It’s time to celebrate and you don’t have to be in New Orleans to partake in the festivities. While Mardi Gras is a great excuse to host a party, there is a significant history behind these masks. So grab your snacks and don’t forget to share the meaning behind this great celebration.
The origin of Mardi Gras traces back to March 2, 1699 when Jean Baptiste Le Moyne Sieur de Bienville, a French-Canadian explorer, declared a portion of land south of New Orleans to be, “Pointe du Mardi Gras.” After arriving, the explorers realized it was the eve of a holiday celebrated back home, and therefore, decided to hold a celebration.
In 1702 Bienville also established, “Fort Louis de la Louisiane,” which is now the city of Mobile, AL. America began celebrating what would become a longstanding tradition called Mardi Gras the following year in 1703.
A secret society known as the Boeuf Gras Society started the traditional parades. It wasn’t until the 1730s that the holiday was publicly celebrated by the people of New Orleans. It began with an elegant ball which set the stage for the New Orleans Mardi Gras balls held today.
Why are masks worn?
So you may be decked in your purple, green and gold – but do you know what the colors stand for? Knowing the meaning behind the colors can add to the fun. Purple represents justice, green for faith, and gold for power. These colors also had a great influence on school colors for Louisiana State University and Tulane University. The official colors of Mardi Gras were chosen in 1872 and selected in honor of Russian Grand Duke, Alexandrovich Romanoff, who chose this same color scheme for his own home. Rock these colors with a whole new meaning!
Want to catch the Mardi Gras live?
We see them on the road, and at their various stops across the country – but what is it like to be behind the wheel of a Wheaton truck? Join us this month as we take a look at a driver’s world. Each month Wheaton takes some time to recognize our drivers and the sacrifice they make being away from friends and family while on the road. Wheaton drivers understands that moving is a pivotal time in life for families and are prepared to relocate your belongings and your life. These individuals go beyond the required tasks and truly seek to make your relocation process a success. They act with professionalism and handle each move with integrity. Be watching out for our first ‘On the Road’ post, featuring the Drivers of the Month and a look into their world on the road. Buckle up, we are hitting the road with the professionals – see you there!
We covered details on throwing a proper going away party– now for hosting a housewarming party. It’s simple and can make a big impact on adjusting to your new home.
You just moved to town – so who do you invite? It’s entirely appropriate to invite neighbors and co-workers – and anyone else you would like to get to know better. Most will appreciate the friendly gesture. And who wouldn’t? Pull out your creative moving announcement you made for the going away party and put it use as an invitation. This is a great way to initiate contact and establish friendships early.
So you’ve invited your guest and now what do you do? Set time aside for getting to know each other. Similar to your going away party, request that your guests bring a family recipe to swap. This time require them to choose a recipe that has a unique story attached. For example, do you make this recipe for your annual family reunion? A birthday special? Anniversary date? As you swap the recipes share your stories. This should alleviate pressures to provide all the food and create opportunity for conversations.
We know you are busy with unpacking and decorating your house. So check out some of Wheaton’s simple yet tasty treats on our Recipes Board on our Pinterest page.
This is a perfect time to ask questions about the community. What are the best ways to get involved in the area? What are the best local restaurants? How about nearest shops and boutiques? This is your opportunity to find the answers to such questions. Check out our Community Board for ideas on getting involved and impacting your community.
Utilize Your New Space
You just relocated to a new home. Use your space to the fullest. Welcoming people into your new home will also welcoming fresh decorating ideas. Allow your neighbors and friends to provide fresh perspective on how to best decorate. Get the scoop on their latest DIY projects and swap ideas.
If the weather is nice, take advantage of the outdoors. Need some ideas on how to maximize your space? Get some ideas from Wheaton.
Feeling Really Ambitious?
If you are feeling overly ambitious, create a small gift or party favor for your guests. It could be as simple as a thank you card. Or grab a jar of your favorite jelly and attach a handwritten note. Both ideas are thoughtful and simple.
Consider applying some of these tips and get acclimated to your new community!
Moving involves many emotions. There’s excitement about what’s ahead. There’s anxiety and fear of the unknown. And, there’s nostalgia about the life you’ve built in your current home. It is easy to let the task-oriented moving to-do list get the best of you. But at Wheaton we understand that moving is far more than just boxes and trucks. Taking time to slow down and unpack your emotions is an important aspect of moving that is often overlooked.
Whether you’re moving, or your friends or family, there are two celebrations that should occur. The first is throwing a proper going away party. The second is hosting a house warming party. Taking time to plan both parties can help you work through some of the emotion of relocating. It helps you find closure in the old and excitement about the new.
