4 Perfect Spots for Your Flatback Christmas Tree

Christmas trees allow you to add the beauty and sophistication of nature to your home. The fuller and more robust the foliage, the more magnificent it would look in any room. However, in order to fit a traditional Christmas tree, it would take up a larger space in your home. This makes it an impractical choice for homes with limited space, such as apartments and condominiums. This is where a flatback Christmas tree comes in handy.

Tree Classics’ Murphy’s Flatback Christmas Tree features a unique design perfect for small spaces. Our Christmas tree combines the classic appeal of lush evergreen foliage with a convenient flat back so you can set it against a wall. This allows you to save more space in your home compared to other regular Christmas trees.

In this edition of the Tree Classics blog, we will help you choose the best place in your home where you can place your Murphy’s Flatback Christmas tree. Find out how you can decorate your home for the holidays without taking up too much space in your home.

Foyer

The foyer is one of the most logical spots for a flatback Christmas tree. Since this is the first place most people get to see upon entering your home, placing your holiday display here would help create an enchanting entryway that would leave your guests in awe. The bright clear or multi-colored lights of the Murphy’s Flatback also make a warm welcome to your home for family and friends.

Beneath Your Staircase

Arguably one of the most underutilized places in homes, the space beneath your staircase is yet another excellent location for your flatback Christmas tree. Instead of leaving it bare and dull, place your Christmas display here to make this part of your home more fascinating. You can also add an elegant Christmas garland to the banisters to help draw attention towards your Murphy’s Flatback display.

Dining Room

Make Christmas dinner a lot more bountiful by placing your Yuletide display in the dining room. The space-saving design of the Murphy’s Flatback lets you add a charming highlight to your dining room that most regular Christmas trees cannot do.

Living Room

Make the most out of the festive charm of your Murphy’s Flatback by setting it near the windows of your living room. Aside from adding a heartwarming highlight to your space, this also lets your neighbors catch a glimpse of the wonderful Yuletide display you have at home.

The stylish design of the Murphy’s Flatback Christmas tree displays an excellent combination of form and practical function not found in any other holiday tree. Our Christmas tree offers homeowners a versatile Yuletide accent to complement your sophisticated decorating style.

3 Creative Ways to Store Holiday Decorations in Your Garage

For the busy homeowner, maintaining a well-kept and organized Christmas storage space can be quite a dilemma. Knowing how to collect holiday décor is one thing, but the real challenge is finding out where to safely keep them until the next Yuletide season. While most people use closets to store their Christmas décor, they only provide limited space and often prove too difficult to organize once the items begin to pile up. This is where the space in your garage factors in. Spacious and well-ventilated, this often forgotten part of your home can offer ample storage for all your holiday décor. Here are three creative ways on how to maximize the space in your garage.

Using Overhead Rafters to Hold Christmas Tree Storage Bags 


If you’ve already used up the entire floor space in your garage for storage, maybe it’s time to think vertically. Maximize the available head space in your garage by installing joists and rafters on your ceiling. These attachments can be used as totes to hold various sizes of plastic bins and Christmas tree storage bags in order to create additional storage space in your garage. You can also add large hooks to your ceiling or wall so you can hang your wreaths and garlands while in storage. Just make sure that the joists and rafters are properly attached to safely mount items. Ideally, each tote should only carry a total weight of around 210 lbs.

Mounting Mason Jars to Store Christmas Ornaments


For smaller, more delicate items, such as Christmas balls and tree toppers, you can use a different approach to the overhead totes. Instead of using plastic bins held up by rafters and joists, try using small mason jars to store your holiday ornaments. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Remove the lids off of the jars.
  2. Attach the lids to the bottom of a wooden cupboard using nails or screws.
  3. Carefully place your ornaments inside the mason jars.
  4. Mount the mason jars by attaching them back to their lids.

This storage idea not allows you to store items safely, but it also provides an excellent chance to showcase the beauty of your holiday ornaments even while being kept away.

