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Yes, the holidays are drawing near which means casual gatherings and holiday dinners. Whether you entertain a lot or a little, having a well-stocked home can take a lot of the stress out of party planning. So I have done all the work for you. Being proactive rather than reactive (I say this to my kids a lot) is the key to making the most out of the upcoming Entertaining Season.
I also selected accessories that are versatile and can be used all year round. Tans, creams, and touches of metallics, making it easy to incorporate new themes throughout the year; whether adding touches of orange and yellow leaves in the bud vases, or incorporating berry sprigs in the tall vases- it will be easy to swap out the seasons with this shopping list (click on the images below to purchase)
My Must-Haves For Holiday Entertaining:
Did I miss anything? Share your own entertaining essentials in the Comments!
I think we've all done it, you know, go on that much needed vacation to get recharged then start taking mental notes of all the exciting things you plan on implementing into your daily life once you arrive home. There is just something about changing the scenery for a week or two that makes us ready and excited for change. Perhaps it's the break away from work and how it makes you reflect on how much time you spend away from your spouse and children. So you tell yourself that as soon as you get home you won't go to the office on your days off like you used to, and you'll spend more quality time with your family. Or maybe you are finally able to relax while on vacation and as soon as you get home you'll carve out more "me-time" in your daily life. Whether it's a monthly trip to a masseuse, more reading, or even meditating more- but then we actually get home and reality sets in. And we end up doing the exact opposite of what we intended to do.
We go back to work, we go back to the same routines, and vacation becomes a distant memory. We end up getting stressed out, forget about that masseuse appointment because you've got meetings and deadlines, kid's school projects to help with, things begin to pile up and you don't have any "me-time". Before you know it your cup is overflowing and you are ready for another vacation...the cycle just repeats.
But what if there were a way we could make our vacation more intentional and nurture our entire lives (not just the week you're there)? This is where I really had to be mindful of what I wanted to get out of my vacations once I arrived home, but there are some things I needed to do before I left for my vacation as well. One of the biggest things I realized was the first day or two of my return are just as important as the week away. Honoring this transitional time is essential, not only for integrating all the nourishment I received on vacation, but also to ensure that my energy tanks remain full and it continues to support me as I move back into my day to day life.
How To Create A Safe Landing Arriving- Home Routine!
1. Give Yourself a “Buffer” Day
You can’t expect yourself to go straight from the beaches of St. Thomas to doing the normal hustle and grind in just one day — at least if you want to hold onto some of the beauty, peace, and relaxation you cultivated while you were away.
If you know you need to be back at work on Monday morning, plan to arrive home Saturday night, so you have one day to settle in, exhale, and get ready for “normal life” to resume. Traveling is stressful, and I won't even get into how hard it is when you are traveling with children — even if you relaxed on your vacation. We all experience that natural “dip” in our energy and mood after the happy change of pace from being away.
Use your “Buffer Day" as a time to just unwind, readjust, and reflect on the experience you just had.
2. Unpack those Bags!
I am definitely not that person who leaves my suitcase around for two or three weeks, after a vacation! (Nor do I let my children!)
I have learned: it’s SO important to unpack your bag as soon as you get home. When you leave it lying around, the truth is…. part of you is in denial that you are still on that beach in St. Thomas!
Unpacking closes the energy of a trip and helps your body and mind settle back into home-life. You are able to transition easier to real-life too!
3. Love & Clean Up Your Space
Like I stated before, there is a natural dip in our energy when we arrive home from a vacation. You may even get a little depressed (my husband is the worst, he actually sulks for days after we arrive home) Making sure your home is a beautiful place that you truly love makes everything so much better! After all: when your home’s a wreck, and you have nothing to look forward to, depression is a pretty normal response.
I ALWAYS clean my house before we leave for vacation.. But if you've ever left the mess for a week only to arrive back home to it- well, that is definitely not going to help your "end of vacation blues" I do all the laundry, wipe down the kitchen counters, make sure there are no dirty dishes left out, vacuum, make the beds...I think you get it. I make sure everything as beautiful as I can for when I arrive home.
Whatever you need to feel in love with your space, and focus on what’s great about being home.
4. Immerse Your Life with Vacation Lessons
I believe it’s so important to honor the beautiful experiences in our lives, and find ways to carry them forward with us — in our hearts and in our homes.
One way I do this is with my gratitude journal. I even bring it with me on vacation. I take a few moments every day to write not only bout what I am grateful for, but three feelings I experienced that day. You can also journal about what you loved most about your vacation, what you did to relax...make a list … and then, ask yourself…. “How can I create these feelings in my home and life right now?” Think about the areas of your life where you lose touch with these precious priorities, the daily thing in your life you can be grateful for. Come up with a few simple, creative ways to connect your vacation-world and home-world.
