Holiday Cheer

Welcome back to the second part of our holiday series! While we hope you are all feeling extra grateful during this time, we know how busy and overwhelming it can be. You might have a heavier workload at your job right now that feels impossible to juggle with all of the family and social engagements you also have on your plate. On top of that, this is when you’re probably wanting to get your holiday gift shopping done. Our advice is to find ways to make things easier for yourself by being creative in how you choose to celebrate the holidays and with your gift-giving. You should also try to get as much done ahead of time as possible, spreading out your holiday to-do list so that you’re not scrambling for anything last minute.

With Thanksgiving and Christmas on our doorsteps, many of us are preparing to welcome company into our home. Hospitality isn’t about being perfect, but being a host can be a great motivator to finish that maintenance or cleaning project you’ve been putting off. One of the best things you can do to get your home ready for guests is to declutter. Tidying isn’t about impressing others as much as it is having a living space that reduces stress instead of causing it. If you need help organizing spaces in your home, we recommend looking into Closet & Storage Concepts and visiting their breathtaking new showroom. This 2,000-square-foot showroom is the largest in Omaha. It houses an impressive design station that allows you to create a 3-dimensional version of your space on a flat screen so you can perfectly visualize your heart’s desire.

Ken Incontro
Closet & Storage Concepts

“Customers love our design center,” Owner Ken Incontro said. “We have beautiful displays ranging from custom walk-in closets to pantries and even garages! Customers can pick from a variety of colors, features, hardware, and door samples. It’s great.”

The showroom also has a stylish selection of Murphy beds, which are hidden beds that secure to the wall and fold down when needed. Ranging from twin to queen size, these comfortable and convenient beds are great for accommodating extra company during the holidays.

“They may be a gift too big to put under a tree, but Murphy beds make hosting guests during the holidays a breeze. Our wall beds come in a variety of different styles, making them perfect for various areas of your home—bedrooms, spare rooms, home offices, etc.,” Ken offered. “We have wall beds available with built-in bookshelves or designed as inconspicuous cabinets, others are engineered with accompanying desks and there are some that come in horizontal models! There are a lot of options to choose from.”

Closet & Storage Concepts offers free in-home estimates for anyone who is interested in enhancing their space but unsure of how to go about it. Their team of experts will assess your space for you and give you options and suggestions for space optimization. These services aren’t only available for your home—they serve businesses, too!

“We do a lot of commercial businesses–breakrooms, copy rooms, etc.,” Ken explained. “We build beautiful front-area reception desks or office desks.”

On the topic of the holidays, Ken added that they can also install a gift-wrapping station in your home or business, complete with spools for ribbon and wrapping paper and adequate space for cutting, measuring, and storing supplies.

Once your space is organized to your satisfaction, consider giving your home a professional deep clean. If you utilize the services of 360 Clean LLC, your house will surely impress the in-laws. 360 Clean’s professional maids vacuum wall-to-wall, dust thoroughly, deep clean bathrooms, hand wash and wax all hardwood floors, dust out-of-reach areas, and more.

Allisyn Meadows
360 Clean

“Dirty homes become hosts of bacteria and viruses,” said Allisyn Meadows, manager of 360 Clean in Omaha. “This can become a nightmare if you’re about to have children in your house. Also, deep cleaning your home actually reduces stress. By ridding your home of month-old dust bunnies and hidden cobwebs, your house becomes a healthier environment for you and your family. With 360 Clean, we offer in-home or over-the-phone initial consultations to ensure you receive the exact, personalized cleaning experience you desire. We also make sure to provide active feedback after every cleaning so that you know exactly what we accomplished in our session.”

“If you want your home absolutely spotless from top to bottom, we have window cleaning and professional floor cleaning services,” Allisyn added. “With our floor cleaning service, we use powerful steam machines that rid your floor of dirt and grime. Our formula is pet and child safe, so you don’t need to worry about any harsh chemicals affecting your family!”

360 Clean helps you live in a cleaner, healthier, and happier environment. Deep cleaning in general also helps to maintain the lifespan of your home investments like carpet, paint, and appliances.

You might not want to leave your house after 360 Clean is done with it, but if it starts feeling a little crowded and you’re looking for places to take your family in Omaha, or if you just want a little help with what’s on the menu for the holiday feast your guests are expecting, there are some great restaurants and caterers in Omaha. A great way to “wow” your visitors is with a dinner or lunch at Omaha’s authentic Cajun experience—Acadian Grille.

This local eatery serves a delectable intermingling of French and soul food. Not your typical Thanksgiving feast, but that is the point! Some groups really like to mix it up after having turkey and the same hearty sides again and again this time of year.

Dan O’Brien
Acadian Grille

“Instead of stressing about how to feed all your visiting relatives or how to entertain your friends during the holidays, come have a glass of wine and a nice warm, made-from-scratch meal at Acadian Grille,” Owner Dan O’Brien offered. “Or, if you don’t feel like cooking, call us and we’ll have your favorites cooked up and ready for pick up. When you have family over, cooking and especially cleaning up after can be such a hassle!”

