Entertaining Your Kids at Home

Children can be one of the greatest blessings but come with a lot of needs. For instance, many younger kids need constant attention and activities to do at home. It can become a full-time job. So, it is essential to find entertainment in your own homes that can hold your children’s attention for some time while also being safe. If you are a parent with rambunctious children, here are several at-home activities to help entertain your kids:

Host Playdates

Children play well with other children, so one of the best ways to free up your own time is to find another parent willing to alternate playdates. Some days you can watch the kids and host a playdate while other days the other parents can. This idea will be a blast for all the kids as well as be low-maintenance for the parents.

Play Outside

Playing outside is a great way to let the children enjoy and explore the outdoors. You can go to the park or let them pick some outdoor sports activities. Let your children learn to discover what activities they enjoy and dislike during their early youth. From flying kits to sidewalk chalk in your driveway, the options are endless. You can even take them to water parks, playgrounds, soccer fields, and more!

Educational Video Games or Movies

If you need to get away and have some own rest and relaxation times, a movie or an educational video game is perfect for distracting children for several hours. This idea is not the best method to keep your children productive yet can help you get the physical break you need. A healthy mommy and daddy need their rest too to be the best parents they can be.

Creative Puzzles

While action figures, barbies, and racecars are all great toys to entertain kids, try adding some creating puzzles into the mix. Encourage your kids to try puzzles, Legos, or even word searches. These creative and brain exercising activities are great for children in their prime mental growing stages.

There are hundreds of great ways to keep children entertained. Try to keep in mind what children can and cannot do alone at their age. Always keep safety at the forefront. What are some of your children’s favorite household activities? Let us know how you keep your children entertained below in the comment section.

Tips for Hosting Guests Overnight Like a Luxury Hotel

Having guests over can always be a good time. Whether it is for the holidays, a social gathering, or friends visiting from out of town, you want your home to feel welcoming. The best way to accommodate your guests is to consider what they may need if they were to stay at a hotel. What do hotels provide for their guests? Since hotels have mastered the art of hospitality, using some of their commonly-practiced policies in your own home can make you a guru of hosting guests as well. Here are several tricks you can take from hotels to practice in your own home:

Bedroom Comfort

One of the primary focal points to tackle is the guest bedroom comfort. Many hotels master comfort by using a high-quality mattress, pillows, and even chairs. Make sure your guest room has plenty of pillows, blankets, and seating for your guest. Everyone has their own individual sleeping styles. Adding some extra pillows and blankets can ensure your guests have a comfortable stay.

Restroom Accommodations

When you go to a hotel, many of them will provide you with bathroom essentials. This typically consists of shampoo, soap, and conditioner and sometimes a lotion. These are excellent accommodations to have in your own guest bathroom. Make sure your guests are familiar without how to use your shower system or any questions they may have. It should go without saying but have spare toilet paper and towels readily available as well.

R&R

While you will probably be spending most of the time with your guests, you still want them to be able to get away from everything. Nothing makes people feel more comfortable and at home that some privacy, rest, and relaxation. Provide your guest with the Wi-Fi password as well as any passwords to television streaming services.

Continental Breakfast

You do not need to set up a continental breakfast, but you can borrow the concept. Check with your guest beforehand for food allergies or restrictions. Making breakfast in the morning can eliminate them having to order food. These simple tricks can take your hosting skills to the next level.

Hosting should not be intimidating. Make sure you prioritize your guest’s needs and comfort. You can make your house feel like home to them with some of these simple tricks. For more great tips and tricks, make sure to subscribe.

How to Be a Great Host During the Holidays

Making your house feel like home to you can be easy. Yet, why can it seem like such a terrifying task to host others? The challenge is all in your mindset. The key is to make your home feel welcoming and like home to them. With great hospitality and a welcoming environment, you can make your house feel quite comfortable to anyone you host, and here is how:

Be the Hostess with the Mostess

This tip should go without mentioning, but treat your guest with the utmost respect. Indulgencing your guests with excellent hospitality is the best way to help them feel at home. Understand that you may need to encourage them to ask questions that they may be uncomfortable to ask. Offer drinks, seating, and activities during their stay. Lastly, remember that your home should be spic and spam before your guest’s arrival.

Diverse Variety of Snacks and Drinks

For holiday events, you will most likely be eating. It is essential to know your guest’s preferences. Have a plethora of foods and drinks readily available. Also, be sure to place out snacks before and after dining as well. Today, it is not uncommon for food allergies or intolerances. Try to know your guests and what allergies they may have. All these fine details can help your guests feel more welcomed at your home during the holidays.

Accommodate if Guests Are Spending the Night

You are responsible for your guests’ safety. Be cognitive if your guests are drinking. Be prepared to accommodate driving or sleeping arrangements. If you know your guests are going to spend the night, have a fully-prepared guest room. You should have your guest room prepared with clean sheets, towels, and pillowcases. It may be best to show your guest their room and bathroom arrangements before the night begins so that they can tuck away their belongings and clothes.

Do not stress about hosting guests, instead have fun with it. Arranging plans for the evening can be split between the different individuals attending. With a little extra effort, your guests will remember the experience you provided for years to come. Enjoy the holidays and Happy New Year.

How to Create Your Home Theater

A home theater is a way of bringing the theatrical experience and premium sound to your own home. This is great for any movie buff or individuals looking to host entertainment. Home theaters offer the convenience of a movie theater in your own home. However, there is more effort that goes into this than just buying a big-screen television. Movie theaters offer premium surround sound and quality comfort. If you have a room you are looking to convert, here are the essentials you are going to need:

Television or Projector

Your initial thought may be to purchase a big-screen television. While televisions can offer many benefits, including smart televisions and crystal-clear picture, you may also want to consider a projector. Quality projectors can provide clear, high-quality images in the size you choose to display them. You can purchase a motorized projector screen or even just paint a wall white and create a fixed frame around the image. First, you will want to consider if you want a 16:9 screen for HDTV and movies or if 2:35. One is more preferred to allow you to watch CinemaScope movies while eliminating the bottom and top black bars.

Speakers, Connection Path, & Media Source

A traditional style for home speaker’s surround-sound is a 5:1 method. This contains five speakers and one subwoofer. The five speakers will be right front, center, left front, right rear, and left rear. You will need some sort of connection path to allow your speakers to communicate with your projector. Some of these can work via Bluetooth or may need to be hardwired. If you are going to need to hardwire your surround sound, make sure you think out the wire path and find the best way to hide exposed wires for a neat finished look.

You will also want to hook up a media source. How do you plan on watching videos? Consider multi-platform options. While Bluetooth is great, you will have to own every movie you want to watch. Options like X-Box or Playstation can create your theater into a smart theater by offering gaming, Hulu, Netflix, Youtube, movie streaming, and more.

Seating

The last element to add to your home theater is seating. Any entertainment room only goes as far as the comfort you can provide. You may want to have gaming chairs closer to the screen, whereas movie seating can be further back in the room. Consider how big your space is and what is the best form of seating. Individual recliners are excellent options but may not be optimal for your space. Study the room and tailor the seating to how it will work with your layout.

Creating a home theater is an excellent home addition. You will use this room for many events when hosting guests and enjoy it for your own personal use. Adding the right form of seating, screening, and audio will all play critical roles in how your room feels. Make sure you have a good understanding of how everything will come together prior to investing in the space. For more tips and tricks on home improvement plans, make sure to subscribe!

Preparing for an Outdoor Get-Together

Just because summer is officially over and your friends may stop hosting backyard barbecues and pool parties does not mean that you cannot take advantage of Arizona’s gorgeous fall weather with an outdoor get-together. Get ready for your company to come over with five easy outdoor updates. All you need are these five easy steps to transform your yard into the perfect outdoor getaway.

Prep the Yard

Before you begin, make sure you wipe down your patio furniture, clean up any the leaves from your fruit trees, mow the lawn, sweep the patio, and trim any outgrown bushes. 

Disinvite Bugs

Bugs can be a real party crasher on outdoor gatherings. Eliminate bugs in a safe way by purchasing citronella candles. You can even make your own by using citronella oil in your custom candles. 

Light up the Night

Get-togethers can run late into the middle of the night; therefore, you should be prepared by hanging some stringed lighting. String lighting looks beautiful and is an inexpensive way to light up your backyard. 

Deep Clean Your Grill

Between each cookout and party, your grill can take a beating from food and grime. Make sure to deep clean your grill with these steps:

  1. Turn on your grill to begin warming it up. 
  2. After the grill is warmed, take a heavy-duty grill scraper and begin removing all grime on the cooktop.
  3. Take a wire grill brush and scrub the heated grates.
  4. Let the grates cool down then put them in a bucket with warm, soapy water. Have them sit for 2-3 hours then using a scouring sponge wipe away any remaining grime. 
  5. Using a degreaser, wipe down the outside of the grill with a damp sponge. Afterward, you will want to dry it off with a microfiber cloth. 
  6. Using a microfiber cloth and stainless-steel cleaner, shine off the exterior of the grill. 

Provide Warmth

Arizona nights can get pretty cool, so if you plan on hosting well into the evening, you will want to provide some heaters or blankets. By adding warmers, you will be able to continue the party even when the sun drops.

We hope you enjoyed these simple tips for preparing your yard for a get-together. Let us know how you host guests outdoors in the comment section.

