The official start of fall is fast approaching and winter won’t be too far behind. Get your home and yard ready for fall and winter with this handy checklist:
- Hire a professional to inspect your furnace and make sure your heating system is working properly.
- Inspect you chimney for cracks and any debris that may have accumulated in the flue.
- Clean and covered or store patio furniture.
- Fertilize the lawn and winterize your lawn mower.
- Rake leaves.
- Clean gutters and clear them of debris before winter weather arrives.
- Hang holiday lights. It is easier to do and more enjoyable while the weather is still nice.
- Harvest the rest of the produce from your vegetable garden.
- Plant/move trees and shrubs.
- Mulch trees and shrubs to protect them from harsh winter weather.
- Drain and store hoses. Turn off outdoor faucets.
Buy winter supplies such as snow shovels, ice melt, and ice scrapers.
A house plan this grand might be mistaken for Downton Abbey, but rest assured it would make a fabulous home anywhere. If you are planning to build on a scale like this, you are without a doubt studying the many luxurious features very carefully. There is certainly nothing plain or simple here from the shapes of the rooms to the placement of the stairs. But please notice even in all its lavishness, it delivers a great house plan that is user friendly especially in the small details. Just off the kitchen lies a family gathering hall, away from the formality of the reception hall and grand foyer. Outside the kitchen, an herb garden provides the freshest ingredients for family meals. Upstairs the student’s retreat provides peaceful privacy for a developing mind. Imagine yourself walking through the rooms of this opulent home and notice that you are never very far from one of the eight bathrooms, even if you are at the pool or in the garage. This European-styled, two-story design certainly exhibits extravagance with purpose.
When it is time to head back to school, preparing your kids for the upcoming school year can be stressful. Below are some tips to help you remain stress-free as your family gets ready for the new school year.
- Routine is key. – Get everyone on a schedule and find a comfortable routine that works for your family. Children are comfortable with routines because they know what is expected of them and what will happen next. Stress-free kids equals stress-free parents. Additionally, consider asking your kids for their input when making the schedule. By adding their input, you’re kids will be more cooperative when it comes to the daily routine.
- Shop with a plan. – When it comes to buying back-to-school clothing, only buy what your kids really need rather than overbuying. Determine what each child has outgrown and purchase only the clothing items needed to fill in the gaps. You’ll spend less time shopping and less money on clothing that isn’t necessary. Additionally, when buying school supplies, shop from the list provided by the school/teacher for each child. There is no need to buy items that are not on the list. This will help keep your budget in check.
- Get organized. – Getting ready for school each morning will go more smoothly if you take some time to get organized before the first day of school. Designate a space to store backpacks, jackets, etc. If your children put all of their belongings in the designated space when they come home from school, everything will be easy to find in the morning. Also, create a plan for packing lunches. If you children buy lunch at school, distribute lunch money as part of the daily or weekly routine. If they take lunch form home, pack lunches (or let the kids do it) and place them in a designated area each morning, so the know where to find them before leaving the house.
- Eat breakfast. – We’ve heard it a thousand times, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Eating breakfast before everyone heads out the door will curb hunger, boost energy, improve mood and help everyone focus throughout the day. Breakfast will provide plenty of energy until lunchtime, and when the kids are happy and in good moods, you’ll be less irritable and happy too.
- Take a break. – Parents often spend so much time taking care of others that they do not take care of themselves. Schedule “me time” each week and stick to it, whether that means going for a weekend jog or sleeping in on Saturday morning, when your happy, rested, and relaxed, it will help you take care of others with a smile.
Don’t let the dog days of summer drag you down. Kick back, relax, and enjoy a tasty glass of strawberry lemonade. This cool drink recipe is one the whole family will love!
Summertime Strawberry Lemonade
3 cups cold water, divided
2 cups frozen sliced or whole strawberries, partially thawed
½ cup fresh lemon juice
½ cup sugar
- Place strawberries in a blender or food processor container with 1 cup water. Cover and blend until smooth. Add remaining 2 cups water and blend until smooth.
- Pour mixture into a large pitcher.
- Stir in lemon juice and sugar. (Add more sugar if necessary to taste.)
- Pour into ice-filled glasses.
- Serve and enjoy.
Servings: Approximately 5 1-cup servings.
Prep time: 15 minutes
What’s old is new again. The elegant simplicity of this Colonial house plan will never become obsolete. Stunning details like the treatment of the windows and gables, plus the sturdiness of a brick exterior lends to its historic appearance. George Washington didn’t sleep here only because you haven’t built it yet. If he did, he would find plenty of room with four bedrooms on the second floor. He would be impressed by the modern interior, beyond the convenience of indoor plumbing, which by the way includes two full baths and laundry. Whether dining on mutton at the kitchen food bar or the dining room table, or warming himself at the great room’s fireplace, he would be at home with the warmth and coziness of this two-story home plan. What a great place to begin your own history.