Soft-Lite: What is a casement or awning window?

This week’s post is brought to us by our friends at


When deciding what style of window to put in your home, let the existing dimensional shape of the old window opening guide you to the best style available for you. In the 80s and 90s, many casement and awning windows were installed by builders; unfortunately, casement windows usually have to be replaced with casements.

There can be some drawbacks with older casements, however most of those drawbacks have been fixed by innovation. Premium vinyl casements windows and awning windows, such as those manufactured by Soft-Lite, are superior for several reasons:

First, it maximizes air flow and visibility because it swings outward to grab air passing by and brings it into the home.

Second, the casement dimensionally meets egress with the smallest size available by law. When egress is a must and you are limited by size, casements are your best option.

Third, unlike all the other window styles, casement and awning windows have their screens on the inside, which makes for easier removal.

Fourth, these are the only style windows that actually have a lever to tighten or compress the moving sash with Q-lon weather stripping – making it tighter than any other window. Consequently, the casement/awning is the most airtight of all styles of operating windows, which maximizes the warmth in the rooms to keep you comfortable year round.

One thing to be aware if is that most casements and awnings have ugly clips to hold their screen in place – but Soft-Lite is unique. With Soft-lite casement and awning windows, the unique pressure screen fits snuggly in the frame and stays in place. The rugged extruded screen frame is durable, plus color coordinated to match all six interior color options.

Five Quick Home Projects to Tackle This Weekend!

Owning a home is wonderful, but also comes with the hard work of maintenance. There is always some project to tackle and something to update! Below are five quick home projects to tackle this weekend:

  1. Remove old caulk and caulk around the bathtub, toilet, and sink areas.
  2. Clean the oven. There are some great products that help to make it a smooth and mostly easy process.
  3. Do a walk-around of your home’s exterior- take notes on anything that needs to be repaired. Such as trim or an old gutter (save those for another weekend, unless you feel very motivated!).
  4. Clean the windows. If you have a two story home, clean the first floor this weekend and the second floor next weekend!
  5. Order take-out  and relax knowing that you are caring for your home one day at a time!

Valentine’s Date Ideas!

Valentine’s is this Sunday and what a great weekend to celebrate with friends and/or your significant other! If you are thinking of doing something not involving a dinner reservation, below are some fun alternative ideas:

  • Whether with friends or a significant other, order some take-out, get some beverages and dessert from the store, and watch a movie for a relaxing night in!
  • Call some local places and book a couple’s massage.
  • Make an appointment for some pedicures. Afterwards, go to lunch at a new local restaurant that you haven’t had the chance to try yet!
  • Watch the sunrise and bring some hot cocoa or if it happens to be warm out- ice cream.
  • Go on a gift mission. Head to a mall, then split it up and try to find one thing the other person would really enjoy- then meet back up for some coffee and gift opening.
  • Check out some local museums, vintage stores, and other local shops for something different
  • If you are wanting some more fun ideas, check out TBO Things to Do

Happy Valentine’s Day!

An Early Spring Has Been Forecasted!

Yesterday was Groundhog’s Day, a well-celebrated day when Punxsutanwy Phil comes out and either sees his shadow or not. The dear ground hog did not see his shadow and so an early spring has been predicted! Whether you believe this to be accurate or not, here are some fun facts about Groundhog’s Day:

  • The tradition has been celebrated for over 100 years
  • According to “The Groundhog Club,” it is the same Phil and he drinks a special remedy every summer that gives him a magical seven years of life.
  • Before being called Phil, he was called Br’er Groundhog
  • The big events begin at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania and it is an all day celebration from there!
  • The movie Groundhog’s Day was actually filmed in Woodstock, Illinois- a charming town 50miles northwest of Chicago.

For more information on Groundhog’s Day and possibly an event to add to the bucket list- visit the official website The Groundhog Club:Groundhog Day


Why Vinyl Windows are Considered the Best

This weeks blog post is brought to you by our friends at Soft-Lite!

