Secrets to clean up tough spills on leather, wooden furniture and more.
Six quick and unique DIY gifts you can give your family and friends this holiday season. With everything from scented fire starter to decorations for the home, there is sure to be an idea for someone on your list.
I can’t believe that many of my friends and family have already started to get their homes decorated for Christmas.
Personally, I try to hang on until at least Dec. 1 before I turn on the outdoor lights or put up a tree in front of the window.
This is partially because it’s tradition in my family to wait, but also because I always go with a live tree, which won’t survive much longer than five-six weeks indoors before it sheds all of its needles.
If you’re like me and are going with a real tree this year, here are my rules for keeping it looking its best for as long as possible.
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It’s official — my favourite time of the year has started with the lighting of the Christmas tree! I am a bit of a sucker for all of the traditions and this year, I agreed to host my entire family. Not only are all 22 of them coming for Christmas dinner, they are staying the night.
The reality of this endeavour is just starting to set in as I make the list of all the things I need to pull this event off . . . and the costs keep going up!
Of course, I want to do it right the first time so I am setting the bar high and for me, that includes bringing in a lot of fresh boughs, berries and a real Christmas tree.
It’s a tradition in my family to bring some outdoor elements in when we celebrate Christmas. In fact, I start getting festive the moment the smell of fresh evergreen greets me at the front door.
So, this year I am sharing my home with you so that you can see how we do it, in hopes you might get inspired to run out and cut some boughs right before your guests arrive.
Choose your branches carefully
Cedar smells great but dries out really quickly. I love using fir and cypress because they hold their needles longer even when they get crispy. I also mix in some boxwood because the round leaves are a visual counter to the long and slender needles of the other evergreens in my arrangements.
I know how busy everyone is at this time of the year, so it means a little more when people make the extra effort to host a party. So I always try to do a little extra around the holidays for anyone who makes the effort to have me over for dinner. This year, instead of a bottle of wine, I’m doing something a little different.
Truth is, I didn’t get all of my fall jobs done before winter moved in. One of the big ones was planting my bulbs. Now I have a ton of daffodils and tulips sitting in my garage. This year as hostess gifts, I’m going to force these bulbs and plant them as decorative hostess gifts. Here’s how you can bring a little outdoors in for the holidays.
Every year around this time my friends and family ask me what I want for Christmas. I always think its obvious … things for the garden or about gardening! Somehow that translates into sweaters, socks and board games.
So this year I thought I help my family out with some great ideas.
Dear Santa …
Bulbs are always at the top of my list! Bulbs are a great gift because you are not committing the recipient to anything too strenuous. Too often, gardeners are given live plants, which come with a long list of care instructions and as nature’s guardians, we feel like we need to provide for these in the best possible way.
I was recently surprised to find out that my new front door has the best return-on-investment of all my home renovations. That puts the front door ahead of the new kitchen, the updated bathroom and my back patio, according to Remodeling Magazine, 2014. It makes sense in an odd sort of way. Think of the front door the same way you would tires on a new car. It may not be the reason to buy, but everyone checks them out to make sure they are in good shape before driving away.
The front door also goes a long way to making a great first impression for buyers, or even just guests coming over for dinner. This holiday, I decided to step it up a little and here’s how I did it.
If you’re at all like me and choose to have a real tree in your home for the holidays, then now is the time to go out and get it. I realize that those homeowners with a faux tree may already have theirs up, but for us ‘traditionalists,’ waiting until the cold snap has hit the air truly signifies the start of the holiday season. Before you make the trek out to the lot or the tree farm, here are a few things to consider when choosing what type of tree will work best for you: