Baking Cookies: You could bake the cookies the night before so there’s less hassle the day of the party. Another option is to have everyone bring his or her own special batch of cookies so you have a variety of holiday cookies.
Decorating Stations: Have everyone pick a few cookies and set up stations so people can get up and move around to mingle with everyone. Set up an icing station with multiple icing colors in containers, a sprinkles space, and an area for miscellaneous cookie decorations.
Include the Kids: Set a table up just for the kids with all of the essential decorating tools in the middle so everyone can enjoy. If you keep the cookie decorations in one place it helps with the clean up, too. Put down a plastic tablecloth or one that you won’t mind getting a little dirty, just in case.
Adults Only: If you would prefer a more grown up approach to the cookie decorating party, just add a drink station for adults only.
Cookie decorating is fun for everyone! To make the party a little more interesting, have a prize for the best-decorated cookie at the end of the night. It’s always nice to see your friends and families’ creative talents on a delicious cookie that can be devoured in a few bites! We hope you’re enjoying this time of the year!
‘Tis the season to get ahead on your holiday decorating. It’s officially December and if you haven’t already started the home decorating process, here are just a few quick tips that may help you this year!
Make lists: Figure out what tasks you need to complete. Ask the kids what they want to do and make a to-do list for them. This will help you spread the joy and have everyone do a little something for the house.
Set Deadlines: Make each task in your list have a deadline. It’ll make the holiday decorating process a little less daunting, and it always feels good to complete something!
Plan ahead: Remember when you’re taking out all of the decorations for this holiday season, that you’ll need to put them back. Make it easy on yourself and make a note of where the decorations all go. After the season, remember what a pain it was taking everything out of their boxes and take the time to package them up the way you want.
Organize Decorations: Put them into piles according to which room they will go in and get the kids to help put them up! It’s great for you and makes it a family affair, which can eventually become a fun family tradition.
It’s a great time of the year so have fun with your decorating this year!
Imagining a new room or remodel is part of the fun. While choosing finishes and materials can be overwhelming at times, looking at samples can be one of the most enjoyable things about the design process. Walking into one of our stores is like walking into a candy store for a kid. There are so many beautiful options and infinite combination possibilities await.
If you are redoing a house, a room or just adding new flooring for the holidays, getting samples is a must. Having some idea of what you are looking for before you go to the store is also a must. Pull together ideas online on a Pinterest board, magazines, or create your own workbook here. Knowing what direction you want to go in will save you time and sometimes money on your project.
Setting a budget and accounting for overages should be done before you begin to look at materials. Most home projects will go over budget—so account for overages in your initial calculations. This is another reason samples are important. Being able to take home a carpet, wood floor, tile or even upholstery sample can save you time and money in the end. It allows you to visualize your room better. Making the wrong decision in material, size, or color can be an expensive error. If you want to decorate or remodel your home for holidays, we’ve got an amazing holiday offer going on now until December 9th, 2012! Here is more detailed information for your Holiday Home Makeover.
If you are working on multiple surfaces, pull all your samples together so you can see how the different materials work together or don’t work together. Paint, flooring, upholstery and tile samples can give you a sense of the overall design in a small format. You can also try out our Virtual Room Designer to help envision your room with all of these elements.
We can help get your house ready for the upcoming busy season so you can truly enjoy celebrating with loved ones! Even if you’re not planning on entertaining the whole gang this year, now, is still a great time to cross a few home maintenance items off of that list.
We’ve got a huge selection of in-stock materials and fantastic deals on the latest styles. Take a look at some of these fabulous deals:
- Up to 35% off NAFCO Permastone
- Only $.99 per sq. ft. on select Porcelain tiles
- 20% off Mohawk DuPont Sorona and Wear Dated carpet with purchase of Mohawk Smart Pad
- Get anywhere from 10%-20% off the entire line of Quickstep Laminate
- Our entire line of Dal-Tile products are 10% off
- Find a variety of Mohawk Hardwood up to 15% off
- Have a family meeting and decide where you will spend Thanksgiving and the winter holidays. Start checking travel sites to find the best prices on airfare and hotels.
- Make sure your family calendar is up to date. Most teachers are organized enough to tell you in advance when they need treats for Halloween parties, when the holiday concert has been scheduled and when the holiday vacation starts. Plan now for childcare during winter break.
- Make sure you know what your children want to be for Halloween. This will avoid the last minute scramble to the costume store.
- Think about holiday cards. If you want to send a family photo have it taken now instead of waiting until the last minute.
- Start planning your holiday budget so that you can stay on track. If you are on a budget, suggest a Secret Santa gift exchange with family, friends and colleagues.
- Start planning your Thanksgiving meal – if you are cooking. By planning ahead of time you can take advantage of sales in your local grocery stores.
- Pull out holiday decor and assess what to use or toss and replace. Shop sales to find new decorations.
- Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year, but you can find sales all the way to the big day. If you can find time during the weekday to shop do so – stores are less busy.
- Start wrapping gifts as soon as you buy them. You’ll keep little eyes from seeing gifts early.
- Make double batches of cookie dough. Now you have extra for holiday parties and school cookie exchanges.
- Think about sending your holiday cards on-line.
- Assess your holiday wardrobe. Plan outfits now so you won’t scramble later. Take clothes to the dry cleaner and have shoes repaired.
- Ship gifts. Skip the post office and schedule an at-home UPS pickup.
- Instead of throwing a holiday party, have a girls night out instead. Get mani-pedis, drink some bubbles and giggle with your best friends.
Finally, remember the holidays are a time to celebrate and enjoy your family. If you don’t bake all the cookies on your list, or your house isn’t Martha Stewart worthy – don’t worry.
