Ideas to Make Your Father’s Day Fun

Son giving dad Father's Day CardIt’s time to celebrate dads in gratitude for everything they do (those Dad jokes aren’t going to tell themselves). Whether you’ve already found the perfect gift or you’re looking for some simple yet meaningful activities to bond with your dad, keeping reading for some ideas!

Do what Dad loves

Sometimes the best gift is simply spending time together. Why not spend the day doing something dad loves? Whether it’s visiting museums, going bowling, hiking, camping, fishing or even catching a ball game, spending some quality time together is something your dad is sure to remember and appreciate for years to come.

Fire up the grill

With the warmer weather, celebrating Father’s Day outdoors is a great option. Get the entire family together to celebrate dad with a backyard BBQ. Play some backyard games while grilling up some of dad’s favorites for a filling meal everyone will enjoy. Need some ideas to plan the menu? Try one of these ideas!

Plan a spa day

Spa days aren’t just for women! Dad deserves to be pampered as well. Book your dad a haircut or professional shave, or even consider booking a massage to help him relax.

Have a Father’s Day movie night

Pop some popcorn, grab some snacks, and some favorite drinks and enjoy a movie night! Watch father-themed movies like Incredibles 2, Indiana Jones, We Bought a Zoo, The Lion King, Finding Nemo, or The Godfather for an older group. Here are some more ideas.

Plan a road trip

Pack up the car and road trip to a fun destination. Make it a day trip or a weekend jaunt. There are plenty of amazing destinations to explore with the family: visit a National Park, local attractions, or even far-flung family.

Time spent together is always the perfect gift. Whether it’s a grand adventure in the great outdoors or a quiet evening at home, these activities will give your dad a chance to spend some quality time together with the family.

Non-Traditional Thanksgiving Ideas

Thanksgiving is just a few days away, which means that if you haven’t already planned your Thanksgiving menu, it’s time to sit down and figure out how to entertain your guests. This year, instead of doing the traditional turkey and mashed potatoes – or perhaps in addition to these delicious Thanksgiving staples – why not try something non-traditional? This is not only something to do in an effort to be more creative, but as a way to make sure your vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and keto guests are all accommodated for, too.
Serve a veggie-centric dish at Thanksgiving
Serve a Large Veggie-Centric Dish
Regardless of what your main course is (for most people, it’s turkey), you should make sure that a veggie-centric dish is on your Thanksgiving table, too. With a veggie dish, like a large salad with nuts, fresh cranberries, citrus, and perhaps an optional goat cheese add-on, you can hit the mark for nearly all diets. This gives anyone who doesn’t want to have something else (potatoes, turkey, stuffing) an option that will still fill their plate and their stomachs.
Aim for Healthier this Thanksgiving
Aim for Healthier
Sure, we all love the traditional Thanksgiving foods, ranging from stuffing to green bean casserole. But it’s very possible to stray slightly from the traditional recipes without sacrificing taste and quality, and creating something healthier. For example, try The Castaway Kitchen’s keto, paleo, and Whole30-approved green bean casserole in place of the cream of mushroom and canned green beans variation. Your guests who are dieting will appreciate it, and provide some fun conversion around the recipe change-up.
Non Traditional Thanksgiving Meal
You Don’t HAVE to Stick with Turkey
Yes, turkey is the traditional Thanksgiving dish, but let’s be honest – it can be a pain to make (especially if you’re only serving dinner for a few), and a lot of people honestly just don’t prefer it over other meats. This year, consider venturing outside the Thanksgiving box by serving duck, goose, chicken, or even a pork loin or roast beef instead. If you are having a vegetarian or vegan Thanksgiving, you can forgo the meat altogether and focus on large and filling sides. After all, the sides are the best part according to some people.
Honor your heritage this Thanksgiving
Honor Your Heritage This Year
The above suggestions still keep the traditional Thanksgiving foods in mind, even though recipes and variations are made. But if you’re really feeling daring, you can host Thanksgiving without any Thanksgiving foods at all. Instead of turkey, potatoes, and stuffing, you could serve Indian food, go Cajun, try out Korean BBQ, or something else entirely like homemade sushi! The options are endless. If you’re going to put in a lot of work and effort into a meal, don’t feel confined to the traditional dishes. This year, honor your heritage, and look forward to sharing that with your guests. Isn’t that what Thanksgiving is really about?
New Home Kitchen
Put Your New Kitchen to Good Use
Whatever you decide to do food-wise this Thanksgiving, we hope that you’ll put both your kitchen and dining room to good use!
Have you been thinking about up-sizing? Or perhaps you’re wanting to move closer to friends and family in the Northwest. At Hayden Homes, we are building 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!

