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Category Gigi’s Blog

Give Your Home a New Year Refresh

Start this new year with a home refresh! January is a great time to enhance your living space. It doesn’t matter whether you need a midwinter boost or you’d like to get more organized.

If you are a homeowner, you know that there is always something that needs updated, repaired or replaced. What are the goals you have for your home in 2022? Do you want to redecorate, get things fixed or replaced, change your lighting or declutter?

Many people have been spending much more time at home since the beginning of COVID. Subsequently, changing your home might be on your mind a lot more these days. Adding plants, painting an accent wall or other small changes can make a big difference in how you feel about a room in your home...

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How do you know if it’s clutter?

Thanks to Cindy Bernstein of Aim4Order for this episode of Tips from the Pros on how do you know if it’s clutter.

How do you know if it's clutter?

You want to get rid of the clutter in your home, but how do you know if it’s clutter or something else? When you see objects around your home on a daily basis, they just become part of the landscape. After a while, you don’t even notice the clutter. Here are some questions to ask yourself that will help you.

Do you use it?

We all have things around the house we never use, maybe you’re not even sure where it’s stored. That’s clutter. Things go out of style, your tastes change or maybe you were never a big fan of that item at all...

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11 Stone Park Place

  • 11 Stone Park Place, view of the front door

New inventory has hit the market and 11 Stone Park Place in Nottingham is one hot pick.

Enjoy cooking in your beautifully updated, eat-in kitchen...

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2518 Wycliffe Road

  • 2518 Wycliffe Road, front view with driveway

Your home search can start and end with 2518 Wycliffe Road...

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Q&A: Winter gardening tasks

Thanks to the University of Maryland/Maryland Grows this informative article on winter gardening tasks.

Q: Is there any outdoor garden task this time of year that I may be forgetting to do? I’ve foregone a fall clean-up for the benefit of overwintering wildlife, and the lawn and veggie garden are “asleep” for the season.

A: There are a few things that are good to accomplish during the dormant season. Yard tools like pruners, loppers, shovels, spades, and mower blades are best stored clean, sharpened, and oiled. There may be local businesses that offer sharpening services. You can also do it yourself with a metal file or sharpening stone or rod.

Winter gardening tasks
Image: University of Maryland/Maryland Grows.

Sharpen those blades

Ideally, sharpen mower blades annually so the turf doesn’t...

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Your Guide to Choosing the Correct Firewood This Winter

Thanks to Clean Sweep for this episode of Tips from the Pros about choosing the correct firewood.

Choosing the correct firewood this winter
Image: Clean Sweep Maryland

Winter is here. If you haven’t used your fireplace yet this year, the perfect opportunity will be here before you know it. Here are a few tips to help you select safe, high-quality wood for all your fireplace, woodstove, and outdoor furnace needs.

Your Guide to Choosing the Correct Firewood This Winter

For starters, you’ll want to consider the density of the wood in question:

More Dense Woods

  • Oak
  • Elm
  • Hickory

Less Dense Woods

  • Pine
  • Basswood

The density of the wood directly relates to the energy output once the fire is started. Hard, dense woods like those listed above generate maximum heat and less flames, which lead to a longer burn...

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Answers for the Most Troublesome Kitchen Clutter Zones

Thanks to Cindy Bernstein of Aim4Order for this episode of Tips from the Pros with her blog about troublesome kitchen clutter zones.

Everyone spends a lot of time in the kitchen. And a lot of things happen there. In your kitchen, you cook, eat and clean multiple times a day. It follows that the kitchen can become a major source of clutter. Let’s take a look at the most troublesome kitchen clutter zones and find out how to make them clutter free.


PROBLEM: No matter how many times you clean the counters, they seem to become a drop zone for all types of clutter. Small appliances, paper piles, food and cooking utensils can end up on the counters.

SOLUTIONCountertops are not storage areas...

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12 Journal Prompts to Get You Started

Have you ever sat down to write something, but found yourself staring at a blank page for way too long? This is a common phenomenon for many who begin journaling!

Even though you’re writing about yourself, getting started can be tough. To fight your writer’s block, I’m sharing 12 journaling prompts guaranteed to get your wheels turning.

One of the easiest topics to use for your journal is something you know well. You don’t need to do any research or studying to write about the topics that are closest to your heart. More generally, relationships, career, goal setting and perspectives are directions you can take your writing.

You’ll find inspirational topics about your career, relationships, personal growth and goal setting...

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2021 Year-End Charitable Giving

Thanks to L. K. Benson for sharing this blog on year-end charitable giving.

2021 year-end charitable giving

The end of the year is a very popular time to give to charities. There are many deserving organizations out there that could use your help. This is especially true in light of the challenges we’ve all faced during the COVID pandemic. While your primary goal in giving to charity should be finding a cause that is important to you, there are many tax advantages to charitable giving that should also be considered. Some of these rules have changed in recent years. We thought we’d highlight a few things you should be thinking about as you do your 2021 year-end giving.

Don’t Miss the Above-the-line Deduction

For 2021, everyone is eligible for an above-the-line deduction of up to $300 for single filers or...

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Calendar of Events for December 2021

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many rules and regulations are fluid. Verify hours and safety protocols with each event you plan to visit beforehand when you check out these events for December 2021.

Now through December 19:

Image: Baltimore Museum of Art

Women Behaving Badly: 400 Years of Power & Protest. At the Baltimore Museum of Art, 10 Art Museum Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218. Click here for more info.

Now through December 24:

Image: Christmas Village in Baltimore

Christmas Village in Baltimore, at West Shore Park/ Inner Harbor from 11:00 am-7:00 pm daily

Now through December 31:

Image: christmasstreet.com

MIracle on 34th Street, 726 West 34th Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21211. View the lights and Christmas displays. Click here for more info.

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