Preparing for the Winter Storm

photo credit: Unitopia via photopin cc

photo credit: Unitopia via photopincc

We’re preparing for a nor’easter. New Jersey is fortunate, we’re not supposed to get much snow but those living north are going to get much more!

Wouldn’t you love to be in that little cottage above in the snow? I sure would with a hot cup of tea and some shortbread cookies.

This weekend I am going to stay inside and work on a jigsaw puzzle and organize posts for the week.

If you are going to see a storm how are you preparing? If you’re lucky enough to be somewhere warm what are your weekend plans? I’d love to hear what’s going on in your lives.

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How to Keep your House Warm

Image copyright yellowcloud.

We’ve had some crazy weather lately and living in New Jersey it can be pretty cold. In an effort to conserve heat and money I’ve taken a few measures to prep the house for winter.

  1. Curtains – I made curtains for our living room with a thermal / black out lining. The lining is thick to keep out the chill from the window and door. You can find this lining at your local fabric store. I got mine at Joann Fabrics for a reasonable price. It also keeps the room cool in the summer.
  2. Let the Sunshine In – When the sun is shining bright, open the curtains and draw the blinds to allow the sunlight in. This is a free way to heat up your home. Sunlight also makes you happy! Just be sure to close them again as the sun sets to keep out the chill.
  3. Insulate Windows with Plastic – If you have older windows, they maybe leaking cold air. A window insulator kit like this one from 3M will block that cold air from entering your home. All you need is the kit and a hair dryer. If you do it correctly, you won’t see the plastic but you’ll notice the difference in temperature!
  4. Weatherstrip Doors – Foam weatherstripping is easy to find and apply. Using it on doors will keep out the cold air in the winter and warm air in the summer. It’s a win / win.
  5. Maintain Furnace – Have your furnace serviced and filters cleaned/replaced this will help it preform at top shape.
  6. Close off  Unused Rooms – Seal up unused rooms, close the vents and shut the door. Don’t heat a room you are not using. Additionally keep in mind that heat rises! Use the vents on your lower levels and close those in the upper rooms.
  7. Wear Layers – This doesn’t keep your house warm but it does keep your body warm. Layering up allows you to keep the thermostat at a lower temperature and saves you money. Get creative and put together fun colors. Also, wear slippers or socks and shoes to keep your feet warm.
  8. Fire Up the Oven – There is something special about baking muffins as the snow falls. It’s a yummy way to wake up but the heat of the oven also warms your home. I love to bake in the winter. When you’re done, be sure to leave the door open a bit to allow the heat to escape and enter the house.

What are your tips for winterizing your home? I hope you stay cozy inside!

 

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Merry Christmas

Image copyright rahego.

Warm wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Love, Lindsay

 

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My Top 5 Holiday Movies

To me, no holiday would be complete without watching my favorite holiday movies! So I’m sharing my top 5 Holiday Movies 🙂

  1. Home Alone– While his family is on their way to Paris, Kevin McCallister finds himself home alone to fight off pair of thieves that target his home for a holiday robbery. Kevin sets traps to capture the intruders. This is a film we watch every Christmas Eve.
  2. Home Alone 2 Lost in New York – The following year, Kevin’s family decides to take a trip to Florida and Kevin ends up on a plane to New York. In the big city, Kevin meets up with his old friends Harry and Marv.
  3. Christmas in Connecticut– My husband and I watched this movie a few years ago and loved it. We have watched it every year since! In this film, a food writer who writes for a home living magazine is put on the spot when her boss invites himself and a returning war hero to her country house to spend Christmas with her husband and baby. The only trouble is, she’s a single woman living in Manhattan and has fictionalized all of the stories. Elizabeth quickly struggles to pull together a farm and family to host her guests. It stars Barbara Stanwyck, Dennis Morgan, and Sydney Greenstreet.
  4. It’s a Wonderful Life– “Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings!” No Christmas season is complete without It’s a Wonderful Life. George Bailey finds out what his world would be like if he were never born. It stars Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed.
  5. Shop Around the Corner – This is another movie that stars Jimmy Stewart and is also the basis of the movie You’ve Got Mail. Two coworkers who hate each other end up falling in love while writing letters to one another.

What are your favorite movies? The Christmas Story? Family Vacation? I’d love to hear your favorites. If you’re looking for a film to watch with some hot tea or cocoa I hope this list helps you get into the holiday season!

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12 Homemade Christmas Gifts

Image Copyright Carrie Stephens.

If you read last week’s post How to Christmas Shop with a Budget you saw the suggestion of making gifts for your family and friends. Today we have 12 homemade Christmas gift ideas to help fill stockings and warm hearts.

  1. Calendar – Christmas is a great occasion to give your loved ones new calendars to plan the new year. If you have a little computer or crafting skills you can put together a gift that keeps giving all year long.
  2. Ornaments – Homemade ornaments can personalize the holiday and make your tree special. Find ideas here, here, and here.
  3. Scarves – As I said in this post, my sister crocheted a scarf for me that I wear every winter. If you’re a beginner, try reading this how to article. Don’t forget that a friend or family member might be happy to teach you, my Grandma taught me how to crochet.
  4. Baked Goods – Everyone loves baked goods! Try these cookies or this banana bread. If you’re skilled in the kitchen be sure to put these skills to good use.
  5. Wreaths – A wreath welcomes family and friends to your home and they’re pretty easy to make. Follow my tutorial here.
  6. Photo Album / Scrapbook – Organize photos and souvenirs from vacations, weddings, trips, and memories in a photo album or scrapbook.
  7. Put Together A Video – Your computer may come with a simple movie editing system like iMovie. With some time and thought, you can put together videos of school plays, baseball or softball games, add a bit of music and you have a gift to watch over and over.
  8. Build a Gingerbread House – This is a great idea to do with kids, not only can you decorate the house with fun candy you can eat it too! For more ideas check out this site.
  9. Candles – These teacup candles are adorable!
  10. Gift Basket – Put together a themed gift basket. For example, put together popcorn, candy, and a movie or Netflix subscription. If you’re looking to save money on buying a DVD, write a coupon for a TV movie night. 🙂 Try making baskets with tea or coffee or make a basket full of lotions, body scrubs, and bubble baths, use your imagination!
  11. Etch Glass – Shop at a thrift store and etch designs or monograms in the glass for a new and personalized look! Fill the jars with candy or treats.
  12. Body Scrub – Every girl likes to have soft skin! A jar of body scrub can be expensive. Make your own body scrub with salt or sugar. Find recipes here and here. Re-purpose an old jar and put in a gift basket. Bonus points for etching the jar!

Are you done shopping or are you planning on making gifts? What are your go to homemade gift ideas?

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