Category Archives for House Help

Prepare Your House for the Holidays

6 Easy Ways to Prepare Your House for the Holidays

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, right? Have you been able to book some family fun holiday events with our Plano Moms Holiday Guide for 2017? As you are beginning to schedule your holiday parties and gatherings one thing you have to make sure you do is to get your house prepared! Never fear, we’ve got you covered! Here are 6 easy ways to prepare your house for the holidays! Your house will be looking good in no time and you can sit back and actually enjoy those festivities.

 

Christmas Lights

Decorate House

Let Glow Lighting light up your home for any holiday. Their services include commercial grade lights, and LED lights custom fit to your home with maintenance and take down! To contact: text Michael Trimmer at 214-491-2549 or email at glowlighting@yahoo.com.

Carpet Cleaning

House Ready for Holidays

Let’s face it: when you invite guests into your home, you’re also inviting a mess. But fear not holiday hosts & hostesses, there are several at home solutions you can use to remove pesky holiday stains from your carpet. Learn more from Carpet Tech. 

Offer: Buy one room of carpet cleaning, get one room free

Restrictions – Treatments not included, one room per household, room must be of equal or lesser size

Christmas Decorating

Prepare House for the Holidays

Let Get Organized create a very Merry Christmas for you! Whether you are turning your home into a winter wonderland or one that is classy and elegant…they will decorate for your style. Their Decor Specialist can do the shopping for a fresh look or use what you already have. Some of the areas they decorate are: trees, mantels, stairs, porches, kids trees, tables and more. They can even come back to take down and organize it for the next year. See our Dallas Morning News article.

Offer:  Schedule our In-Home Christmas Decorating Services or Take Down Services and receive two (2) hours of free personal shopping. Expires 1/31/2017. Mention code: GOChristmas2017-18

Wreaths

Having a beautiful handmade wreath on your front door would be such a nice way to greet your guests. Here are 2 great options for you.

  • Zealous Accents- Unique Designs for your Custom Ordered Wreaths contact at zealousaccents@gmail.com Find them on Facebook @ZealousAccents
  • Wreaths by Jessica    Jessica says she makes affordable and seasonal wreaths. She will also custom design something so you can message her on Facebook at @GreatCustomWreathsbyJessica

Maid Service

Having a clean and tidy home before a party is a must! It will save you so much running around and stress. Try these great options for cleaning services that come highly recommended.

  • Maid Brigade   Get your free estimate and read more about why people choose Maid Brigade
  • Maid in Texas   Contact  at (972) 833-1068 or email at info@maidintx.net   based out of McKinney

Catering

Now that your house is fixed you will need food. This is what people will talk about for days. Don’t be in the kitchen making food the week before! Try these great catering options that will do a fabulous job.

  • The Italian Cowboy  Fine Italian and Regional Fusion, Find him on Facebook @TheItalianCowboyCatering or call (415) 317-4956
  • Two Sisters Catering   Two Sisters Catering will impress you and your guests with exceptionally fresh menu ideas, presented with style and customized for your event.   Find them on Facebook @twosisterscateringdallas or email kitchen@twosisterscatering.com

 

Now you should be all set! You have your house all decorated, your carpets are cleaned, your house is cleaned and organized, and you have fabulous food. There’s only one thing left to do- enjoy the party!!! We are wishing you the best this holiday season!

plano moms plano tx

Maid Brigade

Good Questions to Ask Before Hiring a House Cleaner

Now that the holidays are almost here it’s time to start planning those fun holiday parties and get together’s. What’s one of the most stressful things about being a hostess? Having a clean house?? Well, don’t stress anymore, save some time and hire a house cleaner! I’m telling you it is so worth it and you will love having a clean house. Before you do though, it’s important to do a little homework and not only shop around but ask around. Not only do you want a good deal but you want a good service. Here are some good questions to ask before hiring a house cleaner.

  • Do you Bring Equipment or Supplies?
  • What are Your Rates?
  • Are you Insured or Bonded?
  • How Many Cleaners Will Come the Day of?
  • What Will I do with My Pets?
  • Background Check on Employees?
  • How Long Have you Been in Business?

