Ultimate Checklist to Welcome Holiday Guests

As the arrival date of holiday guests quickly approaches, there are a number of little things that can be done to ensure a very warm welcome.

Surprising your guests with little goodie baskets and an inviting bedroom that makes them feel at home is key.

Some of these items might even be mandatory depending on how much assistance with last minute tasks and help with the kids you plan on requesting.

In a bedroom and bathroom that have been cleaned from top to bottom and adorned with a little bit of holiday decor, considering adding a few of these ideas …

Bathroom Counter:

* Fresh set of towels

* Goodie basket filled with trial-sized products:

  • shampoo, conditioner, hairspray
  • moisturizing soap and / or shower gel
  • disposable razor
  • disposable toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash
  • moisturizing lotion, lip balm, soft cloth wipes
  • Tums, Visine and Ibuprofen

Bathroom Cabinets & Drawers:

* Hair dryer

* Fresh towels, wash cloths, hand towels

* Toilet paper – 2 to 3 rolls

* Sanitary supplies

Inspired Note: The hand towel hanging by the sink should be for guest's use. However, put a big beautiful bow around any other decorator towels that you would prefer are not used.

Guest's Bed:

* Made with fresh linens

* One blanket that is soft and warm

* Second blanket that is folded in half and covers the bottom half of the bed

One Bedside Table:

* Lamp

* Bottle of aromatherapy lotion

* Candle, lightly scented

* TV remote control

* Interesting short read book

* Variety of magazines

* Box of Kleenex

* Coaster for drinking glass

* Alarm clock with correct time set

* Power strip on floor for chargers

Other Bedside Table:

* Lamp

* Homemade welcome card from the kids

* Small plate of sweet trees

* Couple of packages of light snacks

* Water bottles

* Coaster for drinking glass

* Instructions for Wi-Fi connection

* House key on a ring with a bow

* Power strip on floor for chargers

Bedroom Closet:

* Plenty of open hanging space and floor space available

* 10 or more unused hangers


* Folding luggage rack

* Drawer space for folded clothes

* Nightlight in the bathroom

* Nightlight in the hall to the bedroom

* Nightlight at top of stairs


* Cold bottles of water in the refrigerator

* Ingredients for making sandwiches

* Cookies, fudge and other sweet treats on counter

* Fresh fruit on counter

* Napkins in plain sight

* Sinus, cold and allergy medication in cabinet

Getting the Bedroom Ready Immediately Before Arrival:

* Turn bedside table lamps on

* Turn the bed down

* Put mints on the pillows

* Open or close blinds depending on the time of anticipated arrival

* Turn the ceiling fan on low (moving in the direction that pulls heat from the ceiling)

* Spray a light mist of a room deodorizer around the room

Ambiance through the House:

* Christmas music playing on the radio / stereo

* Holiday movies or sporting events on TV

* Christmas trees lit all day

* Fresh, lightly decorated candles or brick warmers burning

* Christmas or winter décor in all main living areas

* Daily newspaper sitting on the kitchen table

* Fresh, warm breakfast ready when guests come down in the morning

Dogs & Guests:

* Take dogs out to go to the restroom before guests arrive

* Give them a treat and let them hang out in your bedroom, while guests greet the family and bring in luggage

* After everyone has had a few minutes to get settled, then let them out to say "hello," too

These are some ideas that I have come up with over the years to welcome our guests.

This is a comprehensive list and rarely do we do every suggestion listed at the same time.

A thoroughly thought through combination of ideas will make them feel very welcome!

Here's to another Inspired Minute!

Source by Tracey Farmer

Why Tailor Made Holidays Are Considering Superior Holidays

There can be no denying that a holiday, by definition, is all about escaping the trappings of normal life. We can toil and trudge our way through the year, focusing on paying bills and meeting deadlines, but our holiday is something we have deservedly earned. For many, the common package holiday suits just fine, but this is not the case for everyone. The more discerning preference tailor made holidays that serve up exactly what is needed.

