How to Decorate Shelves and Bookcases Like a Design Pro

Decorating a bookshelf isn’t as easy as just sliding your entire book collection onto its shelves. If you want a well-arranged bookshelf worthy of an interior design magazine, all it takes are a few simple tricks. Here are the best ways to color, organize, and style that plain old bookshelf.

  1. Draw inspiration. Completely empty your bookshelf to create a blank canvas, and then think about what you like about other bookshelves that you’ve seen. Do you love colorful rows of books or a few antique titles scattered throughout? What type of flowers, plants, and knick-knacks do you want to incorporate into your design? It helps to plan things out beforehand so that you can visualize the final product.
  2. Sort your books. Since the books are the main focal point of the bookshelf, add them in first. Organize books by size and color to create shelves that flow well. Place some books horizontally and some vertically to create some excitement for the eye.
  3. Fill in empty spaces. Now that your whole book collection is one the shelves, you can afford to fill unused space with pretty items. A bud vase with a small flower is a great option, and an antique globe makes an attractive addition to a home office. You have some freedom here, but make sure to avoid over-cluttering your now-perfect bookshelf.

Flip for Decorating: The Bookcase [House Beautiful]
22 Ways to Arrange Your Shelves [Real Simple]
How-To Beautify Your Bookcase [Coastal Living]
How to Decorate a Bookshelf [Decoist]

Try These Savory-Sweet Watermelon Recipes

Watermelon is available in excess during the hotter summer months, but you may be at a loss for things to do with the incredibly sweet fruit. If you think your options only extend as far as fruit salads and smoothies, think again: There's a whole slew of sweet and savory watermelon recipes that will really excite the taste buds! Here are just a few of the best.

Savory Watermelon and Bleu Cheese Salad [Good Housekeeping]
The main ingredients in this simple salad are watermelon slices and bleu cheese, but when it comes to taste that’s more than enough. While the two may seem like an unlikely combination, the flavors complement each other in a truly delicious way.

Watermelon Tabouleh Stacks with Grilled Chicken [Watermelon.org]
Tabouleh is beloved for its grainy texture and mint flavor, and these unique stacks combine the traditional taste of that Mediterranean salad with the fresh, juicy flavor of watermelon. Grilled chicken is placed on top to create a hearty entree with a very unique presentation.

Watermelon Salad with Feta and Basil [Martha Stewart]
Freshly chopped basil leaves accent the cheesy, crumbly taste of feta and the fruity flavor of watermelon in this light side dish. It takes only minutes to make, but this salad even looks pretty enough to serve at a fancy dinner party.

Hone Your Pilates Skills Off the Mat With These Pilates Apps

There are a number of different bodily benefits of Pilates, from tightening your core to relieving stress. If you’d like to incorporate Pilates into your everyday lifestyle, something as simple as your smartphone can make a big difference. Here are two helpful apps that will totally renovate your workout routine.

Pilates Anytime
While you may wish that you could do Pilates anywhere, anytime, your busy schedule doesn’t always allow it. The Pilates Anytime app works with your lifestyle to help you squeeze in a great Pilates workout right in the comfort of your own home. The app provides you with high quality instructional videos and instructor playlists for any skill level, and it even enables you to stream HD videos right on your television.

Pilates
If you’re more experienced with Pilates and you simply need someone to walk you through the positions at home, this app is for you. Its strict workouts provide a variety of complexes of exercises, and while the app doesn’t explain the basic movements that beginners might require, it does enable you to get a great Pilates workout even if you can’t make it to the studio. The Pilates app also offers helpful statistics about the benefits of each exercise on your body to give you a bit of extra motivation.

Public Domain/Openclipart.org

Unique Museums in Dallas, Texas: Explore Science and History

Dallas, Texas, isn't just home to some of the best barbecue in the country; it's the location of some of the most interesting museums as well! These two in particular capture both Texas's unique contributions to American history and the history of the world around us.

Perot Museum
The Perot Museum is a museum of natural history inside one of the most unique buildings in the city. Open your eyes to the world of science around you in one of the Perot's 11 permanent exhibits. Geek out in the Texas Instruments Engineering and Innovation Hall, or grow your mind in the Expanding Universe Hall. Kids will love the Moody Family Children's Museum, which is tailored specifically to curious young minds. There's something for everyone at the Perot Museum, so be sure to check the calendar for upcoming fun and educational events before planning a visit.

Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza
The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza is located right in downtown Dallas and is dedicated to the life and times of President John F. Kennedy. The museum's impressive multimedia exhibits will give you a great sense of the beloved president's life, from beginning to end. After viewing precious artifacts from his life, the collection of 45,000 items related to JFK's assassination will unravel his tragic death before your eyes. Take a guided tour of this unique museum to get a feel for this iconic time in American history.

