Skip to content Sitemap

Ways to Prepare for Thanksgiving Dinner





decorating your apartment for winter


Surprising Ways to Prepare Your Home for Thanksgiving Dinner

The traditional Thanksgiving Dinner will likely get everyone busy in their kitchen preparing a big meal with multiple side dishes, a turkey or several different types of meat to roast, desserts to make, not to mention, more guests than are usually seated around your dining table. So, it is always important to plan for the Thanksgiving Feast, so that when the day arrives, you’ll be able to enjoy the occasion, knowing you’re well prepared for the celebration.

Plan Your Menu and Choose Your Recipes

You’ll want to prepare the turkey, then decide what side dishes you’ll be serving and pick the recipes you want to use for each of them. Write down the menu, and keep each recipe in a safe place so that you won’t forget. If you find the recipes in your recipe book, mark it, so it’s easy for you to remember, or, if you found it online, print them out and keep them in a folder for easy reference. This list can also serve as a reference for shopping and for remembering everything that you need to do on Thanksgiving Day.

Read Up on Any Unfamiliar Cooking Techniques

You need to read up on the proper method if you are unsure of how to roast a turkey. You might need to know how to make pumpkin puree or a pie crust. If you have time, you could also find videos showing various cooking techniques like carving a turkey or even do a trial run of specific recipes or cooking methods.

Check to Make Sure You Have the Proper Cooking Equipment

Try to understand more about your recipe and visualize how the preparation is made of each dish and make sure you have the tools and cooking equipment you need to prepare each one. Knowing the essential tools for the Thanksgiving party can help determine what you might need. Be sure to see if you’re making dishes that both will require the same tools or cooking equipment; for example, do you have enough pie pans for both the pumpkin pie and pecan pie recipes you want to make? Are you going to use the same saucepan for the gravy as you will for making the mashed potatoes? If you check this in advance, you have enough time to buy or borrow any equipment that you might need.

Tell Guests What to Bring, If Anything

It’s a good idea to tell guests what to bring. This way, you can be sure that there aren’t duplicate dishes or, worse, the omission of an essential dish of the party. Make sure everyone knows what they’re bringing, if anything, and try to understand from guests how many servings their dish can make.

Think Through How to Serve the Meal

Make sure you have enough place settings for all the dishes you’ll be serving, have the right serving pieces, and determine the number of guests attending. Decide what kind of serving portion you’ll use for each dish. It’s a good idea to put a sticky note on the underside of each serving piece to remind you what should go in each meal. Remember that oven-to-table bakers and casserole dishes can be both used as cooking vessels and serving dishes, and that’s one less dish to wash. When you follow this plan, you can be sure that come to Thanksgiving Day; you won’t be short on serving bowls for all the side dishes.

Decide on Decorations

Putting some decorations during this occasion might not be so important for homeowners, but it’s a good idea to decorate your home for Thanksgiving as it gives guests a welcoming and inviting atmosphere. So it’s better to buy or make anything for decoration that you can do in advance. A week or two before Thanksgiving is an excellent time for you to work on DIY crafts that you can use at the table, such as napkin rings, centerpieces, or place cards.

Start Shopping

Before you go to the grocery store to do some shopping, check your first shopping list and make sure you have enough freezer and pantry storage. If there’s something in your list that you can’t find in-store, or you forget something, be sure to add it to your second list to buy in the day or two before Thanksgiving. As you shop, don’t forget the extras you’ll need, such as paper napkins, and paper towels, food storage containers, and other staples.

After you have purchased everything you need for the Thanksgiving party, you can be sure to enjoy some relaxation, knowing you can prepare the Thanksgiving meal with less stress and far more enjoyable.


Cost Effective Ways to Prepare Your Home for Winter



5 Cost-Effective Ways To Prepare Your Home for Winter

When you do some essential home maintenance or repairs before the winter chill sets in, you could avoid more serious remedial work. You can easily make some fixes that are available at a lower price than you can imagine. Check out these five cost-effective ways to prepare your home for winter so you will feel more comfortable.

1. Take a look at your windows

If your windows are already old and drafty, it will add more chill to your house, and you’ll spend your hard-earned money through the cracks each time you put your heat on. You don’t need to get new windows; there is a cheaper way by using plastic shrink wrap. Covering your windows in shrink wrap can make your home cozier and reduce heating costs. You will find many kits at hardware stores that make the process easy.