Throwing a going away party:
Collaborate with your neighbors, friends and family to celebrate good times spent together. Downsize before your move, allow your guests to have first dibs on the items that will eventually be donated. Visit our Web site for other downsizing and packing tips.
This is also a great way to establish means of staying in touch. Get creative and make moving announcements with your new address and contact information. Visit our Pinterest page for creative DIY moving announcement ideas.
All good parties…have good snacks. Snacks to munch on will be the icing on the cake to a great going away party. These don’t have to be complicated. In fact – Wheaton will supply you with a list of munching options from our recipes board on our Pinterest page. Request that your attendees bring a side dish or dessert and swap recipes. A great way to discover new snacks!
Look out for our blog on hosting a housewarming party later this week. We know you are busy with your move…let’s do one thing at a time!
Some love it. Some hate it. Either way the big day has arrived, so it’s time to embrace it. The expectation of what the day will hold is often where we go wrong. It’s time for a change this year. We want to challenge you to be expectant without expectation. Anything could happen today, but unrealistic expectations of the day will set it up for failure. Whether you are spending the day with friends, a significant other, or your adorable Labradoodle pup – consider these thoughts as you go throughout the day today.
Have a happy heart
Be thankful for what you have and the gifts you receive today. Having a thankful attitude is a key factor to a successful Valentine’s Day. Keep in mind that gifts do not have to be materialistic items. Gifts can be something as simple as enjoying time together. Be thankful that you can spend quality time with the ones you love. It doesn’t matter if you’re on a million-dollar-date or sitting on the couch in your sweats.
Take advantage of flying solo this Valentine’s Day
So you’re not on the most romantic date of the year today – that’s okay! Take advantage of much underappreciated alone time. Write out some goals & ideals that you want to work toward this year then recharge and reward yourself by indulging in a few of your favorite activities. It is important to recognize accomplishments & feel good about them. If you happen to be spending the day alone, why not reward yourself a bit. You deserve it!
It’s simple and to the point. Not losing sight of realistic expectations for the day is crucial. Our wish from Wheaton is that today you will celebrate life and happiness and truly embrace Valentine’s Day in the best way!
Before I began working for a moving company it appeared that a move was a move, no matter what moving company was coordinating it. If you’re like me, it can be hard to see what differentiates one moving company from the next. I mean they are just relocating your household goods from point A to point B, right? Actually, it’s a little more involved than you might think. Here are four things that set Wheaton World Wide Moving apart from other moving companies.
Good Housekeeping Seal
- Wheaton has earned the Good Houskeeping Seal for interstate moving every year since 1964. Wheaton is very proud of the accomplishment as we are the only moving company (and service company for that matter) to have earned the seal. What is this and why does it matter? Read up on details about the Good Housekeeping Seal.
2.Most moving companies would like to claim that they are a pro at moving. But you want to select a moving company that is an actual certified ProMover through the American Moving Storage & Association (AMSA). This seal of approval helps you quickly distinguish quality professional movers from the rest. Wheaton has been a ProMover since the launch of the program in 2009. Exactly what does this mean? Read up on Wheaton’s ProMover status on our Web site.
National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM)
3. National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM) You can tell a lot about a company by their industry partners. Wheaton is a proud premier industry partner of NASMM. NASMM is recognized for its innovative programs and expertise on senior move management, transition and relocation for older adults. Wheaton recognizes that each move is unique and needs to be tailored to specific needs. Partnering with NASMM allows us to meet the needs of the elderly when moving. Read more about our NASMM partnership.
4. Since 1990 Wheaton has been the proud official mover of Steinway & Sons, makers of the world’s finest pianos. We coordinate and transport Steinway piano tours nationwide by delivering the high standard and quality expected by the reputable company. Read more about Wheaton’s relationship with Steinway & Sons.
You may have a vision of what the inside of a warehouse looks like and typical items found in storage. Sure, there are everyday household goods being stored for relocating families. But what’s between the beds, couches and microwave ovens? Is it perhaps a giant bug? No, not a live bug (rest assured, all of our agents’ warehouses are sanitized and protected against such things.) Rather, there might just be a giant replica of a bug being stored between the rugs and dresser drawers.
Throughout this series we will take a virtual trip through agents’ warehouses located across the country. Join us as we venture from warehouse to warehouse and discover unique and unexpected items being stored by each local Wheaton agent!
The giant bug replica (pictured) was stored in the sunshine state at AMWAT Moving & Warehousing for a local museum. This giant bug replica was one of many items stored by AMWAT for various exhibits.
