WRAPPING up your Holidays with Ease!

Wrapping presents! Oh the BOXES, the BAGS, the PAPER, the TAGS! I’m COVERED with TAPE from my HEAD to my TOE! The GIFTS I must wrap? Well they FILL me with WOE! and it SHOULD NOT BE SO! Are you just a smidge overwhelmed at Holiday time with wrapping all those presents in an easy and yet creative way? STOP! DON’T get your TINSEL in a TANGLE! Here are a few GIFTWRAP HACKS to try that can calm you right down! THE WRAPPING STATION A wrapping station is a wonderful thing! This designated space will keep you organized and sane in your most frantic wrapping moments! How? You get to leave all your stuff out! No ‘putting it all away’ after a marathon wrapping session! With a station, you can store purchased gifts under the table, then wrap as the mood strikes! Believe it or not, most of us can scrape together things we have from...

Holiday Decorating on a Dime

Holiday Decorating on a Dime! The Holidays are here!  Decorating your home – whether you go big and bold, or keep it sweet and simple – it’s always great to save some money and spend it on fabulous gifts! Here are a few ideas to creative a festive home on a holiday budget! Can you REALLY create beautiful holiday decorating on a dime? Are you a traditionalist when it comes to decorating, or do you change it up each year? For variety and an updated style, try adding in another color! Silver added to a “Country Natural” theme gives the perfect bit of sparkle while keeping it simple! Silver balls and icicles on the tree, along with tall, wide glass assorted jars filled with more silver decorations. Scatter about your house-on tables, the mantle, or counters. Sprigs of artificial pine branches in keeping with the Country theme added in, are a perfect touch! Alter any theme with color. Bright purple, yellow, and...

Falling for Pumpkin!

Falling for Pumpkin! The thermometer here in Arizona has finally dropped below 100, and the nights are becoming cool! Now it’s time for all things autumn, and I find myself falling for pumpkin!! Natural autumn decor, fall root vegetables in bowls, pumpkins at the door – Fall is so FESTIVE in nature, don’t you agree? Red leaves, gold and orange on the forest floor, and cinnamon browns that suggest fall.  It’s bonfire time! Sipping hot chocolate and crunching gooey s’mores run across my mind. Afghans, cable-knit sweaters, cool evenings…the list is endless. If you love fall like I do, then you may share my affliction – a love for anything pumpkin! This includes the tempting tastes of pumpkin-spice and cinnamon. Enter harvest-time baking, and lip-smacking pumpkin-y deliciousness!  Falling for Pumpkin! Today was ‘Focus on Autumn’ Day. I brought in my fall decorations, and dug around in the cupboards for a can or two of organic pumpkin. My first order...

Holiday Planning 101 – It’s Not too Early!

Holiday planning in SEPTEMBER? Yep. It’s time! Get a jump on the season and take the stress factor down a notch. There will be details to polish up later, but let’s get going on the majors now. You can plan your calendar: activities, appointments, decorating, etc. These are the big things. What I love about holiday planning is that if you get the plans down now, you can live in the present for the rest of the holidays! Holiday Planning on Your Calendar – Calendaring ( here is one holiday calendar we love! ) is critical during the holidays! It will save your sanity. Schedule EVERYTHING! Daily activities – First of all, Plan School, Work, Athletic schedules and Lessons! (suggestion: use a different color for each member of your family!) Appointments – Schedule every Dentist and Doctor’s visit, Hair, Nail, or Waxing appointment, Pest Control and Pool guy visit! Get it on the calendar through December so you won’t have...

The Homeowner’s List of New Year’s Resolutions!

Each January on New Year’s Day the average American writes out THE LIST! You know the one…The 10 (or sometimes many more!) New Year’s Resolutions: the ambitious promises of things you will do to create this year’s best life possible for you and yours. This year, how about skipping the commitment to French lessons, and instead, focus on saving your money and spending your time on a couple of your most important assets: your home and your family! Here are a few tips to get you moving frugally and fabulously into the new year! Tip #1: Tighten the Grocery Budget A great financial goal to set at the beginning of the year is to re-evaluate the food budget! A huge amount of money can be saved through meal planning and organizing. Planning meals on paper helps to designate where your food dollars are best spent. A family of 4 can cut nearly 40% off the food bill...