Whether it is heading to some far flung corner of the world, to white sand tropical paradises in exotic lands, or whether it is heading to the mountains for its crisp clean air and snow covered slopes, it is possible to get practically whatever holiday is desired . For example, holiday makers can stay at luxury ski chalets in the French Alps, take in some skiing and enjoy the famous Alpine views. Alternatively, for those more interested in sun and surf, but unhappy with the standards of public resorts and package deals, one can take advantage of luxury villa holidays. Through the mixture of privacy, luxury and pampering that these holidays provide, the whole experience is simply far superior.

Winter Holiday Possibilities

It might seem that a tailor winter holiday is more limited in terms of range, but this is actually untrue. The whole basis of the concept is quality, rather than quantity and the rat race that surrounds it, is concentrated upon. So, the first part of considering a winter holiday is what kind of experience is desired. There are professional holiday agencies that go far and beyond the typical high street travel agency. Their job is not to simply book the flights and hotel, but also to provide a higher degree of service. So, a chalet maintained to the highest 5 star standards is a certainty. Typically, these chalets house between 4 and 16 people, allowing groups of varying sizes to stay together, a logical preference to those who travel with friends and family and want to enjoy their company. The contemporary design of the chalets guarantees comfort, while modern facilities, like jacuzzis, steam rooms, home cinema and games systems, means entertainment and luxury are equally guaranteed. But even more significant is the fact that these holidays also include personal staff, such as a dedicated house keeping team, nannies provided to look after children, and even an on-site chef producing exquisite cuisine to greet the group when they return from a day on the slopes.

Summer Holiday Possibilities

For those who prefer the exoticism of sun drenched beaches, there are equally impressive choices available. For example, it is possible for a holidaying party to stay at luxurious villas overlooking the white sand beaches of Sri Lanka. These villas have everything that one could possibly want, to make the experience a magical one, from infinity pools that seem to stretch out into the Indian Ocean, to fresh green lawns littered with mature coconut trees, to onsite spa treatments and excellent cuisine arranged by a dedicated concierge. But staying at a villa is only part of it, with a range of excursions and activities also specifically arranged to enhance the experience of being abroad with friends and family. Whether the guests want to visit national parks to view wildlife, or go scuba diving to see the colored variety of marine life in the area, these trips can easily be arranged.

Culture is what sets different areas of the world apart, and getting close to local culture is often an essential part of the experience for guests. Thankfully, there is little difficulty in having visits to age old temples and other cultural sites in the area organized. This is the great advantage with tailor made holidays. The luxury of the accommodation, the culture and exoticism of the particular corner of the world, is not simply bought, but is fully experienced. There are no preset activity timetables, with activities swamped by a hundred other guests. Instead, there is freedom, independence and choice. So, with bespoke luxury villa holidays , the dream of floating in peace on an infinity pool is standard, while for those who prefer a break on the slopes, staffed luxury ski chalets ensure their stay is everything they could dream of too. Quality, rather than quantity, always provides a greater experience.

Source by Leah Williams

French Holidays With Golf and Country Clubs

If you're trying to decide where to spend you next family holiday, why not check out one of the many fantastic French holidays available with country clubs in Southern France region. A country club can offer a number of fantastic benefits compared with arranging a holiday with a standard hotel or private space. High-class country clubs offer the service and luxury of a premium hotel, with the privacy and independence of a rented villa. On top of that you can enjoy the many fantastic facilities available to guests, in the safety of the club's generous grounds.

If you've never been on a French holiday with a country club before, and do not know what to expect, here's an outline of some of the incredible facilities you can enjoy as part of your French holiday. High-quality clubs are usually ideally located to enjoy both the facilities on site, as well as making for perfect day trips to historic parts of France, from the beautiful Chateaux, to the breath-taking waterways and caves, exciting and delicious culinary experiences in the many market-towns, and the world-famous vineyards and wine-tasting opportunities for connoisseurs. Whether you're embarking on your own, as a couple, or with a family, the south of France offers such a comprehensive range of activities and attractions to satisfy almost any palette, and staying at a country position to enjoy these in an easy and relaxed manner.

As well as putting you at the heart of France's beautiful countryside, a French holiday with a golf and country club can also offer a range of excellent on-site facilities. For golf fans looking for the perfect opportunity to work on your handicap, there are some fantastic picturesque 18-hole golf courses in the south Dordogne region, offering driving ranges, putting greens as well as superb clubhouses and gourmet cuisine. If golf is not your thing however, fear not, you can also enjoy clubs with up to 9 swimming pools, tennis courts, play areas for children, basketball courts and planned excursions.

