Household Hacks to Help You Prepare for Holiday Guests

household hacks

If you’re packing away your summer wardrobe and breaking out the fleece, the holiday season is probably not far behind. If your home is going to be the hub of activity with friends and family from out-of-town, you probably want to prepare your dwelling for the influx of guests. The following are household hacks to help you prepare for your loved ones.

Spruce Up Your Décor

The upcoming holidays are the ideal time for you to gather with family and friends. If you’re housing guests from out-of-town for an extended period of time, you may need to prepare your dwelling for your company. Although you may not have sufficient time to redecorate your kitchen, bathroom or bedroom, there are ways you can easily brighten up your space. In the bedroom, swap out dull comforters and linens with something vibrant, warm and seasonal. You can create a cozy environment with scented candles in the bath and guest rooms. New throws, pillows and plush towels are other luxurious touches your guests are sure to welcome.

household hacks

Prepare Your Home’s Exterior

You want your main focus to be on spending time with loved ones over the holidays. To prevent household problems from occurring, you want to prepare your home’s exterior properly. A roofing company can prevent leaks by inspecting your roof for signs of damage such as curling or missing shingles. If they find problematic areas, have them repaired by the experts immediately to avoid water damage to your home’s interior. Since your guests will be coming and going, you want to boost your exterior lighting. Inspect lights for missing or burnt bulbs. If your exterior is dimly lit, add outdoor light by changing to bulbs with extra wattage. You can also easily install ground lighting with the plug-in varieties or solar powered units. Shovel walks immediately after it snows and apply salt.

Make Your Entryway Inviting

Whether your guests have been to your home before or not, you want them to feel welcome the instant they pull up to the front. Before your guests arrive, prepare your dwelling for holiday guests by organizing your entryway. Add seasonal decorations such as a door wreath or welcome mat. A coat rack placed at the entry provides a neat place for your guests to hang their winter outwear. Fresh holiday flowers give your home a colorful boost, and they smell nice.

Give Your Home the Smell Test

Although you may not notice household odors, your guests may be sensitive to certain smells. If you have dogs or cats, freshen up your dwelling by setting your air filtration system to high. You can also open the windows and doors to air out your entire home. If your dwelling still needs some assistance, light scented candles or place cinnamon sticks and water in a saucepan and heat on the stove top.

Take Inventory

Holiday guests may be staying anywhere from a couple days to a week or more. Before your guests arrive, you want to take inventory of cupboards, closets and dressers. Because you don’t want family members to live out of their suitcase, you want to make room for their clothing, toiletries and other personal belongings. Once your guests arrive, show them where they can set up house and hang their wardrobe. If you don’t have sufficient room, you may want add more storage units by way of additional hangers, trunks or dressers.

Add Personal Touches

Simple personal touches can make your out-of-town guests feel like a million bucks. You can put together the ideal guest room with a supply of reading material on the nightstand. Set out fluffy robes and slippers to help them unwind after a long day of merriment. Place a basket with shampoos, lotions, soaps, hand towels and other essentials to pamper your guests. Snacks such as nuts, cheese and cracker packets, fruit and fresh baked cookies placed in their room can tide them over until meal time.

household hacks

Offer Privacy

With ongoing celebrations and indulgences, your guests may not want to be on the go continuously. To ensure that they don’t get overtired, offer them privacy where they can unwind. Place a T.V. in the bedroom, so they can watch their shows and relax. You can also allow your guests time to take a nap, rest or catch up on emails. When they are ready to be part of the action again, they will know where to find you.

As a hostess, you may be anxious at the thought of housing guests. But if you’ve invited family from out-of-town to stay with you during the holidays, you’ll be able to ensure that they feel welcome by following the above household hacks.

5 Tips to Personalizing Today’s Modern Wedding

Weddings in the past were typically planned focusing on the family, friends and other guests invited to the celebration. If you’re looking to personalize your own special day, the following are tips to help today’s modern couples plan a wedding based on who you are, and your mutual interests.


modern wedding


Say Goodbye to the Past

Traditional weddings in the past were often planned with the other guest’s best interests at hand. If you were hosting a wedding for a large group of people, a setting that could hold a sit-down dinner was probably the best option. But modern-era couples see their wedding as a once-in-a-lifetime experience. That’s why most brides and grooms aren’t afraid to ditch past traditions in favor of things that are near and dear to them.

Find a Venue with Meaning

Firstly, locating a venue is a great time for couple’s to reflect on their shared interests. If you’re looking for something carefree and romantic, you may choose to share your nuptials on a sandy beach at sunset. A Los Angeles wedding venue is home to some of the most picturesque weddings for those in search of an elegant ballroom setting. By making the right modernized room selection, you’ll be able to convert your personalized vision into lasting memories that you’ll be able to carry with you far into your future. If your personality is fun-loving, you may want to exchange marriage vows next to the primate house at your local zoo.

