Home Show Fills Albany Capital Venue

Home Expo returns chock-full of inspiration — and not only to prospective buyers strolling the 2 floors with starry lights above, but milling with hundreds of people from the local Albany area and farther away.

If you are a homeowner who likes to stay up-to-date with the latest creative trends, or you have a remodel project in mind, our Home Expo has events you do not want to miss.

When your looking to renovate or remodel your home,  the decisions can be daunting. Let our home and design experts help you. Come out and meet and see live designs and products at our 39th Annual Home Expo.

We look forward to seeing you!

 

Sweetly,

Michele Conti

39th Annual Home Expo Is Here!

39th Annual Home Expo and our Second year at The Albany Capital Center venue is starting off to be a great weekend! Meet our local vendors, visit the in-booth demonstrations taking place as well as free giveaways throughout the show.  Come in out of the cold, and feel spring in the air!

The most wonderful time of the year shouldn’t be put on hold just because of a little cold weather. Even though outside it hasn’t been the best, inside at the Home Expo the grass was green! It really has felt like a spring was here in the home and garden booths around me.

All the attendee’s are ready to start remodeling and/or building projects, and looking for the latest trends, fresh ideas and great deals. With hundreds of experts under one roof you are sure to find what your looking for. Come Join the excitement, there’s only two days left!

If your looking for inspiration, I invite you to attend the 39TH Annual Times Union Home Expo, come see me in booth 323!

Sweetly,

Michele Conti

 

 

Coming Home with Klassic Stone

Have you ever stopped and wondered why family and friends all tend to congregate in the kitchen? What is it about kitchens that evoke a mysterious magnetic attraction?
The household kitchen was designed for preparing and cooking meals. However, over the past few decades, the kitchen has slowly morphed into the epicenter of the home.

In fact, in most homes the kitchen wears many hats—it’s the center of the family team huddle, the place for bantering with friends, the computer room for paying the bills, an entertainment center, a children’s art museum and lets not forget its original purpose—a place to enjoy good food with family and friends.

Here are a few reasons why the kitchen is the heart and soul of our homes…

Good For Mind, Body And Soul

Food nurtures the mind, body and soul. Without it, we would not survive. The kitchen provides a venue to store and prepare the food and nutrients our bodies need. Today, one in three American kids and teens are overweight or obese, triple the rate in 1963. In fact, childhood obesity is the number one health concern among parents in the United States, topping drug abuse and smoking. You want the best for your family, and it’s comforting to know you can help them develop healthy eating habits early in life that will bring lifelong benefits.

Family Fun

Kitchens also provide a space for fun family activities. Cooking and baking with your family is a great bonding experience. It also gives everyone an opportunity to get a little messy, create new things and learn new recipes.

The Entire Family Uses It

In a home, there are many private rooms that only certain family members tend to utilize on a regular basis. Maybe dad loves his office, and the kids their playroom. However, each member of the family utilizes the kitchen every day. In recent years, families have begun to adapt their kitchens to provide a more supportive environment in which to congregate. For example, family computers have started to make their way into kitchens so kids can work on their homework while dinner is being made and parents can check a few items off their to-do list while still being in the kitchen with their loved ones. Because of this shift in kitchen dynamics, it is important your kitchen is a space designed to be welcoming and conducive for family members to congregate.

It’s A Must Have!

Every home has a kitchen. It’s required. No other room other then the bathroom serves such a distinct purpose. Having a functional and modern kitchen is truly a blessing. It helps turn meal preparation into a pleasurable activity amidst the busy hustle and bustle of life.

Are you ready to see your new kitchen? Klassic Stone is introducing a new line of kitchen cabinetry. Fabuwood kitchen cabinets are delivered factory-direct and include semi-custom options that ensure your Kitchen design is one-of-a-kind and tailored to fit your style.

