Bonadelle Neighborhoods Holiday Tips 101: How to Throw the Best Holiday Party

img1‘Tis the season for lots of celebrations and holiday parties! With Christmas only days away and New Year’s quickly approaching, we sat down with Susan Vang-Xiong from Circle of Events to find out what tiny details create a special holiday party. From welcome drinks to setting a picture-perfect table, the tips below will make your holiday party an event to remember!

 

Functionality is Key

For your party to flow, the layout of the event should be well thought out. Would you prefer your guests to mingle in the living room? Or is the kitchen a better gathering space? Vang-Xiong recommends that you take time out of your party prepping to plan each of your home’s gathering spaces accordingly.

 

Pre-set Your Glasses and Mixers

If you have a bar cart or designated bar area, make sure it is ready to go for your guests with mixers pre-poured and cocktail glasses out. Adding labels to the mixers is a small detail that adds a fancy touch to the party. Whether you handwrite them or print them, your guests will appreciate it!

 

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cheers

Set Your Dining Table Before the Guests Arrive

Setting your dining table ahead of time is an easy item to complete so that you can focus on the last-minute details as the party’s start time approaches. To really make your table glamourous, Vang-Xiong says to start by layering a charger base. Then, accent the table settings with a colorful glass. Make sure you have the correct table-top items needed to accommodate your menu at each place setting. Then, finish your table by placing a holiday-themed centerpiece, like poinsettias on the table. Now you have yourself a glamourous holiday table!

Distribute Snacks

Before your guests arrive, strategically place small snacks throughout the gathering spaces on end tables or coffee tables for guests to munch on while they catch up with one another. Nuts, pretzels, and popcorn are all delicious crowd-pleasers.

Set Out Small Bites

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Take advantage of your large countertops by placing small bites out for guests to have before dinner is served. Don’t forget to put out small plates and forks as well! When your guests arrive welcome them in and begin leading them to the island to enjoy the bites.

Welcome Drinks

When the party starts, greet each of them with your signature welcome drink in hand. During the holiday’s it’s great to incorporate pomegranate and rosemary in your cocktails to make them festive. Champagne is also a classic welcome drink that never goes out of style.

Time for Dessert

To top off your party, once dinner has wrapped up place your favorite holiday cookies on the table for your guests to enjoy family-style. A tip from the expert is to pre-plate the cookies on your festive platter before the party begins so all that’s left is to serve.

Now you have thought of everything, and your guests will love your holiday party! 

Bonadelle Neighborhood’s Holiday Tips 101: Weatherproofing Your Outdoor Decorations

 

With winter storms hitting the Central Valley earlier than most years, weatherproofing your outdoor holiday decorations this year is a definite must. Not only will weatherproofing preserve your decorations so you can enjoy them longer, but it will also prevent any damage to your home and yard. With just three easy steps, your outdoor decorations will be prepared for the next storm that is quickly approaching the Valley!

 

Spray Layers of Scotchgard

Although most outdoor decorations are already waterproof, using Scotchgard on your decorations will make it easier for them to handle the damp conditions. PLUS, almost anything can be sprayed with Scotchgard, and this will help make your decorations last longer. With all the rain and fog the Valley has been getting this December, this step is necessary!

 

Anchor Down Your Decorations

No one wants their Frosty the Snowman blowing into their neighbor’s yard or the street. To prevent this from happening, make sure your decorations are deep into the ground. Anchoring your decorations down like this will help them better withstand windy conditions and protect your yard from any damage.

 

Secure Your Wreath

Nothing is more inviting than a Christmas wreath on a front door hanging over a welcome mat. However, door wreaths can cause major damage to the door’s paint job if they are not hung correctly. Make sure your wreath is secured on all sides so that it won’t blow in the wind or move when the door shuts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bonadelle Neighborhoods Holiday Tips 101: How to Keep Your Decorations Clean and Fresh

Filling your house with Christmas decorations is a great idea – until the decorations start collecting dust and other germs and you’re left with a tricky cleanup. With the holiday season always so busy, no one wants to waste precious time figuring out the best way to dust their nutcracker. So, to help alleviate some of the holiday stress and make your cleaning shorter and easier, we’ve listed cleaning tips you’ll want to remember for all the holiday seasons to come. 

 

Use a Small Brush to Clean Fragile Decorations

Decorations like delicate family heirlooms and nutcrackers usually are in the most need of dusting. It can be tricky to clean out all the dust behind the nutcracker’s mouth, or without damaging a fragile heirloom, but a small brush can help with this job. We recommend using a makeup brush that is small and soft for dusting decorations like these.

 

Your Plush Decorations Can Go in the Dryer

Plush decorations are great to use when you have a home filled with children, but they can get dirty after being out for several weeks. Luckily, plush decorations are dryer-friendly! Simply place your decorations in a mesh bag and in the dryer for a quick and easy clean.

