The Summer Entertainer

Summer is the season for entertaining. From backyard barbecues to poolside parties, your summer can be jammed packed with activities. Make your summer parties the best in the neighborhood with these six easy tips for becoming an amazing summer entertainer. 

How to become The Summer Entertainer

  1. Plan a Mental Layout. Close your eyes and imagine your summer bash. Who are you planning on inviting? Where will it take place? Now open your eyes. You will want to make sure that your backyard can accommodate everyone you want to invite and that you have enough seats available to your guests. Plan a mental layout of what your backyard will look like that day to help you in the decision process.
  2. Make It Happen. Put all of your dreams for the party into a reality by creating a list of the things you will need. Write down how many tables and chairs you will need, how much food and what kind of food you will be serving, what activities you will have, and where they will take place. Once you have a game plan, it is time to go to the store! 
  3. Shop Like It’s Your Job. When planning a get-together, you want to make sure that you are being frugal. Dollar stores have a lot of items that are cute yet affordable. You can get inexpensive mason jars for decorative pieces and paper plates at an inexpensive price. 
  4. Dec’ It Out. You do not need to purchase new decor for your party because you can use your decor from the inside of your home. Take vases, candles and small decorative pieces outside to decorate your tables. You will be surprised by how little you will need to buy for the party if you use this trick. 
  5. Let There Be Light(s). Do not be the host that forgets to light up the night. Make sure that your guests can see well into the night. You can hang string lights outdoors to add a charming, rustic look. If you are looking to save money, use your white Christmas lights in the backyard. 
  6. Think Like a Kid. Make sure you are the hostess with the “mostess” by having a kid-friendly party. If you do decide to invite children, think of fun activities for the kiddos. Having occupied kids can help the adults have more fun then everyone wins. Try to make little stations for the kids to do various activities throughout the night and have a movie ready for when it gets dark. 

 How do you plan to entertain guests this summer? Let us know in the comment section! 

Ways to Create a Family-Friendly Home

Family is important; therefore, you may be interested in learning a few ways that you can make your home more family-friendly. Let’s take a look!

 

Ways to Create a Family-Friendly Home:

Island Retreat.
First, let us talk about your kitchen. Placing an island inside of your kitchen can completely transform your life. Not only are islands fantastic for cooking, but it is perfect for creating family time. While you prepare dinner, your kids can sit at the island doing their homework, or your guests can sit and chat with you. An island is an overall game changer in a kitchen, and we highly recommend it.

 

Getting Cozy.
If you are like us, your home’s coziness is vital to you. After a long day for you and your family, you want to come home to a relaxing environment. By adding comfortable seating, pillows, blankets, and rugs, you can transform your home into a serene oasis.

 

Know Your Squad.
To create a space for you and your family, you want to be aware of the people inside of your home. If you live with small children, your priorities may be a little different than a family with teenagers. Once you gathered your preferences for your space, you can begin to recognize the things you need in your home.

 

R E S P E C T.
Do not hold off on buying beautiful things just because you have children. Homeowners tend to furnish their home with old hand-me-downs and used furniture with the fear that their children will ruin anything nice. But in fact, many homeowners found that when they worked with their children to respect the furniture, there were fewer problems. Now we are not saying to buy the most expensive, most beautiful couch on the market with a toddler in your house. But if you are looking for a newer, cleaner sofa, don’t hesitate to buy it.


Heavy-Duty Materials.
We encourage homeowners to buy heavy-duty materials. Inevitably, spills and accidents will happen—there is no way around it. By purchasing materials that can withstand the hardships, you will be setting you and your family up for success.


All Charged Up.
With electronics being ever-so-popular, we recommend adding a few more outlets throughout your home. This way everyone can have a space to plug in their electronics without any extra hassle.


Embrace Patterns.
Some homeowners love patterned fabric only because they hide spills and accidents. Parents of young children embrace patterns because it can camouflage unfortunate mistakes.

 

Happy Holidays!

During this festive time of the year, the family and staff at Fulton Homes would like to wish every one of our friends and customers a safe, warm and happy holiday season!  

 

Ways to Spruce Up Your Patio

If you love spending time outdoors, you may find yourself using your patio frequently. Patios are fantastic places to gather with family, friends, and company. With their frequent use, you may be interested in sprucing it up for next spring. To help you redesign your patio, we have created seven tips to assist you. 

