-speak for “we need to get you out of your cubicle and moving around.” You can justify many fun activities as team building and cajole everyone into participating. But here are a few off-hand ideas to stimulate your employees during the dull summer months:

* Organize a company sports team.

This can be as silly or as serious as you want. An official sports team for your department gives you a great reason to hand out matching T-shirts, rally everybody together, and get them cheering for each other. Simple low-impact sports like volleyball, softball, or bowling are ideal here.

* Have a company contest.

This can be something silly like organizing a scavenger hunt, or a contest tied to work productivity. Here’s the catch: instead of some practical company gift, have the prize be something a little “out there”.  Maybe two tickets to a local rock concert or a case of gourmet coffee. Pick something that will get your employees talking. The important thing is that everybody has fun doing this.

* Have an Employee Appreciation Day.

Maybe take one day to have a break from the usual work schedule and organize an event. It doesn’t take much; a pizza and movie party is just right. A company picnic is even better if you have a local park available. Some larger companies go all out and host a carnival, with small party kiosks rented from a local vendor. This can be a big event you can build up to in advance, giving everybody something to look forward to.

* Give Your Employees Random Surprise Perks or Gifts.

What would your employees think if they encountered an ice cream vendor cart in the lobby for one week? Or came in Thursday morning to find a gift card for the local mall on their desks? Or you suddenly announced, “Bring your pet to work day”? Or you just hired a clown to wander through the office handing out balloon animals for one day? Make your office an interesting place to work.

* Sponsor board or table games.

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Organize fun office games

You can stock the company break room with board and card games. Perhaps even one day of the week, give everyone an extra half hour devoted to games. It’s important that they’re playing physical entertainment together rather than just zoning out playing on their phones. Similar to the sports team idea, you can even organize a competitive company team revolving around their favorite game.

A Little Goes A Long Way

You’d be surprised what an impact any of these methods have. By at least encouraging a little fun on the company clock, you’ll not only fight burnout, but boost employee morale by showing them that at least the boss has some heart. By showing you have a human side and a soul, your employees are more likely to put up with the drudgery of the day-to-day job; you’re telling them that you know the work is tiresome and thanking them for doing a good job.

There are many more ideas out there. Just try to avoid being predictable with your measures; nothing says “boring” like handing out pens and paper-clip wells with the company logo. Come up with perks and activities that are imaginative enough, and your employees will be talking about anti-boredom month until the holiday season!

7 Reasons You Need to Take a Second Look at Roller Shades

When considering window treatments, many people rarely consider roller shades. However, these versatile shades deserve a second look. Here are seven reasons why you should take another look at this versatile window treatment option.

  1. They have a clean and classic look.

These shades offer clean, sleek lines that set an elegant backdrop for the design of any room. These clean lines are a classic design that is very much on trend today. The elegant vertical lines of these shades can give a room a sharp, contemporary look or can also show a classic, European style. There are other aspects of your interior design and decor that you’d rather people focus on anyway and the clean line of these shades won’t distract the eye.

  1. They are available in many colors, patterns, and fabrics.

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Do not be afraid to use bold colors

If your vision of a roller shade is a blah color and boring material, you might be surprised to learn of the different options they actually come in. As with any other window treatment option, you can choose from a variety of colors, patterns, and fabrics. In fact, you are able to select your choice of color and pattern as well as choose the weight and opacity. It will be easy to find the right match for every room. If you want to follow the trends, 2017 is all about bold, bright colors in your windows. Jewel tones like turquoise and emerald are particularly hot. You don’t have to follow the crowd, though. It’s important to choose colors and patterns that fit your vision. After all, it’s your home and it should reflect who you are.

  1. Blackout roller shades and room darkening roller shades can keep the light out.

The choice of opacity is particularly important. You can choose light filtering roller shades to let you see a soft outline of the outdoors. Or you can choose a room darkening shade or even a blackout shade. This is an especially good option for the bedroom. Much research has shown the detrimental effects of light pollution on sleep. This, in turn, can cause damage to your health. A shade that minimizes the amount of light in the room can beneficial. A blackout shade will make your room as dark as possible. Blackout shades are also helpful for daytime naps or for getting children to fall asleep when it’s still light. Additionally, keeping out the hot Nevada sun during the day can make your home cooler and more efficient.

