Don’t Let Mother Nature Ruin Your Floors

Without always realizing, the conditions from outside can quickly cause damage to your floors—no matter the type. Refer to these tips when a winter storm hits to protect the integrity of the flooring in your home this season!

Utilize floor mats.
Placing a mat in your entryway is the easiest way to ensure clean floors when it snows or rains all day. This encourages your family and guests to wipe their shoes off before entering your home. Don’t be afraid to suggest they take shoes off completely, either!

Invest in a steam mop.
If you’re worried about the damage to your floors, it may be time to invest in a steam mop. The technology in this method effectively gets out tough marks on finishes like linoleum, vinyl, and even hardwood (just make sure your floors are sealed), while being gentle enough to use weekly.

Try to be diligent.
While you can’t be expected to walk around your house with a paper towel roll every time someone forgets to take their shoes off, at least aim to be more attentive to your floors. You don’t want to wait until spring to clean up the spots from snow and sleet, which by then will be harder to deal with.

Cover the carpets and rugs.
Hard flooring may be pesky, but nothing compares to getting stains out of carpets and rugs. On a particularly snowy day, cover your floors with furniture pads. It may seem excessive, but you’ll thank yourself later for not having to do a deep clean of these areas!

Choose cleaners carefully.
The right cleaners (and cleaning methods) can make all the difference to the longevity of your floors. Traditional mopping your hardwood floors is no longer the way to go, and will just add more moisture to the mix. Use a cloth to take care of excess water whenever possible, and be quick about cleaning up areas that are prone to damage.

Follow these cleaning tips to keep your floors looking shiny and brand new this season!

How To Keep Your Kids Entertained During Winter Break

Winter break is an exciting time for kids­—days off from school, giving presents and receiving them, and more time to have play dates with classmates. But that time off can quickly turn from exciting to boring for your young ones. Take inspiration from these ideas that will keep your kids entertained all break long!

Take them ice skating
This classic winter break activity is so popular for a reason—it’s guaranteed to make your kids feel like the star of the show, while also getting some physical exercise. You can snap pictures that will last a lifetime, and maybe they’ll leave the rink with a new favorite hobby.

Have a movie-filled day    
Spend the morning at the movies for a leisurely day relaxing with the kids. The best thing about matinees is that they are usually cheaper, and many movie theaters play old favorites during the winter months as well. Another way to keep kids occupied is having a movie marathon. Pop in their choice Disney film or feel-good flick and get the popcorn ready for a cozy day on the couch.

Get crafty indoors
With the weather turning colder by the minute, most kids probably won’t want to be outside for long periods of time. Make those hours spent indoors count and lay out several crafts to complete. Having options will beat boredom and make your kids more likely to enjoy their time inside. Try out this upcycled jet packbookmarks inspired by their favorite book character,  or this sock snow pal.

Suggest that they cook dinner
This doesn’t have to be as daunting as it sounds. Kids will rejoice at the chance to pick out their favorite meals—chicken nuggetsmac n’ cheesepizza, and ice cream. Look up healthy or unique spins on these kid meal staples to guide them in the right direction, and then let them be a part of buying ingredients and cooking the dinner!

Museum hop for a day
Take your kids downtown for an afternoon and check out some museum exhibits. Look up beforehand what museums offer free or discounted admission for kids, and have a route planned out before you leave. This is a great way to integrate learning into their winter break, and you can learn something new, too!

Play board games
Dust off the board games from the basement and have a day filled with friendly competition. This gets kids away from the temptation of technology, as well as providing some fun and laughs.

Prepare Your Home for Holiday Guests Galore

The holidays revolve mainly around three things: food, giving, and guests. Whether you have family and friends staying over for the duration of the holidays or simply for a long weekend, being a host can be a fundamental part of this time of year.

However, hosting parties on top of accommodating overnight family and friends can quickly turn from enjoyable to overwhelming.

Ease your worries and turn your home into a five-star hotel with our tips to get you prepped and de-stressed for the upcoming season. Worry about those cookies burning in the oven, not whether grandma has clean bath towels.

Freshen up your space.
You may be used to the pet smell, but your guests are not. And no matter how much they love you, no one wants to be the bearer of bad-smelling news. Lighting a candle or adding fresh winter flowers as a kitchen table centerpiece can instantly add a cozy, fresh feel to your home. But make sure to clean, vacuum, and bathe your animals thoroughly, because masking a scent will only prolong the inevitable.

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Give them the necessities.
Necessities mean different things to different people, but everyone wants the Wi-Fi password and clean towels at the ready. Don’t forget to have those tricky internet and Netflix passwords written down (or framed if you want to go all out). Make sure to also put out extra toiletries, reading material, spare hangers, and other necessities that guests may need. Water bottles and an assortment of snacks go a long way too, especially if you want to leave a good impression and make your home bed & breakfast worthy.

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Keep the bar cart stocked.
Having drinks ready to be shaken, not stirred, is a holiday essential. Plus, this is the perfect time to try out all of those fancy bookmarked cocktails with ingredients no one can pronounce. Guests will appreciate the extra touch to their meal, and it will instantly make your home feel like the most Instagram-worthy holiday destination.

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Declutter inside and outside.
You remembered to clean the inside of your home, but don’t forget about the front porch and walkway. As it starts getting darker and colder this time of year, you want to make sure you add an inviting feel to your home, so guests can clearly tell you’re ready for them. Adding luminary bags along the walkway, a holiday wreath to the door, and sweeping the area free of cobwebs and leaves will instantly make your family and friends feel like they’re entering a holiday weekend haven.

Make room in your coat closet or entryway.
Avoid the awkward situation of cramming your guest’s coats into your closet as they stand and watch, and clear out that space ahead of time. This doesn’t need to be an extreme reorganization ordeal, but rather taking a few of those bulky winter coats and putting them in your personal closet instead for the duration of their stay. PRINTABLE HOME PASSWORDS SHEET

The holiday season is an exciting time surrounded by people you love, but it can easily become overwhelming with the amount of responsibilities on your list. The above reminders are simple ways to make you feel more prepared for overnight guests. Make sure being the host of the season is all of the fun and none of the stress.