Whether you are staying at home, going away, or just planning to be out for the day, a clean house can relieve 90% of your stress. The good news is cleaning your house doesn’t have to be the ordeal you think. Just ask the Flylady. Her motto, “You can do anything for 15 minutes,” says it all. She has a perfect crisis cleaning plan just for you.
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Entertaining at home or just want to feel the holiday spirit? Get festive on a budget.
Once the house is clean, the rest is easy. Keep it simple. Come up with a single theme. Gold bows, or red ones, candy canes—just something simple to make it look festive. No need to spend a lot, just a few simple touches.
Successful shopping is all about a little advance thought. Create a plan. Choose your day and write a list. Think about what each person would like or come up with a theme, like books, kitchenware, towels, or office supplies and then choose the store with the best selection and price. Get there at opening time and stay focused. Be sure to pick up wrapping paper and tape, or go green and use a recycle theme like newspaper and cloth ribbon, or shopping totes that they can reuse for shopping. Additional gift ideas: Magazine Subscriptions or gift cards (be sure to check terms and fees). Gift bags are always exciting to receive, no matter what is in them. Think of a few items fitting for your guests and come up with a theme. Breakfast brings to mind coffee and/or teas, mugs--travel or regular--and biscotti.
Want to wow your guests? Keep your choices down to just a few items and make them special. Keep the menu simple. If it’s just finger foods and appetizers, use a few prepared items that you know taste great and then supplement with cheeses, crackers, fruit, wine and juices.
If you have to make a meal, don’t sweat it. Remember the theme here is K.I.S.S.—Keep It Simple Sweetie! Stick to what you know. A baked chicken can be made special by glazing with duck sauce and whole cranberry sauce. Rice can become tasty by dropping some bouillon powder and butter into the water. It’s all about the presentation. Think about how it can look pretty on the table.
Once you know you menu, create your shopping list and pick up what you need on the same day you shop for gifts.
You’ve cleaned, decorated, shopped and cooked. Now put your feet up and relax with a cup of coffee. You've earned it!