Blog :: 04-2020

Welcome to our blog! Here you will find information regarding market, local and Lakes Region information and events! Along with DIY projects and more! Come back often to see what's new and leave us a comment if there's something you'd like to see.

New Hampshire Gift Card Wednesdays!

The Wolfeboro Chamber of Commerce has requested we share the following information in regards to supporting local businesses this Wednesday... tomorrow and the following Wednesdays!!!

NH Gift Card Wednesday

Let your favorite business know you are thinking of them by purchasing a gift card on Gift Card Wednesday.  Gift Card Wednesday is a cooperative effort by New Hampshire Chambers of Commerce to encourage people to do what they can to increase revenue for local businesses. 

“Wolfeboro area businesses make the community what it is,” reflects Wolfeboro Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Mary DeVries.  “Let us do what we can now to help keep them here for the future”. 

Many are still waiting on federal assistance and struggling to keep their doors open. When you support a local business, you support a local family and their employees. If we all do a little now they will still be here for years to come, adding color, life and valuable services to our local communities. 

Already the Wolfeboro area is experiencing community support by people shopping and dining locally with curbside pickup, takeout and delivery.  Gift cards are another opportunity to show your support. 

You are encouraged to make a purchase with any area business. is a resource for finding some of them.

Post a photo with your gift card and #ShopLocalNH to help give our beloved local businesses and #GiftCardWednesday even more visibility. PLEASE SHARE! 




Plant a ‘Victory Garden' This Spring

If you haven't done so already, it's not too late to start your very own Victory Garden!  I recall watching Crockett's Victory Garden originally hosted by James Underwood Crockett on a local Boston station with my Dad back in the '70's.  It was then I gained my gardening knowledge and shared countless hours bonding with my Dad. Funny thing, I never realized the true meaning behind the name "Victory Garden" until now.

Victory gardens were first popularized during World War I when Americans at home, away from the battlefield, were urged to contribute to the cause by growing vegetables in every flowerpot and patch of land available. These victory gardens resurged during World War II, and they're making a comeback amid the coronavirus pandemic. These gardens can be big or small, sprawling across yards and rooftops or tucked in several small pots. Even with a small amount of acreage, homeowners are able to grow large gardens—and these assets can reduce the number of trips to the grocery store and reduce your odds of contracting the COVID-19 virus.

There's no breakdown of the national food chain to prompt these victory gardens. Instead, they’re trending to help limit trips to the grocery store and bring a little light and exercise to those who have extra time during shelter-in-place and stay-at-home orders. Planting your own garden is perfect timing right now, because the weather is getting better, and you can even sow some seeds inside and then transplant them to the ground later on. You can definitely use containers, a windowsill, or even grow bags, which are another type of container, if your space is limited. And if you have a balcony or access to a roof, try growing them there.

Some of the quickest plants to grow include leafy greens like arugula, bok choy, and Swiss chard, as well as zucchini, cucumbers, and many herbs like thyme, oregano, chives, and parsley.

Looking for a Social Distancing Distraction? Here's How to Organize Your Kitchen on a Budget

At a time when kitchens are at the center of our new normal, three designers share their tips on how to keep them organized on a budget.

By Kelly Dawson

Kitchens were always the hardest-working space in a home. It's the place where the toil of cooking meets the relief of conversation, and where a small snack for one can sit side-by-side with one giant feast for a dozen. In every shape and size, kitchens have to be able to go with the flow. 

But then the COVID-19 pandemic turned modern life upside-down, and a kitchen's flexibility has been stretched to its limits. While still a hub of utility and comfort, they're now working even harder to meet the demand of a crisis. 

"With preparing and serving three meals and numerous toddler snacks at home, we are cycling through everything in our kitchen much faster," Kelly Mindell, founder of Studio DIY, says. "That leads to messes piling up quicker if things don't have a designated spot. We've been spending time dividing, organizing, and repurposing other items in our home to make sure everything has somewhere to go." 

Shea McGee, cofounder of Studio McGee, and Joyce Downing Pickens of JDP Interiors agree. They've also been adjusting to this new reality by examining how their kitchens can be even more functional, from streamlining pantries to corralling tools. Below, Mindell, McGee, and Downing Pickens share the lessons they've learned these last few weeks on how to organize a kitchen on a budget, in the hopes that it makes this hard-working room as efficient as possible. 

