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Organize Your Board Games

November days are short and rainy in the PNW. Fall sports seasons wrap up and we spend more time indoors with our families. Cozy weekend afternoons make a perfect time to play board games. This is also a great time to organize the board games you own. It’s as easy as tic-tac-toe.

Step One:

Board games need a central location where everyone can find them. Whether it’s a closet or a cupboard, the space just needs to be accessible and known to all the family members. Some families keep games in the children’s rooms. Board games for adults or older kids can go in a family room or another shared location.

Step Two:

You can’t play a game that doesn’t have all the pieces. Locate all the bits and make sure they are in the correct game box. Secure flimsy boxes with a large rubber band or a thin strip of Velcro. Toss any games with missing pieces. Donate unpopular games.

Step Three:

Sort the games. Group games played mostly by adults in one area, perhaps on a high shelf. Children’s games should be easily accessible to them. Utilize lower shelves unless it’s dangerous for very young children or toddlers. Use a lidded bin to store children’s wooden puzzles. Only bring out a couple of small puzzles out at a time and store the rest – that way clean-up is a cinch – you won’t spend precious time looking for lost puzzle pieces.

So, don’t fret the rainy afternoons or dark evenings, instead rally the family around the table for an exciting game of Exploding Kittens (no cats are harmed – I promise!) or an old favorite like Chess or Settlers of Catan. Thinking ahead to the holidays, if you would like to expand your collection with a new favorite board game checkout this list of the most popular board games of all times.

Some of us have a closet full of board games, but honestly, most of the gaming happens online. If you find that the only time you access the game closet is during a power outage, then consider really downsizing the volume of games. Be authentic to how your family spends time and consider whether the space being taken up by board games could be used for something else. Perhaps you have some craft supplies that need a home? Let us know if you’d like help figuring out how to best use the space in your home. We do love (excuse the pun) this kind of puzzle.

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Unique Gift Ideas for Your 2018 Christmas Gift List

I must come clean. I’ve already begun Christmas shopping. I know it’s not even Halloween yet. I’ve already made a 2018 Christmas gift list on my Wunderlist app to keep track of the gifts I need to buy and the gifts I’ve already purchased. The gift I got was for someone who is easy to shop for, that’s why I was able to find just the right thing when I was hardly looking.

But this made me think about all the people I need to buy gifts for who are incredibly hard to shop for. We all have a few of those relatives on our list. It also got me thinking about all the spouses, partners, non-shoppers and anyone else who struggles to come up with that something special for that someone special in their lives. The way I see it, when it comes to holidays we all need all the help we can get.

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A Tale of a Frightful House

cluttered house

On Halloween night…

Creepy skeletons, fuzzy black spiders and foam gravestones in your front-yard graveyard spooked the young trick-or-treaters aplenty, but only you knew that the truly frightful and terrifying was inside your house, hidden and unseen – because no visitors had been welcomed inside for a long time. Only on Halloween did anyone approach your porch.

Inside the house, no one opened closets for fear of what might come tumbling out. Everywhere were dusty piles of stuff

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5 Self-Care Appointments You Need to Schedule Today

self-care

I get it, you are super busy. I also get that you are tired to people talking about everyone being busy. But here you are reading this blog (for which I thank you), so you must have a couple of minutes of free time. But before you click away to another page, get your phone out and make these important self-care appointments. Your healthy, and well taken-care-of self will thank you later.

Don’t delay, get these appointments on your calendar now:

  1. Your annual exam or physical. While not everyone needs a PAP once a year, the bloodwork and check-in your primary doctor or OB/GYN is critical to your long-term health.
  2.  Your mammogram. Just do it. Or else, I will tell you horrid stories of women who didn’t
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Five Holiday Prep Tasks You Can Do Now

get ready for the holiday

I am talking not about buying a jack-o-lantern and decorating for Halloween. Because I know that most of you have already done that. I am talking about time-saving holiday preparation for the BIG holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Clear the Space

Say you are a crafty person, and your dining table is currently being used for ‘non-dining’ purposes. This is the time to finish whatever project lay in pieces on the dining table. We’re always busy. Put some specific times on your calendar and prioritize finishing the project. Devote time to clearing the space for the holiday celebration.
Sound completely overwhelming? I get that.

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The Real Cost of the Stuff We Buy

The stuff we buy costs us.

Every day, retailers appeal to us with promises of special deals and savings on all kinds of stuff. We love a great deal. But our shopping habits may be costing us much more than we think, not just in terms of the money, but in time – our most precious resource.

No More Space

When we bring new purchases into a cluttered home we might struggle to find a place for the new items. When items don’t have a home, they become part of the clutter. When we can’t find what we own we re-buy the same items repeatedly.

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The Instant Pot: Best Small Appliance Ever?

One of the most widely purchased kitchen products of recent times has been the Instant Pot. This new rendition of your mother’s pressure cooker has been heralded as the newest work-reducing, time-saving, must-have device. Now, I am not one to jump on trends, so I asked my girlfriends on Facebook whether the Instant Pot is something I should buy, what they liked about it, whether they used it frequently and what recipes they’ve tried.

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Streamlining the Morning Lunch Crunch

Streamlining the Morning Lunch Crunch

When my eldest daughter was in kindergarten, I was a class helper. She sat next to a sweet boy from Japan, whose lunches were a daily source of amazement and envy—from the kids, as well as me and the teacher! He had a three-piece stainless bento box, and each layer contained beautifully-prepared food that looked like it should be on display somewhere: sushi rice shaped into animals or cars; carrots or apples carved into rosettes or spirals; bits of dried seaweed carefully cut into whiskers, or grass, or decorative stripes; tiny bite-sized cookies in ethereal shapes and colors.

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5 Ways to Fall in Love with Your Home Again

After you’ve lived in your home for a few years, it’s easy for the décor to start to feel a tad stale. In other words, it’s totally normal to hate your home sometimes. The good news is there are easy ways to change that and have you never wanting to leave the house again. These are the top five easiest ways to transform your home into one you love again.

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Style Guide: Prepare Your Home for Baby’s Arrival

If you have a baby on the way, you should start preparing your house for the new family member in advance. In just a few months, you won’t have time to deal with your house, so it’s better to get this out of your way as soon as possible. Not only will you be able to prepare your home for your baby stress-free, but you’ll also be able to create a stylish, safe and healthy environment for your family.

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