Trick-or-Treat Fun in Your New Home

Are you looking for a fun way to make Halloween more eventful this year? If so, one idea is to host a pre-trick-or-treating game night for your young trick-or-treaters. Here are some tips on how you can make the most of your new home on Halloween night.
Trick-or-Treat Fun in Your New Home
Start with a Plan (and Stick to the Schedule)
Having a plan, and sticking to it, is always one of the best ways to ensure that things run as smoothly as possible. As you’re planning your event and creating invitations, things to consider include:
  • Are you inviting kids and their parents?
  • What time do you want the party to start?
  • What time do you want to the party to end and transition into trick-or-treating?
  • Do you need any chaperones? How about for the trick-or-treating portion of the evening?
Answer these questions now, and include any details on your invitations.
Create Cute Halloween Party Invites
Make Cute and Clever Halloween-Themed Invites
Part of the fun of throwing a party is making cute party invitations. An appealing Halloween-themed invitation can make the difference between a rockin’ party and a ghost town. We recommend sending out invitations that are crafty and clever. You can find some great invitation ideas on by doing a Google search or by looking on Pinterest. Plenty of inspiration out there!
Decorate for Halloween
Decorate your Home for Halloween!
In addition to the invitations, creating awesome party decorations is a must when planning a party in your new home. Buy decorations if you’re in a rush, or set aside a day with the kids to create different decorations by a hand. This is a great way to spend time together as a family and provide your kids with a creative outlet during a day of inclement weather.
Offer food and beverages for adults too
Offer Food and Drink (for Adults, too!)
No party is complete without yummy food and drinks. During Halloween, there are a lot of fun and spooky serving options. Some top food choices that kids and adults will like include deviled eggs with spiders (using olives to create the spiders), carrot “fingers,” and Frankenstein sushi (see this great post from Genius Kitchen for more recipe ideas, including the ones listed). Remember that the kids are about to go trick-or-treating where they’ll be walking a lot and – let’s not forget – loading up on candy, so this is a great way to get their bellies filled with something  nutritious before they go out.
Keep Games Spooky and Fun
Keep Games Spooky and Fun 
Finally, plan some games that are spooky, fun, and age appropriate! Some games might include Pin the Tail on the Cat, a pumpkin toss, Ghost in the Graveyard, a Halloween-creature pinata, and a Guess-How-Many game using candy corn or other Halloween treat. A simple game of hide-and-seek or duck-duck-goose can also be a great option.
Have a Great Halloween in Your New Home
This Halloween, put your new home to work by hosting a pre-trick-or-treating Halloween party for your kids. Remember to invite other parents and summon their help in keeping little ones supervised, and perhaps showing off that brand new kitchen or open layout of yours!
Still not in the home of your dreams? If you’re a potential home buyer, we have countless homes for sale throughout Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. Reach out to us at Hayden Homes today to learn more.

Stress Free Holiday Entertaining in Your New Home

If you’re excited about having people in your brand new home for the holidays, then you’re probably stressing over what you can to ensure that your holiday season is as stress-free and smooth as possible. Here are some tips for some holiday entertaining in your new home that will keep tension low and levels of fun high.Stress Free Holiday Entertaining in Your New Home

Give Yourself Plenty of Time

We know that you’re excited about your new home, but if you don’t give yourself enough time to plan the perfect holiday party, you’ll be kicking yourself over all of the last-minute stress. Start planning your holiday party, including when it will be, who will be invited, and what you’ll be serving at least a couple of weeks in advance. And of course, don’t wait until the last minute to get invitations out, get the place tidied up, and start your grocery shopping before things get crazy.

Ask for help at holiday partyDon’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

Hosting your first holiday party in your dream home is a big deal, and you surely want to leave your guests with a great first impression. But that doesn’t mean that you have to do everything on your own. Ask your kids or spouse to help you get cleaned up or prepare dishes, and don’t hesitate to ask guests to bring their favorite holiday dish or beverage.

Keep Your Holiday Party SimpleKeep It Simple

One of the things that can cause the most stress is trying to do something overly complicated for the first time, like creating a centerpiece you saw in your favorite homemaking magazine, or trying to bake a very intricate dessert or a 4 course meal. Simple decorations and recipes can be just as enjoyable and impressive, and are typically way less stressful to try to manage. Finger foods are a staple at every party.