We asked Dan what specific dishes he recommends for the holidays: “Everything on our menu is prepared to satisfy, such as our burgers, sautéed pastas, shrimp and crawfish dishes, and legendary tacos. However, if you’re looking for something more traditional to the season, I recommend our Southern Sweet Potato Pie with a side of homemade ice cream!” Dan said. “This dessert item we offer will make your sweet tooth happy! We also have a kids menu so we can cater to the whole family.”

When you dine at Acadian Grille, you not only get to experience authentic southern food but the hospitality as well.

If you’re looking for a good brunch caterer or destination to take your relatives to while they are in town, head on over to The Old Fashioned Garden Café in Rockbrook Village. The Garden Café has been an Omaha tradition since 1985. Their food is prepared the way Grandma made it. With delicious omelets, garden griddles, famous potato casseroles, breakfast sandwiches, and other egg-citing items, your group will be full of holiday cheer! Don’t forget about their yummy mimosas and Bloody Mary’s either—it’s hard not to have a jolly time after sipping on a couple of those drinks!

The Garden Café also has wonderful lunch and dinner items that can be catered or ordered for carry out, such as chicken fried steak, glazed ham, pot roast, fried chicken, roast turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and buttered corn. They can take care of all the cooking while you focus on other party-planning details.

Michelle Kaiser
The Omaha Bakery

The holidays are definitely filled with a lot of food, sugary treats, and baked goods. It all can make you feel unwell if you overdo it. If you love holiday food and sweets but are worried about your health, The Omaha Bakery has exciting news for you! We talked with owner and expert baker, Michelle Kaiser.

“We now offer a variety of delicious keto treats made with all-natural sweeteners and clean and healthy non-gmo organic ingredients,” Michelle informed us. “Even non-keto people love our delicious healthy options because it helps their bodies stay clean. I am now celebrating one year of being pain free as a result of a keto diet. I lost 100 pounds in a year. Before, I couldn’t walk or step up onto a curb without assistance. My pain level every day was a nine out of 10. I started keto and it changed my life.”

For the upcoming holiday season, The Omaha Bakery has tempting keto options galore. “We do a lot of trays,” Michelle said. “We have a cheesecake tray with pumpkin keto cheesecake and a variety of other fun keto flavors. A cheesecake tray can include anything from peppermint candy cane or creamy mint to chocolate raspberry or plain keto cheesecake with strawberry sauce.”

“People love our take-and-bake cinnamon rolls,” Michelle added. “We have customers who make a tradition of baking them at home so they can have them fresh on Christmas morning while they open presents with their families.”

For company gifts, office parties, or catering events, Michelle invites you to give The Omaha Bakery a call. They now also cater keto meals on first and third Thursdays with options such as keto lasagna with balsamic salad, keto garlic wonder loaf, and keto tiramisu. For a party, they can come up with a dessert bar that works within your budget. With the help of The Omaha Bakery, you can have your cake and eat it too without having to worry about your waistline expanding this holiday season!

If you are planning a holiday party for family, friends, or for your company for Christmas or New Year’s Eve, a venue we always suggest is one of Bellevue Berry & Pumpkin Ranch’s catered lodges. Every building you see within the beautiful 80 acres of Bellevue Berry have been reconstructed using old barns from farming neighbors throughout Sarpy and Cass County. The buildings have been decorated with old farming tools and implements, giving their venue a true country look and feel.

The ranch has five barn venues available to rent out, each with their own unique personality: The Western Barn, Buena Vista, Hungry Moose Lodge, Frontier Room, and Kicking Horse Cafe & Pavilion. Bellevue Berry can accommodate a wide range of holiday party sizes, from small, intimate affairs to large gatherings with guest lists in the hundreds. If you choose to have a catered lodge party with them, your group will receive beverage options and a deliciously-catered meal featuring their specialized BBQ meats, farm fresh salad, and more. Bellevue Berry takes pride in their team’s culinary talent and uses fresh ingredients, many of which are grown and raised on the farm.

During the holidays, Bellevue Berry & Pumpkin Ranch is dazzling with the sparkle of Christmas lights and decorations. This picturesque setting is ideal for groups who are looking to have a fun, casual time together.

With all the delicious foods and parties that make up this time of year, it can really be a happy time! However, a factor that affects our cheeriness is the cold weather. You may already be noticing unwanted changes such as dry or dull skin. Don’t lose your shine this holiday season…utilize Creative Hair Design Salon & Spa’s professional and luxury services!

When the temperature outside drops, the humidity does as well. This makes the water on our face evaporate quickly and leaves our skin feeling dry and tight. Even if you have a rigid skin care routine, it can be difficult to combat winter skin. This is why Creative Hair Design offers specialty facials to make sure your skin doesn’t feel scaly when you’re around all your friends and family for the holidays. Their licensed estheticians will help you decide what facial is right for your skin type, and they’ll take care of the rest!

