Creating an Effective Workspace at Home




















Whether you’re retired or you work from home, it’s always nice to have a space to do work, engage in a hobby, make phone calls, or store important documents. Here are some tips and design recommendations to create an efficient and luxurious workspace at home.

It’s important to first come up with a plan on how you’re going to make your work space more functional so you can accomplish more with fewer interruptions. Staying focused and motivated is essential in making a home office work, so start by organizing your frequently used items and purchasing time- and space-saving equipment, software and storage products, says the Houston Chronicle.

Make Wise Use of Storage
Most home offices are no larger than a small bedroom or craft room. That means space is at a premium, yet you have a lot of stuff to store and display. While you may be tempted to hang photos, diplomas, and awards of distinction on your walls, they take up valuable space for storage. You’re going to need that wall space for bins, bookcases and shelving. Double up wherever you can. For instance, an ottoman with a removable top pulls double duty as a storage bin for papers, spare blankets and craft items. If it has a solid top on the underside, flip it over and pull triple duty as a coffee table.

Get Organized
If you’re like most homeowners, you have a lot of files. If you don’t have extensive filing cabinet systems, you’re going to have to get creative. The main point is to set something up where you can easily and quickly access the file you need. Best bet is to purchase software where you scan important documents, then store them electronically. But if you’re still an old school fan of paper version, use tabs, separators and different-colored folders to group similar paperwork. Place in filing cabinets if you have them, with more relevant files to the front and older ones to the back or in a closet.

Integrate your Electronics
Keep all your electronics necessary to do daily work all within reach of your chair if possible. Create a workstation that encompasses your deck, a chair, phone, and printer/fax/copier in one. If you splurge on any one thing in your office, let it be your office chair. Get an ergonomic one, especially if you’ll be using it for a good portion of the day. An L-shaped work station works best for most people, allowing you to stay seated and swivel as needed. You may want to invest in a clear plastic mat under the chair for ease of use.

It’s best to have an office space that’s all your own. If you’re sharing the space with a kids’ playroom, home gym or craft room, the distractions could keep you from being productive.


5 Creative Themes for Kids’ Rooms






























Centennial Celebration of the National Park Service















Happy 100th Birthday to the National Park Service! On August 25 join the celebration by exploring one of the Philadelphia area’s beautiful and historic national parks!

Tour the monuments and battlefields while learning about the revolutionary war at Valley Forge National Historical Park. The park has 26 miles of trails to walk, run, or even horseback ride!

Independence National Historical Park will be hosting a special, family-friendly birthday party, featuring Junior Ranger activities, a time capsule that will be sealed for 100 years and the unveiling a plaque dedicated to the first director of the NPS.

Don’t worry if you cannot make it to the park on the exact birthday! The NPS is celebrating the centennial all year long with special events at parks around the country:




Outdoor Entertaining for the Summer


This is the perfect time of the year for cookouts and outdoor entertaining! Set up umbrellas or awnings with lawn chairs underneath to give guests a shaded area to sit and relax and get out the tiki torches and citronella candles to keep away bugs.

Cookouts are all about food and keeping your guests happy, so make sure you stock up on food and beverages that keep them satisfied. Try some of our favorite festive recipes below!

Watermelon Salsa

1 1/2 teaspoons lime zest (from about 1 lime)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from about 3 limes)
1 tablespoon sugar
Freshly ground pepper
3 cups seeded and finely chopped watermelon
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1 mango, peeled and diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 small red onion, finely chopped
8 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
Tortilla or pita chips, for serving

Stir together the lime zest, lime juice, sugar and 3/4 teaspoon pepper in a bowl. Add the 3 cups of watermelon, 1 diced cucumber, mango, jalapeno, onion and basil and toss gently. Chill the salsa until ready to serve.Add 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt just before serving. Serve with chips.

Jerk Chicken Wings

Toss 6 split chicken wings, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and 3 tablespoons jerk seasoning on a sheet of foil. Form a packet. Grill over high heat, turning once, 25 minutes. Top with cilantro and serve with lime wedges.

Zucchini and Tomatoes

Toss 2 sliced zucchinis, 2 diced tomatoes, 4 smashed garlic cloves, olive oil, basil, and salt and pepper on a sheet of foil. Form a packet. Grill over high heat, 10 minutes. Top with grated Parmesan.