Set an End Time to Holiday Party

Set an End Time

There will always be that one guest, or guests, that can’t seem to take a hint that it’s the end of the night, and that you’re ready for them to clear out so you can clean up and hit the sack. The best way to ensure that your guests won’t overstay their welcome is to put an ending time right on the invitation, such as “Holiday Cocktail Hour from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.” As the hour to say goodbye gets closer, invite guests for a celebratory farewell toast.

Clean Up as You goClean Up As You Go

Of course, you don’t want to be scrubbing during the party, but you can take small steps to ensure that things will be a little bit easier to pick up at the end of the night. For example, set out garbage and recycle bins that are clearly marked, hand out napkins, and do quick wipe ups for any spills. Another easy hack is to use disposable (go for compostable to stay green!) plates so you’re not stuck doing dishes! Even some of the fanciest parties use plastic cutlery.

Your First Holiday Party in Your New Home

We hope that as a new homebuyer, your first holiday in your new home goes as planned and is a memorable experience for you! If you’re thinking of buying a new home or buying your first home, we have homes for sale all over the northwest, including in Idaho, Washington, and Oregon. We can’t wait to help you find your dream home!

Quick Holiday Recipes from Hayden Homes

With the holiday’s nearing, we wanted to share with you three of our favorite quick and easy recipes. These are great for casual gatherings with friends and family and are sure to please any crowd! They are perfect for everything from waiting for the turkey to bake to a Monday night football game. Enjoy!

Easy Sausage Cheese BallsEasy Cheesy Meatballs
Ingredients:
1 Pound Sausage
4 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
3 Cups Baking Mix

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
In a medium bowl, combine the sausage, cheese, and dry baking mix. Mix together, and shape mixture into walnut-sized balls. Place on a foil-lined cookie sheet.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Serve hot.

Grape Jelly MeatballsGrape Jelly Meatballs – it sounds odd, but they’re delicious!
Ingredients:
1 (32 Ounce) jar grape jelly
2 (12 ounce) bottles tomato-based chili sauce (such as Heinz®)
1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
3 (5 pound) bags frozen cocktail-size meatballs

Directions:
Combine grape jelly, chili sauce, and cayenne pepper in a saucepan over medium-high heat; cook until warm, 5 to 10 minutes. Place meatballs in a slow cooker and top with grape jelly mixture. Cook on Low for 3 to 4 hours.

Artichoke dip on a holiday tableArtichoke Dip
Ingredients:
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1 bunch chopped scallions
2 cans quartered artichoke hearts (drained)
1 cup grated parmesan cheese

Directions:
Simmer in double boiler until cheese is melted. Serve in fresh bred bowl, sliced baguette, or with assorted chips and veggies.

Leave a comment below and let us know if you made them and how it went!

Tastefully Decorating Your Home for Halloween

Fall is one of the best times of year for many reasons, especially if you are into home decor. In addition to changing leaves, yummy food, and scented candles, Halloween also falls smack dab in the middle of fall, providing for yet another great decorating opportunity. Here are some ideas for tastefully decorating your new home for Halloween.

Classic Fall
One way to celebrate fall and Halloween while still keeping things classy is to ditch the cobwebs and witches’ brooms and just stick to pumpkins, scarecrows, and bales of hay on your porch and outdoor walkway. For added effect, if you want to spook things up a bit, you can add a jack-o-lantern, or a model black cat. Adding an autumn wreath to the door complete with bats will do the trick, too.

Bringing Decor IndoorsPumpkins for Halloween Decorating the outside of your home is easy – you really can’t go wrong with pumpkins, fall landcare, and winter landscaping! But indoors, it can be a bit more difficult to strike a balance between spooky and elegant, tasteful and tacky. Some recommendations that can help you create just the right aura include:

  • Black candlestick holders with black or orange candles – A black candlestick holder is very classic, but when combined with a black or orange candlestick, you create a Halloween atmosphere without putting too much effort into it. This makes for a great table centerpiece.
  • Glittery spider webs, witches’ brooms, and witches’ hats – If you decide to go all out with the Halloween decor, more power to you! Consider incorporating some glitter to sparkle things up a bit. Glitter makes everything prettier. Put a fun spin on classic Halloween decorations by giving them a spray with black, and then glitter, spray paint, or simply glue some glitter where you see fit.
  • Pumpkins, pumpkins, and more pumpkins – Don’t just leave pumpkins for the outdoors! Pumpkins, gourds, carved Decorate-your-new-home-for-halloweenjack-o-lanterns, and painted and mini pumpkins all have a place on shelves and tables inside during Halloween, too.
  • Bat mobile – A great DIY Halloween project that you can involve the kids in making is a bat mobile from MarthaStewart.com (this an other great Halloween ideas on our Pinterest Page). This is done by finding a great branch outdoors, spray painting it black, and tying bat cutouts (that you make yourself using black cardstock) to it.