Adding Multi-sectioned Cabinets for Larger Holiday Décor

Here’s a garage storage idea that sports fans will love. Transform your garage into your very own locker room by adding these amazing wooden cabinets. Available in various sizes and designs, these pre-fabricated cupboards feature different compartments to let you store all your Christmas décor safely. The key here is to get the correct measurements for the sections so you can store even larger items, such as 45-inch Christmas wreaths and upright Christmas tree storage boxes.

Finding a safe place to store your holiday items is not as hard is it may seem. Just like in using your garage for storage space, the secret to an efficient holiday organization is utilizing all available space of your home wisely. Keep a creative eye and try to think of other ingenious ways to store your cherished Christmas décor.

How to String Christmas Lights on Your Christmas Tree

Christmas tree lights brighten up holiday celebrations and bring a twinkle to the eyes of both the young and the old. A Christmas tree without lights is like a candle without a flame, decorative but lacking warmth and luster. If you’re looking to start your holiday decorating early this season, now is the best time to learn how to string lights on your Christmas tree. Tree Classics gives you this easy to follow guide to stringing Christmas lights. It aims to make the whole process as simple and worry-free as possible for the busy homeowner.

Things to Consider

Before stringing your Christmas lights, you need to consider the height and width of your tree because this will be the basis for the number of lights you will need. Depending on how the lights are connected to each other, you can choose from two types: stacked lights and end-to-end lights.

  • Stacked lights
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    This type of lighting allows for additional strings to be connected on both ends of the plug, letting you connect more light strands as needed.

  • End-to-end lights
    End-to-end lights

    This type only allows a single connection at one end of the plug, making it an ideal choice for smaller Christmas trees.

Stringing the Lights

What You Will Need:

    • New string of lights
    • Artificial Christmas tree
    • Step ladder
    • Electrical outlet

Step-by-step guide:

      1. Lay out the light strings on a flat surface. Plug them in to make sure all the bulbs are working and replace any that don’t. Restringing the tree with the strings plugged in is recommended so you’ll know exactly where the lights go on the tree. Don’t forget to put on your insulated gloves as a safety precaution against electric shock.
      2. As you set up the light strands, you can also start fluffing the branches of the tree. This is to ensure that cord is not too stretched out once you finished arranging the foliage of your Christmas tree later on.
      3. Begin setting up the Christmas light strands from the top of the tree then work your way to the bottom. You can use a step ladder to reach the top of taller trees. From the center pole, weave the lights through the branches until you get to the outermost tips, then weave them back again toward the trunk. Repeat this process for all the other branches.
      4. To keep the electrical load for the cord in a safe range, remember to only connect up to 300 lights end to end. After the first 300, plug in the next set of lights to a second outlet.
      5. Check the lighting for your Christmas tree by dimming any overhead lights in the room or by turning them off completely. This will allow you to look for bare spots or busted bulbs. Adjust the lights as you see fit.

Safety Precautions

      • Never plug more than two extension cords together. This is to make sure that the cord can handle the electrical load and avoid any short circuits. Also, double check if the cord can handle the wattage of the bulbs.Make sure that lights have the same wattage to prevent power surges.
      • Make sure that lights have the same wattage to prevent power surges.
      • Plug each light strand before hanging them on your tree to see if they are working. This will allow you to detect problems at the onset.
      • Remember to remove all tags from the lights.
      • Using a power strip is recommended because, aside from making it easier to switch your lights on and off, it provides an additional built-in circuit breaker.

The beauty of a Christmas tree depends largely on how you maintain it each year. Taking the time to string lights on it and decorate it with your family will ensure that you have a magnificent tree for many seasons to come.

Photo by State Farm via Flickr. CC BY 2.0

Decorating Tips: How to Create a DIY Gallery Wall

Whether you’ve just moved in to a new home or simply trying to add flare to an uninspired room, a do-it-yourself gallery wall is one of the best ways to bring prominence and personality to any room, wall, or hallway. Not only does it add a charming and festive highlight to spaces, but it also offers homeowners a more fun way to feature memorable items from the past, such as family photographs and souvenirs from holiday vacations.

In this edition of the Tree Classics blog, we present to you four quick and easy tips on how you can create your own DIY gallery wall. You can draw inspiration on how it should look by using items you would normally think are reserved for the Christmas season.