How to Create a Guest Bedroom

There are hundreds of reasons why we may have an extra room in our homes. Maybe the kids moved out, or you bought a home with extra rooms. Having an extra bedroom is an excellent opportunity for creating a guest room. Adding a guest room is great for hosting guests overnight. However, just furnishing a room with a bed does not necessarily make a guest bedroom. You may want to add some simple things to help make your guest stay as comfortable as possible during their stay. Consider hotels and all the accommodations they give to you. Creating a guest room is quite similar. Here is everything we recommend incorporating in your guest room:

Comfort 

First and foremost, you want to ensure your guest’s comfort. Do not give them one pillow and a throw blanket. The guest bed should be made with clean sheets and a variety of pillows. You should also include a clock and a waste bin in the bedroom as well near the bed.

Basic Toiletries 

Asking can be awkward, so try to explain everything to your guest when they arrive. Have basic toiletries and the bathroom ready for their use. Have towels folded on the bed and ready to go for them. You may want to explain any unique or complicated manners in the bathroom area, like starting the shower or the tub. 

Just Enough 

Remember, less is more. You want the room to be ready to go. Including simple décor, a mirror, and some seating in the guest bedroom is great; however, do not over-crowd the room. You want the room to be ready for them to unpack. Make sure closets and drawers are readily available for their convenience. You may also want to include a charging station for their phone, Wi-Fi passwords written down, and lamps beside the bed. 

Creating your guest room can be fun. Consider what amenities hotels provide and include them. You want your room to feel very functional. With these simple rules in mind, you will have a perfect guest room to host any guest. For more tips and tricks, make sure to subscribe!

Tips for Hosting Guests Overnight

Entertaining and hosting a guest can be a blast! However, setting up for them can be a little challenging. If you have ever stayed at a hotel, you may not know all the work that goes into the room before you even arrive. Likewise, prepping for your guest can be more than just inviting them over, especially if they are spending the night. If you are hosting an overnight guest, here is everything you need to know to make their stay as best as possible:

Evening Entertainment and Dining

Prior to your guest’s arrival, you should have the evening planned. These plans should be tentative and adaptable in case your guest has something else on their agenda. Communicate with your guest before they arrive and discuss what you may have in mind. You should also try to provide dinner for your guest. Make sure you recognize any of your guest’s food allergies and have options available at dinner. These simple tactics can make the evening flow smoothly.

Bedroom and Bathroom

Your guest room should provide the necessary accommodations you would expect if you were to check in to a hotel. Make sure you provide your guest with clean sheets, extra blankets, lots of pillows, and an alarm clock. You may want to provide extra cell phone chargers, water bottles, and an empty wastebasket. Make sure they understand what bathrooms are available for them to use and are provided with basic toiletries, tissues, and towels.

Breakfast

You may want to forewarn them about the breakfast plan the night before, so they know. This can show you thought ahead. Provide coffee, juice, and water for your company. You can make it buffet style or just make them a plate. This simple gesture can go a long way in making your guest feel like your home is welcoming.

Hosting guest is a fun way to open the doors to your home and make your atmosphere more welcoming. Your guest will notice the extra little details you put into treating them. For more insight on hosting guests, make sure to subscribe!

Memorial Day BBQ Side Dish Ideas

You may consider Memorial Day the official marker of summertime. It is a time that we honor and remember those who served our country, and you may have decided to host a barbecue and invite a few veterans over to your home. If you are nervous about finding the perfect side dishes to match your BBQ, fear not because here are seven BBQ side dish ideas that you can use for your Memorial Day party:

Roasted Sweet Potato

Looking for something sweet to complement your protein choice? Roasting sweet potatoes is an extremely easy and tasty idea for homeowners. Plus, it is really simple! Just chop them up and drizzle them with olive oil before placing them in the oven!

CrockPot Mac N’ Cheese

Mac n’ cheese is a classic when it comes to barbecues. The best part is you can easily make it in the crockpot for a portable, fast recipe.

Fresh Fruit Salad

Nothing says fresh on a warm day like fruit salad. Plus, fruit salad is an easy, last minute idea that you can throw together. Try adding in your favorite summer fruits for customization.

Brown Sugar Grilled Pineapple

Looking for a dessert that will not show on the scale the next day? Brown sugar pineapples are easy and delicious options for your Labor Day barbecue. Bonus: there are only three ingredients (pineapples, brown sugar, and canola oil)!

Jalapeño Cornbread

If you love spice, you will love this savory side dish! You can add jalapeños into a box mix of cornbread or make them from scratch. Either way, the plate will be cleared off with this delicious side dish.