Having a shorter to-do list means getting more important stuff done and enjoying more quality time. But our lives are so busy these days that our to-do lists are only getting longer. This is the reason people choose Maid Brigade cleaning services!

questions to ask a house cleaner

Top 10 Reasons People Choose Maid Brigade

1. Maid Brigade is reliable and consistent.
2. Maid Brigade is affordable.
3. We look out for your health with green cleaning.
4. We take pride in customer service.
5. Maid Brigade screens, trains and certifies every maid.
6. We use tested and proven cleaning methods.
7. Maid Brigade has established standard house cleaning procedures – every maid team, every cleaning.
8. We learn your needs quickly.
9. Maid Brigade complies with federal, state and local labor and tax laws and carries adequate insurance.
10. Maid Brigade brings our own green maid service equipment and supplies.
Every day they sign up new customers who want to do more to protect their health and understand that green maid service is a practical, affordable way to reduce the amount of harmful toxins in their home environment. Maid Brigade is the first and only nation-wide maid service to make a system-wide commitment to green cleaning, requiring it at every Maid Brigade franchise operation, for the health of customers and maids. Read more about their cleaning services.
Maid Brigade

plano moms plano tx

 

Your perfect solution to finding a Babysitter

Have you ever had to say no to Social Plans or couldn’t get to work on time because you couldn’t find a Babysitter when you needed one?

I think at some point most Moms have had this exact problem, asked their friends or ventured to Nextdoor App or Facebook to get names and numbers.

Then they spent time making calls, sending texts and waiting to get responses. Does that sound like something you’ve done before?

It’s frustrating, right?

If you are lucky, you find someone great and then end up looking again if they are already booked, or happened to leave the area or go to College.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could have a list of Babysitters ready to receive your request when you need them, knowing they are reviewed by other local parents, live locally to you and you know that your friends or local neighbors have used them too?

What if you had a choice of Sitters, of different ages and stages for different needs? Need someone to play in the Backyard and throw a ball with your 2nd grader, or a Mature Sitter, a Grandma who can offer that sense of security for your newborn and can handle diapers and meals with no problem at all?

YES?!

I have great news for you.

A Dad from Pacific Palisades, California, Sean Greene, had this exact problem and took it upon himself to create the Bambino App. Bambino solves all these problems and provides so much more!

What about at the end of the night when you realize you don’t have the cash to pay the Babysitter & you have to drive-round to find the nearest ATM? Ugh!

Not with Bambino. Once you’ve connected your credit card, payment is made automatically.

bambino sittersAnd if you need to change the length of the sit, the messaging system within the app allows quick and easy communication with your sitter and you control the length of the Sit in a couple of easy taps.

 

Local Mom, Kelli said:

I was so excited to be introduced to the Bambino app!  It was so easy to use.  I love that I can connect with sitters in our neighborhood that my friends recommend!

Our sitter, Emily was great with our boys!  She was awesome at communicating with me throughout the evening.  We will definitely request her again!

griffin family plano tx

 

If you have an Android or iPhone, you can download via the Google Play store or the iTunes App Store. Then use your Facebook profile to login. This identifies you, connects you to your friends and allows you to see their recommendations as well as place your own.

Try it once and you’ll be hooked! It’s the easiest way to secure a sitter when you need one.

 

Download Now

 

And we have an exclusive code for you to get $10 discount on your very first sit with Bambino.

Just use code PLANOMOMS when you check out! 

How to be a good neighbor

How to Be A Good Neighbor

If you are living in the suburbs or anywhere close, you see that you have neighbors extremely close by. While that’s great for many reasons, it’s very important to be a good neighbor, especially because you never know when you might need their help with something!! Here are some easy tips and ideas on how to be a good neighbor.

Get to Know Them

This may sound silly but do you know your neighbors? I’m often surprised to hear from others when they tell me they have no idea who their neighbors are. At least know their names. Go a step further and exchange numbers. If you are going out of town they would be a great person to turn to help look over the house or even pick up your mail if needed. Having an extra set of eyes on your house is always nice. We’ve had neighbors tell us they noticed our garage was open for an extended time. That is unusual for us so little things like that are so helpful and nice neighborly things to do. If you notice something odd around their house, tell them too!

Be Mindful of Noise

There’s nothing worse than a loud party or a loud annoying noise coming from a nearby house early in the morning or late at night. If you have a dog be mindful of them barking outside all night or day. If you are having workers at your house try to schedule them for later morning and afternoon hours. It all seems like common sense but not everyone seems to have it these days.