Step 1: Gathering Your Materials

A DIY gallery wall is extremely personal, so the materials you would want to use should focus on what is important to you. Using photos of your family from Christmas holidays and other celebrations can make your gallery wall instantly homey. Placing letter cutouts as monograms, on the other hand, can give your DIY gallery wall a more unique touch. You can also use a round Christmas wreath as a contrast to square shaped picture frames. There are dozens of way to incorporate your treasured Christmas decorations in your gallery.

For the tools, you will need a hammer, some nails, a pair of scissors, a pencil, a level, a tape measure, and some newspaper. You can also use a few splashes of paint if you want to add burst of color to your gallery wall. Once you’ve got your materials down, it’s time to set it up.

Step 2: Planning the Look

One of the most important steps in creating a DIY gallery wall is planning. Dealing with different shapes, sizes, and colors can be difficult without the proper planning. Knowing what goes where is crucial to making a balanced DIY gallery wall. You can easily do this by cutting out silhouettes of your design materials using a pair of scissors and some old newspapers. Remember to punch holes in the newspaper using a pencil.

If you’re using a Christmas wreath or decorative plates for your wall, the holes will help you correctly frame them. Using tape and newspaper cut-outs to try out different combinations can save you time and unnecessary holes in the walls. Once you’ve decided on where everything will be and the newspaper cut-outs are taped in place, you can now introduce more permanent materials.

Step 3: Hammering Your Points

After choosing which items you’re going to place on the gallery wall, you can now use the holes we punched earlier as a guide to where you’ll place your nails. Use a level to make sure that everything is balanced on the horizontal. This is crucial because you would not want your design materials leaning over to one side. Carefully, use the hammer to put your nails in place. Once every nail is set, you can now start finishing up your wall.

Step 4: Adding Your Wall Décor

Finally, you’re ready to start placing your design materials on your wall. Remove the newspaper cut-out just before hanging the décor  it represents. This will help you avoid any undue confusion while placing the items on your DIY gallery wall.

Sometimes, a brilliant idea comes up when you’re halfway done, but don’t fret. For instance, you may want to place a sconce to add lighting for special occasions, or add a garland as a border to enclose your gallery.  Planning helps minimize work, so don’t be afraid to make last minute adjustments to make your gallery wall as personal as you want it to be.

A DIY gallery wall is a rewarding way to personalize your home, and using holiday decors such as a holiday wreath or a Christmas portrait makes it fun and cost-effective. For more stylish and convenient tips on home decorating especially for the holidays, stay tuned to the Tree Classics blog. We’d also love to hear about your own decorating ideas for DIY gallery walls on our official Facebook page!

Choosing the Right Christmas Tree for Your Home

If you’re in the market for a new Christmas tree this year, choosing the right one may come as a challenge. There are a number of factors to consider when looking for an ideal tree for your home, such as the size of the tree, the color of its foliage, and even the overall realism of its needles. These qualities can sometimes make or break your chances for creating the perfect holiday display for the season. To help you find the best holiday tree for your home, let Tree Classics guide you through the ins and outs of Christmas tree shopping. With our simple and easy to follow tips, you’ll have a better chance of landing that dream Yuletide highlight you and your family have always deserved.

Sizing Up the Situation

Using a Tape Meter

Before going out tree-shopping, the first thing you should do is measure the space in which you intend to set up the tree. After you have decided on a location, you should measure the distance between your home’s floor and ceiling. Your Christmas tree should be at least six inches lower than the ceiling to allow space for a tree topper. Trees that are 7 ½ feet in height are common because many homes have ceilings that are 8-9 feet high.

With today’s artificial Christmas trees, you will never run short on options when it comes to shape. Whether you’re looking for a slim or full-profiled tree, you’re sure to find one that will suit your home and your taste. What’s more important is finding one that will fit its intended space. Aside from tree height, always consider its diameter because this will show you how much floor space the tree will take up. Christmas trees are cone-shaped so this can, at times, be overlooked. Remember to measure the tree at the bottom or its widest point when determining its diameter.