Your home can be beautiful support for this process as well! I always buy artwork from every trip we take, but you can pick a souvenir or photo from your trip that most exemplifies one of these qualities. Place it in a spot you’re likely to see, everyday. This will remind you of what matters most … and keep you connected to the beauty and experiences of your vacation, long after the sand is out of your shoes.
I meet a lot of people when I'm staging homes who are in the process of downsizing. Most of the Sellers I meet are choosing to downsize because of a desire to live simpler, wanting a low-maintenance lifestyle. Even though a lot of people choose to downsize at some point in their life, there are still some helpful tips to help with the transition. This week our favorite guest blog contributor, Alice Robertson with tidyhome.com shares what NOT to do when you are downsizing. While downsizing ultimately can ease your lifestyle, the process of moving can be pretty darn stressful and complicated. The last thing you want to do is complicate things even more by going about it all the wrong way. Here’s how to avoid some common mistakes homeowners make when they’re preparing for a downsize.
Consider All Your Needs
When it comes to downsizing, one of the biggest hiccups for some homeowners is not taking all their
needs into account. It’s easy to get caught up in finding size and value and forget some basics. With that in mind, make some notes of your non-negotiables.
For example, if you have a busy family or canine companion, a fenced yard might be on your list of must-haves. If you expect to add onto your family in the way of a baby, or by taking in an older family member, a flex room might make your list. Along those same lines, if aging in place is on your wishlist, consider looking for a home that is well-suited to senior-friendly modifications.
Broaden Your Search
In addition to thinking in terms of current and future needs, older adults might wish to contemplate a different kind of downsize, especially if they have any mobility or health concerns. If you don’t have family close by and you want to enjoy as much independence as possible, an assisted living community could make an ideal transition.
Assisted living communities are designed to promote as much self-sufficiency as you wish, paired with the support you need. Staff can help you with things like dressing and bathing, as well as provide some great amenities like transportation services and group events. You can begin your search online, then tour communities that make the cut. In terms of cost, keep in mind that the median monthly rent in Colorado Springs is about $1,235, which might be a deciding factor for you when looking into assisted living.
Less Space, Less Stuff
No matter what your other search criteria is, by the very nature of downsizing you can expect to have less room for your belongings when you move. Unfortunately, many homeowners don’t part ways with enough things prior to the move. In order to make things go smooth as silk, it’s important to do some decluttering with your smaller space in mind.
Sorting your stuff can be really hard! Many people get hung up on things due to a sense of obligation or concern that something will come in handy “someday.” To help with the process, The Mostly Simple Life recommends keeping one big question in mind as you declutter your belongings: “Would I buy this again today?” If the answer is no, it’s time to part ways.
Another space-related concern many homeowners overlook specifically pertains to furniture. Sure, you intend to enjoy lounging on a couch in your new place, but will your big, overstuffed sectional fit into the new, smaller living room? You might want to give up some bigger pieces and invest in some new, smaller furnishings to comfortably outfit your downsized home. To help you sort things out, there are free apps you can use to organize your layout in the new space.
Allow Ample Time
Moving is time-consuming, and many homeowners don’t allow enough time to get everything done. If you have a lot of decluttering to do, you’ll need to pad your timeline to allow for that process, as well as enough time for packing. Unless you’re planning a DIY move, you’ll need to contact movers a couple of months prior to your moving date as well. To ensure you stay on track, use a week-by-week moving checklist from My Moving Reviews.
Downsizing can be a fabulous transition when handled properly. Take all your needs into account, remember you won’t have as much room, and allow enough time to accomplish your to-do list before you move in. And after you’re settled into your new home, make it look the best it can be by hiring an interior decorating company. Toscano Interiors takes your wellness into account and works to boost the mind, body, and spirit through their interior decorating efforts.
This week my focus is making the most out of small spaces, and here with another guest article from Alice Robertson with Tidy Home Co. She is such a delight and savvy when it comes to using your small spaces in a more functional way, and let's not forget...still making a statement!
Over the course of time, we all seem to accumulate a lot of “stuff.” If your belongings are starting to pile up, or if you just could use a little more elbow room, some clever storage tricks can be the key to a more comfortable house. Here are smart strategies to help make the most of the space you have so you can have a home that’s tidy and efficient.
Look at the Big Picture
When it comes to making the most of your available space, it’s important to take a hard look at your entire abode. Whether you live in a small house or your home simply lacks storage, examining the space throughout can help you find the answers to your issue. Think in terms of evaluating every square inch — from the basement to the garage and everything in between — so you can best maximize your property’s potential. HomeAdvisor offers some excellent tips and resources for organizing your entire home.