Source by Fernando Frambuesa

Swing Away During Newquay Holidays

You can splurge your dog-friendly holidays in Newquay with a plethora of thrilling activities you can explore along the coastline, with Mother Nature, or indoors. Your dog-friendly Newquay holidays will be most memorable if you take time to visit all the local attractions. Beach bums will love to get a good tan or just hang out at pristine beach resorts. For compulsive shoppers, enjoy some retail therapy. Pub lovers will not be disappointed with the traditional pubs offering great food and drinks as well as warm hospitality. For water sports adventurers, you can engage in swimming, diving, jet-skiing, water-skiing, kayaking, sailing or boating. For those who wish to have a gastronomic journey, you can head out to fine dining establishments. If you are a golf enthusiast, swing away in one of the awesome golf course around Newquay.

Cape Cornwall Golf Course

Your Newquay holidays will be most satisfying if you can visit this golf area. Play to your heart's content in its premiere location. It will be a worthy endeavor during your holidays in Newquay because you can get to explore the fascinating fairways, cliff drops, and lush vegetation in the course way. The surroundings are ideal settings to a peaceful game of golf with your buddies and other visitors. Relax frayed nerves and ease anxiety and tension while swinging away the best you can. You can be sure of the many benefits that your game of golf can bring, like improved resistance, stronger muscles, a slimmer body, and a healthier and improved immune system. If you visit Newquay frequently, you can also avail of memberships in the Cape Cornwall Golf Area. The friendly golf members would welcome you openly.

Bowood Park Hotel Golf Course

This magnificent golf course is set on 230 acres of excellent golfing area. During your Newquay holidays , visit Bowood Park Hotel Golf Course and be revitalized by its charm and beauty. The beautiful hills, verdant trees, and complete amenities are luxuries you deserve during your dog-friendly holidays in Newquay. Take advantage of the challenging golf games as much as you can. You can meet many businessmen and holidaymakers here. Swinging away in its lush greereries is a therapeutic session. The exciting golf manoeuvres executed in this golf area are similar to that of world-renovated golf courses around the world. You will be treated to a picturesque view while playing golf. Concentrating on your next move is not hard to do especially if you are surrounded with the beautiful and serene landscape. Tee time at Bowood Park Hotel Golf Course is a fun and inspiring activity for family and friends. Golfing is a good exercise for physically active people who would like entertainment and healthy routines at the same time.

Source by Mary Godago

4 Essentials You Carry When Going For a Beach Holiday

Are you going to attend a beach party this year and you are thinking what you can carry? I can help you to solve all the problems. Going for a holiday near the seaside is something different from normal holiday destinations. By the term "beach", you can visualize blue water; beautiful girls in swim wear and water sports.

Here are some of the essentials that you can carry in your bag when you are going to enjoy with your close friends at the seaside.

1. Swimwear-

It is one of the important items that you have to carry in the travel bag. Beach wear is available in various designs and sizes depending upon on the body shape. Bikinis are the common type of swim wear available in various colors and styles. Swim suits are of one-piece or of the two-piece. You can take one of them that suit your figure. Women who are little bulky can definitely take the one-piece suits.

2. Sunglasses and Surf Wear-

The glasses are very important to carry when you are going at a beach front. The cat-eye glasses are quite common in these days. If you really want to protect your eyes, better to take oversized goggles or an eye wear that can protect your eyes. When packing your bags, do not ever forget to put a pair of glasses in it.

Surfing is one important sport that you can try at the beach, but it is not possible to wear normal pants when you are surfing. You may carry surf wear or buy from the beach front stores. It is better to carry the garments from a reputed brand.

3. Carry Sunscreen Lotions and Creams-

One of the worst things about the beach holiday is the tanning. The sunrays are directly falling on the skin, increasing the rate of melanin production. You can carry sunscreen lotions of the good brand that can reduce tanning and keep your skin in good condition.

4. Umbrella and Chairs-

Umbrellas and chairs are very common at the beach. It is not possible to carry the chairs in the travel bag. You can buy one from the beach front store to enjoy the sun rays. The umbrella is an essential item for seaside holidays.

