Real Estate Update from Andrew Holm

Local Events

ZooLights – Daily through January 8, 2011

The magical, colorful sights and sounds of The Phoenix Zoo’s holiday light spectacular will make your season sparkle. More than two and a quarter million lights glow and dozens of displays will delight the entire family.

The Phoenix Zoo
455 North Galvin
Parkway Phoenix, AZ 85008
Phone: (602) 273-1341
Times: 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

College Football Fever – December 29 – January 2

Kick-off college football’s most exciting week with the Fiesta Bowl ArtWalk (12/29/11, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.)! This artistic prelude sets the stage for the Insight Bowl (12/30/11 at 8 p.m., ASU Sun Devil Stadium) and Tostitos Fiesta Bowl (1/2/12 at 6:30 p.m., University of Phoenix Stadium). Make Scottsdale your home base an you’ll catch all the action, from pre-game parties and events to the ultimate game-day showdowns.

Fiesta Bowl Games

10 Uses for Your Christmas Tree

By: By Jennifer Stimpson

This Old House online

When the holidays are over, take down the tinsel, but don’t bag the tree. Its needles, boughs, and trunk can do more than hold ornaments.

Mulch With Needles Pine needles dry quickly and decompose slowly, making them an excellent moisture- and mold-free mulch for ground-covering crops, such as strawberries, to rest on.

Create a Bird Sanctuary Place your tree in its stand outdoors. Fill bird feeders and hang them from the boughs, or drape the tree with a swag of pinecones coated with peanut butter.

Edge Your Borders Cut the trunk into 2-inch discs and set them into the soil to edge flower beds or walkways. more.

12 Smart Ways to Store Holiday Decorations

Victoria Reitano & Tabitha Sukhai

This Old House Online

Putting Away the Holidays

Holiday decorating can go from fun to frustrating in no time flat. The only thing more frustrating? Putting it all away. But ’tis the season, and to help you get it done we’ve gathered a few clever storage solutions, along with pro organizational tips, from Lea Schneider, author of Growing Up Organized and a member of The National Association of Professional Organizers. “If you take the time to stow decorations properly after the busy holiday season passes, next year will be easier,” Schneider says. Keep reading to see how to store fragile holiday items, and save yourself a few headaches next holiday season, too.

Artificial Tree Keeper

Artificial trees can last years and years with the proper care. Schneider suggests that you think about the weight of the tree before determining where to store it. “Most artificial trees are too heavy to wrestle into a trap-door attic or lug up a set of stairs. Consider storing the tree on the same floor as it is used, perhaps in an adjacent garage, storage room or closet,” she advises. A rolling case is a great option for easy (and back pain-free) moving. If you have the space, you can really save time next year by storing your tree without dismantling or undecorating it. TreeKeeper bags are available to hold trees of any size, and the bags be tucked away above the stand during display. At the end of the season, it slips over the tree to protect your greens from a year of dust. An included plastic hook allows for hanging the bag from rafters in the corner of your attic.

Tangle-Free Holiday Lights

In a battle between a decorator and a wad of tangled lights, the lights will almost always win. “Use a piece of masking tape and a permanent marker to label each strand. Your note can indicate how long it is or where it was used for easy replacement next year,” advises Schneider. Once that’s taken care of, wrap the stands securely to prevent bulb breakage and tangling. The case shown here provides 2 reels inside of an insulated, zippered bag. Each reel holds up to 100 feet of lights and the removable spools make it safe and easy to maneuver around your tree or entry garland when relighting. Read More

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