Garages were created for cars, but people park a lot of other stuff there as well. Garden shovels, sports gear, pet supplies and anything else you don’t know where else to put. The catchall can quickly turn into a dumping ground, which is why organization is essential in any garage.
1. Climb the Walls
The first step toward creating a clutter-free garage is getting as many items as possible off the floor. Wall-mounted track systems are a big asset.
2. Systematize Storage
Think logically about what goes where on the track system. For example, in the summer, a beach chair will get more use than a snow shovel, so it hangs up front.
3. Revive Dead Space
Rather than ignore the narrow strip of wall between the garage doors, turn into a mini auto-care station. Two wall-mounted wire baskets contain assorted engine fluids, as well as a sponge, a squeegee, and other car-cleaning essentials. One of the metal receptacles is for trash from road trips, while the other will hold rock salt for icy mornings come winter.
Don’t forget to perk up the workshop part of the garage as well. This is the time to be sure it is equipped with sufficient electrical outlets for power tools and good lighting for doing projects:
1. Seeing Clearly
Add a new overhead cage fixture to illuminate the work area. Use an industrial lamp with an adjustable arm to deliver targeted task lighting.
2. Multiplying the Options
A wall-mounted track system adds three tiers of shelving for paint supplies. Folding sawhorses on the two bottom hooks open easily when duty calls.
3. Hanging Up Hand Tools
Peg-Board is practically synonymous with organizing.
4. Moving Around
A portable metal toolbox can be used at the workbench or rolled over to the automobiles when mechanical repairs are needed.
And viola – Dad now has a clean, organized and efficient garage. He’ll love it!
It’s Memorial Day weekend! While many of us are looking forward to marking the weekend with BBQ’s and camping trips, we would like to take a moment to honor and remember the men and women who have died while serving our country.
But first a history lesson - Memorial Day is a federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the Civil War to commemorate fallen Union soldiers. By the 20th century Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died in all wars.
On Memorial Day flags are raised to the top of the staff and then solemnly lowered to the half-staff position, where it remains only until noon. It is then raised to full-staff for the remainder of the day.
The half-staff position remembers the more than one million men and women who gave their lives in service of their country. At noon their memory is raised by the living, who resolve not to let their sacrifice be in vain, but to continue the fight for liberty and justice for all.
Memorial Day is a time we should be offering our most sincere thoughts and solemn promise to honor the service and sacrifice of those who serve, and to ensure that those who made the ultimate sacrifice did not do so in vain. This is the time to reflect on that while giving room in our hearts for healing and optimism about a future of better tomorrows.
We wish you and your family a wonderful weekend.
You could do the typical breakfast in bed, or brunch in an overcrowded restaurant. You could send her to the spa (never a bad option) or get her some flowers. Our suggestion this year, however, is to do something unexpected and something that will last for years and years.
Come by the store and let Mom pick out tile for a new kitchen backsplash, or new countertops in the bathroom.
You could finally tear out that old carpet and install hardwood or laminate flooring. Likewise you could replace the carpet with something luxurious and stain resistant.
You could promise to paint that accent wall that Mom has been wanting for years and years.
You could install a flagstone patio and brighten it with container gardens full of Mom’s favorite herbs. Or even just clean off the winter dust and debris and cook Mom an al fresco dinner.
You could power wash the outside of the house, and have the windows professionally cleaned. Window cleaning, we are sure, is not one of your mother’s favorite things to do.
Least of all because our mom’s are super busy, you could make her day by deep cleaning the house, or steam cleaning the carpets, or tackling those chores that she hates.
Whatever you decide to do, we wish your Mom Happy Mother’s Day!
If you are like most of us you may have hung your outdoor Christmas decorations over Thanksgiving weekend. Or maybe you didn’t. Maybe you put it off until now because you didn’t want to deal with the ladder, the weather and untangling the mess of lights from last year. There is no time like the present to overcome all of those obstacles and get the outside of your home looking perfect for the season.
Gather all the items you will need to begin your outdoor lighting project. The ladder, extension cords, timers, clips, hooks and clamps, power stakes, work gloves and a few basic tools like a hammer, a screwdriver and some pliers. It’s also a great idea to measure everything you want to adorn with lights. Also measure the distance to each power source. It’s a pain, but so worth it.
Decide where you want to hang your lights. Some of the most popular spots to hang lights are on the eaves of your home, or along your roofline. Atop bushes, hedges and trees. On pillars, posts and railings. Around windows and doorframes. Near driveways and pathways.
Unwrap all lights and untangle cords. Swear to yourself that this year you will put them away neatly. Test each light strand before you hang it. Replace burned out or missing bulbs. Toss any light strand with fraying cords. Hang your lights during the day as climbing a ladder in the dark is not very safe. If you can, bribe someone to be your partner. Hanging lights goes much faster with a buddy.
The rule of thumb for how many lights you need is 100 lights for every foot and a half that you want to cover. A 6-foot tree would therefore need 400 lights for the basic lighting. If you want to get a little more ‘blingy” you can double or even triple the amount of lights you use.
Should you need to purchase additional lights for you project make sure you pick outdoor lights, as indoor lights are not meant for the elements. If you can spring for LED lights you should. LEDs are more costly to purchase, but they’ll save you money in the long run. They’re 90% more energy-efficient and last thousands of hours longer than comparable incandescent bulbs. Icicle lights are great for rooflines and eaves. Net and blanket lights make it easy to cover bushes and shrubs.
Start high and work your way down. For safety reasons never connect more than three light strands together. After you’ve hung your third strand go back to your power source for your next set of lights. Use clips to attach lights whenever possible. Please don’t hammer or staple through cords as this can cause damage to the light strand.
And viola – you are no longer the only Grinch on the block without Christmas lights. Take your buddy out for a beer and breath of relief that your holiday decorating project is done.