  1. The operation is simple.

Not every window treatment is easy to use. Opening and closing a shade should be easy and roller shades are very user-friendly. Most people will know how to use them by sight, something you can’t always say for some other window options.

  1. They can fit into any design aesthetic.

It’s hard to find something more versatile than a roller shade. It can truly fit into any design aesthetic. Whether your look is edgy and modern or airy and romantic, you’ll be set. No matter the style or the type of room, it’s easy to choose a roller shade that will fit seamlessly into the design.

  1. You can add extra flair through embellishments.

If you like the simple, classic look of the shades but are wishing there was a little something extra, you’re in luck. You can add a touch of flair with extras like a scalloped hem and beaded or gimp trim. These details can make a big difference.

  1. They are affordable window treatments.

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Roller shades are affordable

There are many things to love about these versatile shades including their affordability. Why spend your entire design budget on your windows? After all, there are endless details when decorating your home and they all cost money. These shades are an economical choice, but they offer just as much value as other pricier options.

Have we convinced you? We’re always happy to help people realize that these gems don’t deserve to be overlooked! We pride ourselves on our exceptional service and we’d be delighted to help you choose the color, pattern, and fabric that is the right match for you. If you’re ready to talk about how roller shades can be a part of your home’s look, contact us today.

It’s National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month. How You Can Adopt a Healthier Diet for Greater Productivity

June is National Fresh Fruit & Vegetables Month, which means it’s a perfect time to make improvements to your diet.

During this month, you’ll have an easy time finding fresh, delicious produce in supermarkets, farmer’s markets, and maybe even your own backyard garden. And while you probably already know that eating more fruits and veggies will make you healthier, that’s not the only benefit you’ll notice. Eating a healthy diet will also make you more productive and give you more energy to excel at work, play with your kids, and connect with your loved ones. These tips will help you clean up your diet and become more productive along the way.

Swap refined carbs for fresh, whole foods.

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Opt for healthier wholefoods

Processed carbs, such as white bread, soda, and candy, might give you a quick burst of energy right after you eat them. However, the energy boost soon fades away, leaving you feeling groggy and irritable. Why? Your body processes the simple sugars in these foods quickly, which causes your blood sugar to rise and then drop sharply again.

To avoid this happening to you, cut sugary foods out of your diet wherever you can. Replace them with fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. These natural foods aren’t just more filling than highly processed foods – they’ll keep your brain going for longer, too. Here are some examples of simple swaps you can make:

  • Make your lunchtime sandwich on whole-grain bread or a whole-wheat pita instead of white bread.
  • Trade your afternoon candy for a carton of fresh, ripe blueberries.
  • Instead of soda, drink filtered water or seltzer infused with strawberries.
  • Cook brown rice for dinner instead of white rice.
  • Swap your morning glass of orange juice for a more filling piece of fresh fruit.

Eat breakfast.

There’s a reason breakfast is referred to as the most important meal of the day. A healthy breakfast kick-starts your brain, while an unhealthy one can leave you feeling foggy at ten in the morning. According to the University of Illinois, an ideal breakfast should include carbs, fat, and protein. The carbs give you energy and help you focus, while the fat and protein help you stay satisfied until lunchtime. If you need ideas, give these breakfasts a try:

  • Make an omelet with your favorite vegetables, like spinach and mushrooms, and a little cheese. Have a piece of whole-wheat toast on the side.
  • In a hurry? Make a quick piece of peanut butter toast. Eat it with a banana or some berries.
  • Cook up a bowl of satisfying oatmeal. Top it with honey, sliced almonds, and cut-up fruit.

Plan ahead.

