Fun Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day at Home

Have plans this Valentine’s Day? If you’re not exactly sure what you want to do with your significant other this Valentine’s Day we can help. Remember: home is where the heart is, so what better place to celebrate love than in your home? Avoid the crowds everywhere by having a fun evening at home with some of these fun date ideas.

If you have kids, an at-home Valentine’s is a great way to include the whole family. If you’re looking for fun kid-friendly Valentine’s Day activities, check out these blog posts!

Dine in Style

Skip the crowded and expensive restaurants and enjoy a romantic dinner at home. Recreate a fancy dining experience by decorating the table with your best tablecloth and a few candles. Either make your own dinner or order takeout from your favorite place. Don’t forget dessert!

Have a dessert cook-off

What’s Valentine’s Day without a little something sweet? Each person chooses a dessert to make and then taste them to see who made the best one. Make your chosen dessert together in the kitchen. Need some ideas? Here are some great ones!

Cuddle up for a movie

Valentine’s Day is a great excuse to cuddle with your sweetheart and watch a romantic movie. Or choose your favorites and have a movie marathon. Grab your favorite movie snacks and settle in for a fun evening. Add a fun twist by building a blanket fort to hang out in!

Go dancing at home

Turn on some music, move your living room furniture out of the way, and dance the night away in your living room! Put together a fun playlist of your favorite dance songs, including some slow jams, and dance like no one is looking. If you don’t know how to dance, watch some instructional dance videos and learn some new steps together.

Fill a jar with future date-night ideas

Celebrate your love all yearlong by brainstorming some new date ideas. Spend the evening filling a jar with a bunch of date ideas. Before your next date night, draw an idea from the jar and have fun!

Go stargazing

Bundle up and head outside to do a little stargazing. You can make it extra cozy by bringing a blanket to share and some warm drinks. Bring a skygazing chart or download an app to learn more about what’s in the starry skies or go it alone and just enjoy a quiet evening underneath the stars.

These are just a few fun ways you can celebrate Valentine’s Day with your sweetheart without leaving home. We hope your Hayden home is filled with plenty of love this year! Happy Valentine’s Day!

Tips and Ideas to Keep Kids Busy Over the Holiday Break

Mom and her son baking in their new home - Tips and Ideas to Keep Kids Busy Over the Holiday BreakThe holidays are a joyous time of the year and can be a great time to bond with your kids and let your inner child out. Here are 11 activities to keep your kids busy during the holidays that you can use whenever, wherever you need them. When the weather outside is frightful, these tips are so delightful, let your imagination run wild and keep your kids occupied with these fun tips and ideas!

1 – Play With Blocks or Legos

That’s right! Take your supply of blocks or Legos and let the kids dump them on the floor and play away. This will keep them entertained for at least an hour or longer.

2 – Check on the Reindeer

Did you know Santa has a live feed? Let your kids check on Santa’s Reindeer and have them report to you on what’s happening. Who doesn’t love to watch cuddly animals in their natural habitat?

3 – Play Store or Office

This can be great fun for your kids. To get started, set up a little table with a cash register, toy money (maybe from the Monopoly game that’s collecting dust in the closet), little pieces of paper (receipts), and a scanner one idea is to use the little attachment of your vacuum as the scanner). The other kids fill their toy shopping cart with toys and take it to the cashier. Let your kids use the bags that you have from your shopping trips as their grocery bags – they will have a blast!

4 – Make a Home Movie

Let your kids become movie stars for an afternoon. Pick a plot for your movie and let their creative juices run wild. If they don’t want to be the main characters, let them make their movie using Lego figures or their favorite dolls.

7 – Put Up a Fort

Who remembers hours spent in their favorite homemade fort? Grab some blankets, pillows, and sheets from the closet, push some chairs together, and voila your kids have a fort. Inside they can be whomever they wish.Let your kids use it as a special holiday fort for games, reading and other quiet activities.

8 – Bake Cookies or Other Holiday Treats

Kids love to help! Baking with you is one way you can have fun together and get a little help in the kitchen. Let them help make their favorite cookies or make Nutter Butter Snowmen cookies. Not only are they super cute, but they’re super easy as well.

