1. Get organized for the holidays!

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    ScentsiclesMost people need to spruce up their homes for holidays. Home expert Elizabeth Dodson offers simple tips to get your home ready for guests and festive gatherings.

    Elizabeth is the co-founder of www.HomeZada.com, a cloud-based home improvement and organizational software tool. Her  practical tips will help even the busiest household get organized.

    Here are Elizabeth Dodson’s tips              Elizabeth suggests bringing the scent of the season. We like Scentsicles.

    Put the kids to work

     It seems that during this busy and fun time of year kids are never home when you need help. This leaves you with a long list of chores, however, now is the time to change this. Give your kids responsibilities that they can do to get the home in tip-top shape. By adding extra hands to the clean-up crew you are guaranteed to be done faster and be less stressed.

    Start early

    The holidays are a whirlwind of events but if you have guests coming to your home for Christmas, start now. Make a list of the things that need to be done and start as soon as possible. Change the guest room’s bedding, clear out the garage, and clean, clean, clean!

    Bring the holiday scents inside

    Candles or wall plug-ins, however you want to scent you home, bring the pumpkin, pine, candy canes, cookies and other flavors inside.   For a homemade scent, try cooking cinnamon sticks, cloves, and orange peels with apple cider or red wine for a natural scent, but also a tasty treat when guests arrive.  Baking cookies is also a great way to showcase the holiday season and can offer young children a little treat for their visit.

    DolceDolce.com loves Scentsicles http://www.enviroscent.com/scentsicles

    They are natural scents. The fresh cut pine and cinnamon smell perfect for the holidays.


    Keep priceless décor out of harm’s way

    If you have some passed-down holiday décor that has a special place in your memory and you really want to display it but feel that it might get damaged if put in plain view, try moving these precious items to areas where your guest cannot easily touch them and yet they can be viewed. This is also important with special ornaments on trees. Try moving the most fragile and priceless pieces to the top of the tree so that wagging tails and small children are not able to reach them near the bottom of the tree.

    Get your guest bedrooms ready

    Holidays usually mean visiting family members. It is a great time to get your guest bedrooms ready for their arrival. Make sure the sheets are clean and you have enough blankets to keep your guests warm. Additionally, place towels in their room for use in the bathrooms. If you are also getting the bathrooms ready, add a few travel-sized toiletries for their stay to let them know you were thinking of making their arrival easy.

    Stock up on extra gifts

    In those times of potential awkwardness – because someone gave you a present and you did not have one to give back – pick up a few extra gifts. You can find some great neutral gifts for children and adults that can go a long way during the holiday season.  Storing them in a closet for those just-in-case moments is the perfect spot for that exact time you need them. These gifts can also be used as host and hostess gifts as you get invited to other homes for holiday festivities.

    Identify food challenges

    With family and friends visiting, find out what food allergies or practices they might have to prevent any challenges. If you have family with specific allergies, you can learn to make dishes without those ingredients. If you have vegetarian friends, try new recipes with beans or other hearty vegetables to help these vegetarians get plenty of protein and enough to eat. Some of the population has gluten intolerance or cannot process alcohol, so making sure you have the appropriate dishes for gluten-free eaters and non-alcoholic drinks for those non-drinkers will give everyone an enjoyable experience this holiday season.


    What better way to make sure everyone is having a good time than to fill your home with games for all ages? Finding ways to entertain children by putting puzzles together, playing a mean round of ‘go fish,’ or simply reading stories aloud can ensure that the little ones are enjoying themselves. Try charades or Pictionary for great interactive games for adults and older children. If the weather is nice, taking in a touch football game and playing tag or hide and seek outside can get the blood pumping and keep the energy alive in your home.


    Stop and breathe. It is the holiday season and it can be a chaotic time with family and friends in your home and more decorations than you can imagine. Remember that the holidays are about being together. Even if you forgot a few tips here and there, you will still be with great family and friends. So if you need a moment, take time to read a book or run to the grocery store and escape the mayhem in your home.  A peaceful drive to the grocery store might go a long way during the holiday season.