Summer is basically here, and what’s more fun than all the good summer cookouts? You’ll want to make sure your home is ready for guests, and here are some easy tips to make that happen.
It’s that decorating time of year, and no one wants to think about safety, but you can avoid holiday safety hazards by taking a few sensible precautions.
1. Practice light safety
Holiday lights are beautiful and can enhance your decorating, but be careful. Before stringing lights, check the cords to make certain none of them have frayed (or been chewed by animals–squirrels and chipmunks can damage outside light cords). Watch the limits on your extension cords or surge protectors. Don’t plug in more lights than they can safely accommodate.
Use hooks or insulated staples for your outside lights. Tacks and nails can damage the cords. Finally, always remember to turn off your lights before leaving the house and before you go to bed.
2. Cook carefully
Holiday meals can mean juggling lots of dishes at one time. Practice raw and undercooked food safety by thawing foods properly and cleaning all surfaces thoroughly. Keep wrapping paper well away from the stove. In fact, make a point of keeping all distractions away from your stove and oven. Unattended cooking is a leading cause of fire. Don’t be a statistic.
3. Care for your decorations
If you use a live tree, make sure to water it so it doesn’t dry out and become a fire hazard. Keep fragile or small decorations out of the hands (and mouths) of small children. Never use candles in place of tree lights. In fact, be careful with all candles used in any holiday celebrations.
4. Practice pet safety
Some plants are poisonous: mistletoe, holly and poinsettias are several examples. Keep such plants out of the reach of pets. Don’t let your cat climb your Christmas tree or play with the decorations. Yes, they look just like toys to be batted about, but ones made of glass or thin plastic can damage paws.
Remember that chocolate is poisonous to dogs. One client told the story of a friend who sent a pound of high-quality dark baker’s chocolate as a gift. The dog smelled it through the wrapping paper and indulged while his owners were away for a holiday party. The dog survived the mishap, but it could have been tragic.
5. Be sensible about travel plans
If you plan to travel, leave word with a neighbor to collect mail, newspapers and keep an eye on your house. Never announce travel plans on social media. Some thieves use the information to plan which homes to rob in their owner’s absence.
6. Have fun!
Yes, you need to take some sensible precautions to stay safe this holiday season, but don’t let them get in the way of having a great time with parties, family and friends.
Image courtesy of mapichai at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
The holidays are supposed to be a happy, family-focused time of year. However, there are potential hazards you need to be aware of, and the fine folks at Home Advisor have created a handy infographic to help us in preventing common holiday home hazards.
A few noteworthy items:
1. Be careful where you place your Christmas tree. Keep it away from high-traffic areas and heating sources.
2. Don’t plug too many holiday lights into one extension cord. Turn off all decorations at night.
3. Stay in the kitchen while cooking.
For the rest of the tips,check out the infographic.
Now that summer is here, its time for the outdoor party. While they are fun, they can be time-consuming and nerve-wracking to plan. Here’s a timeline and suggestions to make it easy.
Recognize that for the best possible experience, you need to plan in advance.
Selecting the correct day is important. Do you want evening or daytime? Weekday or weekend? While weekends may seem like the obvious choice, don’t ignore weekday evening gatherings, especially if you’re wanting to accomplish both business and fun. Some great business can happen over fun gatherings. If you’re wondering about the best weekday for this sort of thing, Thursday is your best bet. When your event is close to the weekend, your guests are more likely to relax and stay longer.
When you’ve decided on your date, start your planning clock.
Three to four weeks out: Plan the theme for your event and start assembling your shopping list. This is also the time to send out invitations. Make sure to ask about any food allergies or other dietary concerns and ask your guests to include that information in their RSVP. Evite is a great way to send your invitations and keep track of RSVPs.
Two weeks out: Give your outdoor area a thorough cleaning. You’ll want to do a spot clean the day of the event, but your advance cleaning will make that a breeze. If you need some decorating items for your theme, now is the time to get them and be certain your space will match your theme and look great the day of the party!
One week out: Clean your grill and make sure you have all essentials like cooking and serving tools. Think about music. Do you have speakers for your smartphone or tablet? If not, you can get them inexpensively. This is also the time to assemble your perfect party playlist. Rough out your shopping list, paying special attention to the dietary requirements you’ve been collecting from the RSVPs. You’ll need that list in just a few days.
Two days out: Time to go shopping. You should have a final number from the RSVPs, although planning for extra guests is always a good idea. Keep your eyes open for fun table decorations to match your theme.
One day out: Prepare dishes which can be made in advance. Marinade meats, if needed. Gather all cooking materials and serving tools, so you’re ready for the big day. While it might seem like a good idea to chop vegetables in advance, avoid it if you can. They may start to brown, and you’ll be reducing their nutritional value. We know. Nutrition is usually not the first thing you think of at a party, but you can pay attention in at least this small way.
Day of: It’s here! Obviously, you’ll cook everything so your main entry will be ready within an hour of guest’s arrival time. Put out the munchies. Start up the music and have a great time!
I wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas and to share with you that we are having a Toys for Trees exchange this Saturday at our office in Kingstowne from 9am to 1pm. We will be collecting toys (for Toys for Tots) in exchange for a Christmas Tree and I have reserved one in your name! The trees are 6′ – 7′, freshly cut Frazier Firs. We will be serving light refreshments and Santa will be there too!!!. Please let me know if you would like to accept a tree on my behalf so that I can add your name to our list.
If you will not be able to accept a tree, is there is anyone you know who would like a live Christmas Tree for free or as part of the exchange? Please let me know. I just need the names of the people getting free trees by Saturday morning! Come and have fun!
Please share this with anyone you know who would like to participate. Trees will be on a first come first served basis. I personally have 30 trees reserved right now. I hope you can come by and join in the festivities.
Have a blessed day!