Cater to Your Own Food Preferences

Between gluten-free, vegetarian and no-carb food diets, couples today may go crazy selecting the ideal food preferences for their wedding day. While couples in the past would appeal to their guests palates, today’s modern couple is leaning toward their own personal preferences. If you’re into simple fare, sliders, fries and hot dogs may be the right menu. If you want a fancier selection, lobster, steak and chicken are excellent choices. If you have a lot of guests with dietary restrictions, you could also offer a few vegetarian options that are pleasing to both bride and groom. Your cake selections should also be designed with your own tastes in mind. You could also offer cookies, pastries and gelato if you want to forego the traditional wedding cake.

Choose Songs Based on Your Journey as a Couple

Choosing a band or DJ is usually more complicated than the venue and food planning. While couples in the past typically selected music that catered to each generation of guests, couples are now leaning toward song selections based on their journey. From slow and fast to jazzy and silly, the music you choose should be about having a great time throughout the evening.

Wedding Attire That’s Both Stylish and Comfortable

Wedding attire for the wedding couple has evolved over the years. While some have worn vintage clothing passed down from generation to generation, the attire may be far from stylish and comfy. If you’re looking to make the wedding your own, it’s ok to find items that cater to your personal looks and comfort level. If you’re hosting a party on the beach, sandals, shorts and tank dresses are a unique option. If you want to wear a traditional gown, opt for comfort by pairing the dress with cushy tennis shoes. Brides also are no longer restricted to white as their dress choice. Soft pinks and warm beiges are other popular wedding dress colors. Whatever you decide to wear, make sure the outfits are a reflection of your own personality.

So much thought and effort goes into creating the perfect wedding day. But if you’re looking to feed on the desires and needs of you and your partner, you want to plan a personalized wedding celebration that shows your guests who you are and how you’ve evolved as a couple.

10 Inspirational Ideas For Mother’s Day Gifts From Young Children

Are you planning a gift for your mum from your children? Are you looking for inspiration to treat your wife this Mother’s Day? If so, look no further. Here are ten ideas to get your thoughts flowing and ensure that special somebody enjoys a memorable day.

1.Handmade cards

Cards are a staple for Mother’s Day, and a handmade card is a thoughtful way of showing gratitude and love. Let your child get messy and create a masterpiece on a piece of card. Once dry, encourage them to write a message or draw a picture inside if they’re only little.

2. A framed painting

Mothers love their children’s artwork and a framed print is a classy way of showing off your little treasure’s talents. Choose a frame, which suits the décor of your home and ask your child to provide some details about what the picture is and what it means to them. As it’s Mother’s Day, it may be a nice idea to encourage them to draw a picture of their mummy.

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3. A night off

Looking after children is tiring work and treating your partner or your mum to a night off will be greatly appreciated. Offer to babysit for the evening, run a bath with candles and a glass of rose and let them relax in complete tranquility. If you’re buying for your wife and your mother-in-law, you could book them a table at a local restaurant for dinner.

4. Photographs

Mums adore flicking through photos of their little ones, so why not frame a few old photos or make an album. You could also arrange for some professional photographs to be taken and then buy some of the prints and frame them as a gift.

5. An indulgent facial

Sleepless nights and stressful days can take their toll on your skin, and a facial is an ideal treat for tired mums. Book a session at a beauty salon or buy a voucher so that they can choose which kind of facial they would prefer. Not only will their skin feel revived and rejuvenated, but they will enjoy a lovely relaxing hour of peace and quiet.

6. Hand-picked flowers

Venture out into the garden and allow your child to pick some flowers. Place them in a vase together and let them hand them over to mum or grandma. Wildflowers have a rustic charm, and your child will be proud as punch that they have been involved in making the gift. Flowers are among the most popular Mother’s Day presents, but they never go out of fashion. A homemade arrangement is that little bit more spectacular.

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7. Breakfast in bed

Nothing paves the way for a great day like breakfast in bed. Help your little one arrange a tray and carry it up for them, ready to present. Easy meals for kids to prepare include pancakes and fresh strawberries and croissants with butter and jam.

Breakfast in Bed
Image credit: Andy Wright –

8. Bespoke pots

Visit a pottery studio and let your child create plates and pots imprinted with their handprints and footprints. Write your own message for a personalised present, which will hopefully stand the test of time. With the help of the professionals, you can make all kind of gifts, such as flower pots, egg cups and breakfast bowls.

9. Family day out

If you’ve been short on time recently and you’ve not had chance to spend much time together, a family day out is a fantastic idea. Hit the beach if the weather is nice or go wildlife spotting at the zoo. If it’s raining, head to the bowling alley or visit the aquarium. Enjoy lunch or dinner out so you don’t have to worry about wasting time washing up, and round the day off snuggled up on the couch with a movie and some popcorn.

movie night
Image credit: Ginny –

10. Shopping vouchers

Mums tend to spend a lot of time shopping for others and vouchers give them an excuse to treat themselves. Choose their favourite shops and arrange childcare for them so that they can enjoy an afternoon of retail therapy with their friends. You could also indulge them with a meal and a cocktail if you’re feeling generous!