Don’t wait until you get hungry to decide what to eat. According to the Harvard Business Review, people make better food choices when they’re not ravenous. Spend a couple of minutes every morning thinking about what you’ll have for lunch, dinner, and snacks. A little planning can save you a lot of time, brainpower, and calories in the long run.

Use a smaller plate.

Have you ever felt sluggish and slow after eating too much? Everyone overindulges sometimes, but if you do it regularly, you won’t be at your most productive. Instead of putting less food on a large plate, which can make you feel subconsciously deprived, try this simple trick: just put your food on a small plate instead. You’ll still feel satisfied, and you won’t get a case of afternoon brain fog from eating too much. MIT also recommends sticking to light, healthy foods, such as fruits, veggies, and lean protein, instead of heavy fried foods.

Don’t let yourself get too hungry.

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Never allow yourself to get too hungry

In terms of brainpower and productivity, eating too little is just as bad as eating too much. When you under-eat, your brain doesn’t get the glucose it needs, which can make you feel light-headed, anxious, and irritable. Maintain your energy and focus by eating small, balanced meals and snacks throughout the day. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Instead of eating a heavy pasta dish at lunch, go for a salad or a light sandwich with veggies on it. Skip the fries.
  • Keep a healthy, nonperishable snack, such as a bag of almonds, in your car. That way, if your stomach starts growling when you’re stuck in traffic, you won’t be tempted to hit the drive-through.
  • Bring carrot sticks and hummus to work for when the afternoon munchies hit.

June is the perfect time to clean up your diet by incorporating plenty of fresh, in-season produce. These easy tips will help you make the most of National Fresh Fruit & Vegetables Month!

13 Brilliant Tips To Keep Your Home Cool Without Air Conditioning

Are you wondering how to keep your home cool? Summer comes with its joys and troubles; this is the season when it gets unbearably hot especially in homes that do not have a good AC. A proper air conditioner can cost thousands of dollars without counting the enormous running costs. The good news is that it is possible to keep cool even without turning on the AC. The following ingenious tips will show you how to keep your house cool in the summer naturally.

1.Window Treatments

As much as 30 percent of the heat that accumulates in the house comes through the windows. If you can manage to block this heat, you could lower your indoor temperatures by as much as 20 degrees. The best way to keep heat out of your windows is to install blinds and shades and to keep them closed. These window add-ons block out direct sunlight keeping excess heat away from your home and are a worthy investment as they will save on your power bills.

  1. Use drapes and window films

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Use drapes to keep the room cool

A great way to keep a room that faces the sun cool, is to consider drapes or heat blocking curtains. Heavier fabrics such as cotton or velvet are better especially if they have several layers. However, you must be careful with the color choice; dark colored materials absorb heat and can make the room hotter. On the other hand, light colored materials can reduce heat gain by as much as 33%, according to scientific studies. Curtains on your windows will also keep the heat out. You may also consider window films to reduce the glare and to prevent damage that may be caused by U.V rays.

  1. Utilize fans

Fans are an effective way to keep your home cool. Unlike the AC which is expensive to run, an electric fan will be easier on your power bill. The good thing about fans is that they only cool the area where you want instead of working hard to cool the whole house. They also work immediately and you get your breeze in a jiffy. For larger rooms, ceiling fans are appropriate while portable fans can be used for smaller areas.

  1. Ventilate your attic

If you want to keep your home cool, you must understand air dynamics. Hot air rises, but it requires some place to go. One of the easiest ways to deal with this hot air is to ventilate your roof. Get a professional to install a ridge vent. You may also consider having roof vents installed.

  1. Reduce humidity

A very humid environment will make it very uncomfortable when it gets hot. Reduced humidity will make your room feel cooler than it is. Cooking, showering, and washing of clothes increases humidity inside your home. The best way to deal with this situation is to turn on the fans immediately so they can expel this humid air.

  1. Opt for outdoor cooking

When the house is already sweltering hot, it will not do you any good to turn on a 400-degree oven inside your kitchen. Heat sources can heat the air around them significantly. This heat can be transferred to other areas of the house through convection. A good way to keep your home cool is by opting to cook outdoors. This is the time to enjoy barbecues!