These are some of the items that you can very important at the seafront occasions and parties. Apart from the above-discussed items, you can carry hats, slippers, t-shirts, and towels. If you want to keep your travel bag light in weight, buy these items from the stores at the beach front.

Source by Rajib KR Saha

Vacation Tips – How to Have a Great Family Holiday at the Beach

If you have decided that do not really know where to take your holidays to this year, why not consider taking a trip to the beach somewhere? This is particularly a good thing to do, if you live in an area that is not too far away from a beach town. There are very few people who do not enjoy a nice walk on the beach and smelling the ocean air. It's one of the most popular places to hang out during the summer. So why not pack up the family or just take yourself and all the things you'll need for your stay at the beach.

No matter what, you always should do some sort of planning, even if it is kind of a last minute idea. You should at least know where you are going and what you want to do when you get there. Are you going to want to relax and read, if so, pack up a book and a few magazines. Are you going to want to play more than relax then bringing some beach toys with you. If you want to spend some time in the water than make sure to bring some skim boards or floats with you.

You need to be comfortable and safe when you go to the beach so make sure you have a large beach bag you can carry over your shoulder when you get there. In this you should be able to have the items you may want manually when you get to the beach. You also are going to want a beach blanket or a chair that you can lounge in, some towels to dry off with. You might also want to include a floppy hat, some sun screen, your cell phone, something to eat and or drink and of course some money. By the way, stay away from anything that has caffeine. It will dehydrate you faster.

You should put your sunscreen on about 30 minutes before you decide to expose yourself to the rays of the sun and it needs to be put back on each time you sweat and each time you get in and out of the water. You also might simply consider wanting to put it back on about every 30 minutes or so just to play it safe.

Do what the locals do. Be friendly with the locals and find out where the best places are to grab something quick to eat or to sit down and have a leisurely lunch or dinner. They are always going to know where the best spots are away from the tourist traps.

You may not realize it, but it's a good idea to bring a first aid kit with you whenever you go to the beach. You should make sure it contains bandages, some sort of antibiotic cream, some white vinegar in case you unfortunately run into some jelly fish and sun burn gel with aloe in case you get a sun burn.

Obey all the warning signs and signals that any life guards might have put up so that you do not endanger yourself because you were ill informed about any existing dangers there might be the day you go to the beach.

Safety Note: If you're out in the water and you happen to get cooked up in a rip tide, whatever you do, do not fight it. This will just make you tired. You should either swim or float with the current and try to do this at a 45 degree angle and try to move closer to the shore in this manner. Once you have reached the edge of it you can them swim towards the shoreline.

Source by Jack Bulker

Cozy or Crammed? Tips and Tactics for Small-Space Holiday Decorating

Too many Christmas decorations and too little space?

Even the most gaily decorated cozy spaces can leave you feeling cluttered and tense during the holidays. But you can fill any room, no matter how small, with relaxing Christmas cheer if you follow three key common-sense design principles: height, light and compact size.

** Let there be height!

In your small room, tuck away the large lamps and any furniture you will not be using until after the holidays. Opt for diminutive lamps that you can place on a mantle, a high wall shelf or atop a china cabinet. This banishes the dark corners and ceiling shadows, and makes your room look taller and wider.

Plan a ceiling-high ornamentation to draw your visitors' eyes upward. String a lighted garland, swag-style, all around the room. Fill your top shelves with glittery collectibles, or drape them with tinsel to capture and reflect the room's natural light.

Feeling really adventurous? Hang a small tree upside-down from the ceiling and decorate it from the top down! It's an eye-catcher that frees up floor space and is sure to break the ice at any holiday gathering!

** Downsize and double up

In smaller rooms and homes, choose smaller-sized holiday decorations, and use them in threes, grouped by color or theme or design. Miniatures of all kinds – lightly beaded ornamental fruit, gilded globes, snow-splashed icicles – are a time-honored Christmas tradition!

Instead of pillar candles and tapers, opt for tea lights and votives, grouped in interesting displays – such as on an elegant little gilded mirror sprinkled with "snow" – for dramatic lighting effect.

Forego the wide, room-dominating Christmas tree and instead, choose a wispy, antique feather tree, made vibrant with an overall silver, cobalt and glass theme, from ornaments to tinsel!

