Seasonal greenery like fir trees and wreaths delight the senses with their wintry look and fresh scent. But after the holidays are over, disposing of these decorations can be a real headache. However, with a few pro tips, you can remove holiday greenery with ease – and even create new decorations for next year in the process. Here’s how:
Don’t let your tree get too dried out before you remove it: the dryer a tree is, the more likely you are to be at risk of a house fire. Take care to remove all ornaments, tinsel, and lights, then remove the tree from its stand. If possible, you can break the tree down into more manageable sections, then carry the pieces to the curb. If not, use a tree bag or an old sheet to wrap the tree in, which will help prevent needle and sap transfer onto your floors as you carry it outside. Take the tree to the dumpster, and make sure it doesn’t obstruct any roads or sidewalks.
Once you remove the tree, you’ll likely have extra needles to clean up. We suggest using a broom rather than a vacuum at first because too many needles can clog vacuums. After you’ve swept, you can go over the area with a vacuum to pick up any stray remains. Also, check for sap or water stains – be sure to clean and dry these areas using color-safe carpet cleaner or floor cleaner.
In Jefferson Parish, the Department of Environmental Affairs will recycle all trees collected to use for marsh restoration and composting. All Jefferson parish residents in places like Kenner and Harahan who place their live trees out for collection will automatically have them recycled as long as the trees are free of all lights, tinsel, garland, ornaments, stands, and plastic bags. The parish will collect eligible trees on January 7, 8, and 9, 2016.
Use parts of your tree as decorations for next year. You can carefully cut thin slices of the trunk or branches to decorate and hang on next year’s tree with a ribbon (use a bit of hot glue on the back of the wood or drill a small hole). You can also create coasters out of the wooden discs – seal them with a wood varnish first!
Every year as January approaches we reflect on the year that passed. We boast accomplishments, regret missed opportunities, and think about the upcoming year. “What can I do differently? What can I do better?” This is usually when we decide to make a “New Year’s Resolution”. A resolution to eat healthier, drink less, exercise more, and so on.
In theory, resolutions are a great way to promote a progressive new year. The problem with resolutions is that we almost never stick to them. In fact, only 65% of resolution-makers make it to February and only 46% will continue past June.
So how do we get ourselves to stick to our promises? Simple: pick the right resolutions, and make a plan to stick to them. This is easier said than done; so we’ve put together a couple of tips to help you out.
This may sound strange, but some resolutions actually are better than others. In order to follow through with a resolution, you need to be passionate, driven and internally motivated.
Choosing a resolution might seem overwhelming, but don’t let it be! If you can’t choose just one, try out a couple of different resolutions. All that matters is that you are growing as a person.
Once you have chosen the right resolution(s), it’s time to put them in action. As soon as the ball drops, begin planning out how you will commit to your new promise.
We wish you the best of luck in the completing your goals for 2016.
But we’re not only dishing the advice, we’re taking it too.
So let’s all work together to make 2016 the best year yet. Happy New Year everyone!
— 1st Lake Properties (@1stLake) January 5, 2016
If you’ve just moved into a new place, first things first: check out our First Apartment Essentials list and Moving Checklist. After you’ve sifted through these resources, your next step is decidedly more fun – it’s time to decorate! With the holidays coming up, we’ve put together a gift guide on what to buy for your first apartment. Share it with family members or use it yourself to help create a chic, inviting space at home.
Pretty storage. Ask for unique pieces like a monogrammed tray, hooks, or a small side table so you have somewhere to place your keys and mail as soon as you walk in the door. Attractive storage helps alleviate clutter and create a streamlined – yet decorative – look.
An area rug. Bringing color and comfort to your space is as easy as purchasing an area rug. Choose a neutral color scheme or pick a bright hue that complements your existing decor.
Artwork. Framed artwork instantly pulls your space together. Look for one oversized piece, or hang several together in a gallery-style arrangement.