Baked Garlic Parmesan Fries

Everyone loves a flavorful french fry and adding a garlic parmesan seasoning turns your fries into the talk of the party. All you need is garlic, parsley, salt, olive oil, parmesan, and fresh potatoes to make this snack come true.

Watermelon, Feta, and Mint Salad

Running short on time? You can quickly throw together this 5-ingredient salad in no time! All you need is fresh, seedless watermelon, mint, olive oil, feta cheese, and salt for a new BBQ favorite.

We hope you enjoy your Memorial Day party and that your side dishes are a hit!

Tips and Tricks for Being the Hostess with the “Mostess”

Hosting guest is always a fun way to unwind from the busy week. There is something satisfying about giving your friends and family an extra special visit at the place you call home, and as any party planner knows, you need to be prepared to be a successful host. If this is your first-time having guests over, it is important to know your limits. Do not invite more than you or your house can handle at first. Your goal is to make your guest feel at home and never have to ask for anything. With great hosting skills and etiquette, your company will feel welcomed and invited into your atmosphere; however, you still should have plans for entertainment. Here are the top ways to entertain your guests and become the hostess with the “mostess”:

Food and Drink

Everybody loves food; therefore, having a dinner party can be a great idea for first-time hostesses. You have time to socialize before and after eating. You can also prepare drinks to keep the entertainment going throughout the night. Just make sure that all your guests are accounted for and served throughout the evening. You may also want to have different options available. Food allergies and intolerances are becoming more common, so check with your guests beforehand to make sure your food options will suffice.

Movie

Movies are great as well for entertaining guests. They can help keep everyone entertained for a couple of hours. Try to find a genre of movie everyone agrees will work. This comes down to knowing your guest beforehand. You may not want to do a movie if you have a very diverse crowd with different movie preferences. That being said, comedies are always crowd-pleasers. It can be beneficial to watch the movie beforehand to make sure it will be a hit.

Board Games

Board games are very interactive; they allow people to socialize while adding some fun competition. Have several board games available so you can find one that everyone will enjoy. Team board games are great ways to let individuals not feel out of the loop. Try to introduce everyone at the beginning of the night to make sure no one feels excluded or awkward.

Remember not to force anything. If you notice a guest feels hesitant or uncomfortable participating in activities you have planned, you should be adaptable. It is good to have several suggestions and work with the group. You are the host so your suggestions will be very important. You may even want to inform your guest of activities prior to the invite — this way your company knows what to expect.

If your company consists of different age groups, consider tailoring different activities for them. You may want to check-in on all groups throughout the night, and consider making kids games or other areas of entertainment for all ages.

For more entertainment ideas, makes sure to subscribe. Thanks for reading!

How to Design a Coffee Bar in Your Home

Coffee is our fuel which keeps us going through the day. If you are a coffee lover, you know how important coffee is to your sanity, and since your home is your sanctuary, maybe you should dedicate some space to this necessity in your life. Coffee bars are great to add to your home and do not require a ton of investment to begin creating. You can have your coffee bar in your kitchen, office, or even your bedroom. If you are looking to create your own coffee bar, here is everything you should consider adding to it:

The Essentials

To create your coffee bar, you will need to have a few coffee essentials present. Decide how you plan on brewing your coffee. You can add a Keurig, a coffee maker, an espresso machine, a pour over maker, or a french press. You can even invest in a hot plate and brew your coffee wherever you decide to set up the coffee bar. Just make sure to get some coffee mugs or to-go thermals as well. Add anything to your coffee stand that would typically be added to your coffee. You may want to include creamer, sugar, sugar alternatives, honey, and milk. For items that need chilled, you may need to invest in a mini fridge for the area. Consider having clean-up items readily available under your coffee station like paper towels or rags in case any accidents may occur.

Brewed Your Way

Not an avid coffee drinker? That is okay. A bar is still a great option to add to rooms for aesthetics and entertainment. You may want to create an alcohol bar with some of your favorite drinks readily available. You can have a reach-in fridge with chilled beverages or even install a kegerator for instant brews. You can also create a dessert or and an “hors d’oeuvre” bar. Find the perfect remedy for your home or tailor your bar to your guest or events.

Appearance is Everything

Your coffee station does not need to be solely for functionality. Consider decorating it to make it a fun focal point in a room. You can make a DIY chalkboard, install floating shelves, display your mugs, and even add some plants for added character. You can even create a shabby chic look with a distressed, whitewashed coffee stand or a more modern look with floating shelves and a metal end table. The possibilities are endless.

A coffee bar can be aesthetically pleasing and a great addition to your home. You can put it in your dining or living room or even in some place further away from the kitchen in your home. A coffee bar can make your coffee making experience even more enjoyable. For more tips and tricks, make sure to subscribe.