If you’re hoping to save on heating costs, don’t just think about the rooms you sit in. You need to winterize the windows of your house that are rarely used, such as the basement and spare rooms. When you’re thinking of the coming years, consider whether new doors and windows are in your budget. They can often increase the value of your home.

2. Shut down the pool and the sprinkler system and drain outside faucets

A cost-effective way to prepare your home for winter is to make sure your pool is properly shut down. Even if you think you can do it yourself for the rest of the year, it’s worth to get an expert to inspect and shut down the system during October. Pool contractors tend to get busy during the last month of fall. Most sprinkler systems need the lines to be blown out. So, it’s always a good idea to seek the service of a professional. A professional winterizing is way more economical than replacing a bunch of broken lines next spring.

You need to protect your outside water faucet from the elements. It will freeze over the winter, and it could split the water line well inside the home, flooding the basement. In less extreme cases, outdoor faucets develop bad leaks. You have to work on draining the line, or you can shut off the water valve to your outside spigot, then go outside and open the exterior spigot valve and let the water drain out of the line.

3. Paint, caulk and seal exterior wood

You need to protect from the elements all of the wood trim on the exterior of your home. The wood on your deck is typically a pressure-treated or rot-resistant species of timber. Still, the wood trim around your exterior doors and windows is just a one-inch-thick board that deteriorates quickly if not protected.

Replacing this trim can be expensive. Painting and caulking is the best thing to do, which is a job most people do if they stay on top of it.

Once the wood is rotted and requires replacement, then you’re probably going to need to hire a good trim carpenter to tackle the job. Workaround your home and make sure that none of the caulk is cracking, and your paint is not chipping and flaking away. If it is, scrape away the lousy paint or caulk and apply fresh.

4. Clear your gutters

Cleaning your gutters can help you avoid major issues during the cold season. You need to clean your gutters before the temperature drops so you can prevent ice dams, which form when melted snow pools and refreezes at roof edges and eaves. Those ice dams can cause leaky roofs. If you live somewhere without ice and snow, gutter maintenance is still essential. No matter what the season, leaves fill the gutter, and this can cause leaks that damage your home and lead to mold growth.

5. Protect your plumbing

Pipes and plumbing are vulnerable to cold temperatures, and fixing them can be costly. One way to avoid pipes freezing is to turn them off for the winter. It’s essential to shut down and drain all outdoor faucets and piping. If you have pipes that run through non-isolated areas, like the garage or basement, you may want to consider insulating them to avoid freezes during the winter months.

Preparing your home for winter can take much of your time and money, but when you do, these tips during the fall months could save you hundreds of dollars this winter.


Branson is a Great Place to Call Home




More People Choose to Live in Branson Right Now and Here are the Reasons Why

Branson is widely recognized as one of the most vibrant communities in the United States where many people find it an ideal place to live, start a business or enjoy retirement. Citizens who are already living in this popular vacation spot in the Midwest enjoy numerous recreational activities, scenic beauty, and mild climates, making Branson a unique and fun place to live.

The moderate cost of living in Branson is one of the reasons why more people choose to live in this most visited vacation destination in the Midwest. The income of Branson mostly derives from tourism which helps keeps city taxes low. The cost of living in Branson is roughly 6 percent below the national average. Throughout the Tri-lakes area, you will find a wide variety of cozy homes. From multi-million dollar lakefront properties to moderately priced single-family homes, you can find the right home for you. Especially if you choose Thousand Hills Real Estate company to assist with your home search.

Branson is blessed with four distinct seasons, offering spectacular views of wooded valleys and lakes. The Tri-Lakes area features clean air and clean water, scenic highways and fantastic hiking trails that draw visitors all year round. During the spring season, you will find it great to view blooming dogwoods and redbuds as well as colorful foliage during the autumn season.

Branson is abundant with wildlife flowers and animals including foxes, coyotes, deer, bobcats and many kinds of birds. There are many businesses in Branson that are open year-round. Each year, more and more people come to Branson during the holiday season.

More people choose to live in Branson because of its great location in the Ozark Mountains and it also gives locals and visitors alike easy access to pristine lakes. This makes Branson great for outdoor activities and water adventures where you can enjoy a broad range of outdoor activities such as biking, hiking, camping, picnicking, boating, fishing, canoeing, and other water sports adventures. You will also find in Branson many nature parks that are spread throughout the area as well as ten world-class golf courses. There are also outdoor theaters that provide plenty of drama under the stars.