9 – Play With Boxes

This is the time of the year when the Amazon deliveries arrive at a regular cadence. Rather than recycle the boxes, let your kids turn them into a playhouse, boat, car, cave or any other idea that they can think of!

10 – Hot Cocoa Read-Aloud

This is a great time to start a new tradition, maybe one that involves the entire family and reading. Do this by creating a nightly reading ritual, where you sip hot cocoa, or tea, and listen to a book read aloud. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever has great reviews, is relatively short and provides a meaningful message.

11 – Volunteer

The holidays are a great time of the year to give of your time. Encourage your kids to serve someone in your community, some ideas include:
  • Shovel the snow of the elderly neighbor
  • Go as a family to a local food bank
  • Select a family to shop for and provide holiday cheer
We guarantee this will not only fill your time but will nurture a feeling of gratitude for what you have.
We hope these 11 tips and ideas for keeping your kids busying over the holiday break are useful and fun for the entire family. Send us a note to info@hayden-homes.com with your favorite activities for your kids and we’ll be sure to share them.
If a new home is on your wish list this year, Hayden Homes can help! We have new homes for sale throughout Washington, Idaho, Oregon. We’re looking forward to helping you find your dream home!

Holiday Lighting and Decoration Tips & Tricks

Home with holiday lights out frontIt’s that time of year! What better way to kick off the holiday season than with some festive lights and crafty decorations? If you’re like a lot of people, you may just decide to “wing it” and maybe that works… however, why stress yourself out by feeling unprepared? There are a few simple things you can do to help prepare yourself and your home for the upcoming holiday décor. We want to help ease your stress, so we’ve put together a few holiday tips and tricks to help ensure your vision for an exceptionally decorated home is as stress free as possible.

Most important, Stay Safe!

Holiday lights involve a high amount of electricity, try to avoid connecting too many strands together which can overload the circuit. Also, be sure to check your GFCIs which is the ground-fault circuit interrupters, this causes an automatic turnoff if there is any overheating in the electrical circuit. Turning your outside lights off when you’re asleep or away from home can ease your worries.

Are your lights safe for outdoor use?

With the potential for harsh winter conditions, throughout the Pacific Northwest, it’s important to ensure your holiday lighting will hold up to the elements. Check the package for UL outdoor ratings, these can be used both indoors and outdoors. Don’t assume your lights are safe from the damp-cold weather just because the wires are coated, make sure to check that they are weatherproof.

How to plan your design

Keep it simple! (Well unless you’d like your home to be seen from miles away.) Decorating can be overwhelming, and you may not know where to start. To start, we recommend choosing a focal point. This will help you focus primarily on one area, taking the stress away from feeling like you need to bedazzle your entire house.

Examine your home and measure

Check out your gutters, shingles, and the overhang from your roofline to determine how to best hang your lights. A few popular spots for holidays lights are along your rooflines, around pillars and windows, door frames and even near driveways. Let’s not forget to measure how many lights we will need. Measure the area you’re wanting to hang lights and find the nearest power strip; this will help ensure you have enough lights for the area you’re wanting to cover.

The holidays can be a stressful and overwhelming, however, they do not need to be, by following these simple tips you will feel more prepared for when you’re ready to start decorating your new home. Just remember, stay safe and have fun with it!

Enjoy the holidays in your new Hayden home!

We hope you enjoy your holidays in your new home by Hayden Home. One of the best things is being able to spend time with the people who matter most. If you’re thinking of buying a new home (or even your first home), we have homes for sale in Idaho, Washington, and Oregon. We’re looking forward to helping you find your dream home in the Northwest!

 

How to be a Good Thanksgiving Guest

Group at holiday table - How to be a Good Thanksgiving GuestMost Thanksgiving guides offer tips for hosting Thanksgiving, but what should guests expect when they’re not the ones cooking? Even though your role on Thanksgiving is smaller, here are some things you can do to be a great Thanksgiving guest.

RSVP!

If you’re lucky enough to be invited to Thanksgiving dinner, be courteous by letting your host know if you’ll be attending right away so they can plan appropriately. Don’t show up with an unexpected guest! Always ask before bringing additional people.

Mention dietary requirements

Vegetarian, keto, gluten-free, vegan, or allergic to something? Let your host know if you have any dietary requirements, and offer to bring a dish that meets your needs that can be shared.