 

7 Ways to Spruce up Your Patio

  1. Go Green. Flowers and plants can bring your patio to life. The greenery can be worked into your patio’s design by placing plants at the entrance and flowers on the table.  
    • Homeowners find it easier to use containers on their patios since there is no grass available. Plus, container plants come in handy for the winter months, because you can bring them indoors. 
  1. Luxurious Lighting. The lighting for your outdoor patio area can play an important role. On warm nights, it can add romance and relaxation. Try incorporating string lighting above your patio to create a warm, cozy look. 
  1. Homey. Let your home’s interior inspire your patio’s design by incorporating staple decor pieces. Your patio’s decor does not need to be limited just because you are outside. You can add mirrors, vases, and a table setting to spruce up the design. Just be sure to bring these items indoors when the weather drops. 
  2. Soft Touch. You can create a cozy environment by adding pillows and blankets to your outdoor space. Be sure to collect the blankets and store them indoors for bad weather. Also, you can purchase outdoor, water-proof pillows and bring them inside during the winter months. 
  3. Privacy Please. There are several ways to add privacy to your backyard. You could add drapery to your patio or place an outdoor privacy screen. These are simple ways to make your backyard a little more intimate. 
  4. Personalized. Add personalized items to make your patio unique. You can add holiday decorations and dress up the area for the season.
  5. Serene Sounds. The outdoors can have beautiful sounds by itself, but if you are looking to add some of your own music, be sure to bring out an outdoor speaker. The speakers are great for when guests come over and they can play in the background. 

 

Let us know your ideas for your patio — post pictures if you have them!


 

Holiday Gingerbread Man Smoothie

The holidays are right around the corner, and what better way to celebrate than making a classic Gingerbread Man flavored smoothie? Christmas is not Christmas without gingerbread, and this delicious smoothie will put you in a festive mood while providing many nutritional benefits.

 

  • Cloves – Cloves are high in manganese for bone production and help to control blood sugar while providing anti-inflammatory properties. Cloves also contain eugenol which helps to prevent environmental toxins from external pollutants.
 
  • Cinnamon – Cinnamon has antifungal and antibacterial properties. Cinnamon also helps control blood sugar and is a mood enhancer!
 
  • Nutmeg – Nutmeg provides calcium, iron, and manganese and has been known to help as a mild sedative, painkiller, and aids in a good night’s sleep.   
 
  • Cardamom – Cardamom is a diuretic and detoxifier.
 
  • Almond Butter – Almond butter contains more healthy fatty acids, protein, and nutrients than the old standby peanut butter. Almond butter also contains as much protein as meat, lots of fiber and omega 3 oil.
 
  • Banana – Bananas contain potassium, soluble fiber and probiotics.
 
  • Greek Yogurt – Greek yogurt provides probiotics and contains potassium and soluble fiber.
 

Ingredients for Gingerbread Man Smoothie

  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ peeled frozen banana
  • 1 cup ice cubes

Put the greek yogurt, almond butter and maple syrup to the blender and give it a couple of spins to mix and blend. Now, add all the spices to the blender and give it another spin or two. Lastly, add the peeled frozen banana and ice cubes to the blender.  Complete by mixing until desired smoothness is reached. If you would like more liquid, simply add a couple more ice cubes and mix.

Depending on your personal preferences, the Gingerbread Man smoothie can be consumed cold or warm. Top off the smoothie with a candy cane and a gingerbread cookie. Enjoy!

 

Ways to Make Cleaning More Fun

No matter what age you are, cleaning is not the most fun activity. It takes time, patience, and sacrifice to clean up an area that has become messy and we are supposed to lead by example right? But what if cleaning is down-right boring and a waste of time in a child’s minds. We get it, they would rather be playing than spending their time cleaning. We want to help you make cleaning more fun for your kids with these four easy tips. 

 

4 Ways to Make Cleaning More Fun

  1. Color Coordination. 

Color coordination is an excellent method for storage plus it can help younger children practice their colors. Use color coordination to store toys, crafts, etc. 

Pro-Tip: Legos are fun, creative game for children, but they can create a mess. Plus, they can be a hazard if left out and stepped on by a family member. Store legos by their color in color containers to help your clean-up process go smoothly. 