If you’re searching for inspiration for the ideal Mother’s Day gift this year, why not take these ideas into consideration? Have a browse around and listen out for hints. Think about your partner or mum’s interests and ambitions and use them as a starting point. Make the most of your child’s creativity and add a personal touch to make presents unique.

Throw a Big Party on a Small Budget

The festive party season is here! There will be a lot of parties going on for the holidays, and you may even be hosting your party. At this time of year, things can be quite expensive, so you don’t want to add more expense as your party. Here are a few tips and tricks to make sure that your party is awesome, but saves on the cash.

Set a Budget

One of the first things to do is to set a budget. But you have to stick to it! That is the only way to guarantee that you will only spend what you can. Add up the cost of decorations, food and drink and see where you are at. Does it cost more than you had hoped? You could use some of the money saving options below, or think about inviting fewer people.

Bring a Bottle

One of the big expenses at parties is food and drink. One way to cut down on the cost of drinks is to make it a bring your own bottle party. When guests ask what they should bring, don’t just say ‘yourself’. Be sure to let them know they need to bring a bottle of wine or soft drink that they love. This will save on cash but also on stress for you. You don’t want to be worrying that you won’t have enough drinks. Or worse, that no one will like the ones that you’ve chosen.

This also extends to food too. Why not throw a potluck style party? All guest are to bring a favourite dish to share. Again, this saves on cash for you but makes guest aware of the layout. It puts the pressure on them to make sure they bring something they will enjoy eating, rather than you catering for it all. You don’t want to be planning a New Year party and be running around like a headless chicken, making canapes or cupcakes!



If it is fairly informal, there probably isn’t much need for invites. If they are something that you want to send, could you make the invites yourself? Having them printed can cost a lot. Another thought is designing them yourself online and emailing them over. Paperless is always a good option. Have a think about what would work best for you and your guests.


Where you host the party can be one of the biggest expenses. Unless you know someone with a large marquee or event hall that you could use cheaply, the lowest cost option is to go for a party at home. It will save a lot! The only problem with that is the cleaning and tidying afterwards. Make sure you are prepared with plenty of black garbage sacks and clear as you go, during the party. Guests will be happy to help you in this. You just need to make it obvious where you want all the rubbish to go.

I hope that these tips are useful to you as you plan parties this season. Good luck and enjoy your party!

The Only Way to Shine on Your Wedding Day

All brides want to shine on their wedding day. They want a literal yellow glow to encase them for the whole of their big day. Unfortunately, you can’t carry a special torch with you to create this glow. It just wouldn’t fit in. You can, however, make sure you look spectacular and give yourself a metaphorical glow. Want to know how? Look no further!


All Eyes on the Bride
Image credits to: stephanie carter on Flickr –


Practice Your Hair and Makeup

If you’re not used to doing your hair and makeup, you need to get a lot of practice in before the big day. There are lots of ways you could do this: you could go for a makeup and hair lesson at a salon, for instance. If you haven’t got the budget for this, there are all kinds of tutorial videos and blogs online that could give you some amazing tips to try out. Even if you consider yourself to be an intermediate when it comes to doing hair and makeup, wedding hair and makeup is totally different. It’s definitely not the same as getting ready to go to the office or for a night out with the girls! You want to look different on your wedding day. Special. Make sure you practice enough!


Hire a Professional You Trust

If you don’t want to do everything outlined above, your only other option is to hire a professional you trust. I always recommend having a trial before the big day, so you know for sure whether you’ll like what the therapist has in mind. You might think that you’ll like something on paper, when in actual fact you might hate it on the day.


Wear Jewelry That Suits You

Finding jewelry that suits you is an important part of your big day. It should suit your features and your coloring for the best effect. For example, if you have a slender neck and decolletage that you’d like to show off, you could buy a nice necklace. If you’re having a fancy up do, you could wear a special pair of earrings. To suit your coloring, find out whether silver, rose, or gold metal suits your skin, hair, and eyes best. If you pick the right jewelry this way, you’ll definitely shine. Your wedding jewelry should match your rings too. For diamond rings in Houston click here to get ideas. The most important thing is that you feel comfortable in your jewelry!


Pamper Yourself

Take extra time in the weeks leading up to your wedding to pamper yourself. Make sure you have a great skincare routine, and moisturize your skin to give it a real shine. You could also use a hair treatment to get your hair in the best ever condition.


Smile and Be Confident

Don’t forget to smile and feel confident on your big day. Confidence will radiate out of you, so make sure you project that feeling even if you don’t usually.


Use this guide and you’ll look like a goddess on the most special day of your life!