There is nothing better than visiting family, friends and other relatives during the holiday/ winter season but can also be very stressful. I think everyone can agree that winter in the Northwest is dreary and the lack of sun or snow is just depressing. Weather you’re taking the family for a fun warm weather vacation or maybe you’re heading across the country to spend some quality time with your relatives this winter season. Whatever you are choosing to do, traveling by plane, train or automobile can be difficult to plan and stressful on your family. We wanted to share our favorite tips and tricks for traveling with your family during the holiday season.
Check the weather
We recommend checking the weather not only for your destination but also surrounding the flight path. While winter in the northwest is rarely ever bad enough to stop planes, but many storms cross the Midwest and Northeast can delay planes from getting to your destinations or come back home to SeaTac.
Prep your home
Make sure you set the thermostat to 65 degrees so your pipes wont freeze if we get a freak winter storm. If you can coordinate with the post office to stop your mail during your travels or have a neighbor hold it for you, then you will have one less thing to worry about. Stop by the hardware store to pick up some light timers and set them up before you head out.
Pack your bags
Packing is tricky if you are leaving from a cold place and going to a warm vacation or vice versa, but I always head to the airport with a thick shawl or blanket scarf to use when I am cold waiting in the airport or on the plane. If you are traveling with kids make sure to help them pack enough clothes and pack a tote bag of activities for the plane or car. Lastly make sure you pack your important necessitates like identification, charges and medicine in your carry on in carry in case you loose your checked bag.
Whether of not your leaving this holiday weekend or you’re hosting you need to prepare your home for Thanksgiving. There are lots of little simple task you can accomplish now to make this weekend more fun and stress free. You shouldn’t have to worry about your home or guest when you’re busy cooking up a storm on turkey day; so, prepare yourself and family by arranging everything beforehand. If you can plan out your menu for Thanksgiving, you should try and plan your family strategy for traveling and/ or hosting. These tips and tricks can help you not only survive but thrive and enjoy this holiday weekend.
If you are jet setting this weekend:
If your hosting the family this holiday:
Its that time of the year again, not Thanksgiving, not Christmas; its Daylight savings this Sunday. In the fall we get an extra hour and during the spring time we lose an hour by setting our clocks an hour ahead. The use of Daylight-Saving Time in the US first appeared during WW1 to conserve fuel and electricity. For the next five decades cities and states across the United States adopted different systems for Daylight Savings. Finally, in 1966 Congress enacted a country wide system for Daylight-Saving Time so that each time zone and city could be on the same scheme. Now every fall we get an extra hour to catch up on sleep, spend time with family or get your home prepped for winter.
How to spend your “long” weekend around the house:
How to spend the “long” weekend around town:
Don’t forget to change all your clocks to the correct time including, stove tops, microwaves, laptop/ computer, alarm clocks and even your car. If you have a smart phone, they will most likely adjust to the new time automatically. Enjoy your extra hour by making the most of it or just take your time and relax this weekend.
It’s the night we’ve been waiting for all season and for some all year; tomorrow night is Halloween. Hundreds of little kids will get all dressed up, grab their candy buckets and stroll around the neighborhood trick or treating across the Seattle area. Its important to prepare your home and family for the spookiest night of the year. As we all know fall in the northwest usually means rain and this year will mostly likely be no different so grab your rain boots and make sure your entry way is clear and safe for every little trick or treaters. We have gathered some tips and ticks to help you prepare you home, your family and your pets for the Halloween holiday tomorrow. We wish you all a spooky and safe night.
Make your walkway safe and inviting while still keeping it spooky. On the 30th or during the Halloween day before it gets dark sweep your walk way and trim any trees or bushes that could impede the path of trick or treaters. If you have decorations along your entryway, make sure they are secured and wont fall down or out of any trees. Lastly make sure the path to the candy is illuminated either with overhead flood lights or small outdoor lights.
To prepare your kids and family for a night of trick or treating, make sure to check the weather before heading out. For the kiddos we recommend rain boots, sneakers, rain jackets and umbrella’s because it looks like it will rain. If your kids have a dark costume, add some reflective tape or flashlights to the front or back of their costume to protect them from cars and spot them from afar. If you’ve got little ones, you might want to start trick or treating at dusk or right as it gets dark because they may not last all night and you’ll want to keep them safe. Lastly make sure the kiddos bring home lots of sweet treats so that you can nibble off their stash.