How to Carry Out Your Plan 

Once you have an organizational plan in place, carry it out with as little headache as possible by moving strategically, cabinet by cabinet. Discard expired items, and consider donating a surplus of canned goods to a local food bank. After shelves are cleaned out, pay close attention to the areas where you spend the most time, including spots that may be overlooked. 

Organize based on convenience. "Put items that frequent the dishwasher as close to the dishwasher as possible, and put your coffee mugs close to your coffee pot," Mindell says. "Minimizing your need to move around the kitchen, and maximizing the ease of putting items away, will keep things tidy." 

Divide your drawers. "Big, open drawers create big messes! Everything needs a designated spot," Mindell continues. "Simply use containers you've recycled or collected elsewhere in your home to categorize everything." 

Use your door space. "Take any baskets you might have and install them onto the inside of your cabinet doors," Downing Pickens says. "This will maximize your space and make for easy grab-and-go access to everyday items." 

Label spices. "I label the top of all my spices using round stickers and a Sharpie," Downing Pickens says. "It makes it so much easier to know what's what without having to check the label." 

Repurpose Items for Effortless Storage 

It's possible to have storage pieces—like glass jars and space dividers—delivered to your door, but all it takes is a little creativity to see how items you likely already have can be reused for this project. Not only will this solution minimize the amount of outside items coming into your home, but it's also a budget-friendly approach at a time when every dollar counts. 

Strip your old canned goods. "Remove the labels on jars once they are empty and add them to your drawers for small items," Downing Pickens says. "This is especially helpful in your 'junk' drawer for pens, paperclips, rubber bands, and so on." 

Use the "guest-only" dinnerware. "I've pulled out bowls or cups that I typically only use on special occasions to help me store items," Mindell says. "For instance, we have a piece of colorful glassware that's holding snack bars in our pantry and a serving bowl holding fruit on our counter." 

Pull out trays. "Whether it's corralling soap and a dish brush next to your kitchen sink, or holding some of your favorite everyday spices, trays can keep spaces feeling collected instead of cluttered," McGee says. 

Use small baskets for laundry. "If you use reusable cloth instead of paper towels, use baskets from around your home to store them in: one for clean towels, one for dirty," Mindell says. "That way, you can just grab the 'dirty' basket when it's full and dump it right in the wash."


Kelly Dawson is a freelance writer in Los Angeles who has been writing for Dwell since 2015. Follow her on Instagram @atthecrosswalk.

The 10 Incredibly Useful Rules Every Organized House Follows

Here are some terrific ideas (rules/habits) for keeping your house in order... many of which I learned from my mom and follow to this day!

By Amy Howell

Homes don’t clean themselves. But these easy-peasy rules "wake and make" as they call it, will make you feel like they do.

Here's the thing you may have noticed about houses: They don't clean themselves.

Which is unfortunate, because if houses cleaned themselves you could spend less time cleaning yours, and more time doing something fun!

A few simple daily habits could make it seem like you've got a self-cleaning house.

Rules like . . .


#1 Dedicate 20 Minutes a Day Every Day

You don't need to set aside 20 hours one day to get things in order. You only need 20 minutes every day.

Focus on taking clutter in just one room. You might only pare down a single drawer or shelf, but "it will make you feel accomplished at the end of the day, and at the end of a week, you will see how much you can declutter," says professional organizer Helena Alkhas.

#2 Follow a "One-Minute" Rule

NEW HAMPSHIRE TOGETHER SPECIAL - Live at 7 Tonight on ABC: Fundraiser for NH Food Bank amid unprecedented times.

WMUR is partnering with iHeartRadio for a fundraiser to help the New Hampshire Food Bank keep up with an incredibly high demand and feed local families in response to the COVID-19 efforts.

PROJECT CommUNITY: NH Together from Home

Join WMUR from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. TONIGHT, April 17 on ABC for "Project Community: New Hampshire Together From Home.”  See the one-hour special on WMUR and streaming live on WMUR's website.

WMUR’s Erin Fehlau and Sean McDonald will join iHeartRadio’s Greg Kretschmar to host the special. The uplifting hour will feature performances from Granite State artists and words of encouragement from New Hampshire athletes and celebrities, all while raising money for the food bank.