Branson is also a great place to enjoy water activities at Table Rock Lake that include swimming, jet skiing, parasailing, snorkeling, tubing, and more. You’ll see plenty of locals and visitors alike living it up through great recreational water activities. You will also find along with the lake cozy weekend resorts that are tucked away in coves. Table Rock Lake is also widely known for its awesome bass fishing, becoming it more popular as a fishing tournament site as well.

Lake Taneycomo is a cold-water lake that offers year-round rainbow trout fishing straight from the hatchery. The lake is an excellent environment for trout, which attracts many anglers to fish throughout the year, making it a number one fishing lake in Missouri. Bull Shoals Lake offers much of the same recreational water activities as Table Rock but in a less populated and developed environment. Bull Shoals is a great place to enjoy water skiing and scuba diving.

World-class live entertainment shows that are regularly held in many theaters in Branson and many exciting attractions are also good reasons why more people choose to live in Branson right now. Branson offers a vast amount of entertainment with more than 45 theaters and 100 shows that feature great music, magic, comedy, tribute, and concert shows. Branson offers many forms of musical entertainment including country, gospel, pop, rock ‘n roll, swing, classical, and Broadway.

Shepherd of the Hills Homestead and Outdoor Theater is home to the nation’s largest outdoor historical drama. Named after the most read novels in publishing history, Harold Bell Wright’s “The Shepherd of the Hills,” the story is re-enacted nightly by a cast of native players in a huge outdoor amphitheater. You will find it great to visit the Homestead as it offers crafts, music, shops, games, trail rides and other entertainment during daytime hours, as well as the 230-foot Inspiration Tower.

Shopping and dining opportunities in Branson abound at any time of the year, making the city a good reason to enjoy better living. You will find here many factory outlet stores that all offer fantastic shopping. One example is Branson Landing where you can find hundreds of unique shops that offer large discounts on a variety of shopping items including housewares, luggage, jewelry, shoes, and many restaurants that offer delicious cuisines.

More people choose to live in Branson right now because this favorite vacation destination features many great things making it a unique and fun place to live.


Ways to Keep Your Noise Level Low to Avoid Lease Violations




Ways to Keep Your Noise Low to Avoid Violations

Most of the complaints that the landlord deals with regularly are about the noisy neighbors. This noise could be a result of loud music or from uncontrollable barking of pets. It is important to get this problem under control because tenants who are unhappy with their current living conditions are likely to move out. Here are some of the ways to keep the noise low to avoid violations.

The first way to reduce noise in your place does not involve any money. If you are living in an apartment, the noise involves your lease agreement. A Quiet Hours Policy should be included in the lease agreement that all tenants must sign and agree to. The policy should state when to observe the quiet hours, for example from 10 p.m. to 9 a.m. An example of actions that would violate quiet hours is loud music during the party. If this is being followed, then nobody in the neighborhood will complain thereby avoiding violations.

A consequence should be explained in the policy once it is violated. For example, the first and second violations would be a warning, the third would be a fine and after that, stricter punishments should be implemented such as possible eviction. The Quiet Hours Policy is advantageous to residents as it gives them the confidence in having a peaceful and quiet time.

Another good way to keep your noise low in your place is to install double pane windows. This is great for minimizing exterior noise. Unfortunately, they aren’t cheap. Depending on the size of your window, they will cost upwards of 200 dollars. This cost is affordable if you do not have many windows to replace or if you see it adding much greater value to your property than the total cost of the windows. A cheaper alternative to installing double pane windows is to hang heavy fabric drapes around the windows. These will not only reduce noise, but they will aid in decreasing any drafts as well.

If you live in an apartment and found noise issues, a great way to fix this is to insulate the walls. To do this, you will have to open up the walls, and this can decrease noise between apartments thereby decreasing noise complaints. A great way to insulate the walls is to use foam insulation boards as this does not require walls to be cut open. These could be covered with fabric and hang on the walls like artwork.

Placing plants inside a house can also help reduce noise. Shrubbery can absorb noise and it’s a good idea to plant shrubs near windows and exterior doorways. You can also put some potted plants inside the property in noisy areas such as common areas or stair landings. This is a cost-effective way to keep noise low in your home.

When you buy a property, you should first check the noise levels of the house. Here are some reasons to check noise levels before you buy a house. Since noise complaints are such a big issue, determining the noise levels inside a house before you buy can help avoid complaints in the future. You should know that the property has an acceptable amount of noise protection. When you know there is not enough noise protection you will decide not to buy the property. After you know that there is not enough noise protection you can include the cost of noise protection so that you can negotiate to reduce the cost of the house.


