- 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?
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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!
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 Meatballs – it sounds odd, but they’re delicious!
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
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.
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!
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.
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 Indoors 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 jack-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!
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.
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.
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.
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. 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
No 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.
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.
Get 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.
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.
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 the year
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 the new year.