How to Plan For Your Move

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Family

Relocating an entire household is a daunting task that will require much of your time, energy and funds. Often, the moving process begins as a long, detailed to do list and isn’t complete until you’ve finally moved the last piece of furniture in your new place. Yes, thinking about moving all the things you’ve accumulated over time can be overwhelming. Preplanning your move can help things flow smoothly. Here are some helpful tips:

 

  • Start off by gathering all of your moving necessities. You can avoid spending unnecessary money by getting boxes from friends and families. Often, they may have empty boxes around from receiving packages or from a previous move.  You can check with retail stores. The manager may be able to provide you with some boxes. You will also need an abundant supply of durable shipping tape. 
  • Old newspapers, tissue paper and bubble wrap can be used to protect items that can break easily. This step is essential because it ensures that your most valuable items are protected during the actual move.
  • Once you’ve packed all of your items, be sure to label them. You can purchase sharpie markers and label the boxes by category in bold lettering.
  • Now is a good time to go through your belongings and determine what items you don’t need and throw them out.  Create a pile of things you don’t need and you can donate them to charity or you can list some of the more valuable items for sale on eBay and Amazon.
  • Determine if you’re interested in painting the new space you’re moving into. If so, contact the landlord and ask if you can go in and paint a few days prior to your scheduled move in date. It’s easier to paint a room when it’s empty and you avoid possibly ruining your furniture.
  • Enlist people to help you with the moving process. You can ask friends and family members to help you move or to borrow helpful things such as vehicles or dollies. To make the process much simpler you might choose to seek help from a reputable moving company. There are moving companies that will pack your items and transport them to your new location. In addition, professional movers are more likely to keep your valuables safe during transport because they have special handling experience.
  • In most cases you have to clean the space you moved out of in order to receive your security deposit back. You should consider hiring a maid service to thoroughly clean your old apartment.

 

Upcycling – How to Reuse and Repurpose Items Originally Purchased for Kids and Babies

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Family

My goodness! Can we just ALL agree that, for being so small, babies and kids account for a huge part of the family budget? Yes, I think we can! Throughout the course of history one way to overcome this challenge was by gifting or cheaply selling items that one family no longer needs but could be of great use to another family. In 2016, though, the idea of upcycling is hugely popular because it allows you to continue getting value from purchases you already made. Try a few of these neat ideas for getting the most out of the money you spend on your tiny loved ones.

 

  • Swimming arm “floaties”:  Who would have thought there’d ever be any other purpose for these? They’re such a specific thing. But, once your kiddos can swim, use them to transport glass bottled beverages without breaking. Slip the floaty over a bottle of wine, inflate, and rest assured it won’t shatter when your grumpy teenager slings the bag into the car a little too vigorously!
  • Baby food jars:  The number of these a baby goes through is mind boggling! Sure you could recycle, but instead try storage for mass quantities of items that require a good organizational system. Clean the jars thoroughly and remove as much of the label as possible. To rid of the scent of food, soak in warm soapy water over night. Soak again in water/alcohol mixture is food scent persists. Rinse and air dry. Paint all of the lids the same color so they appear to be coordinated set. Label the tops, fill with spices, and place on a lower roll-out cabinet shelf for quick-glance selection from above while cooking. Or place in a deep drawer for the same effect. (It’s fun to paint the lids with chalkboard paint and label with chalk!)
  • Transform a baby crib into a glass-top table:  This turns out really great! So unique, with an airy quality because of the slats. Especially pretty in a sun room! You’ll need some home improvement skills, or a helper. Start by removing one side of the crib railing, flip it on its side (flat) and screw into frame midway up. It is now a shelf! Make a small investment in a sheet of heavy rectangular glass and place it on top of the crib. Voila, a table! (You of course have the option to paint the crib first if you want to customize the color too.)

Fun and Free Toddler Activity

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Family

This activity is loads of fun for toddlers and even older children. It encompasses finding a hidden treasure and unwrapping a gift at the same time.

