House & Holidays Plan Week 9: Public Space Week

Halloween is coming ... and November lies ahead! Along with the trick-or-treaters comes a new pace to the season. Thanksgiving is on the horizon, so it's time to turn our attention to the public space in our home: the living room or great room.

In holiday prep, we'll prepare for Halloween celebrations. We'll complete Christmas cards and buy holiday stamps, and start saving mailing boxes so that we can recycle them to send gifts.    Read More >>

Christmas Countdown: Reality Check Week

Warning! Holiday reality check ahead!

It's week two of the Christmas Countdown, and time to consider the darker side of the holiday season. Though we may not be conscious of them, hidden holiday forces work to over-run our budgets and distort our decision-making.

Not to worry! Coming face to face with the reality of outside pressures will make us stronger--and we'll be empowered to bring our celebrations within the circle of our own values. We'll do less ... and enjoy it more!

Ready? Let's get organized!    Read More >>

Candy Overload? Repurpose, Recycle and Reduce the Trick-or-Treat Haul!

repurpose Halloween candy

Halloween has come and gone ... and now its the morning of November 1st! For parents, that's the time when the excitement of Trick-or-Treat night gives way to post-Halloween reality: what to do with all that Halloween candy?

Whether they're worried about tooth decay and nutrition, or simply want to avoid the stress of a week of candy-fueled behavior from the little ones, smart parents put strategies in place to handle the Trick-or-Treat haul.

Here are some of our favorite ideas to repurpose, recycle and reduce the amount of Halloween candy in your organized home.    Read More >>

Holiday House Fever? Cure It With A Home Spruce Up Exercise

Holiday Home Spruce Up Exercise

This weekend's furniture ads are hard to avoid when you browse the Sunday paper--and they're symptoms of a serious holiday disorder: Holiday House Fever!

Look around the house. Does your temperature rise when you see stained carpets, smudged switch plates and faded window coverings? Gotcha!

With Christmas on the horizon, it's tempting to dive right in to a long list of home improvements. Stop! Wait! Biting off more than you can chew on the home front is a sure-fire recipe for holiday stress.    Read More >>

Christmas Countdown Day 6: Start A Christmas Card List!

Start A Christmas Card List

Will you send holiday greetings to friends and family this year?

Lovely as the tradition can be, it takes more time than you think to select, address and send holiday cards or Christmas letters--and a haphazard approach to season’s greetings is a recipe for Christmas-card chaos.

Remind yourself of last year. Was the job of writing and addressing holiday greetings meaningful--or manic?

Between procrastination and failure to plan, too many of us find ourselves scrawling signatures late into the night, in a frantic dash to beat the postman to the mailbox. Next day, our eyes blur as we sort the incoming mail: did we remember to send a card to Aunt Kaye?

Not this year! Take charge of sending holiday cards and letters with a Christmas card list. Properly pruned, it'll let you home in on holiday greetings without the chaos.    Read More >>

Simplify Season's Greetings: Using Computers To Send Christmas Cards

Computers speed holiday cards

As an online old-timer, I can attest to this fact: few subjects stir as much controversy as computers and Christmas cards.

The questions come year after year. Should we use the computer to address the cards? Write a Christmas letter on inkjet letterhead?

What about pre-printed signatures? Is it okay to use e-mail to send holiday greetings?

What's the right-and-wrong of harnessing computer technology to make it easier to send Christmas cards and holiday letters?    Read More >>

Almond-Chocolate Toffee

Almond-Chocolate Toffee Recipe

My brother John's favorite holiday treat, this candy is easy to make, transports well--and has a buttery, crunchy taste that is "to die for".

To prepare this recipe for shipment, pour hot candy into a buttered disposable foil pan. Follow with chocolate chips as the recipe directs and smooth melted chips to form chocolate coating.

When cool, carefully fold down pan edges, then wrap in a zipper freezer storage bag. Wrap pan tightly without breaking to mail candy. Yum!

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