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Five Secrets to Building the Best Media Room

Five Secrets to Building the Best Media Room

A very popular amenity that’s found in many homes, newly built or existing – and one that’s on many homeowners’ wish lists – is a Home Theater or Media Room. Keep on reading to see some sure-fire media room ideas that you can incorporate into your home, whether small or large, ordinary or amazing.

Media Room Build

 

What fun to have your very own media room to invite your family and friends to watch your favorite movies and shows. A media room or home theater is becoming more popular in new homes and is even a replacement for the “rec rooms” of the past. And why not? With online movie streaming and downloading favorites more convenient, this added space in any home is a bonus. Whether you devote one entire space to a media room or incorporate media features into a multipurpose room, here are 5-secrets to building a “5-star” media room.

Secret 1: Plan, Plan, Plan! There are many variables that are associated with creating a media room so planning ahead is the first secret to getting just what you want. Create a “floor plan” and diagram your dream room onto paper. Refer to catalogs and magazines for inspiration. Consider the size of the space, the style of the room, audio/video equipment, and most important…your budget. Decide if you can allocate this space just for a media room or if it will be used for other family activities.

Secret 2: Select The Right Lighting: Getting the room lit just right is important. Since you won’t be watching movies all of the time, and if you opt to use the room for other activities, consider installing lights with dimmer switches. Whether you use recessed lighting, lamps, or overhead installations, the dimmer switch will be convenient and effective.

Secret 3: Design The Acoustics: Seeing and hearing is believing! A major aspect of any movie experience is the sound so pay particular attention to the acoustics of your media room. Installing carpet, opposed to tile or hardwood will improve the sound. Surround sound speakers that are placed in all areas of the room offer a movie theater experience that will make a huge difference in your space. Remote controls will add convenience. Headphones are part of our everyday culture, so installing jacks by each seat could be an option, especially if the room isn’t soundproof. Consider working with a professional who is trained in acoustic design.

Secret 4: Keep Decor Welcoming: If you can dedicate a room exclusively for a media room, make the focal point of the screen and keep other accessories to a minimum. But since most of us have to create our media room to share with other family activities, keep the room warm and welcoming with furniture arrangement and screen placement. Set the largest sofa facing the screen. Place the chairs out so they face each other but can be moved to different areas of the room. Store chairs in closets for additional seating. The television screen can be installed inside a cabinet so the doors can open and close as needed or a projector can be installed to the ceiling, away from view. Flat-screen televisions are now becoming part of a room’s design, so you may decide not to conceal them at all.

Secret 5: Upgrade In The Future: Audio and visual equipment change frequently so consider designing your room to incorporate future upgrades. For example, design and install lighting, movie screens, televisions, and audio equipment in an easy-to-access way so they can be removed, replaced, or even repaired without damaging the structure of the room.

Good information like this is something we want to share with our clients. If you enjoyed this article as we did, please be sure to share it with your family and friends so they too can enjoy it. And, if you need a home inspection or know of someone who does, be sure to give us a call. We’re always available for you.

 

Spice Up Your Deck With These 5 Creative Budget-Friendly Ideas

Spice Up Your Deck With These 5 Creative Budget-Friendly Ideas

Grab your cold drinks, and let the Springtime begin! Is your deck all “decked out” and ready for this season of warm sunshine and longer days? Fabulous decks and patios will instantly turn your home into an outdoor getaway. Fortunately, you can spice up your deck for less than you’d expect. Here are 5-creative budget-friendly ideas to get you started.

home improvement diy decks

1. Incorporate Plants
Accentuate the space with plants and blooming flowers to make it look more vibrant and alive. Container-grown shrubs and trees are excellent for small spaces. You can also opt for hardy, long-blooming flower varieties to add seasonal color. Make sure to place the tallest plants around the deck’s rim so that they get the sufficient amount of sunshine they need and don’t crowd out smaller pots.

2. Extend Living Space Outdoors
Make your deck a perfect place where you can have breakfast or evening drinks with family and friends. End tables, side tables, and ottomans will automatically add convenience and beauty. Select a special piece of furniture you want to use to anchor your outdoor space and position it where it achieves focal point status. You can accessorize with outdoor throw pillows and rugs to add a pop of color.