And if one tree is good, why not three tabletop trees and miniature ornaments instead? Set off their tiny lights and reflective ornaments with a number of tiny gaily wrapped packages under each tree!

** Lighten up!

Light in any small place is good … reflective light to maximize the benefit is even better!

Banish the heavy, dark lampshades to storage for the season and use clear flame-shaped bulbs wherever you can to emit the maximum amount of light. Then enhance that light by decorating around it with reflective light:

* shimmering glass dishes filled with glass ornaments and tiny silver bells

* a silver three-tiered cake tray filled with a dozen glowing tea lights

* crystal wine glasses or punch cups glistening with silver and gold tinsel

* a set of three white taper candles on a plain vanity mirror, surrounded by half a dozen glittered pine cones

* a crystal punch bowl trimmed with tiny twinkle lights

* a brightly burned copper teapot set amidst a set of three golden votives.

Buy a big box of inexpensive plain glass or plastic globe ornaments and be creative with glitter, sequins and iridescent beads!

Compact does not have to mean crowd. With a little imagination, you can stretch your decorating dollar to make your small space look luminously larger!


Source by Kate Sheridan

Workout Success During the Holidays

Year after year it sees as the holiday season approaches the numbers on the scale rise as quickly as the temperatures fall. Who can blame us, with all the holiday food, parties, and mom's home cooking where the main ingredient is butter; its only natural to put on a few pounds. But, by using a system developed by the National Academy of Sports Medicine called FITTE, you'll be able to make this holiday season your fittest ever.

Frequency: this reiterates to the number of given training sessions in a timeframe that will help you reach your goal. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends frequent activity preferably every day of the week even if it's for 15-30 minutes at a time.

Intensity: returns to level of physical stress that your specific activity places on your body. The easiest way to measure this is to monitor your heart rate. The general rule of thumb is to keep your heart rate moderate, which will aid you in a moderate exercise routine, but will not be intense enough to cause exhaustion or breathlessness right away. An intensity of 60 to 90% of maximum heart rate is recommended for improved fitness levels.

Time: reiter to the length of time you will perform the activity. On average, 30 minutes of total activity is recommended each day. However, your 30 minutes could have achieved combination of activities totaling 30 minutes. (ie: 15 minutes on a rowing machine and 15 minutes on the treadmill). To improve your fitness levels a similar method of combining activity is recommended for 30 to 60 minutes.

Type: refer to the type of activity you choose. For general health requirements this could mean doing basic household chores, or for improved fitness levels this could be of the activities found at your gym (cardio machines, aerobics classes, and weight training) or playing sports. Whatever activity you choose, make sure it keeps you moving.

Enjoyment: returns to the fun you get from your activity. Enjoyment is the most overlooked piece when establishing a successful fitness program. If you do not like what you're doing, you will not force yourself to do it! Choose something that goes along with your personality and interests. You will be much more apt to continue a fitness regimen that is fun and challenging!

Source by Dave Quevedo

Dog Walking on Camber Sands Beach – For a Pet Friendly Holiday or Weekend

Why not make the most of your summer holiday or a long weekend break and get yourself and your "best friend" down to Camber Sands.

It is very dog ​​friendly and with plenty of great pubs and accommodation in the area its a great way to recharge the batteries.

The most popular area to walk your pet is on Camber sands is to the West of the beach and the best place to park is as you arrive into Camber from the Rye and Rye Golf Course end.

If you have a "Sat-Nav" entering the post code TN31 7RB will get you to the car park that best serves the dog walking areas / areas.

The current car parking rates (2012) at the District Council car parks are as follows: 8: 30-18: 00 –

£ 1.50 / hour

£ 4.00 / 2 hours

£ 7.00 / 4 hours

£ 9.00 / 6 hours

£ 11.00 / 8 hours

£ 13.00 / maximum

Car park stays open till 8pm … but then locked … you will not get out!

With plenty of dog bins and toilets the facilities are just about worth the cost … and remember PLEASE use the bins and Please pick your dogs deposits up!

In the summer, on a particularly sunny weekend, expect some queuing to get into Camber as long queues build up as cars wait to enter the main car parks close to the beach. The busiest times are around 10:00 … if you arrive before then you should not have too many issues.