Products such as lazy Susans, blind corner pullouts, and waste basket pullouts make your experience in the kitchen more enjoyable. They maximize your space and make your kitchen work harder for you.They also offer a number of additions that will truly set your kitchen design apart. From spice racks and cutlery trays to decorative hoods and even wine racks, the cabinetry you choose will make your kitchen an extension of you.

Stop by Booth 237, talk with Kim or Lori they are happy to help with your next project!

See you tomorrow at the Home Expo!

Sweetly,

Michele

 

 

 

A Spark From The Sun

Green Mountain Energy began in Vermont in 1997 with a simple but powerful mission: Use the power of consumer choice to change the way power is made. Green Mountain Energy is one of the nations longest serving renewable energy retailer. Growing Energy solutions, and a clean energy future is what more people want these days! Offering information on Solar, wind, geothermal and more Green Mountain Energy offers several options for the residential consumer.

Customers on the SolarSPARC® (Smart People Accelerating Renewable Change) plan help accelerate the growth, adoption, and innovation of solar energy.

Lets Talk Solar Energy

With East Coast storms brewing yearly, you may ask yourself is Solar a good source of renewable energy. Solar panels do work in the winter because solar energy is created by sunlight  not heat. So even though it may get cold or snowy where you here in upstate New York, as long as there’s sunlight, solar panels will produce energy. In some situations, solar panels actually work better in the wintertime because the cooler temperatures help boost their efficiency. Solar panels are a cost-efficient form of alternative energy, with an overwhelming percentage of new systems being installed in tangent with the traditional electrical grid.

Solar panel installation

NIST (The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s) Test House Blows Past Goals In One-Year Trial.

Despite 38 days when the test house’s solar panels were covered with snow or ice, the NIST sun-powered generation system produced 13,577 kilowatt hours of energy. That’s 491 kilowatt hours more than used by the house and its occupants, a computer-simulated family of two working parents and two children, ages 8 and 14.

You do have to physically remove snow if there is excessive accumulation. There are special snow rakes (snow brum snow pro) to remove snow from Solar panels without damaging them, but you may also want to call a local professional to help depending on the height and slope of your roof. Remember the few extra tens of kWh you can generate in a day are not worth a trip to the hospital.

As long as a structure is connected to the power grid, electricity will not be interrupted when snow accumulation makes solar energy unattainable. With continued research and installations, solar power remains a viable option for Americans hoping to utilize reusable energy.

Stop at Booth 144, for more information, are you ready to join them? Let Green Mountain Energy Customize a plan just for you!

As always stay tuned for more Adventures in Styleland…

Sweetly,

Michele Conti

39th Annual Times Union Home Expo

 

 

39th Annual Times Union Home Expo

Albany Capital Center
55 Eagle Street
Albany, NY 12207

Live in a home you love…

 

Bring your visions, floor plans, questions…and your family!!

At the Times Union Home Expo, our goal is to inspire, motivate and educate you for your next home improvement project. Whether it is a minor project or major renovation we invite you to come meet industry experts who can help guide and inspire you.  Our show will feature approximately 100 home improvement professionals in an informal interactive environment, unlike any other Home Show you may have attended. You will find something of valuable no matter what stage of renovating you are in, alongside family-friendly activities, raffles and giveaways.

 

Why attend our Home Expo?

Our Home Show is designed for homeowners in all stages of remodeling. By remodeling we mean anything from landscaping, full home renovation and decorating.

If you have ever been involved in any home renovation project, you know the process can become overwhelming. By attending the Times Union Home Expo you can meet multiple vendors in one day, learn about new products to enhance your home, get expert advice, and most importantly get excited about your project!

I look forward to seeing you there!!

 

Stay tuned for more Adventures in Styleland…

 

Sweetly,

Michele Conti

Designs by Michele

Home Expo 2019 Is Right Around the Corner

Looking to spruce up your home or complete some last-minute lingering projects? Attend the upcoming Home Expo and meet area experts in home design and renovation, discover the latest developments in green home products and snag cutting-edge creative ideas. The shows showcase hundreds of products and services for your home and garden and include entertaining workshops and much more.

