Four Ways to Get to Know Your Neighbors

If you’re new to O’Neal Village or Greer in general, it can be a little intimidating to make new friends with total strangers. We’re a welcoming bunch, though, and there’s no need to be nervous! Try following these tips to acclimate to the area:

Be on the lookout for openings.

While you’re walking the dog or checking the mail, greet the people you come into contact with. Explain that you’re new to the neighborhood. We all know what it’s like to be the new neighbor on the block, so you’re sure to find open arms in O’Neal Village. If you have children, walk them to the bus stop. You’ll most likely run into at least one other parent and you already have something in common! Pro tip: don’t forget to exchange contact information or follow each other on social! (While you’re at it, follow us on Facebook and Twitter!) You can also join the resident Facebook group to find out the latest events and neighborhood news!

Throw a party!

Invite your neighbors to see your new digs and get to know each other! No need to make it fancy; this is all about getting to know your neighbors and form friendships. If you have children, make it kid-friendly and watch the playdates stack up! Handwritten, hand-delivered invitations work best!

Get involved.

Whether it’s a church (like our very own Haven Ridge!), nonprofit or other volunteer group, find townspeople with similar viewpoints by joining a group whose cause you care about. Look for opportunities to connect; for instance, if you like to read, check out a nearby bookstore to see if they have a book club.

Explore!

Make it a point to try out the restaurants in your town, shop at local boutiques or take a group fitness class. If you have a pet, dogs can be great icebreakers! Taking them to a dog park makes it easy to strike up conversation about where to take your four-legged friend; maybe you could even make plans together!

Baking Basics

Maybe you’re gearing up for a New Year’s resolution that includes more time in the kitchen. Maybe you’re excited to make Christmas cookies and cakes that will be remembered for years to come. Either way, you must walk before you run. With that in mind, here are a few baking basics to get you started:

Always prep your ingredients.

Preparing your ingredients before you start baking will save you so much time and also make you feel like a professional! Use bowls and ramekins to measure everything out ahead of time. That way, you’re not rushed!

Measure correctly.

Baking is a science. Make sure you’re using the correct measuring device for dry and liquid ingredients and always make sure to level dry ingredients, like flour or sugar, off at the top, or else you’ll be in trouble very quickly!

Make sure your butter is at the right temperature.

Prep your butter by making sure it’s at the correct temperature. If the recipe calls for softened butter, for instance, it should be resting at room temperature. If the recipe calls for chilled, make sure to store it in the refrigerator. 

Follow the recipe.

It may seem like a no-brainer, but if you get busy and haven’t given your recipe a thorough glance-over before getting started, a few things may slip through the cracks. Make sure you have everything prepared so that you can follow the recipe to a T. Unlike cooking, baking won’t just work out if you don’t follow directions.

To make things *extra* easy, we’ve collected these great beginner holiday recipes from Country LivingFood NetworkRachael Ray and Delish.

Happy baking! If you have extra cookies, don’t hesitate to bring us some!

Fall Craft Ideas

Whether your kids or grandkids, diving into a little DIY action can be a great outlet for creativity! We’ve rounded up ten of our very favorite fall crafts for those chilly afternoons:

Birch Leaf Wreath

This wreath is timeless, classic and totally easy to make! Up your curb appeal and you may just get a few knocks on your door asking where you got this showstopping wreath!

Wood Slice Pumpkin Sign

We love a welcome sign! While the pineapple is typically used in the South as a sign of welcome, give that a fall twist with this sweet pumpkin and wood piece.

Pumpkin Mason Jars

How adorable are these mason jars? Both cute AND practical, these darling jars can pull double duty as take-home gifts for Thanksgiving guests!

Pumpkin Pot

You HAVE to make these for your Thanksgiving tablescape! When you do, prepare for the compliments to roll in! These are just too cute!

Apple Mason Jar Pencil Holder

We know–Christmas is still a month away, but these would make fantastic teacher gifts! Why not work on these with your little one and pair with a sweet note?

Leaf Garland

This leaf garland is super easy and gives an elevated, yet friendly look to your fall home!

Wine Cork Pumpkin

This pumpkin made from painted wine corks would make a perfectly precious hostess gift for your next fall wine tasting event! 

Marbled Leaves

This one is for the kids! They’ll love using shaving cream to create the marbled texture. 

Color Wrapped Wheat

How purely fantastical is this project? Prepare for nonstop compliments over the turkey when you use these for Thanksgiving!

Felt Acorn Napkin Rings

We love these sweet little napkin rings! Why not use the tutorial to update with pine trees or Santas for Christmas?