When considering new windows for your home, there are many things to consider. How important is cost to you? Is more energy efficiency important? Do you currently have leaky/drafty windows that you want replaced? Are you looking to have added beauty/looks? Will they be easy to maintain and clean? What type of warranty are you being offered? Is safety and security a concern? Are you concerned about health and mold, rot, and creating a healthier living environment?

For the purposes of this blog, I will be focusing on consumers who would consider vinyl their best option. Consumers who would consider a high-end vinyl window would be the consumers who are looking for more energy efficiency and to drastically lower drafts into the home, and for products that are easy to maintain and last a lifetime. Premium vinyl windows offer all this, as well as creating healthier living environments and adding security to your home. With newer machinery and technology, higher-end vinyl windows now offer stunning new looks and beauty that were never before possible. Vinyl windows are commonly white in color, but with woodgrain interior color options and many companies offering a PVC exterior bond (painted) option, more colors have become available to satisfy any consumer.

Wood windows offer great beauty and natural looks, but are many times very expensive in cost, not as energy efficient as high-end vinyl, leak more air, and are not maintenance free. Wood windows can rot and mold over time as well. Fiberglass windows offer some impressive thermal ratings and are often portrayed as being stronger than vinyl. Fiberglass windows have strength linearly, but are generally weak in the corners where they cannot be welded. Many fiberglass windows are not as strong structurally as higher-end vinyl windows, in fact, and can cost significantly more.

When choosing new windows, it’s also important to consider whether you are looking for your NEXT window purchase or LAST window purchase for that home. Many windows offer 10, 20, or even 30 year warranties; many of the higher-end vinyl windows offer a 50 year to lifetime warranty.

When investing in your home, it’s important to research and understand what option is best for you and your family. If many of the questions above relate to you, consider high-end vinyl windows as the best option for you, your family and your home.

Organizing the Children’s Space

It’s almost a month after the holidays and you may still be trying to figure out what to do with all the new toys, clothes, and other items your children received. After donating or selling any toys not played with anymore, what to do next?

If you have never rearranged your children’s bedroom and/or playroom, this can be a great way to really change up the space. It can feel new, refreshed, and may even find that some things fit better in different spots. Measure the beds, dresser, and any shelves before you start moving items. Plan the space on a sheet of paper so you can really visualize how it might work. Then, start moving! This will also help maintain any healthy new year’s resolutions as changing up the room can be a great workout!

Maybe the way the room is, is truly the best. It may be time to replace shelving that just does not work any more. Or maybe your children never use their dressers but could still use extra closet space. A wardrobe with some shelves can help and also another great place to store toys. There are endless options from retailers that sell shelving and storage solutions- from cute shelves that display toys to cube shaped shelves that allow toys to be hidden in decorative fabric boxes.

The tas6873223944_be5a0fa91c_ok can be overwhelming and take some thinking, planning, time, and possibly comparison shopping. Take a weekend or two to really tackle the project and bring some new organized life into the room!

Decluttering in the New Year

It’s that time of year when stores are advertising storage bins, containers, and all the ways to organize your home. Where do you even start? Well, first off, don’t buy any containers or bins yet! You need to know what you need to organize and how before purchasing anything. Sometimes, you not need to purchase any storage containers depending on how much you declutter!

Step 1 

Start in one room. If you try to declutter and organize multiple rooms at once, you’ll stop even before you’ve fully started. Decluttering can get overwhelming quickly so tackle one room at a time, maybe one weekend at a time.

Step 2

Get rid of anything you do not use anymore (good rule of thumb- if you haven’t used that kitchen appliance or worn that shirt in a year, time to get rid of it). Some items you can donate and some just need to be tossed. It may be helpful to have a friend as he or she can give some real perspective on what you do need and what you do not.