Choosing a Color

Tree Classics' Arctic White Pine

Traditional Christmas trees are green because they mimic real evergreen trees; however, artificial trees have opened up a world of possibilities by offering a variety of colors and styles that match different holiday décor themes. In fact, a closer look at traditional green trees reveal a variety of green hues, with some using a combination of them. If variety is what you’re after this Christmas, a golden tinsel tree, such as the Platinum and Gold Christmas Tree, works as a symbol of the holiday season’s abundant blessings. You can also pick a white Christmas tree like the Arctic White Pine Christmas Tree as a tribute to the pristine white snow of winter.

Choosing the Look and Feel

Tree Classics' Classic Fraser Fir

The look and feel of an artificial Christmas tree is largely dependent on its type of foliage. Most trees use PVC needles because this allows for needles of different thicknesses. Layered together, they give trees a rounded, lush appearance.

For a more lifelike appearance, many choose pine needle or PE needle foliage for their tree. Pine needles are also made from PVC, but they are extruded to mimic the size and texture of real pine tree needles. PE needles, on the other hand, make use Polyethylene (PE) technology to create the most realistic artificial evergreens. Here at Tree Classics, our experts gather actual branch cuttings to use as models in creating our highly realistic Real Feel™ foliage products, such as our Classic Fraser Fir, Majestic Blue Spruce, and Kennedy Fir Narrow Christmas trees.

Choosing the right Christmas tree for your home doesn’t have to be difficult. As long as you know which specific features to look for, you’re guaranteed to have an unforgettable holiday highlight each season.

Decorating Tips: Make Your House Bloom this Fall

 

Welcome the fall with a burst of blooming color and breathe life into your home with the help of flowers and foliage accents. These natural fall décor pieces will make scenes around the home more vivid and heartwarming by adding the sights and scents of the season. Find out how you can decorate your space with fresh blooms and prepare your home for the coming season.

The Front Porch

 

Make a good first impression on your guests by decorating your front porch with flowers placed in a tin watering can and tin pails. These give the flowers and your other fall décor a rustic touch and a welcome change from conventional vases and containers. You can complete a countryside look by adding antique wooden furniture and a few floral patterns. If you want the flowers to be visible indoors and out, place them on window boxes on your front porch and around your home.

The Living Room

 

Use flowers to provide colors in your living room by placing a large or medium-sized bouquet on the coffee table and a few smaller bunches around the room. Try using clear vases or containers to help these blooms blend in more in your decorating theme. Make sure to add some water to prolong the life of the flowers and keep them looking fresh throughout the season.

The Dining Room

 

Over-sized floral arrangements may look impressive, but in practice, they only serve to block dinner guests’ view and make it harder to converse with each other. You can create an equally impressive fall tablescape with smaller bouquets and a few tea lights. Use small jars as candle holders and sprinkle some fall leaves in floral arrangements to give your tablescape a seasonal flavor. Adding some twigs and branches will also add an earthy and festive appeal to your decorating theme.

Autumn provides a myriad of decorating options through a natural medley of colors that change as the season progresses. Taking advantage of the season’s natural gifts will help you in redecorating your home—especially if you’re looking for some fresh ideas.

How to Create a Visually Stunning Display Using Garlands and Centerpieces

Garlands and centerpieces provide a myriad of options when it comes to decorating various parts of your home. From your mantel to your dinner table, these décor pieces will help add a touch of the holidays to your living space. If you’re looking for variety in your home décor, check out the tips below and take the first step toward a holiday home your family will love.

The Layered Garland

A lush garland is always a welcome sight in any part of the home. To enhance an already beautiful garland, try adding some flowers and other foliage while using the garland as the base. You can even try layering two garlands together for a fuller look. Top it off with some lights to create a stunning foliage display that can also help light your way in darker stairwells or entryways.

The Paper Flower Centerpiece

For low-maintenance accents, consider making paper flowers instead of picking real ones. Using simple tissue paper or art paper for some color, you can craft neutral or colorful accents that will add a seasonal touch to your mantel or tablescape. Display several paper flowers scattered on a wooden tray or use them as accents to your foliage centerpiece.

The Frame Garland

Highlight your décor, mirror, or framed family photos by wrapping them up in a holiday garland. As a décor piece, garlands naturally drape over certain spots in your home. Consider enhancing your old artwork, mirror, and other framed paraphernalia with a decorated or layered garland. You can even wrap a garland around an empty frame and use it as a wreath.

