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Q&A: Thanksgiving 911

Every Thanksgiving hostess has his or her moments of anxiety. Hell, I've been making holiday dinners and hosting dinner parties for a decade, and I still get a little nervous when it come to roasting the perfect turkey. That combined with kids, houseguests, and having to make an endless supply of side dishes all timed in perfect harmony...it's a lot for one person. Hopefully by the time you've read this post, I will have answered any of your looming questions, but if there is still anything you are concerned about, please leave a comment at the end of the post, and I'll be sure to answer. Pictured above: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
1. What if I overcook the turkey, and the breast meat is dry? Slice it thin and soak it in warm chicken or turkey stock.
2. How do I get the skin beautiful golden brown? Lots of butter! Separate the skin and push butter directly over the meat then spread more butter over the outside of the skin. Also cover just the breast of th…

How to Get Las Vegas Luxury Decor on a Budget

http://www.elledecor.com/home-remodeling-renovating/home-renovation/advice/g951/designer-roger-thomas/?slide=3
by Ali Lawrence

I've always been obsessed with homes that are beautifully styled. Lately I've been helping my sister house hunt in Las Vegas, and I have been amazed at the luxury and attention to detail. We've been visiting houses all over her price range, and we even got to visit some houses that I've only dreamed of seeing in person. Thankfully, I know a realtor who was kind enough to show us some more luxurious options.
Pictured Above: A Las Vegas Casino Design Mastermind Shares His Secrets via ELLE DECOR

I've been scouring the Internet for weeks, trying to find pieces that could provide the same impact I saw in these homes, but there was nothing online that even came close. Instead of moping around, fretting that my house would never be as beautiful as the ones I saw during these home tours, I decided that I would make my own luxurious home decor to rival the Las Vegas mansions. Just a few simple and affordable changes make for a more polished look that can make any home look like it has received a professional touch.

1. Vent Makeover


Every room in your house, unless it's an old home, probably has some sort of vent system. Those Las Vegas homes were pristine, with every fixture blending right into the room. I wouldn't even have noticed that they existed if I hadn't been snooping around every corner to find out the secrets of luxurious design. Instead of letting the rusty metal be an eyesore, update it with a bit of spray paint and your home will be looking just as polished.

2. Cord Hider


Another thing that was well hidden in these homes were the TV plugs, electric cords, and phone chargers. Even the TV consoles had everything cord-related put away. Don't go out and buy a new entertainment center just to hide those unseemly wires. Instead repurpose a decorative box to hide those wires and to keep them from getting tangled.

 

3. Green Air


Perhaps the strangest thing I noticed in all these homes was the collection of plants that were elegantly placed in pots and terrariums. It seems those who live the luxurious life appreciate bringing a bit of nature indoors. Succulents in particular are trending in luxury decor. But you don't have to use an expensive terrarium to put them on display. Anything made of clear glass can be used to recreate the look on a budget. Pictured: Planetarium Terrarium via Anthropologie

4. Yard Sale Art


Keep an eye out for yard sales on the weekends because they're a treasure trove of interesting, beautiful items for a fraction of the cost. Every home we visited in Vegas had amazing bookshelves that were artfully decorated. Somehow the designers managed to capture the look of unintentional curation. The shelves were lined with books in unique textures and random gizmos and gadgets that helped to define each space. Add character to your bookshelves with a collection of interesting trinkets you can get for a steal at a local yard sale.

5. Throw Pillow DIY


I don't know about you, but I always think a bed or couch looks more luxurious when covered in pillows. The people who owned these homes seemed to have the same idea and dotted every plush surface with pillow after pillow. Unfortunately, even if you go to an off-price retailer, throw pillows are still pretty expensive. In order to get the same look without spending a fortune, buy a few pillow forms and some fabric at a craft store and make your own for much less than you'd purchase ready-made.

About the Author: Ali Lawrence blogs over at Homey Improvements about DIY projects, home advice and healthy living. Connect with her on Twitter @DIYfolks or on Google+.

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