Tips

Stress-free Holidays

Stress-free Holidays

Can you believe the holidays are already almost here? The day after Halloween, and stores are stocking Christmas trees and holiday music is on the radio. You haven’t even had time to take the spiderwebs and pumpkins down, and it is already time to plan for the holidays. Make this year’s holiday stress free when you entertain by remembering a few simple ideas. Have a plan. As basic as this sounds, having a plan and writing it down can be the difference between being calm or feeling frazzled during the holidays. Whether you have agreed to host the formal family dinner or a neighborhood cookie exchange, planning it out will make your life much easier. If you are hosting a holiday dinner, make a list of your guests, any food allergies, the menu you want to serve, and the decorations you want to have in place for the day. If you are in charge of a neighborhood cookie exchange or cocktail party, make a list of guests, send out invites, and plan on some fun icebreakers or a White Elephant gift exchange. Think outside the box. If the typical holiday party feels too stressful for you, plan something totally different. Keep it simple, but fun. Think about doing candy cane martinis and an ornament exchange. Get a bunch of neighbors together for a wrapping party, where everyone knocks out their gift wrapping over spiked hot chocolate and peppermint bark. Hire neighborhood teens to watch the younger kids so that the parents can all go out for a holiday dinner- no intensive cooking or cleaning involved. Enlist help. A large...
Seven Important Things When Shopping for a New Home

Seven Important Things When Shopping for a New Home

With its majestic mountains as a backdrop, Colorado Springs is one of the hottest real estate markets in the country. A strong military presence, growing economy, and proximity to outdoor recreation are just a few of the factors that make Colorado Springs a desirable place to put down roots. Knowing some key items when looking for a home to purchase can help you make the best choice for your family. Neighborhood Colorado Springs is made up of many different neighborhoods. In a city with over four hundred thousand people, there are neighborhoods that will fit any need. Deciding what sort of neighborhood fits your needs is an important factor when picking your home. Cordera has appealing features like wide trails for bike rides and morning runs. Community centers, swimming pools, and parks are often features of newer communities, and can add intangible value to your everyday life. Drive through neighborhoods that you are interested in and do your homework. Look at websites, and ask around- your friends and co-workers can often be invaluable sources of information about neighborhoods that might fit your unique needs. Location Colorado Springs encompasses a large area. It sits on almost 200 square miles of land, so you want to make sure that you pick a home in a location that works for your life. Newer neighborhoods, like Cordera, feel as if they are tucked away, but they are also easily accessible by major roads and highways. Schools A strong and thriving school district will help your home retain and increase in value, and will typically draw more homes and businesses into the area. Look...
Bring Your Home to Life With Collections

Bring Your Home to Life With Collections

The word “collections” might bring to mind your great-aunt’s collection of thimbles or your kid’s closetful of stuffed animals. Those are indeed collections, and probably not what you envision as how you want to decorate your home. If you dig deeper, you probably have your own collections, and they can be a great way to bring your personality and passions into your home decor. Separate. When you collect something, the immediate urge is to keep the entire collection together, whether you have a glass collection, or a collection of antique Carnival glass. Sometimes, having all of your pieces together can actually lessen their beauty by overwhelming the surrounding space. Think about using a half dozen pieces in a room and break them up. Instead of having a grouping of your collection, put a couple on a shelf with other pieces. Then use another glass container to hold fresh cut flowers. Arrange a couple of your favorite pieces on a sofa table with other beloved books or decor items. Keep the rest of your collection in a safe storage place, and rotate pieces out every few months to keep your decor fresh. Have fun. Think outside the box. Collections tell who we are. They are not meant to be kept behind glass in curio cabinets. Decorate with your collections in creative ways, whether you use them in your living room, kitchen, or kid’s rooms. A collection of sock monkeys can be a great starting point in a nursery, evoking warmth in every nook and cranny. Embrace your kid’s Lego collection by putting some of the masterpieces in shadowboxes or on...
Prepping Your Garden and Yard

Prepping Your Garden and Yard

It is finally that time of year again, after what often feels like an eternal winter. Snow and ice have all melted away, green grass is starting to peek out, and trees might be blooming overnight. As the world seems to come alive again, right now is the perfect time to prep your yard and garden area for the coming months. Taking care of several items will ensure that the next few months will be filled with beautiful blooms. Repair your hardscaping Before you have thick greenery and lush plantings, make sure that your hardscaping is in good condition. Replace broken pavers and any crumbling concrete wall blocks. Check that wood pieces, from trellises to landscaping timbers, are solid and not rotting. Consider the shape of your fencing and deck, and whether powerwashing will suffice, or if you need to stain the wood. Taking care of your hardscaping is the easiest when you are not trying to work around mature landscaping, and will save you headaches later in the year. Be proactive about pests Pests may not be at the forefront of your mind at this time of year, but proactively working to prevent pests is always easier than scrambling to get rid of them. The sorts of pests you have in the Colorado area may change from year to year, so know what to look for on your plants. Grasshoppers can wreak havoc in Colorado, eating everything in sight, down to the paint on your home’s exterior. Most insecticides are more effective against grasshoppers in their larval stage, so research what you are using and when to use...
Fun and Creative Kid Spaces

