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!

How to Sell Your Home During the Holidays

Living room decorated perfectly for the holidays - How to Sell Your Home During the HolidaysThe holidays can be a hectic time of the year. You might be buying and wrapping gifts, have multiple holiday events to attend or hosting friends and family from out of town. Selling your home may be the last thing you want to add to your growing to-do list but, if you are planning to sell your home this holiday season, we have some tips to help your sale go as smoothly as possible.

1 – Keep Holiday Decorations to a Minimum

While holiday decorations can make your home look fun and festive, sellers should be cautious not to overdo it. Keep in mind that not everyone has the same love of a decked-out home. Décor can turn some buyers off and it can make your home feel crowded and distract buyers from the important features of your home. If you decide to decorate use more red than green, as red is an emotionally appealing color.

This also applies to the exterior of your home – avoid the over-the-top lighting display this year.

2 – Price it to sell

Leverage sites like Trulia and Zillow to research pricing on other homes for sale, in the area, and work with your real estate agent to determine the best price for your home.

3 – Keep it tidy, keep it safe

This can be hard to do this time of the year between cooking, wrapping presents, and trying to keep your home free of mud and other debris that make their way inside during the cold winter months but, be sure to vacuum well and often.  Ensure the outside of your home is clean and presentable as well. Bare trees and shrubs make your home more exposed. Step outside and look at your home from the curb to see your home’s curb appeal and notice if you need to touch up the paint, clean the gutters and spruce up the yard. Also, keep buyers’ safety in mind by making sure stairs and walkways are free of snow, ice and leaves.

4 – Be Available

The holiday season makes it more difficult than usual for real estate agents to schedule showings since all parties involved usually have holiday activities and other events going on. However, since buyers during this time of the year are typically motivated to buy, clear your schedule as much as possible to accommodate potential buyers.

5 – Create a video tour

You’re going to get less foot traffic through your doors during the holidays due to inclement whether and busy schedules. Shoot a video tour of your home and post it online so you can still attract house hunters who are reluctant to brave the elements or simply can’t make it out to tour your home, during a possible winter storm.

 6 – Provide house hunters an escape from the cold

Turn up the heat a bit and make your home feel cozy. When you have visitors make your home feel inviting by playing classical music, baking some fresh cookies and brewing some hot cider. Potential buyers will not only appreciate the gesture, but they may spend more time admiring your home’s best features.

7 – Know that the new year is right around the corner

Take time to remind yourself that even if your home doesn’t sell right away, the new year is right around the corner and the right buyer is out there. We hope that with these tips for selling your home during the holidays, ensure a quick and profitable sale. In turn making the holidays even merrier for you and yours.

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!

Keep Your Home Safe During the Holidays

Keep your home safe for the holidaysThe holidays are a joyous season; with festive parties, gift-giving, and general merriment abounding, the end of the year can be a crazy few weeks! While home safety is a year-round priority for homeowners, keeping your home safe during the holiday season can amp anxieties. Thankfully, with a few simple tips, you can keep your home safe and sound whether you’re traveling for the holidays or staying close to home.

Secure your home

Unsurprisingly, the top tip is to make sure your home is properly secured. Walk through your home to check that every door and window is locked and, if you have one, set your home alarm system before leaving.

If you’re traveling, don’t leave clues that you’re not home. Have your mail and newspaper deliveries placed on hold while you’re away, keep a car parked in the driveway, and use motion sensors for exterior lights around your home.

Keep vacation plans offline

Avoid discussing your travel plans on social media. You don’t want to signal when your home will be unoccupied. Even if you have the highest privacy settings enabled on your social accounts, it’s unwise to share this type of information.

Be smart about gifts and boxes

When you think of the holidays, what do you picture? Perhaps a Christmas tree in front of the window, fully lit and dozens of carefully wrapped presents underneath? While that’s a common sight, it’s also a tempting view for burglars. Keep your home safe by making sure gifts aren’t visible from the outside.

Once gifts are opened, don’t leave the empty boxes outside. Break boxes down so they can fit inside the trash bin so you’re not advertising the new items are now inside your home.

Keep package deliveries safe

Avoid a Grinch-like scene by not having packages sit outside unattended. If possible, have packages delivered to your office or held for pickup. If you’re shopping from an online retailer with a local location, consider having your order shipped to the store for pickup. Most shipping providers may allow you to postpone delivery until you know someone will be home to receive them, or leave directions on where to drop off packages.

Keep your home well-lit

Keeping your home well-lit is an effective way of keeping your home safe. If you’re away, put your lights on a timer so they can turn on in the evening, making it look like someone is home. You can use smart home technology or simple programmable light plugs.

Ask a neighbor to keep watch

Good neighbors look out for each other. Ask trusted neighbor or friend to keep an eye on your home while you’re away. They can contact you if anything happens at your home or even collect your mail if you didn’t place a hold on deliveries.

The holiday season is a busy one but it only takes a few simple steps to keep your home and family safe this season! 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!

Host a Spooktacular Halloween Party

Happy Halloween Party TableDoes the thought of hosting a Halloween party leave you horrified? Don’t be afraid! Thankfully you don’t need to be a professional event planner (or even Martha Stewart) to host a spooktacular Halloween party. Plan a great Halloween party with this ultimate guide of tips, tricks, and party planning hacks.

Think of your guest list

Your guest list (along with your theme) will guide how you plan your Halloween party. What kind of party do you want to host? An adult-only affair? A festive bash for your kids? Or a family-friendly event? Figuring this out will make the rest of your planning easier.

Pick a theme

Just like pumpkins, Halloween comes in different shapes. You can host a cute costume party or go for a creepier bash.  Your chosen theme will influence your decorations, food, and more. Keep your prospective guest list in mind when deciding on a theme; if you’re having younger children or those who scare easily, a lighthearted Halloween theme will be your best bet.

Set the scene

Cast a spell on your home with Halloween decorations! Decorate with pumpkins, cobwebs, spiders, bats, candles…go wild! Set an especially eerie mood by replacing a few lightbulbs with colored bulbs or black lights. Make sure there is enough room for guests to safely move around without bumping into anything, especially if you use candles!

Play scary movies in the background to add to the spooky mood. If your party is more adult, try classic horror films like Rosemary’s Baby, Psycho, or Halloween. For a more lighthearted party, choose a family-friendly flick like The Addams Family, It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, Hocus Pocus, or The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Don’t forget the music! Create a Halloween party playlist with a fun mix of spooky favorites, old school classics, and today’s hits.

Tricks and treats

Provide plenty of savory food options to balance the Halloween sweets. Serve fun finger foods that are easy for guests to enjoy while mingling. If you need some menu inspiration, here are some scary good snacks and desserts your guests will love nibbling.

What’s Halloween without candy? Create a candy buffet so guests can create their own goodie bag to take home. Sure beats trick-or-treating!

Plan activities

Consider having games or activities available for your party guests, especially if you’re hosting children. If you have space, a pumpkin carving station is always fun. If you lack space or would rather avoid extra clean up, set out markers, stickers, and more for pumpkin decorating. Other fun activities include apple bobbing, mock trick-or-treating, even a Halloween-themed scavenger hunt. If you’d like to encourage people to wear costumes, have a costume contest and award prizes.

Enjoy a spooky soiree in your new home

Celebrating the spooky season with friends and family at home is a great way to enjoy the fun and festivities of Halloween. You’ll love hosting everyone in your new Hayden home! If you’re still looking for a new home to haunt, reach out to us today to learn more about our new homes for sale throughout Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.

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!