Use Leaves to Your Advantage
During fall, the change of the color of leaves is beautiful. Not only do leaves change color, but they are often shades of orange, a color that represents the festivities of Halloween. If you have too many leaves in your yard to know what to do with and that are preventing you from using the lawn aerator, consider pressing and framing leaves, creating a leaf wreath, or bundling leaves and tying with twine as part of table centerpieces. Using leaves to your advantage is an easy way to tastefully decorate while also recognizing fall and Halloween.

Enjoy Your New Hayden Home!
We hope that you are loving your new home by Hayden Homes in Washington, Oregon, or Idaho. One of the most fun things about a new home in the Northwest is decorating, so refer to the ideas above to get your dream home looking great for fall and Halloween! Happy entertaining!

Decorating Your New Home to Reflect the Fall Season

Fall Centerpiece Ideas As the days become shorter and the nights become cooler, there is no doubt fall is upon us. However, the change of temperatures doesn’t have to be a drag – fall is full of enjoyable things, such as the back-to-school season, Halloween, changing leaves, and it’s a great excuse to cozy up with a good book in your favorite nook in your brand new home by Hayden Homes. As you settle into fall, here are a few fall decorating tips to ensure that your home reflects the season.

Fall-Inspired Centerpieces

Whether you’re looking for a great centerpiece for the table within your new Hayden Homes’ kitchen, or you want an eye-popping piece to place on an entryway or coffee table, creating a fall-inspired centerpiece is easy to do and will certainly draw positive attention. As recommended, on our Fall Decorating Ideas Pinterest page, start by securing a round or oval shaped container that is long and shallow. Fill the bottom of the container with soil, and plant a mix of succulents, leaving plenty of room in between succulents. Then, in unfilled spaces, add an array of fall-focused veggies, like eggplants, mini-pumpkins, zucchini, and radishes. You can top it off with sprigs of fresh herbs.

Easy Fall Door Decorations

The front door is the entryway to your home, and is also the first thing to draw attention when looking at your home from the outside. As such, focusing on the front door and the surrounding area/porch is a great place to start when it comes to fall decorations. And even better, decorating the front door and front porch is easy! In fact, you can really spruce things up and get in the fall spirit simply by adding an array of different colored and different sized pumpkins, gourds, planted fall flowers (think dark oranges and reds), bales of hay, and a pretty fall door wreath.

Wreaths are fun because you can use a wide range of different materials to create a wreath that is fall-themed. Try involving the kids by going on a fallen fall leaf hunt, and then gluing leaves together around a wreath. Or, scrounge up pinecones, pumpkins, corn husks, or even cranberries to create a unique fall wreath idea.

Around Your New HomeDecorating-ideas-blog-easy-fall-decor

Another great way that you can get the kids involved and add a little flair to your new home is to create DIY framed leaves. For this project, you’ll need some beautiful leaves that are in good condition. You can also use flowers or other fall plants. Then, press your leaves or other plants in between the pages of some heavy books, being sure to put parchment paper in the books first – leaves should be flattened after about 30-45 minutes. You will then put these in a frame of your choice (glass looks great!) and hang around the home as desired.

What other ideas do you have for decorating your home? Don’t forget about decorating your kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, and other living areas, too! And if you need help looking for a new home for sale in Washington, Idaho, Oregon, and all throughout the Northwest, don’t hesitate to reach out to Hayden Homes today for help.

Backyard Party Ideas for a Great Labor Day Celebration

Labor Day is not only aBuilding New homes for nearly 30 years great way to celebrate the American labor movement and current workforce (and yourself!), but also a fitting way to observe the end of summer. As such, there are few things more enjoyable for Labor Day than hosting a backyard party, either with your own family, with extended family, or with neighbors and friends. This Labor Day, put your new home to work with the following backyard party ideas. Labor Day is not only a great way to celebrate the American labor movement and current workforce (and yourself!), but also a fitting way to observe the end of summer. As such, there are few things more enjoyable for Labor Day than hosting a backyard party, either with your own family, with extended family, or with neighbors and friends. This Labor Day, put your new home to work with the following backyard party ideas.