It’s important also to listen for noise from outside and you should check this for two things. a) How noisy the actual street is: Listen for Noise From Outside – you may want to visit the property at different times of the day and observe different noises. Is there a lot of traffic on the street? Determine if pedestrians are constantly walking in front of the property. Determine also if there is a school right across the street or does a neighbor has a dog that barks all day.

  1. b) How loud the outside noise heard inside the apartment: You may want to keep all the windows in the property closed, then listen for noise from the street. Find out if there is a lot of traffic in the street that creates a loud noise. Find out also if there are pedestrians that are constantly walking in front of the property if there is also a school right across the street or there is a neighbor that has a dog that barks all day.

Whether you own property or renting an apartment, you must know the ways how to keep your noise low to avoid violations.

The Do’s and Don’ts When Renting


The Dos and Don’ts when Renting

Most tenants living in rental properties have nothing to worry about when it comes  repairs and maintenance. Typically, tenants are not responsible for doing tasks such as repairs on electrical, plumbing, or roof leaks. These are some of the reasons why many Americans choose to rent over owning a home. Renting also provides tenants independence and convenience, but there are some restrictions on the things in a rental property. While it’s advantageous for some to live in a rental property, here are some do’s and don’ts that need to be followed when renting a property.

Don’t paint your space without permission from the landlord

Before doing any painting jobs, get permission from your landlord. As a general rule, tenants who want to change things up during the time of their stay must ask permission from a landlord and get it in writing. Maybe you don’t like that red accent wall which is a rare case, but because the landlord wants to avoid headaches to look for a new tenant, he’ll allow you to change the color of your wall. However, when you want to repaint any of your furniture which isn’t a part of the rental property, you can do it.

Don’t try to customize the landscape

Sometimes a tenant wants to improve the beautifully-laid-out landscape design into a vegetable garden which also needs the permission of the landlord. However, you don’t need to ask permission from your landlord if you want to grow a few plants in your unit. Most of the landlords want the tenants to feel they can make the property their home, but they can’t customize anything during their residency. But when you talk to your landlord about the things in a rental property you want to do and get written authorization to do it – you will have peace of mind, and you can stay out of trouble.

Avoid doing major renovations to a rental property

Always consult with your landlord before you do significant changes to a rental property. The rental agreement you signed with the landlord must have some condition that’s agreed upon on how improvements will be handled when you move out.

If the landlord didn’t know that you added a ceiling fan in all of the bedrooms, he will be only thrilled to find out that you improved the rental property and you can’t ask for a reimbursement for the installation expenses and costs of the fans at move out. And if you decide to take your fans with you on moving day, you’ll be responsible for patching and repainting the ceilings.

Don’t use a hammer for all of your projects.

Using a hammer to install something on your wall can do some damage to a rental property. Consider installing decorations that won’t damage the walls. Some landlords will allow you to hang a few pictures, or hang curtains on decorative rods. With this in mind, it’s essential for every tenant to avoid installing any decor that involves the use of a hammer. This only means that you need to take out from your thoughts about mounting cabinets in the bathroom, or adding artworks with wainscoting.

That’s not to say you won’t be allowed by the landlord to decorate in other ways. One example, if you have white or black appliances, you can easily change the look. Consider applying the dishwasher and refrigerator with stainless steel covers. These steel covers come in magnetic varieties that can instantly transform and update the space.

Help maintain the property

When you want to help in maintaining the property, it requires you to make some effort by informing your landlord about the problems you notice. You may not be responsible for repairs like the landlords, but you, as a tenant, you are responsible for informing the landlord or the property manager when there are some problems in your rental unit. Whether it’s a leak in a faucet or a broken doorknob, you need to report these problems as soon as possible.

Get renters insurance.

In the event of flood, fire, theft, the landlord or the property owner will be held responsible for the damage caused to your unit. But for the things inside your unit such as your furniture, electronic equipment, and personal belongings, you are responsible for all those. To avoid this to happen to you, it’s important for you to get a renter’s insurance as it protects you against these unforeseen events.

When you live in a rental property, you’re fortunate because there’s nothing for you to worry about repairs and maintenance. But since you don’t own the property, there are some do’s and don’t’s that you need to follow when renting a property.