3. Lattice Up
Installing a lattice is a low-cost refresh that will give you a beautiful, neat looking result. You may train flowering vines like climbing roses and clematis to grow up the lattice and form a beautiful wall of blooms for a beautiful living art piece. Whether you want your deck to feel more private and secluded or just have something stylish to look at, adding lattice is an ideal solution.

4. Consider Adding a Fountain
Turn your deck into a relaxing and restful retreat with the soothing sound of flowing water. A fountain will add instant charm to any outdoor space. The good news is that you don’t have to be a millionaire to add this water feature to your deck. There are a wide variety of affordable electric fountains available at most home stores. You won’t need to shell out for the expensive designs. Find something simple and stylish and position it in a low-traffic area of your deck. You may dress up around the fountain with greenery in classy pots.

5. Refinish the Boards
Is your wooden deck peeling or discolored? Transform your drab worn-out old deck into a vibrant, aesthetically pleasing entertainment area for a lot less than the cost of replacement. Sometimes, all you need is a simple refinish. Giving your deck a professional-looking refinishing job is something you can do yourself. Ensure that your deck is properly cleaned and sanded before you apply a protective finish, which can be a stain and separate water repellent coat or a combination product.

Look no further than your own outdoor space for the simplest of spring/summer pleasures. With these 5-simple tips, you can turn your deck into an outdoor paradise, perfect for making new summertime memories you will treasure forever.

If you enjoyed this article as we did, please be sure to share it with your family and friends so they can enjoy it too. And, if you need a home inspection or know of someone who does, be sure to give us a call. We’re always available for you.

 

 

The Laundry Room, How Best To Remodel It.

The Laundry Room, How Best To Remodel It.

Your laundry room is one of the most-used rooms in your house. For many homeowners, however, it isn’t always one of the most pleasant rooms. Since you spend so much time in there, however, there’s no reason that it has to be an unpleasant place to be. You can redesign it so that it’s a fun, airy place that you’ll love to enter when it’s laundry time.

Remodeling The Laundry Room

Decide on a Color Scheme

If your laundry room is dark, creating a color scheme full of bright colors, or going with a neutral white, can lighten it up and make it seem both larger and more cheerful. If there is no window in the room, white or a light cream will often work best to create a more airy space. No matter which colors you choose, there will be beautiful natural materials that you can use to create a more beautiful and upscale room that will add both enjoyment and value to this space.

Choose Materials

Today’s homes are full of stone countertops and a variety of tiles. With your colors in mind, it’s time to choose your countertop’s material, your flooring and your wall colors. Countertops today are often done in natural materials like marble, granite and quartz. Choose the durability and color you need and get a countertop that will be a pleasure to look at and work with each day.

Having a tile laundry room floor is ideal because it handles water well. Both slate and porcelain tile are perfect for creating a floor that is ready for constant use. They also look great and are on-trend in modern laundry rooms. Both come in a wide variety of colors and patterns.

Work With Your Space

No matter what the size of your laundry room, there is a way to use the space to its best advantage. Plan out the optimal use for the space to include everything you need while allowing you plenty of room to move around. You may need to invest in stackable appliances to maximize the space. If the room is large, consider having different areas for different tasks and storage needs. A full-sized ironing board is easy to place in a large room, but a smaller one can benefit from one that is attached to the wall and foldable.

Using the Room

One of the most important things to consider is how you use your laundry room. Don’t think about an ideal way that the room could be used – think about the real way that you will use it each day. Make a list of what you do in there and what you need to store in it. If you store a lot of cleaning supplies, consider creating a small closet or installing a built-in, tall cabinet that will hold things like the brooms and vacuum cleaner. If you like to fold and iron in the room, make sure you leave plenty of space for these activities.

Most people store various items in their laundry rooms, and you can store in style after your remodel. Choose your cabinet sizes based on what you keep in the room, and get more out of the space by having your cabinets and shelving extend up high to the ceiling. If you often hang your clothing dry, consider installing a drying rack. If you do a lot of clothing repairs and sewing, consider adding a desk to the room to allow for sewing space.

With a new laundry room that meets the needs of your household, you will enjoy the time you spend there. You will also be able to store your necessary items and have plenty of space to get laundry done in a beautiful, updated room.

We enjoy sharing great information like this with you. If you enjoyed this article as we did, please be sure to share it with your family and friends so they can enjoy it too. And, if you need a home inspection or know of someone who does, be sure to give us a call. We’re always available for you.