The Quick Guide to Holiday Storage

Traditionally, New Year’s Day is ‘put away Christmas’ day for most households. Since holiday storage can be troublesome, here are some of Miss Moxie’s FAVORITE Quick Tips to make storing your holiday items a breeze! Storage-A General Tip-This might be the year to make the great ‘Christmas Storage Switch’ to all clear, similar brand, small, medium and large sized plastic bins. Use the large ones for cumbersome and odd-shaped items only! Use medium and small for ornaments, special decorations, holiday linens, etc. It is SO MUCH EASIER when every bin can be labeled and stacked…more on this later. Now for a few specifics: Christmas Lights– Save yourself some stress next Christmas and store these babies properly! If you are in a hurry, at least wind the light strings from your elbow to wrist and toss em’ in XL ZIPLOC bags! My go-to method is to cut large squares of thick cardboard. I just notch one end for the plug end...

A Holiday on the Town!

Are your stockings all hung? Are your bows tied and your cookies frosted? Then maybe this year you’ll have time to get out on the town for some frolicking with your family! It’s not too late to enjoy some Greater Phoenix Area festivities. HOLIDAY LIGHTS– Do you love to pack all the kids in the SUV with blankets and hot cocoa, but not sure where to go? Well, there’s an app for that! Nextdoor is a free app that allows you to type in your local area and open a map of holiday attractions.  Neat! My favorite is definitely Glendale Glitters in Historic Glendale. This free display of thousands of twinkling lights is located in the heart of quaint restaurants and lovely antique stores that keep their doors open every night of the weekends before Christmas! This is a fabulous, not-to-miss event! Another great holiday festivity is Christmas at the Princess . This  Scottsdale Resort is transformed into a winter wonderland, complete with a musical...

No-Nonsense Holiday Decorating

December is Celebration Time! Hanukkah, Christmas, whatever your celebration, we’ve got some great, easy, budget friendly ideas to make your home festive this season! DECORATING ON A BUDGET I like to change-it-up a little yearly, but who can afford all new décor every Christmas? One easy way to throw some new life into your decorations is by switching colors, or adding in another color! If all your décor is “Country Style”, try adding in silver! Add plain silver ornaments to the tree. Purchase tall, wide glass vases or assorted jars from the dollar store and fill with plain, silver balls. Place them around your house-on the coffee tables, mantle, or place three varying height jars on the dining table. Add in sprigs of artificial pine branches in keeping with the Country theme, and there you go! Any theme can be altered with color. Add in bright turquoise, yellow, and orange balls and stringed beads for a...

YOUR VERY BEST, MOST USEFUL HOLIDAY DINNER CLEANUP TIPS EVER!

Holiday Dinner! These words can strike FEAR into the most amazing host or hostess! What’s the perfect meal? What centerpieces will I use? How many guests should I invite and whom? Well, I can’t relieve the burden of these decisions, but I CAN help you with one of the most tedious tasks of the day: CLEAN-UP! Here are my FAVORITE Holiday Meal Clean-Up tips to keep you from having FITS over your FEAST! START WITH THE END IN MIND! You can avoid lots of clean-up issues with preparation. • Freeze your candles for two days. This will help avoid wax drips on furniture and linens. • Prepare the kitchen: Run and empty the dishwasher. Clean sink and all surfaces. Put all dishes away. Store counter decor. • Use a folded dishtowel as a spoon rest- keeps things tidier. • Place a large bowl for food trash next to workspace. • Have a dishpan filled with hot,...

How to Host an Incredible Cocktail Party

As the holidays approach, it’s exciting to think about entertaining. However, hosting a big gathering with tons of food and drink can be downright overwhelming. The BEST party I ever threw was an impromptu, last-minute cocktail party on December 23rd. Yup, that’s right. We invited our friends just the day prior and by that point in time, everyone was either ready for the holidays or so far behind they didn’t care and the temptation of a cocktail party was too good to pass up!  It was crazy fun. Our guests talked about the “epic” party for years afterwards. Seriously, we never quite topped that one. The best thing about this party was I didn’t sweat the small stuff. Here are my tried and true secrets to how to host an incredible cocktail party. Own the basics:   Having a good set of wine glasses and a set of all-purpose drink glasses is essential. As time goes...