5 Tips For Taking Care of Your Real Christmas Tree

There are still 3 weeks until Christmas. Make the most of your real tree (and make sure it lasts) with these great tips!

 

1 – Give it a fresh cut on the bottom. This will re-open the tree’s source of getting water.

 

2 – Keep it away from any heat sources. Being close to heat will force the tree to dry out prematurely.

 

3 – Make sure to check the tree’s water supply every day and water it each morning.

 

4 – There is no need to add anything else to the water. Plain water gives the tree everything it needs.

 

5 – Make sure your tree stand holds enough water. It should easily hold at least one gallon of water.

5 Ways to Improve Your Morning Routine

It’s fall….school is in full swing, schedules are back on track and we’re all waking up earlier. Still having a hard time adjusting to a morning routine? Try these tips and start feeling more like a morning person in no time.

1  – Make your bed immediately after getting out of it. That will decrease your chances of jumping back in after you’ve gotten up for the day. You’ll also feel tidier and more organized right away.

 

2 – Don’t waste time looking at your phone. If you lay in bed looking at your phone you’ll waste time you could have used to get yourself ready for the day. Leave the phone off or on silent until you’re ready to walk out the door.

 

3 – Have a coffee maker? Try adding your water and coffee to your machine the night before so all you have to do is press the start button after waking up. The smell of coffee will give you a much-needed boost of energy.

 

4 – Give yourself enough time. Instead of snoozing your alarm, make sure to give yourself enough time to not feel rushed. Read the newspaper or watch the news on TV before walking out the door. You’ll feel informed, relaxed and ready to start the day.

 

5 – Do a little cleanup. Put your dishes away, tidy the living room and clean the laundry off the floor. You’ll feel much better leaving a clean home than a messy one (that you’ll have to come home to later.)

6 Ways to Get Back in the “Back to School” Routine

Summer vacation is officially winding down. Soon it will be time to start setting alarms, packing lunches and sticking to stricter bedtime routines. It can be tough getting back in the swing of a schedule after spending the summer at home. Help your kids get ready for the upcoming school year with these tips…

 

1 – Start heading to bed earlier as a family. No more week nights of staying up late! Get the kid’s body’s used to a different and stricter sleep pattern now instead of later.

 

2 – Establish a place in your home that will be your student’s study space. This will be where they store their books and backpack and this is where homework will be done.

 

3 – Shop for lunch box essentials now. Start filling the pantry with items that you can easily pack for school lunch so you aren’t scrambling the night before school starts.

 

4 – Shop for school supplies together with your kids. Let them feel involved and excited by picking out their own backpacks and notebooks.

 

5 – Check with your school registrar to make sure all forms for enrollment are complete. You may need additional paperwork that you can start collecting now.

 

6 – Go over the school bus route so you and your children are comfortable with where they will get on and off the bus for school.

5 Tips for Setting a Table for a Dinner Party

Hosting a dinner party this weekend? Before you pull out the plates and flatware, keep reading to find our tips for setting the perfect dinner table for guests…

  1. Use a table covering of some sort (one that fits the theme of the night.) A tablecloth or table runner adds a beautiful touch to a standard dining table. Don’t have a table runner? A roll of brown craft paper can give a fun DIY touch to your table.
  2. Fill a glass water pitcher with cold water earlier in the day and pull it out to place on the table at dinner time. That way guests can refill their glass as needed.
  3. Try a fun napkin fold for the event! Watch this video here for some folding inspiration.
  4. Add the decor. Head to the local supermarket and get some fresh flowers to add to the table. Use small LED candles on the table as well to give your dinner a warm ambiance.
  5. Don’t forget about dessert! Save room on the table (and time) by plating your desserts ahead of time and keeping them in the kitchen. You can serve with coffee right after the meal.

5 Tips for Keeping Your New Year’s Resolutions

Whether you decided to eat healthier or keep your home clean and organized, keeping a resolution can be challenging. Before you start getting frustrated or thinking about throwing in the towel, check out these helpful tips!

 

1- Make your goal very specific. Instead of saying “I’m going to be healthy in 2018” make your goal more specific by saying “I’m going to exercise three times per week in 2018.”

2- If you need someone keeping tabs on you to keep you honest, make your goals and resolutions public. Share your goals on your social media account or with a friend and share your progress.

3- Reward charts aren’t just for kids. Make a chart that you can check off to keep organized. List all of your household cleaning chores and check them off as you complete them. Reward yourself with something special when you’ve completed everything.

4- Make your goals progressive. Instead of making one big goal to reach by the end of the year, make smaller goals that you’ll hit each quarter to build up to the bigger goal.

5- Don’t be too hard on yourself. If you slip back into old habits it’s okay. Don’t give up – you can always jump right back into a new lifestyle without ruining your plans for the year.