5 Clever Value-boosting Tips for Your Home

5 Clever Value-boosting Tips for Your Home

Have you ever had moments when you look at your home and say to yourself what a beautiful place you have? Whether it is the spacious kitchen, or the sunny yard, the charming deck, or the cozy bedrooms, there was probably something that attracted you to this house; that’s why you bought it. But remember, a new home is just like a new car: It will age and depreciate over time. It is essential to make it a habit to continuously maintain and make your home even better to boost its value as time passes. Here are 5 clever value-boosting tips for your home:

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1. Create Space
Open floor plans are becoming a trend in many major and minor remodeling projects for older homes. Conventionally, most United States houses have walls that separate the kitchen and the living room. The open floor plan aims to connect two or more rooms to form a communal living area. This open concept gives the impression of a larger space. If a wall separates your kitchen from your living room, consider removing the barrier. Create a flow between the rooms by adding stylish and functional furniture. You will be surprised how much you’ll transform your home’s feel.

2. Make the Most of Your Yard
Are you looking for a sure way of making your home one of the most attractive houses in the neighborhood? Proper landscaping will never fail you! A well-landscaped yard dramatically impacts the entire look and feel of your home, increasing your property’s value by 10 to 12 percent. Landscaping is one of the top home investments with the highest returns. HomeGain, a real estate marketing company, surveyed 2,000 brokers and found out that an investment of between $400 – $500 can generate up to four times in returns. Never overlook the landscaping!

3. Update Your Plumbing
Nothing lasts forever, including the pipes in your home. Appraisers significantly consider plumbing conditions when giving value to your property. In older houses, the piping materials may be galvanized steel or iron, durable but prone to corrosion. Over time, the tubing gradually corrodes and rusts. If your steel pipes look old and degraded, it’s about time to update your plumbing system. Unless you replace your plumbing, you’re eventually going to get plumbing disasters that may lead to expensive damages to your house and belongings. If you still have steel pipes in your home, it is best to have them replaced. There are multiple options professional plumbers can suggest regarding the material you should use as a replacement to serve you best.

4. Freshen Up Your Bathroom
Replacing outdated fixtures can go a long way to giving your bathroom a fresh new classy look. Popular finishes include brushed nickel or satin because they pair well with most tile choices. A chrome finish is also an excellent choice if you want a more classic look. You may also opt to update your contractor-grade lighting into something more stylish and functional and repaint the walls to brighten up your bathroom. Most people consider the bathroom as the most personal space in the home. We all want this intimate space to reflect our style, but it should also simultaneously deliver the comfort we need.

5. Let there be light
You can do many things to brighten up your house, so adding windows and knocking down the walls are not the only solutions. Start by fixing broken panes and light switches that trigger dim lighting and replacing old light bulbs. Make sure to trim any trees or bushes near your windows regularly to welcome the sunlight into your room. Don’t forget the exterior lighting because they contribute significantly to your home’s aesthetic appeal and crucial for your safety and security. Make sure that all the lights are correctly installed and fully functional.

Boost your home’s value with these small-scale upgrades and spruce-ups! These five value-boosting tips are for sure worth your investment.

Creating Your Dream Bedroom in 2021

Imagine yourself having that comfortable and cozy space of your own where you destress after a long day. How would you want your room to look and feel?

Living rooms and kitchens are social hubs where we put a lot of our energy and resources into, but for many, creating their dream bedrooms may mean creating a new and better YOU.

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It is time to create the cozy retreat you want, whether that be a glamorous look, calming and zen-like, or a more clean and minimalistic style. Finding the theme that fits your style and mood will make you feel at peace and worth your investment. Here are some tips on how:

1. Clean Your Room.
The state of your bedroom can have different effects on your life. It impacts your mind and mood when you get up, start your day, and face issues head-on. Stripping everything down and removing any clutter out of your room can create change in your life. When you either move into a new home and start over in a blank space, or you want to spruce up your room, it allows you to rethink and see things from a new perspective.

 2. Arrange Your Furniture.
Arranging furniture can be a daunting task, but working on easy-to-apply principles that are practical and aesthetically-pleasing can be more beneficial for you.