  1. Move away from traditional lighting

Did you know that switching from incandescent lighting could help keep your home cool?

Incandescent light bulbs produce light by heating the filament to high temperatures until it produces light. This makes them produce a considerable amount of heat and wasting a lot of energy in the process. If you have several of them in the house, they could make the air warmer.

  1. Utilize the cool night air

It is likely the air outside is cooler than the air trapped inside your walls. To keep your house cool, it is a good idea to open doors and windows to let in a breeze and to encourage air circulation throughout your house.

  1. Occasionally change your beddings

It gets quite uncomfortable to sleep when it’s hot, but the simple act of changing your bed sheets can keep you cool. Cotton is an excellent material to use during hot weather because it is breathable and stays cooler.

  1. Try counter clockwise motion for your ceiling fans

This is a brilliant way to keep your home cool. Setting your fans at a higher speed and in counter-clockwise motion produces a wind- chill effect making the room cooler.

  1. Consider a radiant barrier

You can use thermal insulation to lower temperatures inside your home. A radiant barrier has the shape of the pitch of a tent and is covered with a reflective material. This barrier can reduce your energy costs by up to 12%.

  1. Construct a trellis

Put up a horizontal structure in front of your windows and get climbing foliage to grow. If it has enough cover, it will block the direct sun from the windows.

  1. Plant trees

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Plants give a cool atmosphere

Trees provide shade and shield windows from the hot summer sun keeping your home cooler.

You do not have to incur huge power bills by turning on the AC during the warmer months. By putting to use the above ideas, you can look forward to summer with little worry. If you are in Reno, Nevada, please contact us for more information on how to keep your home cool.

Tips and Tricks to Make Your 2017 Spring Cleaning a Breeze

Summer is just around the corner, and that means time for spring cleaning! The annual tradition of spring cleaning gives you an opportunity to clean out your home and make it shine for guests. Here are some spring cleaning tips and tricks to prepare you for an afternoon of cleaning!

The warmer months offer so many opportunities for entertaining at your home. From graduation parties to birthday parties and 4th of July barbecues, you may have big plans this summer. Many of us “hibernate” in our own way during the winter months, and our homes are in desperate need of a good spring cleaning!

Clean Your Kitchen

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Give that kitchen a sparkle

Many spring cleaning ideas focus on how your home looks, but let’s take a moment to focus on getting rid of odors in your kitchen. Some culprits can be your sink, your dishwasher, and your refrigerator. Is your sink clogged? Try unclogging it with a Zip-It drain cleaner. This tool makes unclogging drains quick and easy, and you don’t have to use any harsh chemicals.

Give your dishwasher the spring cleaning treatment by a dishwasher-safe bowl with vinegar on the top rack and running your dishwasher for a short cycle. Once that cycle is complete, lightly sprinkle baking soda on the bottom of your dishwasher and run it again. The vinegar and baking soda work together to clean your dishwasher and remove any nasty odors!

Clean Your Refrigerator

A good spring cleaning must include some quality time with your refrigerator and freezer. Have some leftovers from Thanksgiving? Now is the time to trash them! Are there residents in your freezer that no longer resemble any type of food for humans? Throw them out! Decluttering your fridge now can help you make healthier choices and not waste food (and money) from not being able to see what you have.

Another important, fridge-related spring cleaning task is cleaning your refrigerator coils. It is recommended that you clean your refrigerator coils once a year, so it’s about that time! This task only takes a few minutes, but it can make a big difference in your refrigerator’s efficiency. First, unplug your refrigerator. Use the brush attachment on your vacuum (or use a separate stiff brush and your vacuum) to brush dust off the coils and vacuum the dust away.

Spring Cleaning Quick Tips

As you dust and vacuum around your home, the air can become dusty and make it uncomfortable to breathe. Plan your spring cleaning for a nice, sunny day so that you can open the windows and let fresh air into your home!

Baseboards around your home can get dirty over time. These don’t take very long to clean with a product like a magic eraser. Take a few minutes to clean your baseboards, and you will notice a big difference!

