Home Features

You've probably never hung a door or shingled a roof. That’s why problems are scary. We share concepts, terminology so you can make smart decisions about your home ... with confidence!

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Rooms at Home

How we live at home is changing. More people are working at home, there's home schooling and we’re integrating indoor & outdoor spaces as we spend more time at home. Get ideas for your home.

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Home Aspirations

With Pinterest, Houzz and so many shows about home improvements, it's natural you've got a wish list. We share our ideas, your homeowner stories and support you in achieving your goals.

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Saving Money

Your home is a huge investment when you buy it, plus monthly operating costs like utility bills. We help you spend less, get more value & build homeowner equity (like a savings account).

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From Home Features

Radiant Floor Heating Keeps Your Toes Warm

radiant floor heating means your feet won't freeze as you walk barefoot during colder seasons
New England gets cold in the winter and sometimes that discourages homeowners from putting tile in their kitchen or bathrooms. Now there's a solution that heats tiles, and your room from the floor up. It's called radiant floor heating.  [Learn More…]

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Rooms at Home

What are Balustrades?

balustrades are used frequently for safety on stairs and balconies

While spend more time indoors and get outdoors when the weather is nice. New houses have decks, patios and sometimes balconies. Where safety is a concern, building codes require the use of balustrades or railing systems. [Go Explore…]

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Home Aspriations

Thanksgiving Traditions Old & New

while we love our Thanksgiving traditions, maybe it's time to create new ones to fit what's happening in the world around us

Thanksgiving is a special holiday in the United States. We're visiting friends we've known for more than 30 years, first in New York and then California. Most Thanksgiving traditions focus on family and great food. This year that doesn't feel like enough. The world is changing in ways that are hard to imagine. While it would be easy to forget what's happening beyond our homes, I simply can't do that.

There are many sad things that have happened to me personally and to some of my friends. Yet, when I step outside my personal bubble to look at the global landscape, I realize we have so much to be thankful for in the United States.
thanksgiving traditions are about people & food, so why are we excluding so many people from the US

Security with a Place to Call Home

Most people can remember when the housing bubble broke just a few years ago. It was horrible lose their homes due to the greed of big banks who were never penalized. Most (not all) Americans have recovered but there are hundreds of thousands who lack the security of a place to call home this Thanksgiving.

How Immigrants Adopt Thanksgiving Traditions

At this point I must admit I'm ashamed to be an American.

My father came to the US from Germany, after escaping from a Nazi work camp. My mother's parents also came from Europe. I have the utmost respect for the European countries who've accepted their role in the European migrant crisis.

My family's Thanksgiving traditions were like most American families.

  • A huge turkey dinner with all the trimmings.
  • Family and friends joined us for dinner.
  • My favorite part was going to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade each year. We'd leave home early, watch the parade and then pick up my grandmother who lived in Manhattan. So at 6:15am this morning, I was watching the parade this morning, from a hotel room in California.

maybe it's time to start new Thanksgiving traditions, beginning with those that pay it forwardMake Pay It Forward One of Your New Thanksgiving Traditions

As you think about Thanksgiving, maybe you'll want to add a few new Thanksgiving traditions to your holiday? I love the collage above from a college, because there are lots of ideas that require very little time or money. The idea behind “pay it forward” isn't that you have to adopt a child or family, it's that you commit to open your eyes to the people around you and help where you can.

donations are a good enough reason to justify buying too many clothes, so start some new Thanksgiving traditions by cleaning your closet outThanksgiving Traditions that Help Others

Here are some of my personal and family activities that come to mind, especially when I think about the special holidays that happen at the end of the year. Pay-it-forward can happen any time of year, although it's more important during the holidays when people focus on family, food and giving gifts.

  • Not everyone has a warm, loving home to go to for Thanksgiving. Listen to your friends and invite someone who's feeling left out.
    Serve the homeless a hot cooked meal – When visiting my older son in Seattle, rather than going to a restaurant for dinner, we joined other volunteers to serve meals to the homeless in a huge armory.
  • Gift clothes you don't wear – A favorite year end activity is cleaning out my closet. What hasn't been worn that year (jewelry too), gets taken a SafePlace (find your location) in Portsmouth, New Hampshire (or similar community non-profit serving mothers and young adults).
  • Donate toiletries to the homeless – When traveling I always bring home the soap, shampoo and other toiletries, a habit started when I lived/worked in Asia (loved the packaging). Right after Thanksgiving, they all get donated to a local non-profit supporting the homeless.
  • Share holiday decorations with seniors in nursing homes – One year I decided to clear out all the flower vases above the refrigerator. I invited friends to bring their own vases and unwanted decorations. My decorator picked up evergreen branches and taught us how to make big, beautiful bows. Another friend dropped about 15 decorated vases off at the nursing home where her mother lives.
  • Meals on wheels – This concept is amazing once you need the help, as I had to sign my mother up this year. It's not just the food. Many housebound seniors are lonely so a visitor if only for a few minutes, is appreciated.

Thanksgiving traditions focus on food, so try to involve your kids in gifting groceries to families in needHoliday Traditions that Fit Your Budget

As you scan the activities above, you'll see there's almost no cost to you beyond your time and gas money. Here are a few more activities I enjoy that cost more and they're well worth it.

  • Adopt a family for the holidays – We don't exchange gifts, a tradition started by my son when they need help paying for dinner. So I love adopting a family and shopping for a list given to me. Today my family is part of Singleton Mom's Santa program. There are lots of ways to find families or grab a star off one of the gift trees at the mall.
  • Donate an old car instead of selling it – In southern NH, there's a network of churches that house and feed the homeless. We donated our last car to them after getting it tuned up, cleaned and I had fun wrapping a big red ribbon over the roof. Be careful with which organization you pick, as the one before this sold the car which made me angry.
  • Boxes of groceries – When my boys were little, they loved going grocery shopping with me. The each got a cart to fill for “their family”. I put the boxes in first to save time, and they had fun shopping like a grownup. I only nixed one item – boxes of chocolate straws and I set a limit of one box per boy.

Wishing everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

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Saving Money

Proposed Tax Changes & Home Ownership

most homeowners itemize the costs of home ownership to reduce their income taxes, so how will tax changes affect this?

Income taxes can be filed using the standard deduction or itemized deductions. Most homeowners prefer itemized deductions to reduce their taxable income by what they've spent on mortgage interest, property taxes and more. It does take more time to gather all the paperwork needed to support itemized deductions and it's usually worth it. [Save More…]

Learning How to Tape and Mud Drywall

drywall tape isn't anything like the scotch tape we're used to using every day & it takes practice to learn how to tape and mud drywall

Drywall tape is quite different than scotch tape …

Wondering where you can learn how to tape and mud drywall? If you want to do your own home repairs and/or remodeling projects, knowing how to tape and mud is a good skill to have. You can watch lots of videos but you also need [Save More…]

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How to Create Your Dream Home

Have you got a long list of projects that never seem to get done? We're here to help you prioritize what needs to get done now, along with tips to create your dream home and the lifestyle you want. Our free report will help you remember what's really important, what you loved about the houses where you’ve lived. Owning 12+ houses through the years working for I've Been Moved (IBM), gave me lots of experience to share about what works, and what doesn't. Then I settled down to live/work in one place, and started a handyman business (8 years, 2,000 homeowners). I discovered my passion for helping women learn to manage their homes with confidence. So let’s connect and create the house you've always dreamed of!

Connect with Tina