To take advantage of all that downtown Albany, NY has to offer, the 2019 Times Union Home Expo will be hosted exclusively at the new Albany Capital Center Friday, February 8th through Sunday, February 10th.

When your looking to  renovate or remodel your home,  the decisions can be daunting. Let our home and design experts help you. Come out and meet and see live designs and product at the Times Union Home Expo. If you are looking for inspiration, we invite you to talk with our specialists. These professionals will teach you design tips and introduce you to quality products and manufacturers. If you are planning to redesign, remodel, or reinvent any of these household areas, our home show is the place to be:

  • Home exteriors
  • Kitchens
  • Landscapes
  • Windows
  • Pools
  • Bathrooms

These professionals will teach you design tips and introduce you to quality products and manufacturers. If you have any questions, I’ll be on site to help! Visit me Designs By Michele at booth 323. See you there!

Super Bowl Sunday LIII

The Super Bowl is today, and you’re going to be hungry. When you watch a Super Bowl, there’s nothing like sitting down with an amazing spread to gorge on during the game.  With food that will make the weeks of planning worth it when the Patriots face the Rams today!

I’m guessing you’re going to be eating at some point during the game, if not the entire night. Remember, for many people, the Big Game is more like the Big Gulp — a wintertime Thanksgiving for football fans, their friends and, best of all, the people who pretend to be both. So what better way to prepare for Super Sunday than by sizing up some of the most popular game-day snacks?

 

Tired of the same old wings recipe? Kick it up a notch with Maple Mustard Chicken wings which are sweet and spicy and go down great with your favorite beer!

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 pounds chicken wings, separated into drumettes and midsections (or flats), wing tips discarded
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • Vegetable oil, for oiling the grill
  1. Combine the salt, pepper, and cayenne in a large container with a tight fitting lid or a large resealable plastic bag. Add the chicken and toss with your hands until evenly coated. Close the container and refrigerate at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.
  2. Meanwhile, place the maple syrup, Dijon mustard, whole-grain mustard, vinegar, and soy sauce in a small, nonreactive bowl and whisk to combine; set aside.
  3. Heat an outdoor grill to medium high (about 375°F to 425°F). When the grill is ready, use tongs to rub the grate with several layers of paper towels dipped in vegetable oil. Place the wings on the grate in a single layer so they are not touching (if needed, cook them in batches). Cover the grill and cook, flipping the wings occasionally with tongs, until the skin is opaque and no longer raw-looking, about 10 minutes. Brush all over with the reserved maple-mustard sauce and continue to cook, flipping and basting occasionally, until the wings are golden brown, no longer pink at the bone, and the skin is crisp, about 10 to 15 minutes more.

These slightly sweet and spicy wings are easy to eat with your fingers and go great with beer. The glaze, made from common ingredients, is a snap to throw together. Have lots of napkins on hand for sticky fingers.

Mini Wonton Tacos

Serves 24
Meat
1 lb 80% lean ground beef, lean
3/4 cup Pace chunky salsa, Mild
1 package Taco seasoning mix
24 Wonton wrappers
1 cup Mexican blend cheese
1/4 cup Sour cream
Heat the oven to 425°F.  Press the wonton wrappers into 24 (1 1/2-inch) mini muffin-pan cups.
Cook the beef in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until well browned, stirring often to separate meat. Pour off any fat. Stir in the taco seasoning mix and 1/4 cup salsa.
Spoon the beef mixture into the wonton cups. Top with the remaining salsa and the cheese.
Bake for 5 minutes or until the wontons are golden brown and the cheese is melted.  Top with the sour cream, if desired.

