Tampa Bay New Year’s Eve Events

It’s that time of year again! The time to celebrate with friends, hope for the new year, and wonder how you will welcome it.

Below are events happening around the Tampa Bay Area- from family friendly St. Pete First Night to a New Year’s Eve fireworks cruise. Whatever you decide to do, we wish a very safe and fun Happy New Year!

Happy Holidays from A1 Windows and Doors!

As the holidays approach, this time of year can become stressful and chaotic. Remember to take a moment to yourself so you can stay refreshed during this season. Take a walk, do some yoga, remember to take deep breaths, listen to music that helps you feel encouraged, and call a friend to chat. Enjoy time with family, friends, special holiday events, and even special holiday meals! You may still have much shopping, volunteering, working, and wrapping of presents to do, but remember to still get a good night’s rest if you can.

We hope you have a holiday that is restful, full of peace, love, and laughter. 5282671121_7dce1aff0e_b

Holiday Lights in the Tampa Bay Area

As the holiday season is here, it’s time to go for a nice drive at night and see holiday lights! There are well-known neighborhoods, homes, and downtown areas that offer wonderful lights to view. Below are a list of some of the great light events around the Tampa Bay Area:

Holiday Lights in the GardensLocated at Botanical Gardens in Largo- take a stroll through the beautiful garden while viewing thousands of lights, lasers, and animated figures.

Downtown St. Petersburg: Located all along Beach Drive-you and your family can enjoy dinner at one of the fine restaurants and then take a stroll around the park.

Tampa Bay Times: 11 Places to See Christmas Lights


Happy Thanksgiving From A1 Windows and Doors!

thanksgiving websiteThanksgiving is this week! That means family time, lots of delicious food, and cooler weather. If you will not be helping out in the kitchen this year, below are some ideas on what to do while you wait for the turkey:

  • Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade
  • Play football
  • Play a board game
  • Play charades or Pictionary
  • If you have little ones visiting, have them pick 2 or 3 leaves from the yard and trace them on paper. They can then color and write what they are thankful for (and have them pick more so the rest of the family can join!).
  • Relax and enjoy the warmth of family and celebrating together.

Thanksgiving Preparations

Whether you are hosting family or doing a Friendsgiving this year, it’s always helpful to stay organized and plan ahead. Below are some tips to help you prepare for Thanksgiving:

  • Clean out your cabinets, fridge, and freezer to make room for all the extra food you will be preparing and have leftover.
  • If there is anything you can cook ahead and freeze- do that now. Most soups, pie crusts, bread, and turkey stock can be made ahead.
  • If guests are staying with you, wash all the sheets, blankets and pillow cases and plan out where everyone will be sleeping.
  • Count how many plates you have and figure out if you need to purchase or borrow more.
  • If you are planning on creating a centerpiece, make it now so you will not have to worry about it next week.
  • Look for any items on sale the next two weeks that you need and purchase them now.
  • Buy your turkey at least the weekend before Thanksgiving.
  • If you are doing a potluck, contact those who are bringing items and finalize the meal list.
  • And if you need help, remember to ask!

Happy planning!

Laughter Abounds at this Weekend’s Event

Ever seen the show Whose Line is it Anyway? Love to laugh? Enjoy skits on SNL? Well, this weekend is full of laughter as the Tampa Bay Improv Festival comes to town!

The fun begins Thursday night, November 17 at the Sunshine Center in beautiful St. Petersburg, Fl and ends Saturday, November 19th.

You can sign up to watch shows or take some workshops and give improvisation a try yourself!

A few troupes who will be playing include:

and so many more!

For more information, check out the links: Tampa Bay Improv Fest 2016

TBIF Facebook

The Improv Network

Home Show This Weekend!

gingerbread_house_essex_ctThe home experts gather this weekend at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. Come on out for ideas, advice, seminars, giveaways, exhibits, and so much more!

Check out the link for more information Tampa Bay Home Show

10 Ways to Celebrate Fall in Florida

September 22nd was the first day of Fall. Many innature-leaves-fall-neature Florida don’t typically feel this “Fall” until maybe December, but don’t let that stop your from celebrating this season!

Below are 10 ways to celebrate Fall in Florida:

  1. Go to the pool. It’s still extremely warm and excellent swimming weather.
  2. Make some apple sangria and place some cinnamon sticks in the glass for garnish. Enjoy while at the pool or beach!
  3. Buy a cinnamon broom from your local grocery story and let your house smell like “Fall.”
  4. Decorate your house! Just because it doesn’t look like Fall outside, doesn’t mean you can’t create some coziness and pumpkin spice smells inside!
  5. Bake some pumpkin chocolate bars, homemade applesauce, or a delicious pie. Share with some neighbors while sipping sangria near the pool.
  6. Attend a Fall pumpkin Festival. Go on a hay ride, look at some crafts, buy a pumpkin, and enjoy a simple, but fun time.
  7. Decorate your house for Halloween! It’s only a month away!
  8. Visit a theme park.
  9. Set up your fire pit in your backyard, invite some friends over, and talk about how much you love the fact you can still wear shorts and it’s almost October.
  10. Take a picture of the one leaf that changes color and think about the places you can visit that have Fall weather and then come home when you are ready.

How to Pay for Home Improvements

As you pull up to your driveway, you notice the scraped paint near the garage door, the overgrown weeds near your front door, and the broken screens and sash that make up your windows. Your house looks tired. It’s been beaten by the weather, well-lived in for many years, and in need of a refresher. How will you pay for this as the list adds on and on in your mind?

Below are a few options to consider in financing improvements for your home:

  1. Cash- nothing to pay back and no interest.
  2. Credit cards- an option if it’s a small improvement and you know you can pay it off in a few months.
  3. Home equity loan- your personal bank may offer the best option with lower interest rates. The term for paying off the loan can range from 5-10 years.
  4. Refinancing- This is a great option as long as you don’t spread the cost of improvements over more years than the renovation will last.
  5. Borrow from your 401k- You pay yourself interest while paying back your loan. The only caveats are that your retirement investment is lower and if you leave the job, the remaining balance is due immediately.

Whatever your option, your house will thank you!