Choose where to place your furniture like your bed, desk, dresser, and shelves. Find a balance of both size and placement of various pieces. Consider traffic flow making sure that you or anyone else will not trip over a piece of furniture.

Arranging the things inside your bedroom can help improve your mood and sleep cycles.

 3. Decorate.

Bed
Your bed is probably the largest piece of furniture in your bedroom. It is great to pick your duvet covers, blankets, and pillowcases that will match your color scheme or theme of choice. Plain linens create a neutral space giving that sense of freshness and minimalism while highlighting other décors. If you fancy a change of linen into patterned or textured ones, your bed can become a great statement adding a modern touch of style. Having a couple of different bedding sets will allow keeping everything looking fresh.

Lights
Lights not only brighten up your space but can also make a significant difference in your health, safety, and budget. Whether it be natural light, string lights, lantern lights, lamps, or candles, adding in a few well-placed lights can enhance your bedroom space and benefit from it.

Plants
Plants liven up your space and add a special touch to any dream bedroom. They purify and give off oxygen while absorbing toxins from the air. Plants help you breathe better, relieve stress, improve your health, boost your mood, and get a good night’s sleep. Placing in some freshly picked flowers once a week can be great too. Natural floral scents beat any artificial air freshener.

Curtains
While curtains and blinds add a certain level of style, these can also provide functional benefits. Curtains will keep your room warmer during rainy days or winter and cooler in the summer. It reduces glare or diffuses light while enjoying natural light or completely blocks it so you can sleep. Curtains also provide more privacy.

Rugs
Rugs make fabulous pieces, especially on hardwood floors. It serves as a comfortable underfoot and adds warmth and texture. For smaller rooms, a large rug under the bed can make an optical illusion making the room appear wider.

Accessories
Lastly, accessorize! Decor pieces or collections that are sentimental can show off the theme of your room. Perhaps a spot for your corner table will look lovely. You can display your favorite tea set, trinkets, and decorative pieces. Some right-sized wall artwork or a mirror placed strategically can make great additions to spruce up your bedroom.

Bedrooms may be less likely to be viewed by houseguests and never seem to be on top of your priorities list when cleaning or even setting up the rest of the house. But remember that it is where you start and end your day.

Thank you for taking the time to read this informative article. If you enjoyed this article as we did, please be sure to share it with your family and friends so they too can enjoy it as well.

Innovations and Trends that are Transforming Homebuilding

Innovations and Trends that are Transforming Homebuilding

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Technology is doing more than changing the way people communicate; it’s transforming the world of home building and design. Innovations and fresh trends are creating homes that are safer, healthier, more efficient, and more comfortable.

Futuristic Framework

Made by gluing together three to seven layers of smaller boards, cross-laminated timber (CLT) provides a sturdy, affordable alternative to other construction materials. The slabs are prefabricated at a mill and cut to specific sizes for quick and easy installation. This lightweight but strong material can be used for walls, flooring, and roofing and doesn’t require any special knowledge to work with. Since it can be up to 50 percent cheaper than other construction materials, homes built using CTL can offer all the comforts of a similar structure at a lower cost.

Window Efficiency Upgrades

Windows are big sources of heat loss in many homes. That’s why the U.S. Department of Energy offers the Window Replacement, Rehabilitation, & Repair Guide for homeowners and builders. No matter what the age of your home, the tips in this guide can help you spruce up, modify, or replace existing windows to maximize energy efficiency.

Rehabilitating or replacing windows to improve insulation and minimize air leakage lowers your energy bills by helping your home to retain more warmth during the winter months. In new constructions, windows can be placed to take full advantage of natural light so that you don’t have to use as much electricity. Both design elements improve the interior atmosphere, making it more comfortable and inviting.

Cleaner and Healthier

The fresh carpeting and paint in new homes may release compounds such as formaldehyde into the air. Combined with the potential for dirt and allergens to build up in duct systems and the tendency for mold to grow in damp basements and bathrooms, this can make for an unhealthy home atmosphere.

Innovative companies are working to come up with solutions to these problems so that you can enjoy your new home without worry. For example, AirRenew now makes a type of drywall that not only resists mold formation but also actively removes formaldehyde from the air. In addition, you can install a whole-house filter to deal with airborne particles.

