Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Football and Fun

The countdown is over! It's football season! Whether you cheer for the local team, your home team, or just any team that's playing - football season is a great time to get together with family and friends.

All a party really needs is the fellowship of family and friends but if you do want to get a little more involved there are so many great ideas for football theme food and decor.

A little green and white icing can go along way to making cupcakes into game day dessert fun!

Set up some cheese, crackers and pepperoni in a strategic football shape for a little fun!

Shop at the local party story for football theme decor and plates.

Construction paper and glue can make regular paper bags into fun party favors.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Planning Your Guest Room

Entertaining is one of the great benefits of being a homeowner. Whether you have good friends from across the country or family visiting for the holidays - a guest room is an essential part of your home. Here's how to extend your hospitality through your accommodations in the best way possible.

Guest Room Essentials:

  • Fresh bedding and extra blankets
  • Lighting and alarm clock close to the bed
  • Trash can
  • Fluffy towels
  • Space for suitcases or hanging clothes
Nice Extras:

  • A creatively display with the wi-fi network and password information
  • Candles and matches
  • Bottled water
  • A luggage rack
  • Magazines or books
  • Tissues
  • Fresh flowers or plant
What do you have in your guest room? Any ways to make them feel extra welcome?

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Don't Overlook These Hidden Costs!

One of the more talked about reasons against buying new is the higher price tag. Typically buying new does cost more than a used home.  But as we'll see below - there is good reason!

The major systems and appliances in your home have a lifespan.  While you may pay less with a used home up front - you could end up paying each year to repair and replace appliances that would have been brand new! Plus the majority of appliances and systems in a new home come with warranty protection!

Here's an idea of how long most systems and appliances last.
  1. Air Conditioner - Typically lasts 10-15 years and can cost $4500-$5500 to replace.
  2. Dishwasher - Lasts around 9 years - $400-$600 to replace
  3. Toilet - Life expectancy of 10 years - $300-$400 to replace
  4. Refrigerators - One of the most expensive appliances lasts about 15 years - thousands to replace
  5. Hot Water Heater -Lasts about 10 years costs over $700 to replace
Have the systems and appliances in a used home been maintained properly to ensure maximum life expectancy? Do you have money saved for when these appliances need repair or replacing?  These are important questions to consider when deciding on a new or used home.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Home Organization for Back to School

Goodbye summer and hello new school year! It seems to sneak up on us faster and faster each year but it's time to put the flip flops away and get out the backpacks.  You've survived the tax-free shopping frenzy and are ready to build a new routine to help your kids do their best this Fall.

There are ways you can organize and prepare your home to help with the transition back to school. Here are just a few ideas to make the new school year a stress-free and fun time for the whole family!

1. Use closet space wisely by choosing all your child's outfits for the week on Sunday and hanging them up in a separate area of the closet. This will make picking out clothes for the day one less battle that needs to be fought on those busy mornings.

2. Set up a command center with room for all the school papers, homework assignments and reminders as they come in the house.  

3. Use hooks and baskets to store backpacks and misc school items when your kids first come in the door. Keeping everything in one place will make it easier to find on the way out the door.

4.  Create a homework station somewhere quiet with all the necessary supplies including paper, pens, sticky notes and snack tray!

5.  Pack up lunch snacks and drinks in advance the weekend before.  Use baskets to organize sweets, snacks, utensils and drinks.  The only night before prep needed will be the sandwich!

What do you do to help your child prepare for back to school?

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Create a Healthier Home

Your home is your oasis - keep it healthy and clean with these simple steps.  You'll improve your family's health while saving money and living better!

  1. Use door mats on both sides of your exterior doors. This helps to trap bacteria, allergens, and chemicals before they enter your home.
  2. Filter your drinking water and be sure to regularly replace those filters.
  3. When cooking be sure to use your range hood fan. This will help lower the humidity that mold and bacteria love to grow in.  Similarly run the bathroom fan for 20 minutes after showering for the same purpose.
  4. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter to pick up more dust and allergens.
  5. Potted plants are a natural way to filter the air and remove toxins. Look for Spider Plants, Aloe Vera, English Ivy or Bamboo Palms.
  6. Sanitize bacteria hot spots such as door knobs, children's toys, phones, remotes and computer keyboards.
  7. Dust with a microfiber or wet cloth in order to trap particles and keep them from spreading.
  8. Purchase washable shower curtains instead of curtains made with vinyl that can contain harmful chemicals.
  9. Opt for natural cleaning products whenever possible - such as vinegar and water.
  10. Open the windows on a nice day. Outside air is much cleaner and will get rid of some inside toxins that float around.

What do you do to keep your home healthy and clean?