Basically a surprise egg is a plastic egg that has a little toy or trinket inside. It is also wrapped in aluminum foil. Start by finding a little fun toy to hide inside a plastic Easter egg. Once the toy is inside wrap the egg in aluminum foil.  Kids seems to love unwrapping the egg the most. It brings them joy just like unwrapping a gift. Younger kids enjoy unwrapping gifts more than getting a new present.

This activity is so fun and exciting for toddlers. Began to wrap other items in foil. Try wrapping snack items that they can later eat, like apples, bananas and oranges. The excitement is seeing the shape and uncovering what is inside. You can wrap all sorts of things around the house. Other items kids like to unwrap are little toys that that they already own. They also enjoy unwrapping several layers. Once they remove a layer of foil (if they doesn’t shred it) save it to reuse later.

Make sure and be involved and present during this activity. Be there to witness the excitement and ask your toddler questions like “What shape is the surprise?”, “What do you think is in there?”. They love for you to be involved and they love to show you what was uncovered. Make sure while supervising that they do not chew or eat on the foil!

This activity is fun because of the creativity when looking for little things to wrap and deciding what trinkets to hide in the plastic eggs. This can also be done by wrapping things in wrapping paper. Toys that have become tired or boring can have new life if you wrap them and let your little one discover it all over again!

The Basics for Making Homemade Granola Bars

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Family

Do you need a way to keep children busy this summer?  What about snacks for them?  Here’s a recipe that is also a great activity with kids.  They will enjoy being able to eat what they made themselves!

Homemade granola bars are easy to make, require few ingredients and can be customized for your taste buds. Store bought granola is loaded with sugar. Making your own will give you the control to make a healthier version of a favorite snack.

What You Will Need:

5 Cups Oatmeal (do not use the quick serve kind)

1 Cup Honey

1 ½ Cup chocolate chips (this can be replaced with dry fruit if you prefer)

1 Cup of chopped nuts (this could be pecans, almonds or whatever kind of nut you prefer)

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl add the oatmeal. You may want to warm the honey up by placing it in a bowl of hot water for several minutes. The honey should be easy to mix and warm honey is much better than room temperature honey.

Add the honey to the oats and mix well with a spatula. Next add chocolate chips and nuts to the mixture.

Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees. Spoon mixture into a greased rectangular pan. Do not skip the step of greasing the pan.

Bake for about 20 minutes. Check the granola to make sure it is not burning at 15 minutes. Cook time is variable to certain ovens and the thickness of your bars.

Cut the granola into bars after cooling for 15 minutes.

 

Experiment with different nuts and dried fruits. This is a simple recipe that can be altered for different seasons or moods. Feel free to add cinnamon to the recipe for an added yummy flavor!

Help Your Daughter to Prepare for a Formal Dance Part 2

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Family

Okay, so you’ve got everything covered so far because you followed our advice in Part 1. Three months ahead of time you did as much prep work as possible. Now it’s countdown time! Let’s take a look at all of the important consideration you need to make when the dance is just one month away.

1 month

  • Make a salon appointment for her hair and nails.
  • Arrange any alterations that the dress may need, and plan on more than one visit.

1 week

  • Help her and her friends pick a great place to take ‘before’ photos. Typically everyone, meaning all of the kids and parents, meet in one spot so capturing the moment is easily done as a group. Keep lighting in mind too! Outdoors in soft, natural, late afternoon light will provide the best photos.
  • If she’s going to wear heels have her walk around in them at home for a few days so she doesn’t feel like Bambi on the big night.
  • Do a trial run with her hair and makeup. This is a great way to prevent mental meltdowns on the day of the dance.

Day before

  • Take her for her manicure and pedicure. It’s best to wait until the day before because teenagers are active and distracted and there’s a good chance she’ll ruin it ahead of time.
  • Stock her evening bag. She’ll need enough cash for whatever may come up and this should include cab fare in case anything should happen to go wrong and she wants to come home. She’ll also need lipstick, a compact mirror, perfume, blotting papers, etc.
  • Purchase a corsage for her date.

Night before

  • Fully charge her phone because she will be LIVING on it the whole next day.
  • Make her go to bed early, no matter how excited she is.
  • Have her drink extra water so she looks her best on the big night.
  • Create a little itinerary for the next day so time doesn’t slip away too fast for her to be ready.

