Stress-Less Holiday Entertaining

Set up a Thanksgiving Buffet

  • This is simple to do and leaves more room at your dinner table for family and friends
  • Use levels to display the food, such as wooden or decorative boxes or dishes turned upside down
  • Choosing a color palette is the first step
  • If you have a theme, make sure it is carried from the buffet to the table
  • Have a separate beverage buffet, it will keep things less congested
  • Add organic material such as gourds and pumpkins and greenery
  • If using greenery such as herbs, make sure they complement the food with their aroma
  • Use place cards to describe each dish you are serving
  • Use candles with mismatched candle holders this adds a sense of warmth and comfort
  • Plan ahead and have little to go boxes, so if you have a lot of leftovers, you can send home a plate with those that would like one


Fall Maintenance for your Home

Just like your car needs maintenance to keep it running, your HVAC system also needs it. Regular HVAC maintenance will reduce energy usage, improve equipment performance, prevent breakdowns and extend equipment life.

I cannot tell you how important it is to get your furnace inspected every year. Here are check points to look for when selecting a company:
• Are they listed with the Better Business Bureau
• Do they replace your filter (Most companies will include this, but there could be an extra charge if you have a large filter. Make sure you let them know the size of your filter.)
• Do they clean your heat exchanger
• Do they check the thermostat reading against what is blowing out of your vents
• Will they make repairs or improvements without your authority
• Is there an extra charge if you have a humidifier
• How important is it that I have a Carbon Monoxide Detector

These are just some of the questions you can ask. When you call a reputable company, they will have no problem explaining what they do, and they will and should stand behind their service.

Just as important is your chimney. Rule of thumb is to always have your chimney checked and cleaned after burning a cord of wood. How do I know what a cord of wood is? A cord measures 4x4x8 feet.

When do I drain my sprinklers? You should always try and get those drained before the first hard frost hits. You can also check to make sure you know which sprinklers need maintenance so those can be repaired before the next season.

What about all my garden hoses? Make sure you drain all of them and coil them up and most importantly, unscrew them from the faucets they are attached too.

While you are in the garage, look at your mower and see if it needs any maintenance done. This would be the time to take it in and have those blades sharpened or oil changed. No rush to get it back, but hopefully you will have it by the time for the first spring mow.

And before the snow blows, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to make sure you have all of your snow shovels ready, along with ice melt and ice scrapers in all the vehicles. What about that snow blower, make sure that is running smoothly before that first snow hits.

Sometimes you think, I don’t have time for all of this, but in the long run, the little bit of time you spend preparing saves you stress when you actually are in the moment of all of it.

Kinning Design Build

Your Kitchen: The Ultimate Dance Floor

As the weather is getting warmer and activities have moved outdoors you may think your kitchen is going to get a rest from constant company. However, we all know that your kitchen is where everyone ultimately ends up.

Your kitchen floor sees it all. Dirty shoes, dirty feet, dirty paws…a lot of dirt and hopefully a little dancing.

When choosing your kitchen floor many factors need to be taken into consideration. Three of those factors are:




Your floors need to match your overall style. Light flooring can draw your eye upward to those beautiful kitchen cabinets you had custom made but light flooring gets dirty a lot quicker than a dark floor. When thinking about choosing a lighter flooring look into a natural stone or tile which is easy to clean. A dark wood floor will draw a lot of attention downward which may be intentional. Your cherry oak floors deserve attention but they may draw your eyes away from your lovely granite countertops. Whatever you choose, match your style but durability and clean-ability are just as important.

The material you choose will be influenced greatly by your style but also keep in mind that your kitchen floor will experience a lot of wear and tear. For those of you who don’t want concrete kitchen floors here are some other durable alternatives:

  • Natural Stone (such as travertine)
  • Tile
  • Hardwood or Engineered Hardwood

The third, and for some of you, most important factor when making these decisions is price. The most important thing is to do your research. Sometimes you get what you pay for so paying extra, especially when it comes to flooring may mean you are getting more value. Try finding your ideal flooring, if it’s out of your price range talk to the flooring company about a similar, less expensive alternative.

Overall, your kitchen is a gathering place whether you want it to be or not so you might as well create a kitchen space that can sustain a little more wear and tear than you plan for.