If you plan on joining the trick or treating crew and want to bring along the doggo; make sure you grab some doggie bags and attach either reflective tape or flashlight to protect you and your pup. If your dog is very vocal or sensitive, during the trick or treating we recommend keeping your animals’ downstairs and away from the doorbell noise to help keep them calmer. If your pup can handle the commotion of Halloween, you could try keeping them upstairs but be weary not every little trick or treater may be a dog person.
If you haven’t noticed the leaves changing colors or the cold front rolling in, then you must be living under a rock. It seems like mother nature flipped the fall switch on, since these last few days the temperature has slowly dropped, the rain has increased, and the leaves have started to fall. In the northwest the fall season can always be a little finicky you never know if its going to be a beautiful crisp day or if the rain will come pouring down. That’s why we in the PNW are always prepared with stylish rainboots, breathable rain jackets and great sweaters to layer. So why not help your home be prepared for the winter months to come with some simple steps now. We put together our tips and tricks to get your house ready this fall. Start your fall projects early as the weather will only get colder and more wet as the season goes on; before you know it Thanksgiving will be upon us.
Clean out your gutters: This is always a pain but necessary, in the Seattle area. If you are unable to reach certain areas or worried for your safety; we recommend hiring a service to come clean out your gutters. If you have a trusty ladder and feel up to the task; try cleaning out those pesky gutters on a clear day, windless day to make it easier on yourself.
Sweep walkways and porches: This is very important to do especially before the trick or treaters hit the pavement. Its essential during the fall after the leaves have fallen to sweep away before the next rainfall; because once the leaves are wet on the pavement they can be very slippery and even dangerous.
Check and prepare your furnace: First check the furnace to see if it still working properly and all the ducts are still functional, and nothing is broken. If there is anything structurally wrong with your furnace or thermostat I would call the manufacturer or home improvement store to help solve the issue. Clean and replaces any furnace filters if needed. Lastly, if everything seems to be in order and checked, set your thermostat (optimal temperature is 68 to 74 degrees) to start relaxing in your perfectly heated home.
Insulate windows and attic: by insulating these areas will prevent cold drafts throughout the house. Make sure your attic is insulated with non-toxic materials to keep you and your family healthy and safe. Many modern homes have insulated window treatments, but older homes require additional insulation like plastic strips or other sealing agents which can be found at most any home improvement store.
Now don’t forget your friends down at the neighborhood hardware store. If you have any immediate questions on how to prepare your home for the winter, call or head on down to a Home Depot, Lowes, Fred Meyer or an ACE hardware store to get detailed and quick info on all your fall projects. Once you have your home all ready for winter then you can curl up with a cup of tea, a cozy blanket and great book and simply relax.
It may seem that Summer was just yesterday, but it’s officially November! Before life gets more hectic with the coming holidays, there are a few outdoor Fall home tips that are essential to tackle. Let’s face it, despite great intentions, most of us tend to lapse a bit on home care between Thanksgiving and the New Year. Plus, what a nice way to enjoy a few sunny Fall days. Your home will thank you for it!
Lawn: Aerate and fertilize your lawn (use a winterizer fertilizer). Once you’ve done this, over-seed it. The cooler temperatures outside create the perfect environment for grass seed germination. Experts suggest this is the most important lawn treatment of the year, and bonus, this lawn treatment will ensure that beautiful lush green grass that we all love so much during the Spring (especially if you’re planning to list your home!)
Garden Areas: To keep your garden beds looking their best next Spring remove dead annuals and prune back plants that have flowered in the Fall. Deadhead any plants that have spent flowers. Another critical step is to rake up fallen leaves as they can change the chemical balance of a flower garden (no one wants blue hydrangeas when they’ve planned for pink!). Get those bulbs planted! This will give them an early start and ensure they get the longest underground “freeze” that they need.
General Exterior Maintenance: Fix any cracks in fences, remove and store hoses, Install a “weather” cover over outdoor spigots to mitigate freezing. Clean gutters to ensure they don’t overflow when the rainy season begins. Drain pools, ponds, and other water features; as these are also prone to freezing and thus could be damaged.
Check Outdoor Lighting: Shorter days mean it’s probably dark when you get home from work, make sure you have pathways and driveways adequately illuminated. Not only is safer, but we always tell our clients that excellent lighting adds great curb appeal!
Be sure to store and cover outdoor furniture too!
These simple tips will help avoid problems and ensure that your home is ready and raring to go come glorious Spring. And if Winter gets you down, keep in mind that a lush green lawn and beautifully emerging plants are just a few months away!
If you are looking for any referrals to help you to get some of this essential work done, please do feel welcome to contact your experts at Sound-Properties!