Make “chore” time more fun! Your list of spring cleaning tasks can be daunting, so turn on some of your favorite tunes to turn your cleaning day into a concert or dance party. Look at you, cleaning rock star!

Let the Sunshine In!

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Clean your windows

Spring brings sunshine into your home. Don’t let dirty windows or dirty window treatments get in the way of that. Wash your windows on both sides. Windex and newspaper can do the trick! Just make sure you dry the windows with dry newspaper. If you have window screens or sliding door screens, you can clean these as well by using a scrap of carpeting to remove any dirt.

Wash your wooden blinds with just a little bit of wood cleaner and a sponge. You don’t want to use a chemical or solvent that is too abrasive because it may affect the finish on the blinds. The sponge only needs to be slightly damp. If your sponge is soaking wet, this spring cleaning task will get too messy!

Upgrade Your Window Treatments

Your window treatments can determine how much sunlight comes in as well as the general ambience of any room in your home. If you are feeling that your blinds or shades are outdated and out of style, you can upgrade your home with some new window treatments from Reno Blinds & Repair.

At Reno Blinds & Repair, we offer full service repairs on your window blinds and shades. If you are looking to update your window treatments to redecorate your home and save money on your energy bill, we can help you as well!

Contact us for an appraisal of what it would take to repair or replace your blinds in your house today.

It’s Stress Awareness Month – 7 Ways to Relieve your Stress

If you feel like stress is constantly overwhelming your life, you are not alone. Tension is a way of life for most people in the 21st century. Human beings simply were not designed for the level of stimulation that we are routinely exposed to in the modern world. We are all constantly on the go, and this leads to people not taking care of themselves the way they should. It is critical that you learn how to manage stress. Stress has been linked to many serious health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, cancer and depression. If you want to be happier and healthier, use the following seven tips to relax and reduce the tension.

  1. Meditate

One of the best ways to be healthier and reduce the tension of modern life is to meditate. Meditation has been around for thousands of years for a very simple reason, it works. Whenever the pressure of modern life seems overwhelming, a quick meditation can make everything right again. If you are new to meditation, you should begin with five minutes a day. Slowly increase the time you meditate until you are meditating for at least 10 minutes a day. When you add meditation to your life, you will find you are much calmer, healthier and able to handle the over-stimulation of the modern world much better.

  1. Massage

Getting a massage is one of the most pleasurable ways to de-stress. If you have never enjoyed a massage before, you don’t know what you are missing. The blissful feeling you have after a massage is proof that getting a massage is one of the best stress-relieving activities imaginable. To help keep yourself feeling relaxed, consider the benefits of adding a weekly massage to your routine.

  1. Exercise

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A good workout relieves stress

Research has shown that people who exercise regularly are less stressed. This is because exercise floods your system with endorphins. The endorphins are the body’s pleasure chemicals, and they wash away the tension when they flood your body after a workout. It doesn’t matter what kind of exercise you do. Just get up and be active. Start walking every day. Train for a marathon. Join a swim team. Learn to rock climb. Just get up off the couch and exercise any way that seems fun to you.

  1. Be Social

One of the saddest things about the 21st century is that even though people are more connected to each other than ever before through the Internet, people feel lonelier now than ever. Technological interaction through social networks is not a replacement for human interaction. You need to get out there and interact with people in the physical world. Social interaction is one of the best treatments when you are feeling stressed out. Next time you are feeling overwhelmed, plan a party or night out on the town to lift your spirits.

  1. Tickle Your Funny Bone

Laughter really is the best medicine when you are feeling tense. When you laugh, it releases the same endorphins that exercise does, eliminating tension and leaving you feeling wonderful. Next time you are feeling stressed, watch your favorite comedy to unwind.

  1. Take a Nap

Another sad fact about modern existence is that naps are not something that most people get to enjoy beyond childhood. That is a real shame as the body benefits greatly from napping. When you nap, your body has lower levels of cortisol, the stress-causing hormone. Next time life seems overwhelming, try a 20-minute power nap to instantly feel better about things.