Sweater Votives

Votives are an essential part of holiday displays as they easily add an inviting ambiance to living spaces. For a perfect centerpiece, use a small cutting from the sleeves of an old sweater to wrap around the votives’ glass containers. These sweater votives will definitely add some coziness and warmth to your living room or dinner table.

The Backdrop Garland

Bring out those small figurines and create a miniature winter scene at home using a garland as your backdrop. You can also use a garland as a backdrop to your family photos and other small ornaments for a simpler display. If you have multicolored ornaments and displays, a garland can tie them together into a unifying color scheme.

Garlands and centerpieces are excellent additions to your holiday décor because of their versatility and ease of use. Complete your holiday décor by following the tips above and add a touch of the holidays throughout your home.

Autumn Dinner Party Essentials

Preparing for a fall dinner party and have no idea what to serve? Feel like a chef without spending too much time in the kitchen with these simple dinner recipes for an unforgettable fall gathering. These recipes will help you spend more time with your guests and show them how gracious a host you can be.

This simple four-course menu will help you get started on your fall dinner party—while also adding some of the crisp and colorful flavors of the season to your dishes.

First Course: Hors d’oeuvre

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Finger foods are a great way to start a meal.
  • Caramelized Onion Flatbread
    You can make an amazing appetizer with caramelized onion and flatbread or pizza dough in just 45 minutes or less. To reduce baking time, start with refrigerated pizza crust dough. Finger foods are a great way to whet your guests’ the appetite.
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Soup is a traditional way to start a meal.
  • Pumpkin Soup
    Soup is a traditional dinner appetizer, providing a glimpse of the feast to come. This pumpkin soup brings a twist to the traditional recipe with the addition of curry powder, which adds a very subtle flavor to the overall taste. Leftovers can be frozen and consumed later.

Second Course: Entrée

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The size of your beef roast should depend on the size of the party.
  • Parma-wrapped beef topside with orzo salad
    For a versatile beef roast, this recipe allows you to vary the size of the beef depending on the number of guests. A good value roast, it comes with orzo pasta, fine beans, and nuts, making it a filling and sumptuous treat.
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British free-range pork is juicier and tastier.
  • Roast Loin of Pork with Crackling and Spicy Pear Recipe
    If you’re looking for flavor, this roast loin of pork recipe won’t disappoint with its helping of sage, apricot and cider compote, and unique crunchy stuffing. To ensure you get the tastiest and juiciest meat, look for good-quality British free-range pork or ask your local butcher for one.

Third Course: Salad

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This beetroot salad is a delight to both the eyes and the palate.
  • Shaved beetroot, radish and grapefruit salad recipe
    Salads can be served before the main course as an appetizer, during the main course as a side dish, or after the main course as a palate cleanser. This shaved beetroot salad, bursting with color, is a great way to kick off your fall dinner party.
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Leafy greens and cheese cleanse the palate.
  • Green salad with radishes and manchego
    After a scrumptious entrée, this salad with a traditional twist is the perfect preface to the sweet delight you have prepared for dessert. Cleanse your guests’ palates with leafy greens and the distinctive piquant flavor of manchego cheese.

Fourth Course: Dessert

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Chocolate pie is a surefire way to satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth.
  • Chocolate and raspberry pie
    Who doesn’t love chocolate? Give it a twist with some raspberries to give it that tart flavor. The crumbly biscuit base adds texture and substance to this bittersweet and sour treat.
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The fool is a great substitute for ice cream or sorbet.
  • Strawberry and rhubarb fool
    For those watching their weight, go light with some strawberry and rhubarb in half-fat cream. The sweet wine and maple syrup add the perfect amount of sweetness without spoiling your sweet tooth.

With these dinner recipes, you can make sure that you and your guests enjoy your fall dinner party. Keep in mind that socializing with guests is as important as cooking up a feast. Spend more time with your guests and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of autumn.

Home Design Ideas: Kitchen Counter Solutions

In our previous post, we showed you how you can give your kitchen a fresh look with little effort by paying attention to the little details. We now focus on the kitchen countertop, the most commonly used space in the kitchen. This post will show you how you can maximize counter space through a few simple decorating ideas.