5 Tips for Wrapping Holiday Gifts

It’s time to pull out the scissors, tape and ribbon and start wrapping those holiday gifts! If you’re feeling overwhelmed or uninspired, read these tips before you start cutting that wrapping paper!

1.If you prefer using gift bags over wrapping with paper, make sure you have enough. Count the items you have and measure their sizes before heading to the store to purchase your bags. Don’t forget the tissue paper!

via boxandwrap.com

2. Now is a good time to create a gift wrapping storage solution if you haven’t already. Plastic bins or even garment bags make for great storage. Put your paper, scissors, tape, tags, ribbon and a pen in the bin or bag so you know where everything is.

via theorganizedmom.com

3. Rather than buy a bunch of different wrapping paper patterns, try using brown craft paper to wrap your gifts. Add color and patterns by choosing different colored ribbons to your brown packages.

via eighteen25.com

4. Try adding some unique additions to your packages like bells or greens. Tie them onto your ribbon for a fancy and impressive touch on your packages.

via makeanddocrew.com

5. If you purchased wrapping paper on rolls, put empty toilet paper or paper towel roll around your roll to avoid paper rolling open and getting ripped.

via thecheesethief.com

7 Tips for Setting A Thanksgiving Table

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and if you’re hosting you are probably busy with preparations! Your turkey is thawing, your vegetables are chopped, the house is clean….now it’s time to set the table! Read these tips before you start putting out your napkins and flatware…

  1. Iron your tablecloths and napkins the day before.
  2. Wash and set aside all of your flatware and glassware the night before. Make sure to dry everything so there aren’t any spots or watermarks.
  3. Consider using place cards. It makes things easier and it makes your dinner table much more personalized. Your guests will be happy that you’ve chosen a special place for them at your meal.
  4. Add some seasonal touches by putting centerpieces on your tables. Consider flowers, candles, pumpkins or faux leaves to give your table a festive look.
  5. Keep in mind that bread plates go on the left and drinks go on the right of each place setting.
  6. Wow your guests with a festive napkin fold! Try one of these ideas
  7. Make sure to have the guests water glasses filled before they sit down. Have a full water pitcher on hand in the fridge so you can easily refill.

6 Tips for Packing Away Summer Clothes

It felt like summer was planning to stick around forever this year (we’re not complaining) but the cooler temps are finally here! If you’re like us and still haven’t packed away your summer clothes now is the time. Follow these 6 steps to keep things as organized as possible.

  1. Wash and dry all of your clothes before packing them away so you can launder any stains.
  2. If you don’t have any, purchase some storage containers. Plastic bins or air tight bags are both great options for storing clothes.
  3. Choose your storage location. Whether it’s in your closet, your basement or under your bed, make sure the spot is cleaned and ready for your containers.
  4. Rolling your clothes will allow for more space in your containers and less wrinkles. Roll tightly and organize clothes by separating tops from bottoms.
  5. Top your clothes with some clean dryer sheets before sealing up the containers. Your clothes will smell fresh when you open them up next spring.
  6. Lastly, label your containers “summer clothes” so you can easily locate them when the weather turns warm again!

5 Things To Do Before Leaving on Vacation

Heading away for a summer trip? Here are some things you might want to consider doing besides packing your suitcase!

  1. Don’t announce when you’re leaving on social media. Friends aren’t always the only ones watching. Keep your home safe while you’re away by leaving your vacation plans offline.
  2. Ask a trusted neighbor to pickup your mail or packages. You don’t want to announce to everyone that you’re away by having fliers or packages building up!
  3. Make sure you’re not coming home to a big electric bill by unplugging all of your non-essential appliances.
  4. Empty out the fridge and the trash cans. There’s nothing worse than coming home to expired food and a full trash barrel in your home.
  5. Pay your bills! You don’t want to be relaxing on the beach only to remember you never paid your cable bill before you left. Make sure to organize payments and visit the post office before you head out.

6 Ways to Save on Your Next Summer Barbecue

With July 4th right around the corner, we’re officially in “summer barbecue season!” Don’t break the bank by hosting an outdoor party with your friends this year. Follow these great, money-saving tips to have fun and stick to your budget.

 

  1. Don’t offer too many different meat options. Stick with two choices for your guests instead of spending the money of several different grilled choices.

 

  1. Make a punch or signature drink and put it in a punch bowl or large drink container. That way you aren’t buying ingredients to make all different types of summer cocktails.

 

  1. Make enough food but not TOO much food. Ask guests to RSVP so you know how much food to prepare without overspending.

 

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask guests to bring something. If someone offers to bring an appetizer or dessert let them!

 

  1. Use a beverage stand and fill it with ice water for your guests. This is a cheaper option than offering bottled water.

 

  1. Borrow items from your friends. Don’t purchase any extra coolers or chairs for the party when your friends can bring theirs along.