With Christmas and New Year's just around the corner, you'll probably want to have a clean house before you open your doors to friends and relatives. Margie and Ray Toombs, owners of Maid Brigade of Northeast Ohio, clean your home the way you would clean it -- if you wanted to clean. Maid Brigade is one of the first maid services to use green cleaning techniques that ensure that you, your family and pets are not exposed to harmful chemicals. Margie and Ray focus on the relationship-building aspect of their business, but a one-time cleaning is not problem. Here's a cleaning tip from Margie: When you're in a frenzy just before company arrives, do some quick cleanup on counter tops, the kitchen sink and other places with spray glass cleaner and paper towels. It will work wonders. And here's a great gift tip: Buy a gift certificate for post-holiday cleaning. Contact Margie and Ray at 330.453.6000 or visit Maid Brigade.
Cranberry salsa and chips; the hottest hot sauce imaginable; and relatively mild liqueur-soaked cherries and peaches. These are just a few of the items that Dave Halaby of Heather's Heat & Flavor brought to the station this Saturday morning. You can sample many of Heather's edibles at the store, located in First & Main in Hudson. The shop carries all kinds of specialty foods. Gift baskets and shipping are available. Heather's Heat & Flavor, 94 First St., Hudson. For more information: 330.653.5131 Heather's Heat & Flavor
Liz Lenke is the co-owner with her husband Ron of Initially Yours, a company that offers monogramming services. Liz says that they will put initials, names, even sayings on almost anything made of fabric, from blankets and baby items to clothing, handkerchiefs and Christmas stockings. Initially Yours is located at 1947 W. Market St. in Akron. For more information: 330.867.9819.
Co-owners Janet Clover and Kelly Brown of Just that Twist transform their store four times a year. In December, they're in full Christmas mode, of course, but after the holidays, they'll start moving into a fresh spring look. The store is housed in a historic 1883 farmhouse with ten decorated rooms on two floors. There is a lot to see, including exceptional gifts for all occasions, jewelry and home accessories. There's even a room just for men. Janet and Kelly also offer redesign services and floral arranging with silk flowers and greenery. Just That Twist is located at 1463 Cleveland-Massillon Rd., just south of the circle in Copley. 330.666.8000 or Just that Twist
Cara Gallagher, an environmental healing expert, uses the principles of feng shui to help you transform your surroundings. She says that the traditional greenery used during the holidays is very good feng shui. Who knew! Cara is available for home consultations. Call 216.409.6159 or visit Cara Gallagher
"My Beautiful Home" has been preempted again for the St. Vincent/St. Mary Division III State Final. (Again, we hate to editorialize, but Go, St. V!)
While we're away cheering, however, we want to leave you with a couple of suggestions for the holidays. First, today is Kenmore Christmas on the Boulevard, featuring Santa at McCutchan Courtyard and other activities and entertainment, including open houses at churches, businesses and the library; face painting; the Salerno family magicians; and a holiday clown. Cookies and hot chocolate will be flowing freely. Caroling and the lighting of the gazebo will be at 6 p.m., followed by a party with Santa at Park United Methodist Church, 2308 24th St. Lolly the Trolley will be operating all day up and down Kenmore Boulevard.
And, for a truly unusual gift, visit Ages Tribal Art Gallery. Owner Eric Schickendantz is the largest tribal arts dealer between Chicago and Philadelphia. His gallery, at 194 Myrtle Place near the corner of W. Market and Maple St. in Akron, is open by appointment. It's bursting with decorative items such as tribal masks, fossilized carvings, statues, jewelry, and textiles. Call 330.434.1010 or visit the marvelous website Ages Tribal Arts.
Julie DiFeo says that this year's Christmas display at her garden center features the latest in lights, trees and ornaments. Donzell's Greenhouse and Garden Center has transformed itself into a holiday wonderland. It's located at 937 E. Waterloo Rd. in Akron. For more information: 330.724.0505 or Donzell's Greenhouse and Garden Center.
Liz Lenke, a volunteer at Akron Children's Hospital, says that this is the 31st annual Holiday Tree Festival. There are hundreds of decorated trees and holiday displays. And admission is free. The Holiday Tree Festival, presented at the John S. Knight Center on Mill St. between High and Broadway in downtown Akron, runs from today, Nov. 17, through Sunday, Nov. 25. Hours: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Thanksgiving, 2 to 6 p.m; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information: Holiday Tree Festival.
Linda Bussey, assistant director of the Hower House, says that the house is decorated with 19th century care. Self-guided tours are available now to Dec. 30. The Hower House is open Wednesday through Saturdays, noon to 3:30 p.m., and Sundays, 1 to 4 p.m. It will be closed Nov. 22 and Dec. 24 through 26. Hower House is located on the University of Akron campus at 60 Fir Hill. Free parking is available on the property. For more information: 330.972.6909 or the Hower House.
Page 4 of 14