The Mobile Countertop

For people who have small kitchens, finding enough countertop space can be challenge. You can solve this dilemma by using a rolling cart as your very own mobile countertop. All you have to do is to slide it out whenever you need extra counter space. You can push it aside and out of the way after use or when you need the extra floor space instead. Having a mobile countertop can also be useful in larger kitchens. Its versatility will allow you to move it around while you’re busy cooking up a big meal. It can even serve as a handy meal trolley when you present your food to your guests.

The Space-savers

When organizing your kitchen, start by examining which items take up too much counter space. Pots and knife blocks, for example, are a couple of kitchen objects that don’t really have to be on your counter. One fine alternative is by hanging them neatly on a rack. This way, they’ll always be within reach but safely out of the way. If you run out of wall space, use a pot rack that hangs from the ceiling. These ceiling-mounted pot racks are a boon because you can hang just about any manner of cookware on them.

The Dual-purpose Island

Adding a kitchen island is another great way to utilize the space in your kitchen. Aside from giving you an extra surface you can work on, kitchen islands can also provide additional storage space for your kitchen items. If you decide to have an island installed, make sure to maximize the space at the bottom. Use it for shelf space or install a warming drawer or wine rack into it. See if you can fit some of your smaller appliances under the island. If you often eat or socialize in the kitchen, it’s a good idea to save some room underneath the island where you can stash chairs or stools when not in use.

Organizing your kitchen is not as complicated as it may seem. By simply learning which kitchen items belong on top of the counter and which ones should be kept away, you can make good use of every space available as well as give your kitchen a clean and uncluttered look.

Decorating Tips: How to Make Your Kitchen Look Good as New

One of the most important places in a home, the kitchen is not only a place for meals; it’s also a room for family conversations and special celebrations. For most, it’s the first place they go to in the morning to grab a cup of coffee, have some breakfast, and start the day with a pleasant chat with loved ones. As such, it’s only fitting to make your kitchen as warm and cozy as possible.

Redecorating your kitchen once in a while is a good idea to keep it comfortable, and autumn is the perfect time to do so. This way, you can get some much-needed redecorating done for your kitchen just in time for holiday entertaining. Below are a few simple decorating ideas on how you can keep this special room looking fresh and good as new.

Declutter

Giving your kitchen a new look can be as simple as clearing all unnecessary objects in the room. Sometimes, in your effort to decorate your kitchen every season, you may actually be “overdecorating” without realizing it. Sift through the different items in your kitchen and try to determine which ones are essential and which ones are not. Make sure to keep your dishware in cupboards and your utensils in drawers to give your kitchen a clean and organized look.

Colorize

When it comes to kitchens, adding too much color can actually take away its natural appeal. You can’t go wrong with muted and neutral tones because they give your kitchen a fresh, uncluttered ambiance. A monochromatic look works well, but don’t be afraid to add a specific accent color.

Also, with the multitude of interior home design ideas that abound, there is a certain part of a room that is almost always neglected: the ceiling. The next time you decide to change the colors in your kitchen, don’t forget the ceiling. You can paint it using the same color as your kitchen walls or with a complementary color to make it stand out.

Light

There is nothing wrong with white walls in a kitchen, but if you want to add a bit of flavor or variety, you can play with your lighting. Light is an important element of design, no matter what room you’re decorating. Aside from window placement, finding the right location for light fixtures and the appropriate type of lighting is vital. Flat, even lighting may suffice for getting around the kitchen, but it rarely highlights the room’s best features.

Professional interior decorators use a trick called backsplash lighting to create a more dramatic effect. It also highlights the workmanship of your kitchen panels and illuminates the countertops nicely. Backsplash lighting is also installed in a way that conceals the light source, giving it the illusion of being natural light. If you’re looking to add a dramatic flair to your kitchen, using backsplash lighting can do the trick.

When redecorating your kitchen, remember these three basic decorating tips: Declutter, colorize, and light. There are many more ways in which you can change the look of your kitchen, but the steps above are great starting points because they touch upon the basics and prepare you for the more major changes you may wish to achieve.