Chips and dip are an easy go-to snack for tailgating, but what about a cheesy pimento dip and crackers instead? This is a recipe for a mild pepper cheese dip with herbs that is a little more interesting than the usual.
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce from canned chipotle’s
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 8 ounces pepper jack, grated
  • 4 ounces pimentos, jarred or fresh
  • 2 teaspoons fresh dill, finely chopped

Combine the cream cheese, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, adobo sauce, and black pepper in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix it until totally combined (if you have a few lumps from the cream cheese, no problem; you won’t see them later!)

Jalapeno Poppers

To make this amazing DIY bar snack recipe, begin by splitting open fresh jalapeño peppers and scraping out the seeds and veins. Separately, mix cream cheese, cooked Mexican chorizo, canned chipotle chiles, and salt and pepper to form a smooth mixture. Fill the jalapeños, then broil until hot and blistered. Serve at once, with plenty of cold beer or soft drinks.

  • 12 jalapeño peppers
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup minced, cooked Mexican chorizo
  • 1 teaspoon minced canned chipotles in adobo sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  1. Set the oven to broil and arrange a rack in the middle. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.
  2. Lay a jalapeño on your work surface so that it sits flat without rolling. Make two cuts forming a “T” by first slicing down the middle of the chile lengthwise from stem to tip, then making a second cut perpendicular to the first about 1/4 inch from the stem, slicing only halfway through the chile (be careful not to cut off the stem end completely). Carefully open the flaps to expose the interior of the chile, and, using a butter knife or small measuring spoon, scrape the inside to remove the seeds and ribs. Repeat with the remaining peppers; set aside.
  3. Place the cream cheese, chorizo, chipotles, and salt in a medium bowl, season with freshly ground black pepper, and mix until smooth and evenly combined. Transfer the mixture to a quart-size resealable plastic bag, cut one bottom corner off to make a 3/4-inch-wide opening, and squeeze the mixture into the chiles until just filled (be careful not to overfill). Insert a toothpick widthwise through each chile to secure the flaps and filling. Place the filled chiles on the prepared baking sheet in two evenly spaced rows of six.
  4. Broil for 4 minutes, rotate the pan, and continue to broil until the peppers are starting to char and the filling is browned and bubbly, about 4 minutes more. Remove from the oven, and remove the toothpicks if desired. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Get your game face on!! Bon Appetit!

Sweetly,

Michele

Bathroom Bliss

 

Remodeling a small bathroom can be а challenge because of space limitations. To make the most out of your remodel you’ve got to make every inch count. Here are some tips to maximize your space when remodeling a small bathroom.

Use the Right Colors

Using light colors throughout the space helps reflect light and brightens your room to make it appear larger. We’ve found that lighter and softer neutrals do the job well to make a small bathroom look larger.

Install a Pocket Door or Barn Door

Pocket doors slide along their own length and disappear into an adjacent wall or compartment when opened (unlike а traditional hinged door). Barn Doors operate by sliding on an iron track, over an outside wall, and they continue to trend in 2019. They are a beautiful, easy-to-install design piece and save space. You will be surprised at the amount of floor space that becomes available.

Install а Clear Glass Shower Enclosure

It may not be obvious, but many people don’t realize how glass shower doors will stretch visual space. Think about it: your eye can travel through clear glass, but other surfaces will obstruct your line of vision, making the bathroom feel even smaller.

Select а Vanity with Open Shelving

Cabinets with drawers can make а room feel cramped. To keep items organized, consider baskets or bins placed on shelves.  The use of glass shelving is great for small display items. Consider furniture style vanities with small drawers or floating vanities which create an illusion of more space.

Minor changes like these can make a huge difference in a space so small. Whether you’re prepping your home for a sale, these remodel ideas are the perfect remedy for any small bathroom.

Stay tuned for more Adventures in Styleland!

 

Sweetly,

Michele Conti

Organizational Tips For Your Home, Declutter For 2019

What’s the secret to keeping a clean and clutter-free home? Well, the secret is there isn’t one! It’s being intentional every day. Cleaning up messes before they get out of hand, following through with routines, and putting a few simple systems into place will definitely help.

