More Summer Fun with the Kids

If you need some inspiration on activities to do with the kids, we’ve got you covered. Here are five fun things to do this week:

1. See how many Caldecott Medal-winning children’s books you can read this summer. Here’s a list you can bring with you to the library.

2. Have a recycled craft day. Materials are waiting for you in your recycling bin. Check out this easy-to-make rain stick that you can assemble from a paper towel roll, aluminum foil and some popcorn kernels.

3. Be a tourist in your back yard. Visit a local museum, zoo, festival, historic site or water park. It’s easy to overlook the things you see every day.

4. Visit a fire station. Call ahead to see if your local station offers scheduled tours. Many will welcome a visit from local children, and even let them sit in the driver’s seat!

5. Start a collection. Gather rocks, shells or leaves, and look for similarities and differences.


Summer Fun with the Kids

Two weeks into summer vacation and you’ve run out of things to do with the kids. No problem! Here are five things to put on your calendar today:

1. Make your own ice cream sandwiches. Bake your favorite cookies, and let them cool. Put a scoop of ice cream between two, press, and freeze. We recommend peanut butter cookies with chocolate ice cream!

2. Make a fort out of cardboard boxes. Visit your local appliance store for the really big boxes, and let your creativity soar.

3. Visit a farmer’s market or a pick-your-own farm. Blueberries, strawberries and blackberries taste better when they’re fresh.

4. On a rainy day, hold an A to Z scavenger hunt inside your house. Challenge the kids to find something that starts with every letter. For young kids, this can be educational, too!

5. Grill homemade pizza. Burgers can get boring, so make your own dough, par-bake it so it doesn’t fall through the cracks, and let your topping imagination go wild!


Easter Brunch Tablescapes

Setting a holiday table is a chance to create some magic. If you’re hosting Easter dinner or brunch, why not turn your dining room into a celebration of spring. Here are three beautiful table designs found on Pinterest – from a simple farmhouse look to an elegant layered display – that will give you some ideas of what’s possible.

tulips on table      Easter Brunch

Bunny Table


Create An Inviting Guest Bedroom With Tips From Fine Hotels


Opening your home to friends and family is part of the holiday season, and you want your guests to feel welcome. If you will be hosting anyone overnight, take some time now to plan ahead and make the occasion festive and bright.


Here are 10 things fine hotels do to make their guests feel special so they look forward to coming back:


Guest Bedroom Linens


Use soft, warm linens. Launder linens the day before your guests arrive, so they smell fresh and feel crisp. Invest in a high-thread count set of sheets, which will be soft and comfortable. If your guests are visiting during winter, make sure to provide extra blankets, and consider flannel or microfiber sheets, which will be warmer.


Provide a clock radio. If your guests want to wake up early, make it easy by providing a clock radio with an alarm. This will also allow your guests to listen to music while they fall asleep.


Prepare the bathroom. Make sure your guests have extra towels in the bathroom, so they can easily freshen up during they stay. Put out a basket of toiletries, including soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, a toothbrush and toothpaste, and consider offering a robe they can use if the bathroom is down the hall or shared with others.


Guest Bedroom 2


Pay attention to the details. Fresh flowers on the nightstand are a nice touch, as is including candies, bottled water and a book or magazine for reading. Be sure the room has adequate light for reading.


Ask about food preferences. Before your guests arrive, find out if they have any food allergies or diet restrictions. You’ll want them to feel at home; set up a coffee and tea station in the kitchen so they can help themselves if they wake before you in the morning.


Provide easy access to electronics. Help your guests connect online by writing your WiFi password on a notecard on the nightstand. You can also give a quick tutorial on cable remotes, and provide a cable guide so your friends can find their favorite channels.


Guest Bedroom 3


Plan activities. If sightseeing is on the agenda, provide information on all your area has to offer. You can plan this ahead of time, and pre-purchase tickets to ensure you get your first choice.


Provide a place luggage. Think about where guest can set their luggage, such as a luggage rack, bench or chair. Suitcases can be dirty, and your guests will be glad they don’t have to place them on the bed.


Clear closet. Make space in the closet for guests to hang clothes. Be sure you provide enough hangers, as well as floor space for shoes.


Think about the kids. If there will be children, consider their special needs, such as renting a crib, using socket protectors on outlets, and providing age-appropriate games and activities.