  1. Adopt a Pet

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Pets make good companions

Research shows that pet owners are less stressed than others. Whether you are petting your kitty, playing catch with your dog or watching your fish swim, interacting with pets has been shown to make people happier and less stressed out. There are plenty of pets out there at shelters that could use a good home, and you could use the pick-me-up.

Stress Awareness Month

April is Stress Awareness Month. That makes this the perfect time for you to look for stress-reducing tips. With the seven tips above, you will be able to chill out. Using these tips will make you happier and healthier, improving the quality of your life.

You owe it to yourself to find ways to chill out. Exercise, meditate or do whatever it takes to start relaxing. When you take the time to take care of yourself by engaging in stress-relieving activities, it is not only good for you. You will be happier and make those around you happier as well. For the benefit of all, always be on the lookout for ways to reduce your stress levels.

Seven Ways to Upgrade Your Home Decor This Spring

Spring is the best time to change up the home decor. The days are growing warmer, and the sun is staying up later so why not say good riddance to winter and welcome spring with decorations that add cheer without breaking the bank? Here are some spring decoration ideas:


Spring Table Decorations

spring table decorations | Reno Blinds and RepairA lovely decoration on a table, be it a lamp table, side table, coffee table or even the dining room table can be a reminder that spring is finally here. If you’re lucky to have a garden or have a bit of acreage behind the backyard, now’s the time to head out and collect the first flowers of spring. They can be branches from a redbud tree, whose magenta flowers appear well before the leaves and grow straight from the branch. Dogwoods and pussy willows are always favorites, as are the first wild violets or grape hyacinths. Don’t forget daffodils, narcissus and crocus. Some people are creative enough to take all of these blossoms and branches and arrange them in a spectacular floral design.


Flowers can be placed in holders as varied as porcelain cachepots, crystal vases, painted buckets, galvanized metal watering cans and country crocks. One nice touch is to place a row of bud vases filled with a single flower on a console or sideboard.


Flowers aren’t the only things to put out on the table in the spring. A birdcage made of bamboo makes a nice conversation piece when set on a sofa table or coffee table. Weave a nest out of twigs and put in a bunch of ceramic eggs. Robin’s egg blue is a good choice of color.


Big bowls of potpourri are not only beautiful but give the room a lovely scent. Don’t hesitate to put out other well-loved objects where your guests can see them. These include collections of candleholders, crystal, glitter fruit, rocks, seashells and tiny, carved figurines.



Few things change the ambiance of home decor like a fresh paint job. Though it is a bit of work, painting walls, ceilings and even floors the cheerful colors associated with spring are another way to welcome the season. Try different shades of light green, light blue, yellow, orange or even pink. If you don’t want to do the whole room, paint trim on windows and doors, baseboards and crown moldings.



A lovely floral print wallpaper or wallpaper filled with colorful stripes can be part of spring decorations for the home. The trick is to not overdo it. An especially vibrant wallpaper can be placed on one wall or in the area above wainscoting while the wainscoting itself is a solid, complementary color. A somewhat busy wallpaper can also be broken up by mirrors and wall sconces.


Window Treatments

spring window treatments | Reno Blinds and Repair At Reno Blinds and Repair we take pride in our many types of window treatments for spring. Window treatments range from Roman shades with a pattern of spring flowers to draperies that puddle romantically on the floor. Other spring window treatments are different sorts of shutters, some covering the bottom half of the window to allow both privacy and unhindered natural light, some covering the whole window with adjustable louvers. Pastel colored blinds also speak of springtime when they’re placed over a window.



New Artwork

This is one of the easiest ways to change the mood of the house. Lots of people have seasonal artwork such as paintings or little figurines of pumpkins and squash for fall and snowscapes for winter. Now that it’s spring, it’s time to swap out those wintry scenes for watercolors of spring flowers or botanical prints. Other artwork includes decorative plates and even ceiling bosses, those delicate plaster embellishments that are found in the centers of high Victorian ceilings and sometimes hold chandeliers. Now, instead of being placed on the ceiling, these bosses can be placed on the walls. Because they’re white or eggshell color, they look really fetching against a wall painted with solid pastels or hung with solid pastel wallpaper.


