RE/MAX 440
John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

Alleviate Holiday Hosting Duties with Dishwashing Tips

December 24, 2014 12:51 am

(Family Features) ‘Tis the season is for enjoying time with friends and family – not being trapped in the kitchen for pre- and post-party cleaning. With a little planning, you can minimize time spent on daily chores and maximize time spent creating memories with guests. Here are a few quick tips to clean and prep your home for get-togethers this holiday.

Load the dishwasher first. When you’re hosting a party, the last thing you want is to open the dishwasher and find dirty dishes. Make sure to run the dishwasher the day before your guests arrive to ensure everything is clean when you need it.

Prepare dishes for the wash cycle. To ensure dishes come out clean and dry, scrape away large pieces of food and excess leftovers before loading, and let the dishwasher take care of the rest. Make sure your silverware gets the right water coverage by loading some pointing up and some pointing down, including knives. And remember, safety first, especially if kids are helping. If you don’t plan to run the dishwasher immediately, remember to rinse foods such as mustard, mayonnaise and tomato-based products, as they may cause discoloration of plastics if allowed to sit for a long period of time.

Fill the upper and lower racks properly.
Cups, glasses, stemware, small plates and bowls are all welcome in the top rack. Make sure any plastic items go on top, too. Be sure to load open-ended items into the washer facing down for the best cleaning and draining. Save your biggest items for the edge of the lower rack. Face everything else – plates, large bowls, etc. – toward the center of the rack for a thorough clean.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Steer Clear of Family Disagreements over the Holidays

December 24, 2014 12:51 am

Do you and your family clash more than usual during December? If so, you’re not alone. It’s important to note that most holiday issues are rarely just about the holidays. They tend to be symptoms—signs of unmet needs or unresolved issues. Once you begin to realize arguments and bad feelings are signaling deeper misfires, the sooner you can start to address them together.

One reason families can feel blindsided by holiday blow-ups is that this time of year is “supposed” to be all colored lights, childlike wonder, love, and gratitude. This is, of course, a setup for failure. Depending on your holiday expectations, they can bring a unique set of pressures—forced family togetherness, ramped-up financial pressures, and jam-packed schedules, just to name a few.

To help ease the stress, consider these tips:

Be real about what you feel. This will allow you to head off recurring holiday issues. Most people can predict their relatives' problematic behaviors based on past experience. This year, instead of biting your tongue and then blowing up after the fact, speak up. Not only can you prevent the issue from occurring, you’re taking a step toward a healthier relationship.

Identify your limits. Watch out for overscheduling. Make choices about where to invest your energy and your time. Figure out which events mean the most and let some things go. Otherwise you are sure to spend all of your time stressed, resentful of your loved ones.

Look for rituals that have lost their meaning and eliminate them. Ask yourself, 'Where are we just going through the motions?' Maybe you’ve always driven across the country for the holidays because that’s where your partner’s parents live. But if you’re approaching the visit with a sense of dread rather than anticipation and joy, why not change it? You can always visit them mid-summer instead.

Published with permission from RISMedia.