Monday, July 12, 2010

Moving on and moving up!

Summer’s here and many of you will be moving on and/or moving up. Moving to your first home or apartment is an exciting time. Moving from your first home to a larger, new home is exciting too! Friends and family will be anxiously waiting for the invitation to a housewarming party so that they can get a tour of the new home and maybe bring you a little something!

Here are some tips for throwing a stress free housewarming party!

Change of address cards can double as invitations. Send out postcards with your change of address, directions to your new home and the time and date of your housewarming. Personalize the postcard by taking a photo of your new home and print them out on 4 x 6 stock. On the reverse you can provide the details. Only use traditional mail for those few individuals who live out of town and aren’t connected via the internet, as there are definitely “greener” options.

“Facebook” them with the details. For your facebook friends, create an event on your facebook page with all the housewarming details, directions, etc.

E-vite them! If the majority of your friends and family are connected via email, send them the information via an email message. You can still attach the photo, directions, etc.

No need to decorate, your new home is the decoration! You can create a welcoming atmosphere with candlelight and fresh flowers (never leave a candle unattended).

Set up a no-host drink station so that guests can serve themselves. (You will be too busy giving tours) Don’t go overboard with the choices. Why not come up with a signature cocktail and call it the new “Hometini”? The mix can be prepared ahead of time and sitting in pitchers. Have a little index card with instructions on how to create the cocktail. Beer and/or coolers can be sitting in buckets of ice for easy access. Always ensure you have something non-alcoholic available for guests who are driving.

Create a coffee station that is extraordinary. Brew both a pot of caffeine free coffee and of regular coffee and set them out in pump pots or carafe’s clearly labeled. Rim your coffee mugs by dipping them first in either a simple syrup or a liqueur, then press the rim into a mixture of cinnamon sugar (just like the kind you would put on your toast in the morning) Provide coffee cream and milk for the coffee as well as a selection of sugars (including splenda, equal, etc). If you wish, you can also set out a selection of coffee liqueurs such as Irish Cream. Tip: Rolo candies are delicious dropped into hot coffee and stirred!

High Impact – low effort appetizers. No one has to know it is takeout! Order an assortment of sushi from a local restaurant and display it beautifully. When you place the order, drop off your own serving platter(s) and ask them to use them instead of takeout containers. This will save time for you and be more eco-friendly.

Lollipop’s are fun! We are all kids at heart and can’t resist anything on a stick. Make Rice Krispie treats, mold them into small balls, insert a lollipop stick and dip in melted chocolate. Display them by inserting one end of the stick into a watermelon (you can have watermelon the next day)

Are you invited to a housewarming party? Here are just a few ideas for gifts that will set the new homeowners on the right “green” path:

§ Purchase recycling bins and print out instructions on what is recyclable and how to sort.

§ Sign them up for curbside recycling – pay for the first 6 months

§ Water saver faucet attachment for kitchen sink

§ Water saver attachment for shower

§ A bucket filled with an assortment of green cleaners such as Seventh Generation and a collection of “pre-loved” rags

§ A compost collection container for under the sink (provide a cheat sheet on what is acceptable for compost)

§ A backyard compost container.

§ If they have teenagers, purchase a shower timer that sticks to the shower stall (4 minutes!)

§ Purchase them a replacement shower curtain that is not made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC)

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