If you are traveling to Camber in the summer (ending September), Rother Council introduced dog zones on the beach where you are allowed to walk your dog. When the tide is out, these areas stretch for miles and even with a full tide there is plenty of room as the sand dunes go inland at least 500 yards in parts and the shoreline stretches West for at least a mile.

When the 'dog zone' instructions were introduced all dogs had to be on a lead. This was policed ​​aggressively (for about six weeks) by dog ​​wardens (or should I say – mostly summer vacating college students with spots). However, this now seems to have been relaxed and as long as walkers are sensible and in the designated zones then you should not be bothered.

The direction you will automatically take will be West and if the tide is in why not walk to the end of the beach (Rye Harbor entry), turn right along the river towards the Harbor Masters office. You can then make your way back to the car park along the legal walkway through Rye Golf Course. The dog bins are limited in this area so take plenty of bags with you!

The round trip is about four miles in total … watch out for the golf balls and keep your dog on a lead!

Along with great dog walks Camber, Rye and Rye Bay has much more to offer than the glorious sandy beach and we really would recommend taking a longer break and visit the historical town of Rye, or Rye Harbor where there is the terrific Rye Harbor Nature Reserve with miles of tarmac and more dog walking opportunities. The Nature Reserve also has plenty of dog bins.

If you are after a room for the night, there are plenty of PET FRIENDLY hotels in the area that will allow you to make the most of your visit … so what are you waiting for … grab the leads and get down to Camber Sands and the Rye Bay area!

Source by Millie Pfen

What Matters Most This Holiday Season

We are quickly coasting into the holidays, a time of year that brings us joy and love and often feelings of stress, overwhelm, disappointment, and frustration. By planning ahead before the holiday rush begins, you and your family can experience the joy of the holidays and less of the stress and pressure.

Many parents and educators get cooked up in the rush to accomplish during the holidays. They want everything to be "perfect" based on their beliefs about what the people around them want and what they believe they should be doing. They lose their focus and feel overwhelmed by all the gifts to purchase and events to attend.

Sometimes people accept the chaos and frenzy of the holidays as inevitable and try to get through them the best way you can, as if they are an ordeal to survive. This is not the healthiest or most fun way to experience the holidays.

If you want your holidays to be more joy-filled, the most important thing to ask yourself is, "What matters most to me this holiday season? ' The two most important words in this question are the few words "to me." Not what matters most to your child or your parents or your partner or your friends.

Take a moment, right now, and think about this question. What does matter most to you this holiday season? What do you want to experience? If you have a pen and paper handy or your PDA, jot down some notes and ideas to answer this question.

If you've taken a few moments to write down your ideas, you've probably come up with some words like these – fun, joy, great loving times with my friends and family, calmness and contentment. Imagine what it would be like to have the kind of holidays you most desire!

When you look at these priorities, you'll discover that they are about the emotions you want to have this holiday season. They are how you want to feel and be, not what you want to do or have. Yet so often the holidays are about doing and having. We seem to believe these are the way to create the emotions we desire.

Somewhere in your list of priorities you may have included something about gifts you want to receive and gifts you want to give to others. Once again, if you look deeper, you will see that your desires about gifts are also ways to create the emotions you want for yourself and the people you love.

I find that our emotions are at the heart of what drives us as human beings. They are foundational to who you are, whether you are an adult or a young person. They drive your actions and those of your child, yet people seldom give their emotions much conscious attention.

When you do not pay attention to feelings, your own and other's, when you do not nurture your emotional connections with the people you love, this is when the holidays become stressful and not fun. Your lack of attention to emotions leads to hurt feelings, misunderstandings, and disappointment.

My secret for truly joyous holidays is to focus on the emotions you want to experience this holiday season. Then consciously make choices based on what will truly nurture you and your child's emotional wholeness this holiday season. Set your personal boundaries to take good care of yourself. Here are some questions to guide you.

What feelings do I most want to experience this holiday season?

What experiences will nurture my child's and my emotional wholeness this holiday season?

How can I lovingly respond to the demands and expectations of others that are not in alignment with what is best for me and my child?

© Connie Allen 2008

Source by Connie Allen