Always ask before you bring a dish

Your host will spend a lot of time thinking about the menu so if you want to contributing a side dish, ask!  If you do bring a dish, be considerate: bring a prepared dish (don’t try to put it together in their kitchen the day of) in its own serving dish and utensils, and if your dish needs to be chilled or warmed up on the stove or in the oven, let your host know ahead of time.

If your host declines, consider bringing a bottle of wine or sparkling juice, making it clear it doesn’t need to be served with the meal, or even flowers for your host as a thank you.

Be timely

It takes a lot of time and coordination to put a Thanksgiving meal on the table, so don’t stress your hosts out by showing up too early or too late. If you do end up running late, or not able to attend, be respectful and let your host know as soon as possible.

Don’t crowd the kitchen

The kitchen is the busiest room on Thanksgiving. The temptation to hang out in the kitchen to maybe get some taste tests before the meal but give the cook some breathing room and space by staying out of their way.

Offer to help clean up

Once the meal is finished, offer to help clean up but don’t insist. Some hosts may have a system in place or would prefer to have their guests relax following the meal. Whether or not the host accepts, simply asking to help is always appreciated.

Don’t linger too long

You don’t want to risk overstaying your welcome.

Give thanks

Thanksgiving is all about being grateful for what we have. Embrace the Thanksgiving spirit and share your gratitude to your hosts for inviting by sending a thank you note.

Wherever you spend your Thanksgiving, we’re sure you can find a lot to be thankful for this year. Do you want to host Thanksgiving next year? Or perhaps you need a larger home so you can invite more guests over. Whatever your reason, we have brand new homes throughout Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. Reach out to us today to learn more about our new homes for sale, and we hope you have a blessed and memorable Thanksgiving holiday!

Simple Ways to Prepare Your Home for Thanksgiving

Photo of a living room - Simple Ways to Prepare Your Home for ThanksgivingThanksgiving is a wonderful holiday. It’s about gathering with your loved ones and celebrating thankfulness. However, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed if you’re hosting Thanksgiving at your new home. Especially when you begin thinking about all the things you need to do before your first guest arrives!

Don’t strive for perfection

The first tip: forget about reaching perfection: a perfectly cooked meal, clean kitchen, happy guests, etc. Sometimes life gets in the way and things go awry so before you begin planning, take a moment to focus on what a happy Thanksgiving would look like for you (it may include happy and full guests and a messy kitchen!) instead.

Deep clean the kitchen

Thanksgiving is the start of heavy kitchen use for many people. Now is a great time to give your kitchen a thorough cleaning. Clean out the fridge and pantry, wipe down countertops and sweep the floor, clean the microwave. Make sure your appliances are in working order. You can do a quick clean of your oven and stove but resist the urge to run the self-cleaning function. The self-clean cycle can be hard on your oven and this is not the time to start having issues with your oven! Save that for another time.

Get your guest room ready

If you’re hosting overnight guests, take time to get the guest rooms ready. Tidy up the guest room by vacuuming and dusting, change the linens, and set out fresh towels and additional blankets.

Prepare the bathroom for guests

Bathrooms are the second most used room during gatherings, so make sure they’re ready to handle a crowd. Give your bathrooms a thorough cleaning, focusing on the toilet, sink, and bathtub. Make sure there’s plenty of soap, the toilet paper and tissues are fully stocked, and put out plenty of fresh towels as well.

Clean the living areas

Make life easier by focusing on the areas your guests will be in: the living room, dining room, and bathroom. Your cleaning plan is simple: tidy up and clear clutter, dust, and vacuum. Your home will be clean in no time!

Set the table early

Ever rushed through setting the table before your first guest arrive? Instead, take advantage of the calm before the Thanksgiving storm to avoid feeling rushed. You can even plan out your serving dishes by placing food labels in the corresponding serving dish.

Set aside a place for coats and bags

Designate a place in your home to hold guests’ coats and purses. This can be a closet near the front door or in a bedroom

Enjoy the holidays in your new Hayden home!

We hope you enjoy your holidays in your new home by Hayden Homes. One of the best things is being able to spend time with the people who matter most. If you’re thinking of buying a new home (or even your first home), we have homes for sale in Idaho, Washington, and Oregon. We’re looking forward to helping you find your dream home in the Northwest!