John Mangiameli
Creative Hair Design Salon & Spa

We asked John Mangiameli, owner of Creative Hair Design Salon & Spa, about their other services available for pampering and self-care during the holidays: “For hands and feet, we offer deluxe manicures and pedicures. Consider trying our paraffin dip to smooth rough, dry skin. For the body, we offer full-body massages and exfoliation treatments. In our massages, our licensed technicians use a variety of oils to rejuvenate and revive your skin from head to toe. We also have our hot stone massage that is especially relaxing. Our exfoliation treatments implement natural salts to scrub the dead skin off your body.”

Creative Hair Design wants their customers to enjoy a tranquil, blissful holiday season while also taking care of their skin and overall well-being. The salon also offers professional makeup services if you want to look stunning at your company holiday party or for family Christmas photos!

Our skin isn’t the only thing that can suffer during the holidays. The cold weather has a big impact on our physical health and safety, and the holidays can take a significant toll on emotional well-being. For most of us, the holidays are a joyful occasion and these months are filled with celebration, reunions, and lots of laughter. However, for the seniors in our community, this time of year can be an incredibly painful, lonely time. This is why we want to remind our readers how important it is to put in a little extra effort to make the holidays just as special for the seniors in our lives and in our community.

Kristine Dykeman-Schoening
Bridge to Better Living

If you have a friend or family member who is experiencing the challenges of aging, consider setting aside time dedicated to them,” encouraged Kristine Dykeman-Schoening with Bridge to Better Living. “Be festive, positive, and creative when letting your loved one know how thankful you are for them. Any time spent together is a memory and a gift.”

Bridge to Better Living has years of experience with seniors. They believe the best gifts are from the heart and are unwrappable, such as offering to clean their house, cooking meals to enjoy both now and later, joining them in watching a favorite movie, or arranging a home-safety check so they feel safe and secure…these can all be perfect gifts for the senior in your life. However, the best gift just might be a call to set up a consultation with a transition consultant at Bridge to Better Living. This free service helps make transitioning to a senior living community smooth and successful.”

“The best way to enjoy life is to focus on others,” Kristine added. “This is an eternal gift and is always returned to the giver. At Bridge to Better Living, we have the opportunity to build a relationship with each client and family’s situation. Our services allow families to concentrate on the good times, reminisce on the past, and focus on creating new memories with loved ones.”

On the topic of gift giving, business owners might be considering what to give their staff or clients to show appreciation during the holidays. A neat gift idea is personalized coffee beans from Ahroma Specialty Coffee! For those who are not familiar with Ahroma Specialty Coffee, it is the roasted coffee brand of R.U. Nuts Co. Their unique partnerships with small family farms give them access to the top 5% of all coffee grown in the world. They source single origin beans from around the world and blend them into delicious espresso and signature flavors. The best part? They don’t over price their coffee. Start ordering Ahroma Specialty Coffee for your office or home, and you can even send bags to friends or clients as a Christmas gift.

Charlotte Ralston - R U Nuts

Charlotte Ralston
Ahroma Specialty Coffee and R.U. Nuts Co.

“R.U. Nuts Co. and Ahroma Specialty Coffee does custom blending and packaging for national and regional chains, as well as individual coffee shops,” explained the owner, Charlotte Ralston. “Your name is your most important asset, and we want to help you market it even through your gift giving efforts! R.U. Nuts can custom blend a trail mix, wrapped candy mix, or any blend you can dream up. We can also custom roast and blend a coffee just for you. Plus, our gift baskets have something that everyone will enjoy, and we can include promotional items such as a company coffee mug.”

Charlotte wasn’t the only one who reminded us that branding is key, especially during the holidays when you might be competing with more ads, events, and all the buzz happening this time of year. Specifically for owners and organizers of bars, nightclubs, or other venues in the event industry who are preparing to host a holiday party, Sarah Cooper, owner of Top Shelf Strategies, is the person to talk to.

Sarah Cooper
Top Shelf Strategies

Top Shelf Strategies offers assistance with social media and digital reputation, graphic design for menus and event fliers, website building and maintenance, event planning and promotions, and inventory and product push. Sarah also has experience with Aloha and Toast POS system. She loves the holidays and loves helping others find the special moments to enjoy them. For bars that are ready to turn it up a notch, let Sarah’s specialty skills kick in to help you create a vibrant atmosphere and experience that keeps people coming back to your venue into 2020!

“Brand is key,” Sarah confirmed. “Branding is one of the most important parts in setting up your business and sustaining it. Don’t lose sight of why you own a bar. Use my unique set of skills and knowledge to increase sales without discounting your product and decreasing your value. I would love to help you focus on promotions, events, and marketing this holiday season.”

Sarah encourages people to create memorable moments such as going somewhere you’ve never been before, having a personal photo shoot at one of Omaha’s scenic fall spots, or having your friends over for a game night complete with prizes, food, and of course, booze.

“Sip the spirit of season this year!” Sarah exclaimed. “The holidays are a wonderful time to spend with friends and family. Instead of spending your money on gifts this year, challenge yourself to give the gift of experiences. At Top Shelf Strategies, we look for ways to help create experiences.”

Do your part to make the holidays a little more cheerful for everyone around you! The best way to do this is by reaching out for help when you can in order to take some of the stress off your shoulders. We hope you’re able to take time to look around and be thankful for the people and blessings in your life.