Saturday, November 18, 2017

Thanksgiving Punch Ideas

There's so much to think about for Thanksgiving - the appetizers, breads, turkey, sides, and desserts.  Obviously those are important pieces of the meal but what about to drink?  A sparkly punch or cider can really take a meal from wow to WHOA!

Here are a few easy, non-alcoholic ways to create magical Thanksgiving drinks.

Cranberry Pineapple Punch

- 3 Cups Canned Pineapple Juice, Chilled
- 3 Cups Cranberry Juice Cocktail, Chilled
- 4 Cups Ginger Ale

Stir together then add
- Ice
- 1/2 Cup fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1/2 lime - sliced thin

Apple Pie Punch

4 cups Apple Cider
1 Cup White Grape Juice
3 Cups Ginger Ale

Stir together and add chunks of fresh apple!

Cran-Raspberry Punch

- 3 Cups Cranberry Juice
- 3 Cups Ginger Ale

Stir together and add 3 scoops (or more) Raspberry sherbet. Garnish with fresh raspberries.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Improving a Winter Landscape

Thanksgiving is just a little over a week away! While there are plenty of tried and true ways to decorate the inside of your home to make it warm and inviting - what about the outside? Especially on those cold, gray days!

Start with what you can control.  Your entryway is the first impression of your home. While the plants may be bare you can liven up the space with some greenery on the door, white lights and even some outdoor furniture pieces and pillows.

Incorporate pops of color from red berries or bright orange leaves.

If you feel like planting some winter shrubs or flowers, consider the following:

- Ornamental cabbage or kale
- Winter Jasmine
- Holly

Also check local nurserys and hardware stores for potted arrangements suitable for cold weather.

If you're really feeling the remodeling spirit - consider updating your front door paint to something with more color- a deep red or blue!

Don't forget to keep your yard maintained - rake the leaves, pick up fallen branches and put away the summer items till next season.

What ideas do you have to make your winter yard for appealing?

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Making a Guest Friendly Home

1. Purchase back up items for your guests - toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, headache medicine, bottled water. Your house guests will appreciate not having to ask!

2.  Everyone sleeps at different temperatures so have some options available. A box fan for the hot natured and some extra throw blankets for cold feet!

3.  Have your wi-fi password readily available for guests to see. Also provide any instructions for accessing electronics or setting alarm clocks.

4.  If you have to work or won't be around for your guests, leave them a spare key so they can go in and out themselves.  Provide maps or brochures on fun things available around your town.  If you already have activities planned as a family, create an agenda so everyone knows what is happening and when.

5.  If you don't have time to clean the whole house focus on these key areas: kitchen, hall and guest bathrooms, guest room, main living room floors - windows are an extra bonus!

What do you do to prepare for holiday guests?

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Reduce Your Home Energy Bills This Fall and Winter

Colder weather doesn't mean spending more on energy costs to stay comfortable. There are lots of ways you can keep warm without pushing up the thermostat and seeing those costs rise with it.

Here are a few ideas:

1.  Open your curtains and blinds during the day to let the sun's warmth in but close them up at night to keep the heat trapped inside.

2.  Make use of blankets, warm rugs, flannel sheets and layers!

3.  Reverse your ceiling fans to get them blowing the warm air back down from the ceiling and on to you!

4.  If there are rooms in your home that you rarely use - close off the vents to keep the warm air going to the most trafficked areas of the home.

5.  A humidifier adds moisture to dry winter air, making it feel more comfortable.  Use in the rooms you spend the most time in and cut back on the heat.

A rule of thumb for winter heating is to keep the thermostat at 68 degrees while you're home and try to make it cooler at night depending on your sleep preferences.

What do you do to stay warm without breaking your winter budget?

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Stop the Spread of the Flu

Along with the beautiful Fall weather and cooling temperatures comes something no one is a big fan of - flu season.  Flu season begins in October and lasts in May, typically peaking in February.

Vaccines are one way to potentially stop from contracting the illness but there are other measures you should take to make your home a hostile area to flu germs.

1.  Have tissue boxes and trash cans in each room.  Encourage sneezing and coughing into tissues. Make sure there is easy access to trash disposal.

2.  Stock up on soap and hand sanitizer.  Good old-fashioned hand soap is the preferred method of keeping clean but hand sanitizer will work where needed.

3.  Watch out for these germ hot spots and clean regularly:  cutting boards, sponges, desks, floors, toilets and sinks.  Germs can live for several hours on hard surfaces so disinfect door knobs, light switches and remote controls.

4. Keep a healthy lifestyle by drinking lots of water, eating fruits and vegetables and getting your exercise.

5. If someone in your house has the flu make sure to regularly wash their bed sheets and towels in warm or hot water.  Wash your hands after anytime you handle dirty laundry.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Selling Your Home in Fall

Need to sell your current home so you can move into your brand new dream home? Don't worry if you missed the typically hot spring market.  Fall can be a great time to try and sell a home.

Consider these helpful tips for selling your home in Autumn.

- Fall is the second best time to try and sell your home.  People are back from summer vacation and the holidays are still far enough away to keep potential buyers looking.

- Make sure your home has curb appeal by raking up any leaves or fallen branches.  Dress up your porch and add some color with yellow or orange mums.  Clean windows to make them really sparkle!

- If you're selling a home with a fireplace, make sure it's cleaned out and ready to be inspected by potential buyers thinking of cooler temperatures.  Let your agent know they can turn the fireplace on during a showing.

-  A fireplace or candles are also a good way to add some extra lighting for shorter days.  Make sure all the lights are on if you are showing a home in evening when it begins to get darker earlier.

-  Make your home feel cozy with subtle scents of Fall, some well positioned throw blankets, and limited Fall decor. Don't go overboard, let the buyer really see the home - but in a cozy atmosphere.

- No matter what time of year, make sure your house is priced competitively.  If you need to sell before the Holidays you don't want to scare away potential buyers with an overpriced home.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Halloween Tricks and Treats

Some of the best memories are made in the kitchen.  Halloween is another fun opportunity to get your kids involved in the baking process before all the treats are devoured.

Here are a few easy and spooky snacks for your little monsters.

1.  Lolly Pop Ghosts

No oven required! Simple wrap up some lolly pops for a fun and haunting treat!

These lolly pop ghosts are SO CUTE! They're super easy and make a fun treat for a Halloween party or to send to school on Halloween!

2. Oreo Spiders

M&M's and Pretzels create the perfect creepy spider cookies!

20 fun Halloween treats to make with your kids - It's Always Autumn

3. Hot Dog Mummies

For a snack with a little more substance try wrapping hot dogs in pre-made croissant dough

Hot Dog Mummies Pigs in a blanket, Halloween style! What a fun party idea or after school snack for the kids. Bonus: these hot dog mummies a...