Multi-Function for Maximum Space

Many homeowners are starting to recognize the appeal of condensing multiple rooms into one space that serves several purposes. In response, builders are moving away from sprawling, oversized homes that segment every aspect of life into separate rooms and instead are creating combined living and dining areas, bedrooms with loft space, and family rooms that incorporate entertainment.

This trend toward minimalism means that you can get all the space you need to live comfortably in a smaller, more affordable home. Going smaller also makes you think about what you want and need from your living space. A trend toward openness in floor plans adds an element of comfort that ensures you never feel cramped even if you do decide to downsize.

Blurring the Lines Between House and Yard

Large banks of windows that open and close like garage doors are turning the old concept of a screened-in porch into something that can be enjoyed all year long. It’s a trend spurred on by an appreciation for how natural light can change the feel of a room. Adding attractive landscaping outside the windows and using your favorite houseplants to decorate inside creates a feeling that the two spaces are flowing together.

These updated porches can be used to expand your living space, create a special area for relaxation, or set up the fitness room you’ve always wanted. You can also use the room for entertaining at any time of year, keeping the doors open when it’s warm and decorating the windows with drapes during the winter months.

The Customized Castle

In a world where it only takes a few clicks to customize everything from your wardrobe to your smartphone, it’s not surprising that home design is becoming increasingly more personal. This trend hasn’t quite hit the mainstream yet, but it is on the horizon for the not-so-distant future.

Imagine being able to visit a website and use online tools to craft the exact home that you want to live in. When it becomes possible to customize a home like this, you won’t have to worry about finding just the right features in an existing structure. Instead, you’ll work with a builder to take your creation and make it a reality.

With these trends on the rise, it’s becoming easier than ever to find a home that fits your needs and speaks to your style. Many changes can already be implemented in existing structures, giving you the freedom to personalize your space and create the home of your dreams.

Good information like this is something we want to share with our clients. If you enjoyed this article as we did, please be sure to share it with your family and friends so they too can enjoy it.

The Importance of Having a Strong Real Estate Voice

The Importance of Having a Strong Real Estate Voice
By Denise Lones

One of the biggest challenges real estate agents face is confidence. Just about every agent I know suffers from a lack of confidence from time to time. Agents who are new face challenges with confidence because they are concerned about their knowledge and expertise. Agents who are trying to tap into a new market or niche may also feel they are in over their heads. Even agents who have had success, but had a bad transaction or weren’t successful in a listing presentation may suffer from a temporary loss of confidence.

What is the very best way to increase your confidence? Knowledge, experience, and coupling with a strong voice.

Take a moment and think about something you are very comfortable doing or a special skill that you have unrelated to real estate. Are you a good cook, artist, parent, or are great with animals? Think about something that people come to you for advice on because you are exceptional at it. Now imagine you are giving someone advice on that topic or talking through how you do something.

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For example, my dad was a chef and I learned to be very comfortable in the kitchen from him. In fact, making Greek salad, souvlaki and tzatziki, and baklava for 100 people doesn’t phase me a bit. I don’t follow a recipe anymore – I cook with instinct. I could easily teach people how to make probably 50 dishes without having to glance at my recipes. That is because I have that knowledge, experience, and therefore, confidence in my abilities. I can have a strong voice when it comes to cooking, especially Greek cooking.

However, if someone asked me to speak on the internal workings of the Tesla, that would put me out of my comfort zone. I wouldn’t have the confidence to talk about that because I am not a mechanic nor an electrician. My voice would not be strong because it is not a confident voice.

My goal for each and every one of you would be to gain enough confidence in your real estate trade so you could easily rattle off where your local market has been in terms of inventory, supply vs demand, days on market, and sale prices – and why. How does your local economy play into what is happening with housing? Are there new construction projects on the horizon? Are there new companies coming in and new employees needed (which will put more demand on housing)? Is your city annexing land in growth areas? What does that mean for homeowners?

Here is a hint – you probably know more than you think. Can you answer these questions?

– How has COVID affected local businesses in your area?
– How has COVID affected your local real estate market?
– How was inventory in your area this past year?
– Were there specific price points or types of inventory that were super-hot commodities? What sat on the market for longer?
– What is one local issue pertaining to real estate that you are watching in 2021?
– What is one piece of advice you have for buyers?
– What is one piece of advice you have for sellers?

If you can answer these questions easily, then you have what it takes to have a strong real estate voice! You have been paying attention to the market, can guide buyers and sellers, and therefore, should have confidence in your knowledge.