Fun and Creative Kid Spaces

Nothing is more fun in home decor than decorating your kid’s bedrooms. Letting their personality shine through, along with providing a place for them to thrive in, is an important part of decorating their space. We have several ideas to help you make your children’s bedrooms fit their personalities. Think BIG The days of pastel pink for girls and baby blue for boys are long gone. Girls might want a room filled with planets and Star Wars characters, and boys might want a room filled with musical instruments or rock climbing. More and more stores are recognizing that kids want a space that isn’t defined as “boy” or “girl”, but instead by nature or space or their other loves. The sky’s the limit, and your children can have a room as big as their imagination. Know their passions If your kiddo is obsessed with bending it like Beckham, a room centered around soccer might be a great idea. A child who spends all of their time reading up on sharks might like a room straight out of the Denver Aquarium. Your budding equestrian might love a room based on their favorite horses. Whatever your child’s passion is, you can encourage them to follow it with their surroundings. Create stations in their rooms Several different activities take place in your children’s room, so you want to make sure that you provide an appropriate place for all of their activities. Bedtime often involves reading before they drift off, so creating a cozy spot with a reading lamp and a place to put their book is a good idea. An art nook...
8 Tips for an Organized Move

8 Tips for an Organized Move

You have made an offer on the house, and everything is moving along quickly. As you start planning to move from one location to another, it is easy to become overwhelmed by all of the details. Several things that you do ahead of time can keep you organized during a move, and make the process a smooth one! Plan ahead Start early with planning your move. Decide on whether you are doing a partial hands on move, a complete DIY move, or hiring movers for the entire process. Regardless of what kind of move you are making, reserve your truck as early as you can. Movers and moving companies are particularly busy as the year progresses, and you don’t want to be scrambling to find a company or moving truck. Make a punch list A punch list will keep you organized and on course with your move. A punch list is a loose timeline with all of your tasks on it. Maybe you reserve your moving company three months in advance, start packing holiday and seldom used items a month in advance, start switching mailings a couple of weeks before, and packing all of the important household items a week to ten days before. Whatever timeline you use, keep it in sight so that tasks don’t get overlooked, and you can adjust as you need to. Buy the correct supplies Save yourself from ripped boxes and broken dishes or damaged goods. Buy quality boxes in a number of different sizes. Buy good moving tape, bubble wrap, sharpie markers for labeling,   and packing paper. Smaller boxes may seem tedious, but...
5 Tips to Help Prepare Kids for a New Home

5 Tips to Help Prepare Kids for a New Home

Moving can be a real thrill, whether it is across town or across the country. While moving is exciting and momentous, it can be a bit overwhelming for children. Thinking ahead and taking several steps can ensure that it is an exciting time for your kids too. Involve your kids in the process No matter what their age, kids like to know what to expect. Try to keep them in the loop with age-appropriate information. Write big dates on a calendar, so they know when packing begins, when the movers are arriving, and when the actual closing date is.If you are looking at homes in a specific neighborhood, pull it up on line so that they can see the nearby parks and recreation areas. When you have picked out a specific home, let them come with you to do a walk through. A vacant home invites kids to run through and imagine themselves in it. Introduce them to their new neighborhood If you live in the same city or area, this part will be easy. Drive through the neighborhood, so they are familiar with it. Search out parks and coffee shops, places that will make them feel like they are at home. If your move is out of state, becoming familiar with the new neighborhood is still possible. Utilize the internet to introduce your kids to local places, like a neighborhood library or a nearby froyo shop. Make connections in school and with activities Stress for children often comes from not knowing what to expect. Taking away the unknowns can help them feel at home and transition to a...
Preparing For A Long Distance Move

Preparing For A Long Distance Move

Moving involves so much planning, from buying boxes and masking tape to changing utilities. Whether you have several months or mere weeks, even a crosstown move takes preparation. Long distance moves can be especially challenging, but taking certain steps will lessen stresses and ensure that your new home feels like your real home. Keep a timeline in mind As soon as you know you are moving, try to keep a timeline in mind. If you are selling your current home and buying a new home concurrently, timing is very important. Make sure you keep up with dates, from offers to counteroffers to appraisals to inspections to closing dates, make sure that you plan for every important event. Moving long distance requires even more planning, from finding a cross-country moving company to allotting time for driving or travelling to your new home. Research and choose movers There are countless cross-country moving companies, but make sure you do your homework before you pick a company to move your belongings. Check company credentials, both online and with an organization like the Better Business Bureau. Ask for a written estimate, and reserve a truck as soon as possible. Read the fine print- you don’t want to expect your belongings on Day One at your new home and find out that the company is waiting 3 weeks for a full truck before they drive across the country. Decide if you are packing, and plan accordingly Once you have narrowed down what moving company you are utilizing, you should know whether or not they will be packing your belongings or you will be responsible for...
Home Decor Trends for 2016

Home Decor Trends for 2016

The beginning of the year is a great time to look at your home with fresh eyes. All of the holiday decorations have come down, and your home probably feels a little barren. 2016 has some amazing home decor trends that will breathe fresh life into your home, while working well with your existing pieces.   Global Mix Global pieces promise to liven up your home. South American influences are huge, whether you want tablecloths, pillows, or sculptures. Guatemalan textiles tend to be saturated with primary colors, so a casual throw or an embroidered tablecloth will bring energy into your living area. Otomi fabrics are also gaining in popularity. The Otomi people live in the plateau region of Mexico, and create beautiful embroidered fabrics overflowing with birds and other natural elements. Whether you choose one of the popular textiles or some rustic South American pottery, thinking global is a wonderful way to brighten your home in January. Vintage Have fun scouring your local antique stores for fun pieces to incorporate into your current design. Antique stores often have fun vintage signs, stained glass, or architectural salvage pieces. Use a salvaged corbel as a bookend, or hang an old stained glass window above your fireplace as art. When you browse through local antique stores, look at how different pieces can be used in unusual ways. If something catches your eye because of a beautiful or unique feature, find a way to incorporate it into your everyday world. Metals Metals are huge in home decor this year. Chrome, stainless steel, copper, gold, and silver are cropping up everywhere in interior design....