An easy and inexpensive way to spruce the house up for spring is to change the slipcovers on chairs and sofas. The change will be rather dramatic if you replace neutrals with pastels or florals.


Another idea is to wrap the headboard of a bed in cozy, spring-like fabric that complements the decor of the rest of the bedroom. Don’t forget to pile the headboard with new, fluffy pillows with new pillowcases bought specifically for spring.


Brightening your home decor for spring is fun, easy and does not have to be at all expensive. Use your imagination to make your spring home as welcoming and comfortable as possible. For more information about the right window treatments for your home, call us at Reno Blinds and Repair.

It’s National Kidney Disease Month. Read These Tips for Better Kidney Health

Your kidneys are very important organs in your body. Taking proper care of them will help you live better and longer. Many people don’t understand kidney disease or how to prevent it. For National Kidney Disease Month, you can learn how to better care for your kidneys and prevent disease.

Get Tested

kidney | Reno Blinds and Repair Kidney failure is a slow and progressive disease that usually has no noticeable symptoms. Kidney disease awareness is important. Unless your kidneys have been injured in an accident, you may not know you have kidney disease without medical testing. Your doctor can perform a few types of tests to determine kidney function. These are usually blood tests or urine tests.

The blood test for kidney function is called glomular filtration rate or GFR. This measures the amount of creatine in your blood. Creatine is a waste product produced by working muscles. Your kidneys are responsible for filtering this waste from the blood. If the kidneys are not working properly, this acid will build up to unsafe levels in the blood stream.

The urine test for kidney function is called albumin-to-creatine ratio or ACR. The urine is tested for the protein albumin. This protein that should not be found in urine. If the test is positive, it indicates your kidneys are not functioning as well as they should.
There are five stages of disease that lead to kidney failure. There is no way to correct full kidney failure, so it is a life-threatening disease. The best option for a person in the advanced stages is a kidney transplant. Health can be maintained with dialysis, but this does not heal the kidneys.

Diabetes and Sugar

Diabetes is one of the leading causes of kidney failure. When you have diabetes, your body has trouble maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. Your kidneys are responsible for filtering your blood, so when you have high blood sugar your kidneys are under a lot of pressure to balance your system. They eventually become overloaded and begin to fail.

There are many things that may contribute to developing diabetes. Sometimes the disease is genetic, and there isn’t much you can do about that. Most diabetes, however, is brought on by a poor diet. Excess sugar in the diet is one of the leading causes of diabetes. It is important to avoid excess sugar. The American Heart Association recommends that children consume no more than six teaspoons of added sugar per day. This is also a good rule for adults to follow. Diabetes can affect a person of any age. The sooner you take steps to avoid it, the healthier your kidneys will be.

Salt and Blood Pressure

Blood pressure also has a major impact on kidney function. When blood pressure is high, more blood is forced through the sensitive tissues of the kidney faster. Over time, this may damage the kidney tissue that filters the blood. This tissue is very difficult to heal once damaged.

Too much sodium in the diet contributes to high blood pressure. Salt may also pose a danger to the kidneys directly. Sometimes minerals like sodium will harden in the kidneys. The result is a kidney stone. The kidney eventually forces the stone through the kidney tissue. The process is very painful. It may also damage the kidney tissue, which reduces function. The damage caused by passing a kidney stone often does not heal. A scar will form that is never able to filter any blood.
You do not have to eliminate all salt from your diet, but you should keep it to a healthy level. This means not adding salt to most foods and avoiding processed foods already high in salt. You can help balance sodium levels by also getting plenty of potassium from food and drinking plenty of water each day.

Drinking Too Much

too much alcohol | Reno Blinds and Repair Your kidneys are responsible for getting toxic substances out of your blood stream. Alcohol is highly toxic to the body, so your kidneys work extra hard to get rid of it. When you drink too much, you put strain on your kidneys and may damage them.