Curb Appeal

If you haven’t noticed the suburbs around here are well taken care of. Neighborhoods keep their lawns well maintained and on a regular basis. If you live in an area with an HOA you will have to follow their strict guidelines for curb appeal to your house. If you do not live in an HOA area it’s still a good idea to keep your front and back nice and well kept.  You don’t want to be one of ‘those neighbors’ that are talked about!

Host a Block Party or Get-Together

Having a neighborhood block party would be so much fun and a great way to get to know more people on your street. Did you know the city of Plano has a great party trailer you can reserve for your next block party?  It comes with everything you need to host your party including games, tables, and chairs. Reserve your date and get your next party planned.

Another idea would be to organize a neighborhood clean-up. This is a great way to build community and do something together! Meet together to clean up the park or street.

National Night Out is Tuesday, October 3rd. Is your neighborhood hosting an event?

Participate in a Neighborhood Group Forum

There’s a great neighborhood forum that you can join in and hear about things going on in your neighborhood called NextDoor.com  Residents post things like missing/found pets, items for sale, or suspicious activity. It’s a great (and free) way to keep up with things going on around your neighborhood. Some neighbors post job offers or even recommend good places to eat.

Remember to be nice to your neighbors! You never know when you might need their help 🙂

How to Keep Your Kids Safe on Social Media

How do we keep our kids safe on social media is one of the most talked about topics when I meet up with my fellow neighborhood Moms. We’ve been discussing it since our kids were in kindergarten. Sadly, things are not getting any easier. If anything, things are getting harder! There are so many more hidden dangers and secret ways for kids to hide things on their phones.

If you have a teenager or a soon to be teenager,  then you know they are all about their phones and social media. Whenever your family decides to allow your kids to have access to phones/social media, it’s important to know some ways to keep everyone safe and stay ahead of the game.

How to Keep Kids Safe on Social Media

Here are some basic facts about kids and social media.

  • Nearly 15 million teens in the U.S. were “social network users,” and nearly two million
    children (three to 11 years old) also used social networking websites
  • Among teens 12 to 17 years old, 65% have a profile on an online social network
  • 84% of teens polled said they have a Facebook profile
  • 52% of teens have given out personal information online to someone they don’t know offline,
    and one in four (25%) have shared personal photos and/or physical descriptions of themselves
    (twice as many girls as boys)

(Taken from Mcafee.com)

As we can all see, technology isn’t going anywhere. We need to be in the know of things around us to keep our children safe. These are some scary facts!! Are you prepared for your kids to be on social media? What are your rules and regulations for them? Here are some ideas.

  • Start early talking to your children about social media
  • Set some ground rules
  • Limit their time allowed online
  • Discuss what is appropriate on and offline

Tell them to remember that Nothing is secret when it comes to social media. My kids are still young so luckily we’re not there yet with the phones but we only allow Ipad/laptop use in common areas where we can see. My daughter also has time limits and certain things she can and cannot go to.

What ground rules do you set??? Do you check or monitor their phones? The good news is that there are constantly new apps and ways for parents to stay on top of safety with parental apps and monitoring programs. Here are 2 apps to download and look at to see if they fit your needs:

Keep kids safe on social media

MM Guardian

Protection for Kids, Peace of Minds for Parents

Advantages: Set time limits for usage, block apps and websites (including porn), parents can view browsing history, prevent sexting and cyber-bullying, get a location of child’s phone at all times, see how much they are texting and who they are texting to.

Cost: Varies/They have monthly subscriptions to try or other plans to try depending on a number of devices.

 

PhoneSheriff.com

Advantages:  Block phone numbers, set restrictions, and limits, monitor text message, and activity, time location tracking, more.  You can determine who they can and can’t communicate with, block websites, activity, and more.

Cost: $89 per year

I’m definitely (like many of you Moms) learning as I go with this tricky situation. My oldest is just starting to be at the age where she wants a phone and other devices and I know as her Mom I have to protect her. I want to hear from you and your experience. What are you doing to keep your kids safe on social media?? Let’s band together and help one another with this!

Keeping Kids Safe on Social Media

Looking for Fun Things to Do this Fall? Check out this awesome list of Fall Festivals.