Mirrors. Similar to artwork, mirrors provide that extra decorative pop on walls. The bonus? They’re much easier to gift than artwork – no mulling over which print to pick out or whether to choose something traditional or modern! Mirrors also maximize space by reflecting light, doubling their impact on a blank wall. Ask for a hanging mirror or a jumbo-sized one to lean casually against a wall (you may want to mount it for extra security, especially if you have pets or small children).
Throw pillows. Pillows are an easy way to add bright pops of color and texture; they can easily change the whole look of your couch or other upholstered items. As local interior designer Whitney Jones shared with us, “Pillows are a really good way to update a space and make an apartment look totally different without spending too much money.” Anthropologie, West Elm, and Target all have a wide selection of beautiful throw pillows.
Bedding. High thread counts are extra-sumptuous but can be pricey. Asking for high-end bedding as a gift helps cover the cost and treat yourself to something you’ll use every single night.
Throw pillows. For all the awesome reasons why, scroll up to the “For the Living Room” section!
A blender. You can find them for $20, but when you have to replace them over and over, is it really worth the deal? Ask for a nice, name-brand blender, and you’ll be making smoothies and milkshakes for years to come.
Pans. Quality is key here. Non-stick saute pans from brands like Calphalon are expensive but will last and last. You can also look for a black steel skillet, which combines facets of cast iron and stainless steel into one seamless piece.
Knives. Just like pans, quality determines price. Extra-sharp knives do the work for you, tackling laborious kitchen tasks like chopping and cutting with ease. A chef’s knife and a serrated knife should cover most of your needs.
Ideally, Thanksgiving is about spending time with loved ones and reflecting on all we’re grateful for. In reality, it’s often a time of major stress: did we bake enough dinner rolls? Does this side dish go well with turkey? Why is the gravy so lumpy?
While there’s not much to do for last-minute disasters besides take a long, deep breath, you can prepare yourself and your space in advance to ensure a successful holiday.
Simple tasks like checking expiration dates on your spices or counting how many usable plates you have can save you from last-minute mad dashes to the store on the big day. Make an ongoing list that outlines what you need, then plan on a shopping trip where you can purchase everything all at once.
Remember to check in on other dining necessities: ample utensils, wine glasses, dish-washing liquid, and paper towels can all be the difference between a seamless evening and a stressful one.
Try to plan a menu that doesn’t rely on being served hot or cold. Dishes like wild rice salad, pecan or pumpkin pies, and even the turkey itself can be served at room temperature, hot, or cold, so no matter where you need to store them, you’ll ensure they taste delicious.
A huge turkey is often the star of a Thanksgiving menu — but it doesn’t have to be! You can forego the fowl in its whole form and try dishes like a satisfying turkey pot-pie, roasted turkey breasts, or turkey osso bucco. If you insist on a full turkey, here are a few space-saving tips:
Even if your out-of-town visitors have plans to stay elsewhere, you may want to consider preparing a guest room – just in case. Purchase a few travel-size toiletries so guests don’t have to use yours. Place items like toothpaste, a razor, a new bar of soap, and shampoo on top of a clean, colorful towel so guests will know it’s theirs to use.
Put fresh sheets on the guest bed, and stack a couple of extra blankets nearby. Stocking up on toilet paper is a necessity; fresh flowers, magazines, and water bottles all placed in the room are bonus points for hosts looking to make a special impression. If you don’t have a guest room, create an alternate space for guests to sleep with an airbed or even a feather mattress topper placed on the floor.
Scope out remaining Halloween sales to find decorative items and candy to have on hand for the Thanksgiving holiday. Often, candies have fall themes that are deeply discounted after Halloween – arrange them in a crystal bowl, and your guests can help themselves to bite-size treats leading up to the meal.
Post-Halloween sales are also a good time to purchase several pumpkins. These hearty gourds should last well through Thanksgiving and are a beautiful addition on the table, mantel, or on the front door.
We hope these tips will help you enjoy a peaceful, fun holiday. Happy Thanksgiving to all of our current and future residents at 1st Lake Properties! We are thankful for you!
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