 

How to Clean Your Stockings

No one wants a dull and dirty stocking hanging from their fireplace mantel for all to see. If your family has needlepoint stockings try using a vacuum to freshen them up a bit. If your family prefers knit stockings, hand-wash them to brighten up their colors.

 

Cleaning Greenery

Adding greenery to your home gives it a cozy feel, but it also can make it much dustier because it collects the various particles in the air. Regularly dust your greenery with a large damp brush to clean it up. If you have decorated with real greenery, don’t forget to spritz with water after dusting. 

 

Tree Skirt Stains

It is inevitable for your tree skirt to collect a few stains over the holiday season from tree sap and footprints. Immediately take care of the stain once you find it – the longer the stain is there the harder it is to get out. Always use cold water and blot the stain (never rub) to prevent discoloration from happening. 

 

Bonadelle Neighborhoods Holiday Tips 101: Decorating a Cozy and Festive Home

 

There is nothing better than coming back to a warm and cozy home during the cold winter months. However, sometimes adding your holiday décor can make your home feel more like a Christmas window display than anything else. To help find a balance between cozy and festive, the Bonadelle Neighborhoods team went straight to the expert, Susan Vang-Xiong from Circle of Events. Keep reading to hear what she had to say on decorating a cozy home for the holidays!

 

Accent Your Chairs with a Warm Throw Blanket

Do you already have a throw blanket draped over the accent chair in your living room? If you do, simply swap it out with a warmer holiday-themed throw. If your chair doesn’t already have a throw, you’ll find that this addition instantly warms up the feel of the room. Not only does this décor look good, but it also “makes for a perfect pairing to a late-night Christmas movie with hot chocolate!” said Vang-Xiong

 

Don’t Pack Up Your Everyday Pillows

Rather than getting rid of the pillows already on your couch, incorporate Christmas pillows with them. Adding decorative pillows throughout your home mixed in with your everyday pillows brings the “festive feeling of Christmas time in every room,” said Vang-Xiong.

 

Utilize Your Counter Space

Large kitchen islands and countertops come standard with a Bonadelle Neighborhoods home – use this space to showcase your decorations! Vang-Xiong recommends placing your porcelains collected over the years, or other family heirlooms, on your countertops for display. Silk florals and Christmas bows are also festive decorations that can be used for this space.

 

Don’t Skip Out on Decorating the Kitchen

The kitchen is usually the busiest room in the house, especially during the holidays. From baking Christmas cookies to preparing family dinners and mixing up holiday cocktails, much of your every day is spent in the kitchen. It is important to carry your Christmas decorations into the kitchen to both enjoy the beauty of them and tie in the decorations of your home.

 

Decorate Going Up

It is just as important to decorate your upper cabinets as it is anywhere else in your home because this instantly gives your house an elevated and full look. Wondering what exactly to put up there? “Simply add a pine garland or incorporate one of your favorite seasonal silk florals,” adds Vang Xiong. It’s as simple as that!

 

 

Bonadelle Neighborhoods Holiday Tips 101: How to Maintain Your Christmas Tree

If you and your family are like most Americans, then you probably spent the day after Thanksgiving at the Christmas Tree Farm (or maybe even Target if you bought a fake one) picking out the prettiest tree for your home. Reports have shown that Black Friday is the busiest day in America to buy a Christmas Tree, and while it is a great way to kick off the season, come mid-December you might be struggling to maintain your tree.

From reading almost every holiday article online and our own trials and errors, our team has discovered the best tips for keeping your tree looking full, fresh, and most importantly alive, throughout the entire holiday season.

 

Regularly water your Christmas tree

This first step might seem obvious, but with the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it can be too easy to forget to regularly water your tree. One quart of water should be added to the stand for every inch of the tree trunk’s diameter. This step is the most important one in taking care of your tree – setting reminders in your phone or checking the water level while your coffee is brewing in the morning are easy ways to incorporate it into your morning routine.

 

Keep your tree away from heat

Most Christmas trees go in the living room, but be strategic about where in the living room it is being placed. Try to avoid putting your tree near air ducts, stoves, and fireplaces, as they all release a lot of heat during the winter.

 

If you have pets in your home – use a citrus scent

Our furry friends seem to want to enjoy the Christmas tree as much as we do, but unfortunately, they don’t usually admire it from afar. If you’re having trouble keeping paws out of your tree’s branches, we recommend spritzing the tree with a citrus scent like orange or lemon. Pets are known to dislike citrus making this a great option to distance them from the tree and make it smell delicious at the same time.

 

If you have a home filled with children – decorate your tree with non-breakables

Nothing is better than watching the magic of Christmas through our children’s eyes. but having young children and a Christmas tree filled with breakables can be a major headache! Try using plastic and paper ornaments rather than glass to avoid any possible breaks. For extra holiday fun, have your children help make some of the ornaments.