Grocery Pick-Up and Delivery Services

With our busy world today it’s so nice that stores and restaurants are starting to offer more delivery services. We have several around town and some larger on-line companies are using it as well. Save time and shop online! As a busy Mom, I can honestly say getting groceries for pick up is one of my new favorite things to do! Here are some great choices for grocery pick up and delivery services available in Plano.

grocery pick up and delivery services in plano

Kroger Click List

I am new to shopping at Kroger but so far I really like this. It runs like most of the others but they do charge a $4.95 fee for this service. Your first 3 trips are free though so make sure you do at least 3! I haven’t had any issues so far but some items I’ve wanted they’ve been out of so they will sub you with something else. You can also earn your Kroger gas points so this is a great service to me! You shop online and choose your time then go to the store and park in the special parking. You call once you park and say what lane you’re in and they will deliver your stuff to your car. No tips are accepted.

Walmart Grocery Online

Walmart started this service last year and slowly more and more people are trying it. There’s no service fee, but you do have to meet certain total. I think it’s around $30. That is certainly easy to do at Walmart. Stock up on paper products and there’s your $30. If you are new they offer a promo code for first-time customers so make sure you look for that.  It works the same sat Kroger where you call and park and tell them which lane and they will bring it out. The Walmart at Spring Creek/75 does this service and they do have nice covered awnings that will make it shaded so it’s nice in the hot summer! No tips are accepted.

Tom Thumb Delivery

This is not a curbside pick up like the others but a delivery service. You can save $20 and get your first delivery free by using the promo code TWENTY at checkout. They have 1-hour delivery windows and you can get same day delivery if you order before 8:30 am.

Amazon Fresh  

This is a fairly new service through Amazon. There is a $15 a month fee and a $10 fee if your order is under $40. Amazon Prime members can get the first month free! Fresh groceries delivered to your door!

 

Do you have a favorite grocery delivery or pick up service you just love? Tell us all about it!

For more ways to save money check us out on Facebook.

Anne Bertelson Photography: Capturing Magic

Anne Bertelson is a Plano newborn, child and family photographer specializing in magical moments. She is so grateful that you’re here to learn more about her and the love she has for photographing little ones.  The big picture is honestly quite easy to paint.  She sees splendor in the mundane.  She finds contentment in simplicity.  Her age belies a very old soul.  And photography is her heart.

With phone cameras so readily available, it’s easy to capture the memory, but not the feeling in it. And that’s what memories are made of, isn’t it? That’s where Anne come in. When she looks into the eyes of a child, she sees perfection peering back at her from beneath sooty lashes. Emotions jump and play with abandon across their unreserved faces and her gift and greatest pleasure is capturing each one with her camera, saving the memory for all the ever-afters.

Just like your children, she can still vividly remember making endless fairy chains in the backyard while the warm summer sun cast shadows around her daydreams.  She remembers the days of tulle skirts tickling her knees and thoughts of glittering fairy dust tripping gleefully through her head. And she wants to capture that moment for you so you can always look back and see how your little girl twirled in the sparkles or your little boy wrinkled his nose and grinned.

Creating heirloom portraits of your sweet babies and precious families is her passion and the service that she wants to share with everyone.

She offers several types of photo sessions to best serve your family including themed mini sessions, styled Daydream sessions, and family, newborn, maternity and senior photos.

Plano Mom Offer: When you mention that you’re a Plano Mom at www.annebertelsonphotography.com/contact, she will be more than happy to offer you 20% off your session fee. Being a mom can be a crazy busy mess of a business, but she’s here to help you remember the beautiful moments when they’re grinning their faces off or there are tears in their eyes because they’re your children, and how could that be anything but special?

She would be so honored to have the opportunity to showcase your child and all of the little nuances that make each one of you beautiful.  Anne is more than happy to answer any questions you may have and would absolutely love to hear from you!  From the bottom of her heart, she thanks you for stepping into her world!

Now is the perfect time to get some photos taken! Want to capture your little one’s summer fun? We’ve created a limited time only Ice Cream Mini Session to help you treasure those fleeting moments forever. You can book yours now at www.annebertelsonphotography.com/acuity or email me at Anne@AnneBertelsonPhotography.com if you have any questions. Plus get $25 off if it’s your first session with me. Can’t wait to see you in the studio, friend!

Follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

DIY Ant Repellent

As the weather gets warmer and we get some spring showers you might start to see some of those pesky ants coming out. Before you know it, they will be taking over your house! They are such pests and it’s hard to find a good repellent that is safe around kids.  Here’s a recipe for a DIY ant repellent that is safe and actually works!!