Every agent who has a strong real estate voice should be putting it to good use by communicating your market conditions to your database. Don’t rely on your company messaging or the local news – your clients need to hear from you. That is how you build value, build strong professional relationships, and get referrals.

But what if you need a little help getting your strong real estate voice out there? That is where I come in. Each year, I provide my clients with a written article that includes a quick recap of the past year and some predictions for the upcoming year. As you can imagine, COVID played quite a role and while we won’t see the full ramifications of that for many months, there are clues about how the economy and the real estate market fare.

We hoped you enjoyed this information as much as we did. If so, be sure to share it with your co-workers and other agent friends.

How to perfectly light a bathroom for beauty, function, and safety

Good lighting is important throughout a home, and each room has different lighting needs. Kitchens require overhead and task lighting, while bedrooms and dining rooms can benefit from variable illumination. However, no room in the house requires more layers and nuances of lighting than the bathroom, where lighting directly influences the room’s efficiency, utility, safety, and beauty.

bathroom lighting

Upgrading lighting in a bathroom can give the room a whole new look and improve its functionality for a fraction of the cost of a full renovation. As you’re planning your bathroom enlightenment, keep in mind the multiple purposes lighting plays in a bathroom, including:

* Safety — Bathrooms are a prime spot for falls and injuries. A well-lit room can decrease the risk of someone stumbling or slipping.

* Tasks — Whether you’re applying makeup or shaving, task lighting can provide the illumination you need to do the job well.

* Visibility — Ambient lighting provides whole-room illumination that makes the space usable at any time of day.

* Decorative — Lighting can minimize glare from shiny surfaces such as porcelain, glass, or ceramic tile, and enhance the appearance of colors, fixtures, and accessories.

Here are tips for creating effective, attractive lighting for the bathroom:

Safety
Bathroom lighting affects safety the most during nighttime hours. A completely dark bathroom could lead to falls, as could the temporary blindness caused by switching on a light when your eyes are acclimated for darkness. A brightly lit space can also make it difficult for you to go back to sleep after using the bathroom.

Dimmable bathroom lighting, which can be set for less illumination at night, and strategically positioned nightlights can help users safely navigate the room at night. Equip low-wattage light sources that turn on with a motion sensor, so that soft illumination comes on when you enter the dark bathroom.

Tasks
The bathroom vanity is a hub of activity, where people shave, brush their teeth, fix their hair, apply makeup, and generally get ready for the day. The lighting above your vanity or sink area is critical to how well the space functions.

Lights above the bathroom mirror, or to either side of it, can create glare and shadow. A better alternative can be to use a lighted mirror or medicine cabinet like the Verdera collection by Kohler. Lighted mirrors and medicine cabinets eliminate harsh shadows and light “hot spots” that can come from overhead lighting.

Visibility
Certain areas in the bathroom require basic visibility at all times, including showers and water closets. In these areas, overhead lighting can provide the ambient illumination you need. You can opt for a basic light fixture, a fan/light combination that also provides ventilation, or even a skylight for natural daylighting.

Uplighting is also becoming a popular form of ambient light in bathrooms. Lights set beneath countertops or around the base of shower stalls provide soft illumination and character.

Decorative
Decorative bathroom lighting is your chance to have some fun. These lights may enhance ambient lighting or support task lighting, but their ultimate purpose is to add visual interest to the bathroom. Depending on the size and style of your bathroom, you can choose decorative lighting options like chandeliers, wall sconces, pendant lights, recessed lighting, and more.

Finally, be sure that every layer of light in your bathroom is as energy-efficient as possible. Replace any incandescent bulbs with LEDs or CFLs, which use a fraction of the energy to produce a comparable amount of light, while lasting far longer.

Good information like this is something we want to share with our clients. If you enjoyed this article as we did, please be sure to share it with your family and friends so they too can enjoy it.

Have a Happy New Year!

5 Unique Gift Ideas To Give Instant Cheer

5 Unique Gift Ideas To Give Instant Cheer

Thank you for taking the time to read this informative article. We hope you enjoy it.

If you are one who, as a child, swore to live side-by-side with your best friend forever once you become real adults, I tell you you are not alone. We all went through that phase. Of course, we attended different colleges, moved to other cities and states, and ended up living in different worlds.

