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November Inspo

Wait, it’s November?! How does the holiday season surprise us every single year? Guess it’s time to start getting ready! In the familial spirit of the coming holidays we asked members of our Bielinski Homes family to share with us their advice on how to skip the holiday stress this time around. Here’s what they had to say.

Jennifer Durand
New Home Consultant/Realtor

I have three simple tips:
  1. Prep as much as possible. So when you’re with family and friends you can actually enjoy the time with them, instead of slaving away in the kitchen while everyone else has fun.
  2. Delegate, delegate, delegate. Have everyone bring a few dishes, then everything isn't so overwhelming. Friends and family are usually keen to help, especially during the holidays.
  3. Start traditions. Every year we have an ugly ornament exchange between the families It's always the highlight of the evening. The ornaments are an awesome addition to our tree and some of my favorites, plus the giving the ugliest ornament gives you bragging rights for a whole year!

Stacy Kusel

Our family spends Thanksgiving night after our dinner planning our Black Friday shopping. We check out all the sales using the newspaper, then we map our route based on the places everyone needs to go and make our lists. It’s become a fun tradition, and allows us to get a jump on Christmas prep right away!

Paul Bielinski

Here’s my tip on entertaining for the holidays. Take the stress out of holiday cooking by not insisting everything be homemade. Some things can be assembled and others simply purchased. Here’s some examples:
  • For appetizers, assemble a charcuterie board. They are all the rage and easy to put together. Assemble different cured meats, cheeses, dried fruits, nuts and olives on a board and voila, your appetizer has been created. Put the board on the middle of the table or kitchen island and let your guests serve themselves. Easy.
  • I would have dinner be homemade, but I wouldn’t make something I’ve never made before. If you do, you’re asking for a disaster. Make something your familiar with and see if there are any parts you can make ahead. Definitely mise en place here. This will cut down your time working and will give you more time with your guests.
  • And finally, just purchase dessert! Buy something from your favorite bakery or pastry shop. Chances are, it’s going to both look and taste better, without costing you hours of work.

Diana Schultz
Closing Coordinator

When hosting families with young children, make small goodie bags for the kids. Bags could contain small games, crafts, and coloring books. This way the adults can enjoy each other’s company while the kids enjoy their goodies!

Amy Holzinger
Applications Architect

Everyone’s Christmas tree seems to be stuffed in a corner or up against a wall, which means that some ornaments and decorations on the backside of the tree never get seen.

We invested in a rotating tree stand, which slowly rotates our tree so we can view all our favorite decorations, while still allowing us to keep our tree out of the way in the corner.

Rebecca Wardon
Interior Design Expert

  • Have fun with it. For instance, decorate with colorful jars of candy for a sweet style.
  • Add life to your indoor décor with plants. Use poinsettias for a festive look, or evergreen sprigs and pinecones for a seasonal feel.
  • DIY decorations like wreathes and garlands add a personal feel to your home.
  • Decorate your mailbox, lighting fixtures, mantel, staircase, and bedroom.
  • And finally, make sure to spend time with family or friends!

Donna Scale
New Home Consultant/Realtor

My sister, our daughters, and I get together in mid-December to have an all-day cookie baking marathon! We each choose four or five of our favorite recipes and spend the entire day baking, laughing, eating, and maybe drinking a little wine too. We’ve been doing it as long as I can remember. Some years are busier than others, but we always try to get together to bake even if it’s just a few dozen cookies.

Meg Douglas

It’s easy to save money by creating nice custom gifts tags. Use any fun paper and a cookie cutter to create a unique and personal gift tag for your Christmas presents.

Mike Baumann
Construction Supervisor

Our family loves a lot of lights at Christmas time, but over the years we’ve learned to find a balance. We’ve found that spreading your lights out makes for a cozier feeling throughout the house. We also purchased a pre-lit tree a few years ago. There are so many options. You can even choose the number of lights you want, though the brightest option was so bright that it was hard to look at! We went for medium.

We always enjoy baking during the holidays. We typically make the same cookies every year, and everyone helps. Since our daughters have their own Bielinski Homes and Bielinski kitchens now, we’ll split up the work. Our older daughter has taken her cookie baking to a whole new level. Her decorated cookies have garnered quite a following. We’re looking forward to what will show up on our cookie platters this year.


Manuel Salinas
Director of Property Management

Since half the family is English, we follow plenty of British holiday traditions. One of our favorites is the Christmas crackers. Wondering what a Christmas cracker is? Well they’re not food! A fun tradition from England, crackers are part of each person's place setting at the Christmas dinner table. Two people open a cracker, each takes an end and pulls. The cracker makes a "crack" sound as it bursts open, revealing a paper crown, a joke, and a toy. As families enjoy their special Christmas meal, they wear their crowns, share their jokes, and play with their toys.

Jody Denter
Property Manager

The key to holiday hosting, entertaining, decorating, and cooking is the prep. To help keep things moving and stress-free, I organize my menu at least two weeks in advance.
I make a list of everything I’ll need. Building up to the event I will take at least one recipe a day and measure out what’s needed and place them in containers and Ziploc bags. Make sure to label your containers with what it is and how much of it there is. With all that prep, the actual day of cooking is 100 times easier and way less messy.


So there you have it! Some sound holiday advice from the experts at Bielinski Homes. Are you looking for the perfect home to make your own holiday memories in? We’ve got just the thing. For more holiday tips and tricks, follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.
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