See performances from:

  • Adam Ezra Group

  • Alex Preston

  • Evelyn Cormier

  • Gary Hoey

  • Jordan Tyrell Wysocki

  • Mairead Nesbitt

  • Recycled Percussion 

Also, there will be appearances by:

  • Adam Sandler

  • Victoria Arlen

  • Geo Baker

  • Tom Bergeron

  • Matt Bonner

  • Ken Burns

  • Matty Cardarople

  • Ryan Day

  • Jimmy Dunn

  • Ryan Griffin

  • Bob Marley

  • Juston McKinney

  • Seth Meyers

  • Mike O'Malley

  • Triple H

  • Fritz Wetherbee



The New Hampshire Food Bank is currently responding to a very high demand -- 44% higher than this time last year -- with so many people out of work.

Donations to the food bank are down after some third-party events that would have benefited the food bank were postponed or canceled. 


You don't have to wait until tonight to donate, you can do so by accessing the following:


Tax Day may have changed, but you can still file early to get your refund faster

Tax Day may have been pushed back from April 15 to July 15 this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, but if you think you're owed a refund, you can still file early and get that money faster. 


If you are owed a refund, the IRS asks that you file your taxes as soon as possible. Most refunds are still being issued within 21 days, according to the agency.

"Even with the filing deadline extended, we urge taxpayers who are owed refunds to file as soon as possible and file electronically," IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in a press release last week. "Filing electronically with direct deposit is the quickest way to get refunds. Although we are curtailing some operations during this period, the IRS is continuing with mission-critical operations to support the nation, and that includes accepting tax returns and sending refunds."

If you do need more time, however, there's no penalty for filing your taxes up until July 15. If you need more time beyond that, you can request an extension by filing Form 4868 through your tax software, your tax professional or the Free File link on

For more information on taxes, check out where you can file your taxes for freehow to get financial relief during coronavirus and how student loans affect your taxes



Home Furnishings Trend: Brass is Back

For years brass has been on the sidelines, but it’s making a comeback. Here are ways homeowners can incorporate the finish to add glamour and help homes stand out.


March 27, 2020 by Barbara Ballinger

After years of chrome, stainless steel, and nickel being the shining stars of interior metals, brass is back and starting to steal the show.

As with many home furnishings trends, the comeback was inspired by what’s occurring in fashion. In this case, gold and rose gold watches became influencers a few years ago, says Chicago designer Tom Segal of Kaufman Segal Design, who thinks that home furnishings styles tend to be cyclical. Now he’s adding small brass details to rooms in the same way a gold watch might peek out of a shirt cuff.

Using brass now is an easy, affordable way for homeowners to customize and stay on trend.  “Many people want a warmer look, which is also visible in fabrics as warmer colors return,” Segal says.

Erin Imhof, showroom supervisor at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery in Lansdale, Pa., has noted an increase in brass finishes. She attributes it to how they complement a wide range of colors and other finishes. “Many of today’s top color trends for kitchens and bathrooms, including all-white, blue, and black, pair beautifully with brass fixtures,” she says.


twin brass light fixtures over kitchen island

© Capital Lighting Fixture Company 

Others concur that brass is a universal mixer. “Our designers like to integrate brass into their designs, whether it’s an accent like a decorative bowl, object of art, light fixture, or metal base on an end table,” says Julie Sprouse, design sales manager at Ethan Allen, the home furnishings chain based in Danbury, Conn.

Caitie Smithe, a design coordinator and stylist at the Walter E. Smithe Furniture + Design retailer based in Itasca, Ill., also considers brass a material that can be used throughout a home, including light fixtures, hardware, and even light switches and vent controls. Other good places to use brass include bathroom hardware, plumbing fixtures such as sinks, and accessory details like candleholders or picture frames.

Here are five tips for using brass.

1. Use sparingly. Brass works best when used in small doses. Too much can create a “too matchy-matchy” look, according to Smithe. Overuse can make it start to look cheap, says Segal. “Moderation is key,” he says.


coffee table with brass accents

© Ethan Allen 


2. Mix finishes. Brass appears more timeless rather than trendy when it’s matte, brushed, or aged, which helps soften its sheen, Segal says. But be careful, Smithe says, when mixing brasses in a single space from different manufacturers. “There is a huge range in color and brightness. Some take on a bright yellow color while others can be more of an aged gold,” she says.