Deliciously Simple Uses for Fresh Watermelon

Fresh watermelon is a cool, refreshing snack, but it has a number of other uses as well. If you’re looking for unique watermelon dishes outside of the usual fruit salad, these delicious (and incredibly simple!) recipes can help.

Watermelon Agua Fresca
Traditional agua frescas are made with simple fruit juices and sweeteners, and they’re often served by vendors and restaurants all over Mexico. This one incorporates watermelon, club soda, and lime juice to give it its refreshing taste.

Watermelon Salad with Mint and Crispy Prosciutto
Opposites often attract when it comes to food, and this salad is a wonderful example. The salty taste of the prosciutto blends perfectly with the cool mint and juicy watermelon to create a summer salad that’s perfect for dinner outdoors.

Raspberry Watermelon Lemonade
This sweet lemonade is given an extra fruity flavor by adding plump, juicy raspberries and cubed watermelon. Leaving the fruit pulp in the mix gives it an extra bit of texture.

Watermelon Gazpacho
Chilled gazpacho soup is perfect on a hot day, and this one is made with watermelon, blanched almonds, and fresh garlic cloves that create a sweet and savory combination. Interestingly, plain old white bread gives the soup its thick, dense consistency.

Watermelon Gazpacho Recipe Courtesy of Norton Fitness

Click here for an awesome Watermelon Gazpacho Recipe courtesy of Norton Fitness!

2 Baseball Apps for Fans of the Game

If you’re a diehard baseball fan, there are a number of fun and exciting baseball apps that will keep your mind on your favorite sport no matter where your day takes you. Check out these two impressive apps to watch real baseball footage, build your own fantasy team, and more.

Endless Sports
This app is just what the name says: an endless stream of baseball videos all day, every day. Simply use your finger and swipe the screen to change channels, which include everything from ESPN to more obscure baseball coverage. Endless Sports boasts no lag or latency in videos, so you can watch any baseball game without the annoying interruptions of similar sports apps.

9 Innings
Instead of just watching baseball, become a part of the game with this fantasy game for your smartphone. Use the names and photos of real MLB players to create your dream team, and then match them up against other teams in incredibly realistic games with exciting, in-your-face graphics. With more than 1,400 players and 30 teams to choose from, you can create your ultimate fantasy team and watch as they dominate the other teams in the league. Best of all, the 9 Innings app is completely free to download.

5 Beautiful Houseplants That Are Easy to Care For

Is your thumb a bit more black than green? Are you known for killing houseplants as quickly as you get them? Many houseplants are finicky, and just a bit too much water or sunlight can cause them to unexpectedly croak. Here’s a list of five houseplants that are resilient but still just as decorative.

  1. Geranium. The leafy geranium has a dark, rich color and uniquely shaped leaves, but it’s also one of the sturdiest houseplants. It flowers all year round with bright, colorful blooms if you place it by sunlight, and it won’t mind if you miss a watering or two.
  2. Cactus. Cacti are commonly known for their resistance to drought, surviving naturally in the desert without much water for weeks at a time. The same is true for store-bought cacti, which only need watering about once every month.
  3. Peace Lilies. This leafy green plant with white flowers can survive in dim lighting at temperatures below 55 degrees.
  4. Palms. Create a tropical paradise in your home by placing a few hardy palms in bare corners. These incredible plants purify the air and don’t require much from their owners in return.
  5. Aloe. This plant is often very large and attractive, and you can even use its soothing interior on burns or cuts. It prefers bright light, so place it on a windowsill and water only sparingly.

Houseplants for the Forgetful Gardener [BHG]
7 Indoor Plants that Purify the Air Around You [Inhabitat]

4 Quick Appetizer Recipes for Your Next Get-Together

When guests pop over unexpectedly, it can be stressful to throw together a quick appetizer. These creative, simple recipes will give you some ideas for tasty appetizers in just a few minutes.

Hot Artichoke Dip [Kraft]
Artichoke dip is always a favorite, but most recipes are complicated and difficult to prepare. This one requires only four common ingredients and takes just 25 minutes to make.

Chickpea and Mint Crostini [Real Simple]
With absolutely no cooking involved, this flavorful topping is a fast and delicious snack to set out when friends stop by. Pair it with crunchy crackers or crispy bread.

Figs Stuffed with Gorgonzola and Walnuts [Oprah]
When you want an elegant appetizer that looks like it took hours to make, this is a great choice. The figs add a sweet flavor that contrasts the cheese, and it bakes into a gooey, perfectly browned treat.

Easy Goat Cheese Appetizer [Martha Stewart]
Using just a few common ingredients that you might already have in your refrigerator, this creamy goat cheese spread creates a decadent appetizer that your guests will love. Spread it on hot, crusty bread, and then store it back in the refrigerator for up to a week of additional servings.

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