Step 3

Any items that you don’t need, but are in good condition can be donated. Below are list of places that can use donations:

Habitat for Humanity ReStore (call ahead and see specifically what they will take-typically good condition appliances and furniture)

Salvation Army


And if you are looking for more great places to donate to- Apartment Therapy wrote an excellent article on “25 Places to Donate Stuff”

Apartment Therapy “25 Places to Donate Stuff”


Step 4

You’ve rid yourself of all the things you do not need or use. Now it’s time to go get some shelving, bins, or containers- if you even need them! You may find that you only need 2 shelves and some fabric containers to hold a few things or maybe a few storage bins.

Step 5

Enjoy your newly organized home and money saved from getting rid of things you don’t need or use anymore!


Keeping Your New Year’s Resolutions

The ball has dropped, confetti has been popped, and everyone has gladly exclaimed, “Happy New Year!!” It’s a new year, a new day, and a time that many will make new (and even some old) new year’s resolutions.

It takes about 41 days to create a habit. Once you make it that far, the next day seems a little easier. But how do you even get past day 15? Or by day 30, you are tired, exhausted, and might find being motivated more challenging…

Below are some ideas to help you keep motivated until day 41 and beyond:

  1. Make a list and be specific. Lists. So classic, but they work. Write out what you want to accomplish and be specific on not only what the goal is, but also how you will accomplish that goal.
  2. Think of fun resolutions too. There is the classic- “lose weight” and “eat healthier”-which are great, but in addition to those, think of others you may enjoy more. Such as taking a photography class, reading more, spending more time with your children by playing games and going to fun places together.
  3. For the resolutions, you may have to buy supplies. Be practical with what you need to purchase, but also purchase things you will enjoy using or wearing. Need new workout clothes and really want the way cooler athletic set? Then buy it. If you will want to wear it, you are more likely to stick to your goal.
  4. 10 minutes. Think of all the things you can accomplish in 10 minutes. For example, you are wanting to exercise more- you can do jumping jacks, crunches, lunges, and run in place for 10 minutes. There are 10 minute workout videos which allow you to start small and work your way up to more. Or take the dog on a walk for 5 minutes more than you normally would.
  5. Set up reminders. Use your phone to help create daily reminders for yourself. Share with your family what your goals are and they can help to encourage you, as well as cheer you on. Join a group focused on what you are wanting to achieve. This will help keep you motivated and you may have more fun too!

It’s a new year and a beautiful time to accomplish new (and old) goals! Happy 2016!

New Year’s Eve Events

There are many ways to ring in the New Year- from large-scale parties, family-friendly, a friend’s home, quietly at home, to celebrating early in the day. Below are links to events to choose from so you can plan your day and even your night:

Bay Area New Year’s Eve Events

Tampa Bay Time List of Events

First Night St. Pete – If attending First Night, they now have an app you can upload so you can easily navigate through your evening!

If you are planning on staying home- whether with friends, family, or yourself- here are some ideas to ring in the New year:

  • Board Games and Fondue. Find some cheese and chocolate fondue recipes and break out the old board games and have the Times Square Recorded event on the TV in the background!
  • Grill up some burgers, hot dogs, shish kabobs, and anything else you can think of!
  • Order in some food and watch some movies!
  • Read a good book and enjoy a delightful dessert!

800px-Fireworks4_amkHowever you choose to celebrate, here’s to a beautiful and wonderful New Year!

Happy Holidays!

As the holidays approach, this time of year can become stressful and chaotic. Remember to take a moment to yourself so you can stay refreshed though the week. Take a walk, do some yoga, remember to take deep breaths, listen to music that helps you feel encouraged, and call a friend to chat. Enjoy time with family, friends, special holiday events, and even special holiday meals! You may still have much shopping, volunteering, working, and wrapping of presents to do, but remember to still get a good night’s rest if you can.

We hope you have a week that is restful, full of peace, love, and laughter. 8307578548_a4f4a16898