Set Up Yard Games
Labor Day Backyard GamesNo BBQ or outdoor cookout is complete without yard games, especially when the end of summer (and perhaps the end of so much time to play games and hang out outside) is here. There are dozens of easy, inexpensive, and super fun yard games that you can set up in your home’s backyard. These range from a make-your-own bowling game, to obstacle courses, to the full list of yard games provided by Tosso.com (horseshoes and ladder golf to name a couple). If your party is being hosted for both kids and adults, make sure you have age-appropriate games for all. Adults may also enjoy other games that aren’t yard specific, like card or board games.

Choose a Theme
If you’re hosting a backyard Labor Day party, why not make it a themed party? For example, nothing says “American” like a pair of blue jeans, and blue jeans are a symbol of the American blue-collar worker, so why not set a denim blue dress code? Denim shorts are “in” right now.

Make Something Special
A great party, indoors or out, needs great food and drink. Plus, what better way to make the most of your new Hayden Homes’ kitchen? Try the following delicious food ideas:

  • Artichoke dip;
  • Summer sangria;
  • Lemon pepper BBQ chicken;
  • Greek chicken tacos; and
  • Lemon-lime pound cake.

DOWNLOAD THE RECIPES HERE!

Want to take some of the pressure off? Tell guests that you’ll prepare the main dish, but ask for them to bring some sides, salads, or desserts to share.

Great Backyard IdeasGet Your Yard in Good Shape
For an outdoor party, you’ll need to make sure your yard is in good shape. If your home is brand new, you may not yet have all of the flowers and greenery that you’re hoping for, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t ready for hosting! Trim the grass, fill a few flower pots, and dust off the patio furniture. You can also hang outdoor lights, or place solar lights around your yard. Outdoor citronella candles can add ambiance and help to keep the bugs away.

Have a Great Labor Day!
This Labor Day, we hope you have a day that is full of relaxation, fun, and preparation for the fall. For a party that you won’t forget, incorporate the advice above, and don’t forget to have a backup plan for bad weather, too.

Still dreaming about building a new home in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, or somewhere in the Pacific Northwest? Hayden Homes can help. Come check out our brand new homes today.

5 Tips for Cleaning Up and Organizing After the Holidays

The holidays bring us happy memories, parties, festive decor and gifts from those we love. After the busyness of the season dies down, many realize that the new holiday decor items and gifts they have acquired do not have a place. Some of these new items are large, bulky and take up a lot of space. Or you might have some newly acquired belongings you are struggling to find a place for. No matter how big or small your home is, finding a spot for things is all about organization and innovation. Here are a few tips for bringing order and peace to the clutter piling up after the holidays.

1- De-clutter

You might have heard the saying “get one, toss two.” It’s easy to become overwhelmed by a lot of stuff if you save everything you ever get. One easy way to keep the clutter at a minimum is to adopt this principle. Look around your home and find things you have not used in the last 6-12 months. Do you really need that item? If the answer is no, donate it to Goodwill or simply throw it away. There is freedom and liberation when you declutter. If there are holiday items you dislike or never use, it’s time to get rid of them.

2- Basket and box like items

It is really hard to find anything when there is no order. Storing similar items together is a great way to organize. For instance, box all the Christmas tree ornaments, outdoor holiday lights and Christmas living room decor in their own separate bins. Better yet, label these bins so you can find them easier next year! An expert tip: Try this same organizing tactic all over your home and you will find it can make life easier.

3- Add shelving

With all these bins helping you stay organized, finding a place for these containers is the next step. Putting shelving in your basement or garage is a better idea than in prime storage areas like frequently used closets. If the ceiling in your garage is tall enough, adding a ceiling shelf in the garage is a great place to store the bins for your holiday decor. It keeps them out of the way until you need them next year. You can build your own or purchase a ceiling shelf kit. Ceiling shelves are also a great place for oversized yard decorations like inflatables or reindeers.

4- Take notes for next year

Inventory what you have as you pack it away so you don’t accidentally buy a duplicate item. It’s easy to forget what you have since you only see it once a year. If you like sending Christmas cards, save all the cards you received in a container with the corresponding addresses attached to make sending cards next year that much easier.

5- Organize wrapping supplies

This one is very important as the rolls of wrapping paper, gift bags and bows can grow each year. Find long, narrow wrapping paper containers to keep the paper safe and nice. Another container for bows, gift bags and ribbon is a great idea too.

A fresh start for 2017

Start off the new year with an organized home, because it is proven that the more order your life has, the happier you will be. If you’ve had enough and it’s time to upgrade to a bigger home, Hayden Homes is there for you. Whether it’s your first home or you are ready to buy your dream home, our team is happy to help you find the right floor plan for your needs. Contact us today to learn more about purchasing your new home in 2017.