Tips and Trends for Homeowners, Buyers and Sellers
December 2, 2016 | Morgan Wigden
Tips for Tipping 
     There are a lot of people who provide our homes with service year-round, and it’s always nice to show them thanks around the holidays. We turned to the renowned manner experts at The Emily Post Institute for a few clues on how to handle holiday tipping. Remember that there are no hard-and-fast rules here, so let your budget, your spirit and your relationship with the service provider be your guide. 

  • Housekeeper/Cleaner: Up to the amount of one week’s pay and/or a small gift.
  • Garage attendants: $10 - $30.
  • Newspaper delivery person: $10 - $30.
  • Mail Carrier: Small gift only (they may not accept cash, checks or gift cards due to USPS regulation).
  • Doorman: $15 - $80.
  • Handyman: $15 - $40.
  • Trash/Recycling collectors: Check municipal regulations first; $10 to $30 each
  • Yard/Garden worker: $20 to $50 each

Gadget Gift Guide
  • Ring, The Video Doorbell: The doorbell rings...Is it just a package drop off? A friendly neighbor? Or the dreaded solicitor? Now you can find out without getting off the couch. With the Ring Wi-Fi enabled doorbell, you can see a video feed of who is at your door from your phone, and even speak to visitors. Plus, it’s triggered by motion detection, so you can see what’s going on even if the doorbell doesn’t ring. For a small optional fee, you can record what you missed and store it in the cloud. 

  • Click & Grow Seed Starter Kits: Everyone loves having fresh herbs when they cook, but not everyone loves growing those herbs. Click & Grow’s Smart Herb Garden takes all the guesswork out of gardening and allows anyone to grow fresh herbs, fruits and flowers year-round from anywhere in their home. The kit comes with basil seeds ready to go, and all the owner needs to do is plug it in, fill the tank and the garden takes care of itself. 

  • Lucy, The Sunlight Bender: Nothing beats natural sunlight, especially during the short days of winter. Lucy is a robotic, mirrored ball that you place inside your home, and it reflects natural sunlight into the room. A self-adjusting smart motor inside follows the sun as it moves throughout the sky, so you don’t have to worry about resetting the device throughout the day. The new device, offered by Italian-based company Solenica, is available on Indiegogo.

  • Drop Scale, For The Precision Baker: Every baker knows that measuring ingredients by volume is the way to go if you want the perfect bake. But many standard recipes include measurements by cups and spoons, so you have to convert them to weight. What easier way to measure those ingredients than with the Drop Scale? Connected to an iPhone app (sorry, Android users), you simply dump the ingredients into a bowl on the scale and the app tells you when you have enough.
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