Day of

  • Keep her phone charging while she’s using it so it has full battery power when she heads out for the night.
  • Make it all come to life!

Don’t forget to go back and read Part 1 – Planning in advance

Help Your Daughter to Prepare for a Formal Dance

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Family

We know family is important to all of our customers.  We have put together this information to help with this important time of the year.

There are few things as sacred and magical as a formal dance in high school. It is one of our most treasured and timeless traditions. While some girls could take or leave it, most are thrilled to pieces when the time finally comes to be part of something so special.

Their excitement is awesome and contagious, but it lacks one important thing. Practicality! While your daughter’s heart is dreaming of the prettiest night ever, her head is not thinking through the logistics.

This is your chance to be super-mom and prove to her exactly why she couldn’t possibly ever live without you. This will make you feel good too because in just a few short years she’ll leave the nest and need you a little less. Here’s your opportunity Mom! Follow this plan and help make it her best night ever!

3 months in advance

  • Purchase prom tickets and any photography packages that will be offered.
  • Purchase the dress! As well as the bag, shoes, and jewelry to go with it. By getting an early start you’ll have the very best selection.  You might also be able to get the best price because retailers aren’t yet trying to hone in on formal event demand, like they will when prom is right around the corner.
  • Make sure the bag is large enough to carry everything she’ll need that night. (See Part 2.) Function, then form.
  • Be the voice of reason when it comes to the shoes. She may love a pair of three inch high heels, but they may not be age appropriate. Worse, she’ll be totally miserable in them within thirty minutes on the night of the dance.
  • Where jewelry is concerned, let her have fun! It’s not something we get to go crazy with on a daily basis.
  • Have her decide what she’d like her hair, makeup, and nails to look like.
  • Set a transportation plan for the evening. Keep in mind that teenagers often consider a formal dance the ideal excuse to ride in a limo. If this is going to be the case, go ahead and book the limo because they will become scarce closer to the date of the dance.

Next read Part 2 – The countdown

Tips for Misbehaving Pets

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Family

Pets are like members of our families. If your dog or cat is being destructive or having accidents in inappropriate places of the home; there could be a reason for the bad behavior and most likely you can correct it.

Puppies and kittens are of course supposed to be rambunctious. However if your furry friend is constantly misbehaving take a look into their daily lives and decide if they are getting enough play time. Dogs and cats should have play time each day. They need special attention at least once a day (minimum). Figure out what time works best for your schedule and start penciling play time in every day.  Right before bedtime is a bad time to play, because it gets their adrenaline up and may take a couple hours to calm down after playing. Before dinner is a good time to take thirty minutes and get down on the floor for some special playtime together as a family.

Dogs and cats are typically destructive because they are bored. Make sure they have toys readily available. It is also a good idea to have two dogs or two cats. This way they can play with one another throughout the day. Dogs need to have tug ropes they can toss around and at least one ball that they can chase. Cats need scratching post. If your home lacks a scratching post, they will scratch other things like furniture or walls. Little balls with bells inside and fake mice are great kitty toys!

Dogs need to be a walked once a day. Two walks a day is even better; one in the morning and one in the evening. This allows them to get out of the house and explore the neighborhood. Dogs love to smell everything. This allows them to get their curiosity fix for the day. Daily walks also keeps their nails trimmed. Walking on the sidewalk automatically files their nails down. If your dog’s nails require trimming every couple a weeks, you may not be walking them enough. Start by taking your dog on daily walks and notice the difference in their mood and nails.

Playing and walking your pets once a day will make a big difference in their quality of life. Make sure you are doing your part to keep them happy and healthy!

Taco Bowls

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Family

Making a fun and delicious family meal doesn’t have to be hard or time consuming. In fact the chicken can be cooked in the crock pot while you are at work. This recipe can be adjusted to feed two to four people. The ingredients do not have to be exact. If you want more or less of anything you can adjust.