They say distance makes the heart grow fonder, and this is true for most. For the past few months, we have been separated from our loved ones. But this distance, and the uncertainties that come with it, taught us a lot about how a simple “thinking of you” gift can always bridge the gap.

So, if you are apart from families and friends this year, sending them a token of your love and thoughtfulness can be made more meaningful with these sentimental gift ideas.

1. Scented Candles

Whether homemade or bought from your local shop, scented candles are thoughtful gifts to share. Scents bring back memories so, sending one inspired by your hometown can surely spark nostalgia.

2. Custom Ornaments

Remember how, as kids, we are always fascinated by Christmas ornaments? How our faces light up when we start putting the tree together? If you won’t be home this year, add a special touch to your family tree with a custom ornament. You can add a photo or a simple message that says, “Love Knows No Distance.”

3. Make A Collage

A collage of candid shots can make you feel like everyone’s home. Fill your collage with photographs that you and your family have taken throughout the year. This is best to give to a family member who can’t be with you for the holidays.

4. Huge Blanket

If you can’t hug them personally, giving a huge statement blanket that sends warm hugs is a pretty close second. Find one made from quality cotton so you can send you all the warm fuzzy feelings even if you’re away.

5. Work Lunch Essentials

Nothing beats a fun gift set where you can find many useful items in one bundle. This gift idea is great for a former colleague or a work-from-home family member. This can also work as a care package where you put lunch items such as a salad container, a glass bottle, napkins, utensils, and a box full of motivational messages. You can personally pick the items or get a bundle from a local store. Whatever that is, you’re sure to instantly cheer up a workaholic loved one.

May we see the holidays as a season of merriment and giving and remember both the blessings and trials that we’re able to conquer. Let’s end the year with thankful spirits and welcome a new chapter with hopeful hearts.

Good information like this is something we want to share with our clients. If you enjoyed this article as we did, please be sure to share it with your family and friends so they too can enjoy it.

Season of Glad Tidings and Good Health

When the pandemic hit in the first quarter of 2020, we hoped it would be over by Easter, the Fourth of July, then Labor Day, and even Thanksgiving. However, it seems like we’re still facing the end of this year with uncertainties. We can only go through these challenging times by staying apart because reality is, we’ll never know when it will be over.

 

But, going this far despite everything that happened in the past few months is still worth celebrating. Here are some tips to have a healthy holiday season and new traditions for a joyful and meaningful celebration.

  1. Consider Staying at Home Instead of Travelling

Our big travel goals might have to be put on hold until another year or so. However, If the need to travel arises, consider going by car with family members you live with and make sure to wear a mask and always sanitize in public areas.

  1. Share Recipes With Family Members

While you can’t be together for one big dinner, you can have a virtual family meeting to plan meals and share traditional recipes. Food always connects.

  1. Entertain Outside

If you wish to gather with people outside your household, do it outdoors for better ventilation. Be mindful of important safety precautions and potential hazards, especially for young children and seniors.

  1. Get Closer to Nature

Take your immediate family out for an early walk, or hit the beach to relax. Enjoying nature is one of the best ways to combat stress and soothe your mind.

  1. Be Creative With Gift Giving

Since health experts recommend avoiding crowds, shop, or go to stores after peak hours. You can also shop online or call local shops and ask if they can deliver gifts to recipients. Prepare meals, start a donation drive, or send your creations to families, friends, and others. Often, the most creative and personalized gifts are the most meaningful ones.

  1. Host A Virtual Dinner

Again, the only way to go through this year’s challenge is to stay apart. But, technology is here to connect us with loved ones from afar. Spice up your virtual celebration with fun contests like “best holiday decorations,” “most creative recipes,” or “most unique desserts.”

  1. Check In On Loved Ones And Others

Everyone is going through challenging times. We may not see it on their social media posts or might not have heard from them for a while. No matter how you do it, check on them. Call your family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, and acquaintances. We never know how they’re struggling through this tough time and that a simple “How are you” can impact their lives in so many ways.

  1. Never Stop Giving Thanks

We all are struggling but counting our blessings gives us hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel. We never know what lies ahead, but we know we are still here living, surviving, and being a blessing to others.

This season is a season of hope, love, and joy. A season to gather with families, share stories, and create fond memories.

Sincerely,

Michael Myers

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