Archive for November, 2014

All the things you need now to get ready for holiday hosting later

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

Well, you knew this was coming. The beauty of cooler fall temperatures and leaves beginning their vibrant change brings the inevitability of family coming soon to camp out at your place. Yes, it's about to be the season of hosting. 

If you, and your house, are far from ready, you don't have to worry. You've got time to make it host-ready. Follow these tips for the things you need to get your space all nice and ready.

    • Something warm- Out-of-town guests coming from a warmer climate to a cooler one may not come prepared for the weather shift. A few throw blankets lying around will help. You can be the best host ever by stocking up on gloves, scarves, and slipper socks for your guests.

    • Something cozy-A well-dressed bed is a prerequisite for a good host. If your bedding is looking a little ragged, it's time for a refresh. It doesn't have a cost a bunch either.

    • Something warm (2)- If you live in a cooler climate, you'll want to make sure you keep it toasty inside. Be sure to check your furnace and fireplace ahead of time to ensure they are working properly. Then, dress up your fireplace accordingly, with festive decor and an upgrade inside that you can enjoy all winter.

    • Something clean- About those carpets. Taken a good long look lately? You might want to do that now. Yeah, they get dirty. It's normal. But no one wants to stay in a home that has stained, filthy floors. It tends to make relatives and guests wonder what else might not be so clean. In places where the stains are so bad you can't make a dent, cover them with runners and throw rugs for a temporary fix.

    • Something sweet smelling- When it comes to being a good host, places like Bath & Body Works is your friend. Put together a basket of holiday-scented items including a candle, soap, and body wash and leave it in the guest baths. Your visitors will appreciate the gesture, and you can ensure everyone will smell good around the breakfast table!

    • Something playful- Holiday gatherings are the perfect time to break out the games and involve the whole gang in a good time. Or, buy a few packs of cards and a plastic poker chip set and start a Texas Hold 'Em tournament.

    • Something tasty- Yes, the holidays are time for all your favorite family recipes. But they're also time for snacks and more snacks, and don't forget the post-dessert dessert. When you think you've bought more than enough chips, grab two more bags. If you're sure no household could ever go through all that lunchmeat, grab another family-sized package. And while you're at it, don't forget to stock up on toilet paper. Lots and lots of toilet paper.

Click here to read the full article from Realty Times.

Volunteering this Holiday: Great for the Community & Good for you too!

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

Thanksgiving Give backVolunteering is a great way to make a positive impact in your community, and it really does make you feel good. You may not think that your time will help others, but it will. Here is how to volunteer in your community.

  • Volunteer at the soup kitchen -You can either donate food items, pick up donated food, serve food, prepare food, or even offer administrative assistance.
  • Volunteer at the hospital -You may sit at a reception desk and greet people, or you may be asked to deliver flowers to patient rooms.
  • Volunteer at school - You are given fun tasks like reading to children, assisting on field trips, preparing bulletin boards, or simply helping the teacher.
  • Volunteer as a mentor -You can volunteer as a mentor and make an amazing difference in the life of a child. Organizations such as Big Brother or Big Sister, or even the Boys and Girls Club are excellent ways to volunteer as a mentor.
  • Volunteer at church -You can volunteer at church by offering to work in the day care room, teach a Sunday school class, organize a church function, clean the church, and much more.
  • Volunteer to deliver meals -Not only do you deliver a hot meal, but you are offering the warmth of companionship to elderly people that are sometimes very lonely individuals.
  • Volunteer for hospice -Things you may be asked to do include visiting patients or family, offering childcare, running to the grocery store, and so on. You will basically be doing simple tasks that wouldn't get done otherwise.
  • Volunteer at Coats for Kids -The goal of Coats for Kids is, "They ensure that every child who needs a winter coat receives one." If your community does not already participate in the Coats for Kids Foundation, then YOU can get it
  • Volunteer at the animal shelter -They are always looking for people to walk dogs, feed the animals, clean up after the animals, and help the animals find new homes.

Now that you know the various ways to volunteer in your community, get going! Volunteering is a great way to feel good about yourself, release stress, and help others in the process. Once you see how rewarding it is to volunteer in your community, you may have a hard time deciding where to stop.