Ingredients:

2-4 Boneless chicken breast (depending on how many people you are feeding, estimating one chicken breast for every one to two people)

1 Jar of Mild Salsa for every two chicken breast

Packet of Chicken Taco Seasoning

Tortilla Chips

Bag of Shredded Lettuce

1 Large Tomato

Sour Cream

Shredded Mexican Cheese, or queso (heated in sauce pan)

 

Start:

Rub boneless chicken with the taco seasoning for chicken. Place chicken in crock pot and cover with salsa. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. After cooking, the chicken should be easily shred into smaller pieces.

Place tortilla chips into serving bowls. Top chips with the shredded chicken. Then add the shredded lettuce and chopped tomato. Add a dollop of sour cream on top.  Sprinkle on shredded Mexican cheese.

Suggestion: Buy a block of Mexican queso. Cube cheese or shred. Add cheese to sauce pan and pour ¼ cup of milk in. Melt cheese on low and continue to stir. The cheese will thicken and then you can pour over your taco bowl.

Let the crock pot do the hard work. All you have left to do is prep and serve for dinner!

A New New Years Eve

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Family

Do you ever feel like the same old New Years Eve parties are getting a little old for you? Or perhaps you feel like you might be getting a little too old for them! There are plenty of fun and innovative ways to ring in the new year without having to go out to a traditional New Years Eve celebration. Some offer relaxation while others change it up for some fun, but whatever way you choose to celebrate, as long as you spend this time with loved ones you are sure to have a great beginning to the new year.

 

One alternative to the ‘same old’ is to go camping. It might be cold outside where you are, but camping is a great healthy alternative to kick off the new year. Perhaps you can get a jump start on that weight loss you are hoping to begin! If it’s too cold where you are consider renting an old wood cabin. Invite everyone to stay the night as you sit by the fire, roasting marshmallows and reminiscing about the past year with each other. 

 

Was this past year full of stress for you? Are you looking to bring in the new year with something a little more relaxing? Consider inviting all of your close friends over for a spa night! You can shop around at your local spas to see what do-it-yourself spa products you can prepare with ahead of time. Gather some healthy snack and drink options together and relax with your friends as you start the new year in the right state of mind.

 

A great way to avoid the craziness that tends to accompany New Years Eve is to stay in. Whether it be with your family, friends, a significant other or just yourself, be sure to stock your pantry with your favorite snacks and drinks and cozy up under a blanket while watching a couple of movies. If you have enough people you could even throw together a few fun rounds of board games together. Either way, you can avoid the hassle of leaving your home and relax.

 

Traditional methods of celebrating New Years Eve can be fun, but it might also be fun to break that tradition and try out something new for the festive holiday. As long as you are with loved ones it is sure to be a beautiful start to your new year.

7 Cute and Fun Ideas for Your Wedding Reception

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Family

Looking to create unique memories for your wedding guests? You’ll love these ideas because they are both unique and entertaining!

  1. For a dessert treat fill shot glasses with milk and place a small stack of chocolate chip cookies on top.
  2. Create a cupcake decorating station. Serve white cupcakes with white frosting on a large tray. Fill several glass dishes with all of the topping that might be tasty on a cupcake. You can include quirky things like cereal, or cupcake standards such as sprinkles and nuts. Offer several options so that picking and choosing is fun. If you want to stay close to your wedding theme, make all of the topping relevant by either color or theme.
  3. Create a fun game by using a spinning wheel. Have guests spin it and give away cool party favors.
  4. Hire a food truck for the reception.  Formal sit down dinners are lovely if you’re hosting a traditional wedding. If, however, your wedding plans include a fun and funky party outdoors, your guests will be happy to see a food truck pull up to the party.
  5. Give guests a unique gift and make them laugh by presenting them with a handkerchief that has this phrase embroidered on it: “It’s not your party but you can cry if you want to!” The sentimental guests will be glad to have it, and all of your guests will be sure to keep the gift because it’s humorous and unique.
  6. Rent a bouncy house. Yes, the kind that are normally used for children’s parties! The point of this is obvious. It’s ridiculously fun, but it’s also a really cool idea because it will present an opportunity for some really funny photos.
  7. If cost isn’t a concern, invest in several Polaroid cameras. Place one on each table at the reception with a sign that lets guests know they are welcome to use them. Be sure to have on hand a supply of extra film. Ask guests to pin their Polaroid pictures to a large cork board throughout the evening.