 

Take your tree down before it dries out

Taking down your Christmas tree is sad enough, don’t make it harder on yourself by letting the tree dry out first. Dry Christmas trees lead to dead pine needles which leads to a major mess. You might still encounter a few rogue pine needles even when taking down a fresh tree, but luckily, it’s nothing a good vacuum can’t handle.

 

Feet on a wooden stairway

More Than Halloween – Activities In October

If you enjoy the fall season, and all the things that lead into Halloween (like us!), there is more than just one day to have a great time in your community. From festivals to a wine walk, there are plenty of events to enjoy throughout Fresno and Clovis!

        October 21st is the annual Glorious Junk Days in Old Town Clovis! Glorious Junk Days was created to showcase items not normally seen at their regular Antiques & Collectibles Fairs, which limits what vendors can bring. Glorious Junk can include repurposed and refurbished items, DIY Projects, handcrafted items, shabby chic and architectural finds – as well as the antiques you’ve come to enjoy in Old Town. Who knows, maybe you’ll get some items to help fill your new (or future!) Bonadelle Neighborhoods home.

        Witness one of the Central Valley’s traditions of hot air balloons flying through the sky, followed by a carnival occupying Clovis Avenue and Old Town Clovis, at the annual “ClovisFest.” With 250 crafters and food booths, a family carnival, and the new cultural celebration, ClovisFest will surely be a memorable festival. It runs October 27th through 28th, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., so head out to enjoy the free event while exploring Clovis’s community and snapping some Instagrammable pics.

        Tour Fresno Chaffee Zoo at their trick-or-treating event “ZooBoo.” A family-friendly event within the Fresno Chaffee Zoo, where kids can wear their costumes and trick-or-treat with live entertainment and carnival games, while also seeing and learning all about the animals in the zoo. The event happens on Oct. 19, 20, 26 and 27 with tickets starting at $16 for adults and $14 for children between ages 2 and 11.

        Wear your costume more than once and for a good cause at the “Monster Mash Dash.” On Oct. 27, participants will be able to run a 5K from Woodward Park, in their costumes to support the Make a Wish Foundation. 

There’s so much more to do in the Clovis and Fresno areas this October, and this list is just a touch on the variety of those activities! We hope you all have a good October, and a safe night trick or treating and celebrating the holiday!

 

–       OCT. 4 – 31 (Closed on Monday and Tuesday) | Hobbs Grove in Sanger

–       OCT. 3 – 14 | The Big Fresno Fair

–       OCT. 20 | Fresno Zombie Crawl in the Tower District

–       OCT. 19 – 20 & OCT. 26 – 27 | ZooBoo at Fresno Chaffee Zoo

–       OCT. 26 | BooFest at Sierra Vista Mall

–       OCT. 21 | Free Movie Night: Halloween at the Crest Theatre

–       OCT. 20 – 21 | Civil War Revisited at Kearney Park

–       OCT. 27 – 28 | ClovisFest in Old Town Clovis

–       OCT. 26 | Halloween ArtHop and PubCrawl in Merced

Pumpkin Patches

Make memories this Halloween season by picking and decorating pumpkins with your little ones. Find a pumpkin patch near you:

–       Pumpkin King – 100 W. Shaw Ave, Fresno, CA 93704

–       Planet Pumpkin – 640 E. Nees Avenue, E Nees Ave, Fresno, CA 93720

–       Sid’s Pumpkin Patch – 5011 E. Kings Canyon Rd Fresno, California

–       Vista Ranch Pumpkin Patch – 7326 East Highway 140, Merced CA 95340

–       Vossler Farms – 26773 S. Mooney Blvd. Visalia, California

Ficus

5 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

April 22 is Earth Day, a time when we pause to honor the best home of all — Mother Earth! Here are a few ways you and your family can celebrate.

  1. Plant A Tree

It might seem a little silly or stereotypical, but planting trees really does help our environment. Check out Tree Fresno for some volunteer opportunities.

  1. Pick Up Trash

Sometimes, people don’t clean up after themselves. If you see a piece of trash or something that needs to be recycled while you’re out and about, pick it up and throw it into a nearby trashcan. Continue reading “5 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day”

President's Day Weekend

Presidents’ Day Weekend Guide

If you’re searching for plans this 3-day weekend, LOOK NO FURTHER!

The weekends can go by quickly when you’re having fun! Squeeze in all the fun you can by planning out your Presidents’ Day weekend packed full of events, trips, and even a little shopping! Don’t let planning stress you out, use our guide to find local events and activities in order to have a great time. It’s important to take advantage of every possible moment!

Continue reading “Presidents’ Day Weekend Guide”