DIY ant repellent

This DIY ant killer should work overnight and help to get rid of the problem ants. What you will need is:

  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of borax

Borax can be found in the laundry area of any grocery store. It’s 100% natural and is actually found in many ant killing compounds. Mix all of the ingredients together. Soak some cotton balls in the Borax and sugar mixture. At night, lay the cotton balls around the areas where you see ants.

The sugar will attract the ants in and they will love it. The Borax will be the killer to these pests and will terminate the ant colony from the inside out.  This is such a simple mixture that is very cheap to make. Way cheaper than hiring an exterminator.

It’s that easy! Others have tested this and said it works great! Are you ready to try?

 

Reasons to Hire a Newborn Care Specialist

Picture this… You’ve just had a baby that you brought home from the hospital and you have no idea what to do. You were given around the clock care in the hospital and now you’re on your own. Maybe you had to have a c/section and you are still recovering from surgery. Maybe you have other children at home and you need help handling it all. It’s possible you don’t have any family to help at this time. What are you to do?

Let me tell you about a great solution to your needs. Meet Valerie Ybarra, a Newborn  Care Specialist. She has so much knowledge and experience to help make life with a new baby easier on you.

 

Providing in home mother care, newborn care/education, breastfeeding help, sleep training, care of multiples, and temporary nanny services. Travels to all states.

As a new mother who has just given birth and baby coming home, you will need some mothering yourself. She is a certified postpartum doula with a combined 30 plus years experience as a Doula, Newborn Specialist, Nanny, Traveling Nanny, Nurse Assistant within the maternity unit and  Newborn Educator at a local OB/GYN in McKinney.

She’s here to mother you by providing non-judgmental emotional support when you are feeling blue, anxious, depressed, or just out of sorts and overwhelmed. Just some of the things she provides are a mother’s massage before bedtime, run errands for you and the baby, and chauffeuring both of you to your first doctor’s appointment.

A postpartum doula/newborn care specialist is very nurturing and giving by nature. She will make your first weeks at home a soothing, loving, and calming experience that will support you emotionally and physically. A postpartum doula or newborn care specialist provides overnight newborn care for your baby while you sleep, bringing your baby to you when it’s time to feed. You don’t have to leave your bed if you don’t want to, allowing you additional time to sleep and rest. Then she will work with you on sleep training/coaching your baby.

She will bring the “back to basics” of newborn care with the new information that is given today. As a dai ma, she provides traditional Indian Infant massage with oils right before bedtime to help baby to relax and aid with his digestive system and gas. As a Newborn  Care Specialist and a Postpartum doula, she’s here to educate you. Educating you with the best possible training for you and your newborn.

Valerie can be there for you and assist with the baby’s care. Her services include Newborn Care Specialist, Postpartum Doula, Breast Feeding Support, Infant Massage, Birth Photography.

Call her today and schedule and interview!  valerie@adoulaonthego.com or 480-236-2924

Offer for Plano Moms: When you sign up for 8 weeks of night care, you will get 1 night of night care for free!

Steps to Get Your Roof Replaced

Plano and North Dallas can sometimes be hit with terrible thunderstorms that include hail. Hail can do some serious damage to your house and car. It’s important to know the what to do when you think you might need a new roof. Here are some simple steps to get your roof replaced.

Possible Roof Damage? Follow These Easy Steps!

*Call Your Insurance: Most home insurance companies will want to come out and give your roof their own inspection before they fork over any money for a replacement. Make sure to call as soon after a bad storm because the longer you wait the less likely you will get all the money you deserve.

*Find a Roofer: In the meantime go ahead and have a few roof companies out and get a few estimates on repairing or replacing your roof. It’s good to have options and you can compare prices to get the best deal for your needs. If you don’t know where to start the best place to ask is in your neighborhood or in Plano Moms.

*Compare Contracts/Decide: With the claim that you filed and the estimates you got on your damages, you’ll need to decide on the right company to hire. Make sure you hire a local company. You’ll want the company to be here if anything should come up in the future.

*Prepare: On repair day plan on lots of noise and a mess! Getting a total roof replaced is extremely loud and can sometimes take 2-3 full days.

*After the labor is done, have your insurance out again to send another adjuster to look over the finished work. Insurance companies will want to make sure you used the money like you said and that the work is completed.  Your new roof and repairs should have a warranty on them so keep all their info to have if needed.

Now that all the work is done you should be able to relax a little knowing your home is safe and ready for the next storm that rolls in.

Here’s a good flyer to keep handy to help you know if/when you might need a roof inspection for the future.