A really great way to eat healthier, and even save some money, is to pack a healthy lunch every day for work, school, or any other time you might be on the go. Eating out can lead to poorer food choices, high expenses, and expanding waistlines. Here are some ideas for easy, healthy lunches for kids and adults that won’t break the bank.
With NCAA and Monday Night Football set for kickoff along with fall’s blanket and hot cocoa-worthy weather, why not consider your basement as a great hangout spot? Wait – what’s that you say? Your basement still looks like a dungeon straight out of the Dark Ages?
It might be time to consider your options in basement remodeling and turn your lower-level space into a great venue for game watching, relaxing, exercising, gaming, socializing, and more! First, decide if it’s a DIY project or one for a professional to tackle, and then get renovation underway by following these simple steps:
Determine what you want to do with your basement. Is it going to be your new home gym, your game day huddle zone, a man cave for the guys, a second living area with guest bedrooms, or perhaps something totally different? Try researching HGTV’s and TLC’s websites to get some inspiration. A word of caution: make sure the amenities and areas you’re looking to create are something you’ll use. Just consider whether or not you really need a room for something like a pool table that will likely collect dust. Once you’ve set your idea in stone, create a layout with a detailed plan.
Lay the ground work. It’s time to consider waterproofing options, as well as determine necessary electrical, heating, air conditioning, and plumbing work. As far as flooring goes, consider that your basement is likely to attract unwanted moisture. This can be disastrous for carpet or wood, so look into a stylish laminate flooring instead. If your basement tends to be overly chilly or toasty, you may need to install extra cooling or heating ducts and appliances.
Appropriately use finishing techniques to maximize look and feel. Unless you’re planning to style your basement to look like Dracula’s Lair, ditch the darkness and take advantage of light-colored paints and mirrors. These both create an illusion of a bigger, brighter space by reflecting light from even the smallest of windows. Adding a drop ceiling cuts out even more precious vertical space, making the height tough for a tall person to negotiate. Here’s a great idea: leave the original ceiling work exposed, and then paint it a dark color to create a camouflaged – yet modern – look. Support beams and other structural work can be treated the same way to craft an undone, contemporary, and urban feel.
Decorate. Be creative here basement remodelers – the possibilities are endless! The most unbelievable basement I’ve ever been in included a game room, and when I say game room, I mean a wild African game room! The homeowner was an avid hunter and brought home many prize animals back from safari trips to display in his basement – including zebras, big cats, and antelope! Maybe that’s a little out of your element, but what about decorating according to your beloved sports team and adorning your walls with Fatheads of your favorite players? Another thought: if the winter blues have you hankering to hit the links (and if you have the ceiling height and space), set up a make-shift golf studio. Include a putting and full swing mat, floor to ceiling net, vertical mirror, and chipping basket. Be careful of windows and stick to plastic golf balls: if my memory serves me correctly, I remember a certain family member of mine (who shall remain nameless) putting a golf ball through a basement window! Put in a home theatre, a music recording studio, a tanning bed… the options are truly infinite!
Don’t forget to consult friends and family for their advice if they’ve previously invested time and money in their basements. They will likely know the inside scoop, including names of remodeling pros, best places to shop, and construction guidance. Best of luck in fashioning the perfect underground habitat!