3. Combine warm metal colors. Brass, gold, and bronze can work well together since they share similar warm values versus shiny nickel, which leans toward the colder side, says Sprouse.  


mixed metals used in kitchen

© Walter E.Smithe Furniture + Design 


4. Mix metals. Some designers also think brass, satin, brushed nickel, stainless steel, and oil-rubbed bronze can be used together. But Imhoff still offers some caution. “Go with similar warm, muted undertones for some consistency,” she says. Chicago designer Summer Thornton likes mixing metals, particularly in kitchens and bathrooms where she might use brass, nickel, and steel combinations.

5. Consider longevity. How long brass will stay fashionable is unknown. When it becomes too ubiquitous in retail stores, shelter magazines, and on design websites, it may be time to move on. The good news is that brass touches are easy to add in and switch out.


Barbara Ballinger is a freelance writer and the author of several books on real estate, architecture, and remodeling, including The Kitchen Bible: Designing the Perfect Culinary Space (Images Publishing, 2014). Barbara’s most recent book is The Garden Bible: Designing Your Perfect Outdoor Space, co-authored with Michael Glassman (Images, 2015).


How to Get Cleaner Air at Home

While we're all spending most of our time indoors, air quality is becoming a pressing issue. Here are a few tips from experts recently highlighted at

Indoor Plants. Clean the air with plants. In an age when a “healthy home” is what so many of us crave, this is an inexpensive alternative to improving the air quality in our homes.


Use the vent when cooking. “One of the big things we’re starting to understand a little more is the problems with cooking,” Adriano L. Martinez, an environmental lawyer who tweets about air quality issues as @LASmogGuy, told “A hood and fan that siphons toxic fumes out of your kitchen can make a big difference, even if you’re just boiling water. Try to run the fan every time you’re cooking.”

Clean surfaces. Cleaning has never been more important than in the age of a pandemic, but it can also help improve the indoor air quality of your home. Wipe down surfaces and vacuum frequently to remove build ups of dust, pollen, and mold, which all impact air quality, reports.

Avoid the VOCs. Pay attention to the labels when cleaning to avoid products containing volatile organic chemicals. The fumes have been linked to irritating lungs.

Use a high-quality filter on the HVAC. A good filter can help trap airborne pollutants inside a home. Martinez suggests looking for a minimum efficiency reporting value, or MERV rating, of 8 or higher on the HVAC filter. Also, change it frequently. Plug-in air purifiers can also help, experts say.

Source: “Breathe Cleaner Air Everywhere,” (April 7, 2020)

Hackers Are Trying to Spread Another Type of Virus

Don't let Hackers get the best of you.  Following is an article from REALTOR Magazine alerting homeowners on their devious ways.

Cybersecurity firm Check Point Software Technologies has found a surge in coronavirus-themed malware and malicious software that is targeting the growing number of people working from home due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Cybercriminals are infecting home computers that may not have the same safeguards that employees use at their offices.

“The hackers are out in force, and they know that everybody’s home, so I think working from home without appropriate security is a risk,” Beth McCarty, owner of TeamLogic IT/Central Pinellas in Clearwater, Fla., told®.

Phishing emails continue to prey on individuals, security experts warn. Hackers are sending out emails impersonating charities. They’re making requests for money or other personal information. For example, one reported scam purports to be an app by Johns Hopkins University that tracks the coronavirus and urges people to download a file or to click on the link, which contains malicious malware. Some cybercriminals are also hijacking video conferences, displaying pornography.

Check Point Software Technologies’ research shows that more than 4,000 coronavirus-related domains had been registered globally. Three percent were found to be malicious and 5% were labeled “suspicious.”

While companies offer in-house internet networks, many people who are working at home don’t have that same type of security in their home networks. Also, many households are now sharing devices among family members, and aren’t just using them for work. Children may be using devices to access classroom portals or for entertainment.

What can you do?

“Make sure you change that default password on your router,” McCarty told®. “Many people have not.”

She also recommends enabling encryption on the router, using two-factor authentication to access programs, not storing any company information on your personal device, and using only approved company storage.

Also, she urges the use of a virtual private network, if available from your company. View more tips at®.


The Rush to Work From Home Creates Opportunity—for Cybercriminals,”® (March 24, 2020)