Alcohol also dehydrates you. Your kidneys’ other job is to maintain the right balance of water in your body. Consuming alcohol can make this job much more difficult. Over time, this may result in lost kidney function.
It is important to know how much is too much. Three drinks or less per day is considered safe for your body and is unlikely to cause serious problems.

Your diet has a lot to do with your kidney health. By maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding alcohol and smoking and choosing healthy foods most of the time, you can keep both your kidneys functioning for your entire life. Many of the conditions that lead to kidney disease are preventable.

Good Nutrition Made Simple: What to Remember During National Nutrition Month

If you feel like you’ve fallen off the healthy habit bandwagon, you’re in luck. March is National Nutrition Month, so it is the perfect time to tackle that health commitment you made at the beginning of the year with renewed energy.

You may be wondering why we celebrate nutrition month and how it can help you get back on track. It’s simple really. Nutrition Month is a time set aside to focus on the importance of making informed food choices and developing healthy eating and exercise habits.

This year the National Nutrition Month theme is “Put Your Best Fork Forward.” So instead of feeling like you have to change everything at once, you can start small, with just one fork at a time. Whether your eating habits involve preparing meals at home or making choices while eating out, it’s important to develop a way of eating that is sustainable.

Are you ready to join the movement? Then here are a few effective ways you can start putting your best fork forward.

  1. Eat a balanced, varied diet.

    balanced diet | Reno Blinds and Repair Eating a variety of nutrient dense foods across all of the food groups reduces your risk of many preventable and primarily lifestyle-based chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity. Work to incorporate a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats into your daily diet.

  2. Choose lighter options while dining out.

    Finding healthy options at restaurants is now easier than it ever has been. Most restaurant chains offer lighter, healthier choices. As you peruse the menu, look for options that are steamed or roasted. Likewise, ask for sauces, dressing, and cheese on the side, and control your own portions by asking for a to-go box and putting half of your meal in the box.

  3. Set a good example for children.

If you have children, you know how quickly they pick up on things. That is why it is especially important to model good eating habits for children. This modeling begins in the kitchen. Inviting your child into the kitchen to participate in age-appropriate cooking tasks is a fun way to get young ones involved. Serving balanced meals and making the time to enjoy dinner together is also important to help your family build healthy, mindful eating habits.

  1. Eat breakfast every day.

Breakfast is one of the most frequently skipped meals by everyone, but it’s also one of the most important. Breakfast helps get your metabolism going and sets the tone for your eating all day long. If you really don’t have time for breakfast, then at least grab a piece of fruit and a handful of nuts to give you a good mix of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats.

  1. Drink more water.

drinking water | Reno Blinds and Repair Water is another essential to a healthy lifestyle. Your body uses water for nearly ever metabolic process it completes. If you have a hard time drinking enough water, try keeping a water bottle with you all day, using a simple tracking system, or flavoring your water with a few pieces of fresh fruit. Try to drink at least half your weight in ounces of water each day.

  1. Adopt the “one more” mentality.

It can be tough to completely overhaul the way you eat all at once. Instead of trying to do it that way, focus on getting in just “one more” healthy food choice each day. If you struggle with veggies the most, work on fitting in one more serving each day. Then once you have that mastered, move on to another healthy habit. Doing a little at a time will make the process much easier and help you stick with it.

If you really want to make your celebration of this month fun, then consider getting involved or organizing some nutrition month activities, such as

  • A cooking demonstration or nutrition event
  • A presentation at your local park or senior center
  • A food donation campaign for your local food pantry or shelter
  • A commitment to try one new healthy recipe as a family each week
  • A visit to a local farmers market or farm
  • A “lunch and learn” on healthy eating
  • A scavenger hunt for healthy foods or recipe ingredients

National Nutrition Month is the perfect time to refocus on the healthy habits you started in January or to invite others to join you in your efforts. Use these tips and remember that it’s about starting small and making simple changes every day that you can stick to long term.