Clear Up Your Clutter
One of the first steps toward getting more organized is to eliminate the things you don’t use. As you go through your home, you’ll want to look at items with the mindset of three sorting categories: items to keep, items to sell or give away, and items that need to be discarded. If you have things you’re on the fence about, you can always store them off-site while you contemplate life without them. Having those items elsewhere is a great way to test drive whether you really miss them. Or, if the job is simply unwieldy and you don’t have room for everything, you can book a self-storage unit while you pursue in-home storage solutions. A 5’x5’ storage unit in Colorado Springs can be rented for as low as $35 a month at Mini U Storage - Motor City.
Cupboards and Cabinetry
Making the most of the storage built into your home can be a huge boost in helping you get organized and stay on top of your storage concerns. Examine your kitchen and bathroom cabinets for opportunities to be more efficient. Put your commonly used items where they are handy, and use totes for cleaning supplies so you can grab them as you need them. You can set up separate totes for your various jobs, such as a bathroom cleaning tote and a kitchen cleaning tote, and keep them near where you will use them. Keep enough supplies handy to do what you need, but don’t purchase an abundance and have them taking up valuable storage space.
Make areas that are inefficient more useful with shelves, totes, or storage bins (can be purchased for $11.34). Lazy-susans and pull-out shelves can make deep, low-level areas more accessible, helping you reach and use the items you store there. Keep similar items together, such as dry goods together on their shelves, so you know where to look for them. In the bathroom, keep hair supplies in one area, first aid in a special tote or container, and makeup in an appropriate bag.
Are your closets cramped, dark, and disorganized? Most traditionally structured closets just have a bar for your wardrobe and a shelf overhead, which makes poor use of the space. Installing a closet system can help you get on top of the clutter and help you keep your clothing tidier. If funds are tight, consider checking thrift shops and second-hand stores for shallow bookcases or dressers you can slide inside your closets. Pretty them up with trim, paint, and shelf paper. It’s an inexpensive solution that can help optimize your space, and you will enjoy seeing your handiwork when you’re preparing for the day.
If your home doesn’t provide much in the way of closets, attic space, or other ready storage, adding attractive, built-in structures like open shelving and cabinets can put otherwise useless wall space to work. Pick up some bookcases and paint them all the same shade to make the most of small areas, or for an eclectic look, try a few hues that pull together your color scheme. Install attractive boxes and totes on the shelves, or along those same lines, you can hang boxes directly on your walls if floor space is already occupied. In your garage and basement, you can search salvage yards for second-hand cabinets to add better organization, and add storage protected from pests and weather changes. A good scrubbing and a coat of paint can turn even ugly and worn cabinets into useful and attractive storage solutions. Here are some more great closet organization tips from Modular Closets.
Double Duty Furniture
A great way to make the most of your belongings is to find furniture that can pull double duty. Instead of buying a traditional bed, purchase a platform bed with drawers underneath (you can buy a bed with drawers for $499.99). Turn a vintage trunk into your coffee table, or stack old suitcases next to the sofa so they can multitask as your end table. Look for desks and tables with drawer space, and opt for ottomans with hidden compartments. Rather than letting clutter accumulate on horizontal surfaces, add attractive trays and totes to keep things sorted.
Even homes with limited square footage or minimal storage can stay neat, tidy, and functional. Look for ways to make the most of the space you have, and create more storage where you need it. With clever strategies, you can keep ahead of your clutter and enjoy a more comfortable, efficient, and attractive home.
All this talk about how much trouble our environment is in, had me moving towards making some of my own personal changes in how I waste less not just in my personal home but at the store as well. As we continue to move our company towards a more "greener" or conscious approach to doing things, you can imagine how excited I must have been when I discovered a better alternative to paint disposal.
We've all been there, many of us have unused paint cluttering our basement or garage just waiting to never be used again. I have an entire cabinet full of old paints! If finding creative ways to use up leftover paint is not up your alley, instead of just leaving the paint to collect dust, the best option is to recycle it.
PaintCare is the paint recycling program in Colorado that makes it easy for consumers and businesses to drop off their unused, unwanted paint for free recycling at more than 150 participating locations, 13 of which are located in Colorado Springs.
The drop-off sites are located mostly at paint and hardware stores. Paint drop-off sites accept all paint brands, regardless of when or where they were purchased as long as the paint is still in its original container with an original label on it. Items that can be dropped off include most house paints, primers, stains, sealers, and clear top coatings (varnish and shellac). Drop-off sites are open year-round during each retail location’s regular business hours.
PaintCare’s partners then transport the collected paint from the drop-off sites to processing facilities, where it is remixed into recycled-content paint, used as fuel, made into other products or, in the case of some unrecyclable paint, it will be dried out and properly disposed.
So, next time you think about tossing your leftover paint in the trash, take it to a PaintCare drop-off site to be recycled instead.
For more information about PaintCare and to find a PaintCare drop-off site near you, visit www.paintcare.org.
Author, Candance Toscano
"You can design the life of your dreams and acquire that luxurious, fulfilled and empowered lifestyle you know you have always wanted."
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