  1. Stickers Galore. 

Stickers are a fun way to label boxes. Moms suggest encouraging your child to clean up by rewarding them with a sticker after they put away their toys. Have your kid put the sticker on the box that matches the item represented on the sticker. For example: If you have a toy train, give your child a sticker of a train to place on the box after he/she cleans up. The box will soon be decorated by all of their cleaning accomplishments. 

  1. Just “Doh” It. 

PlayDoh is only fun until it dries out. To prevent over-drying, collect old mason jars and lids for storing your child’s PlayDoh. This can create a clean look for your home while cleaning up the PlayDoh. Plus, your kids will have a blast molding the doh into the shape of the glass for clean-up time! 

4.    Get Jammin’. 

Nothing motivates more than music! Turn on some of your child’s favorite jams to get the cleaning party started. Encourage equal parts dancing and cleaning to get them up and moving. 

 

Hopefully, you can utilize these tips and see a difference in your kid’s attitude towards cleaning. Let us know how you keep your children motivated to clean in the comment section. We love to hear back from our readers. 


Fun Ways to Use Pumpkins

From pumpkin spice lattes to pumpkin pie, nothing says “fall” quite like a pumpkin. Whether you are decorating your home or preparing for a party, we have seven fun ways to use pumpkins this fall. 

 

Fun Ways to Use Pumpkins

  1. Beverage Cooler. Hollow out the inside of your pumpkin and fill it with ice for this epic idea! You can have your beverages chilled to the bone by placing them inside an ice-filled pumpkin. Champagne anyone? 
  2. Sweet Dreams. If you are passing out candy this Halloween, why not fill your pumpkin with candy? Make sure to place a cloth inside of the hollowed pumpkin to assure no goo gets on anyone’s candy.
  3. Flower Holder. Turn your pumpkins into a decorative fall vase by hollowing out the inside and place your fall flowers inside of it! This is the perfect option for decorating your outdoor seating areas with fun decor. 
  4. Pretty in Pastels. We have all seen the traditional pumpkins, but what if you “prettied up” your pumpkins by using pastel paint? Try painting 
  5. Stacks on Stacks. Instead of placing your pumpkins side by side, you can stack them for an intricate look. This idea works best if you use three pumpkins in different sizes. Make sure to cut off the stems for the bottom two. 
  6. Chalkboard Paint. Spray paint your pumpkins with chalkboard paint and write fun messages like “I’m here for the boos” or “trick or treat yourself.” This pumpkin idea can be perfect for your porch decorations! 
  7. Melted Crayons. Paint the base of your pumpkin a solid color like white or black. Next, take a hot glue gun and glue the crayons around the top of your pumpkin. After the crayons are secure, take a hair dryer and begin to melt the crayons. The melted crayon wax will create a cool design and you can use these pumpkins as decorations indoors or outdoors. 

 

We hope you enjoyed these seven fun ideas for using pumpkins. Be sure to visit our website for more information and updates! We hope you and your loved ones have a fun and happy season!

Fall Decor Ideas for The Busy Homeowner

Whether you are hustling your kids to their next soccer game or working overtime at a full-time job, you can say that you are a busy person. Most times, it is a miracle that you get done what you do during the day. You have other parents impressed and jealous. While it may look like you have it all together, you realized that you have not had time to decorate yet. Unfortunately, decorating is yet another thing to add to your giant to-do list. But do not worry because we have created a decorating guide for the busy homeowner. Even you, supermom, can accomplish these decorating ideas in under an hour. 

 

Fall Decor Ideas for The Busy Homeowner:

  1. Faux Leaves. Bring the beauty of the season indoors by decorating with faux leaves. You can line the fake leaves across your fireplace’s mantle, staircase, or even your bookshelves. They are an easy solution for homeowners that do not have the time to go all-out on decorating! 
  2. Happy Fall Banner. Banners are a fun and easy way to decorate. Plus, you can personalize them for any occasion. You can buy a pre-assembled, blank banner at your local craft store then take a permanent marker and write a fun fall message like “thankful” or “boo.” Banners can look great over your fireplace or even on your front door. 
  3. PaintedPumpkins. Decorating with pumpkins is one of the easiest solutions for busy homeowners. If you have time, buy spray paint and paint your pumpkins different colors. Recently, homeowners have been incorporating white pumpkins throughout their home’s decor. It provides a clean, classic look that you may be interested in trying this year. 
  4. Fall-Scented Candles. Decorating is not the only way to incorporate fall. Fall-scented candles can help guests and family members embrace the season. 
  5. Acorns and Squash. The next time you are grocery shopping, look for fall finds that you can incorporate into your decor. Items like squash and acorns can make great centerpieces for your dining room table. 
  6. Sunflowers in a Mason Jar. If you love fresh flowers, sunflowers are the perfect choice to add a touch of fall. Not only are they beautiful, but they have a yellow hue that we just adore. Try adding some fresh sunflowers throughout your home for a festive look. 
  7. Dollar Aisle Finds. Halloween is only one day; therefore, you should spend most of your time on decorating the home for fall. Fall decor can last you until Thanksgiving which helps you get your money’s worth. For last-minute Halloween decor, check your local dollar aisle. You can find cute little items for an amazing price! 

 

We hope you enjoyed these tips and tricks! Happy fall!

Creating Your Own Cozy Reading Nook

Are you in desperate need of an oasis from your hectic life? There’s no better way to relax than to retreat to a comfortable space and get lost in your favorite novel. If your reader or just someone who enjoys their personal time than you’ll no doubt benefit from a private and cozy reading nook. Below are three simple tips for creating your own cozy nook.

  

Pick the perfect spot

Selecting the right spot to set up your reading nook is key to creating a spot that you can retreat to when you’re in need of some “me” time. Reading nooks tend to take up very little space. It can be crafted in the corner of any room. Whether you choose the living room or your bedroom it should be an area where you’ll have some privacy and there is a low level of noise.  Since your nook is supposed to be a retreat it should be in an area of the house that’s away from the kids.

Comfortable Seating Arrangement

After you’ve selected the perfect spot it’s time to focus on creating a comfortable seating arrangement. Some reading nooks have padded window seating that provides ample space to sit back and relax.  However, if window seating is not an option than investing in a formal chair. Make sure you invest in a chair that is padded and is generally comfortable to sit in because you’ll likely be spending a couple of hours sitting in it. Add in a few plush pillows and a comfy throw for extra comfort.

 

Accessories

Of course, you’ll need added accessories to make the area functional. Be sure to include a simple table beside your chair. You can use the table to store your reading glasses, reading material, even a snack.

Lighting is important when creating a cozy reading nook. Why not invest in a freestanding reading lamp that is adjustable and doesn’t take up much space? 

Finally, if space allows you can’t forget to add in a small bookshelf. Yes, a bookshelf near your reading nook makes all you reading material easily accessible. 

Back to School Tips for Parents

With going back to school just right around the corner, parents and children are often nervous and excited at the same time! We have a few tips that will help whether starting school for the first time, starting a new school, going from elementary to middle school, or getting back into the routine.

* Tour the School – Many schools will have an open house before school starts, make sure you attend. If your child has attended the school before, it is important they are aware of where their classroom and restrooms are located. You can help your child find their desk, cubby or locker, and explore the cafeteria and playground. Also, if they ride the bus make sure they know the procedure for loading and unloading.

* Meet the Teacher – You may already know who their teacher is, or your child may have a brand-new teacher. It is very important you take time out of your schedule and meet your child’s teacher. Learn the teacher’s expectations and what is their instruction style. Also, don’t hesitate to share your expectations with the teacher. By meeting the teacher early, you are creating an open line of communication. Knowing the teacher early on will calm the fears of everyone!

* School Supplies – Make sure you get a copy of your child’s supply list. This is the perfect opportunity to take a special shopping trip with your child. Take advantage of tax-free weekends, back to school supply drives and sales. Splurge on that special book bag, trapper keeper or pen/pencil set and make back to school fun!  Being prepared for the first day of school is critical to creating a positive learning experience for your child.

* Daily Routine – Everyone knows that switching from summer to a school schedule is challenging foreveryone. If you start a couple of weeks before school starts, you can avoid first-day melt downs. Start with going to bed earlier, wake them up earlier and go through their morning routine. Take the time to drive the route to school or the bus stop. Children work best if they have a structured routine, and by starting their routine before school starts will eliminate first-day chaos!