Start your day with a routine:

About 20 minutes is all it takes to really get the ball rolling. I make my bed, start a load of laundry, unload and reload the dishwasher, wipe down the bathroom counters after I finish get ready, and then do a quick pick up of our living space because we live in our home! Dogs, cats two girls and my wonderful husband.

Just like your morning routine is the perfect way to start your day, your evening routine will help you set yourself up for success the next day.

Only do the absolute necessary things. These include cleaning up the dinner dishes and setting the dishwasher to run overnight, finishing the load of laundry I started by drying, folding, and putting it ALL away, completing a quick pick up of your home, and making a short to-do list for the next day.

I’ve found that if I do nothing else throughout the except completing my morning and evening routines, my home stays clean and clutter-free.

Have a Cleaning Routine:

Instead of having a specific day each week to clean the entire house or having specific chores assigned to different days of the week, do something completely different. Have a list of 5 tasks to complete throughout the week. As you have time, check a task off  your list. Some weeks this means getting everything done in one day. Other weeks you may sporadically clean the house throughout the week. But that’s okay. It’s all getting done eventually and your home stays cleaner because of it.

The tasks to try to complete each week include dusting (you can actually do this every other week), vacuuming, mopping the floors, scrubbing the bathrooms, and changing the sheets on all the beds.

One other thing that has made cleaning a home much easier is simply de-cluttering. When you have less to clean and less to clean around, this task takes much less time. Removing the furniture and decor  or chatchka you didn’t really need or love makes such a difference. So dusting that took an hour is now a 10 minute chore.

Meal Prep!

You might be wondering how meal planning can help you home stay clean and clutter-free. But hear me out! If you are consistently meal planning, then you should always know whats for dinner each night. So instead of feeling frazzled and crazy trying to get something on the table, you will know exactly what to prepare.

Sometimes we don’t realize how stress and anxiety affects us until we step back and make changes. If you are putting all of your energy into trying to scrap together a meal at 6pm at night, you will be less likely to clean up the dishes or finish that evening routine.

Here’s hoping this will help you stay organized and stress free in 2019!  See you shortly at the Times Union Home Expo!

Stay tuned for more Adventures in Styleland…

Sweetly,

Michele Conti

 

Asphalt Offers Driveway Durability

The majority of commercial and residential driveways are finished with either asphalt or concrete. Both are cost-effective, but asphalt comes with more benefits. If you’re paving a new driveway or refinishing and existing one you’re probably wondering about the relative benefits of asphalt over concrete. L.Browe Asphalt Services is ready to answer your questions.

An asphalt driveway can usually be laid in one or two days, depending on the size of the project. Concrete, on the other hand, typically takes twice as long to lay and even longer to set. Depending on the season, asphalt driveways can be ready for use in as little as two days after completion, whereas concrete can take up to a week to cure.

Unlike concrete, asphalt is not subject to surface flaking caused by poor installation, incorrect preparations of the mixture or the application of salts to melt ice and snow. Known as ‘spalling,’ this surface flaking is an ongoing problem with many concrete driveways, especially those that were hastily installed. Given its flexibility, asphalt is also considerably less likely than pavement to crack over time.

If your asphalt driveway does start to show some lineal cracking, you can repair these easily and inexpensively. The crack sealant products you need are widely available through home improvement retailers. They don’t cost very much and can easily be applied on your own, even if you have absolutely no previous paving expertise.

In addition, regular preventative maintenance, like crack filling and seal-coating, can extend the lifespan of your asphalt driveway to 20 years or more. Concrete is more difficult to maintain, because it cannot be heated and repaired with the same ease as asphalt pavement.

Need help maintaining your asphalt? Give L. Browe a call 518 479-1400 Janeen Browe will be happy to get you started with a free estimate!

 

Stay tuned for more Adventures in Styleland…

 

Sweetly,

Michele Conti