In addition to storing the bug replicas for the archeology exhibit, the warehouse has also been the home to the Human Body Exhibit. This exhibit included storing bodies – not replicas – but preserved bodies. Many of the bodies that were stored at the warehouse were from China. Check out the exhibit
While they bodies were being stored in the warehouse, the AMWAT staff invited Tibetan Monks, who were visiting the area, to come ‘bless the warehouse’ – just in case any bad karma existed among the bodies. Just to be clear – the monks must have done a good job – business continues to climb for AMWAT!
Along with the giant bug replicas and bodies, AMWAT also has stored replicas of clay and stone walls of Mayan and Aztec hieroglyphics as well as the entire Titanic Exhibit. Talk about a need for some serious storage space!
There’s no doubt that moving can take some adjusting. Relocating to a brand new destination can mean building new relationships, getting plugged into a new community, starting new jobs and the list goes on. Tackling this can seem like a daunting task. Can you imagine moving 14 times in 20 years?
“Within my 20 year career in the military, we moved around 14 times,” said Kevin Myers, Wheaton World Wide Moving’s Director of Military Services. “Before settling down in Indiana my wife and two sons became quite familiar with the moving process.”
Kevin and his wife Traci, Senior Move Manager, have worked a combined total of 19 years at Wheaton World Wide Moving. Before joining the van line, Kevin, Traci and their two sons, now 25 and 28, grew very accustom to life on the move as a military family.
Of course, it only made sense for them to work for a moving company after being required to move multiple times in the military. Having such a perspective allows them to empathize with many of the customers. In this blog they offer insights only seen by those who have experienced both sides of a military move.
Talk to your kids
“I can remember one year in specific where we had to tell the boys that they were changing schools over Christmas break,” Traci said.. “It wasn’t always that short of notice, but there were times when we had to transition within a very short amount of time.”
There are certainly challenges that can arise with raising kids in the military. Traci offers some positive tips.
“It was different with our boys having to be uprooted and changing schools so frequently,” Traci said. “But I think they grew in ways we couldn’t imagine. They were able to handle change and adapt quite well to their surroundings. A lot of kids never get to experience that kind of change.”
The Myers’ made a special effort to connect ahead of time with the teachers on the bases to which they were relocating. Opening the communication for their children’s needs from the beginning made for a smoother transition.
They viewed frequent changes and relocating as a means of bringing their family closer together. The Myers’ depended a lot on one another during the moves and were able to come out stronger.
“It comes down to how proactive you are with your move,” Kevin said. “If the military is going to give you choices on where to move or tells you ahead of time, you have time to make arrangements to figure out details. Generally, I liked to start getting a feel for where they were moving us three months in advance. Then we began to research the location. If you are able to, planning can go a long way.”
“There are several resources the military provided that we utilized,” Kevin said. “There are intra-moving pamphlets, self-counseling Defense Personal Property System (DPS) programs all available by simply logging into a Web site. This will help give perspective on what the movers responsibility entail versus members responsibility. The more involved you are, the less stressful the move will be.”
The military offers a great sense of community. Reach out to new neighbors in the area to lean on for support. They are some of the few people who fully understand the changes through which you are going.
Make a special effort to stay connected to past friends. Create a ‘group message’ on Facebook to where you can easily post updates to your current location and happenings. Or send out a yearly letter to friends with simple updates and contact information.
From the mover’s perspective:
“The more questions the local moving agents can answer, the better,” Kevin said. “The whole process will be much smoother if questions are asked upfront. If everyone is actively engaged and playing their part, the better the move.”
From the military perspective:
“Take initiative to communicate with your movers about specific instruction given by the military,” Kevin said. “For example, certain items need to be disassembled. Be proactive in addressing such details.”
Minimize packing time
Most moms can understand the pressure of maintaining a clean house. But have you ever gone through a base inspection – they are serious about their cleaning!
“We tried to plan ahead so we could minimize our pack time,” Traci said. “We would tape off rooms that did not need to be packed to avoid confusion. Once packers got done with one room, we would get a head start on cleaning for the base inspection. We did the cleaning ourselves until our last move, when we rewarded ourselves by hiring it done.”
It’s easy to get burnt out on packing, especially when you are doing it so frequently. Create a plan around your packing process so that you are able to reward yourself after. You can potentially spend a lot of time packing when you are moving with the military, keep it to a minimum if you are able to!
Moving in Middle School
Sure, moving is hard and stressful. But have you ever stopped for a second to think about what moving is like for your kids? I took a moment last weekend to catch up with some family friends who recently moved from Akron, Ohio to Indianapolis, Ind. Aside from feeling they had betrayed their beloved Ohio State University red for a Hoosier Indiana University red – there were many other things they are adjusting to since the move.
As we sat in Cold Stone Creamery – a little ice cream bribery goes a long way in helping kids to open up about the move – I asked them to explain their feelings about relocating to Indianapolis.
“The biggest thing that I feared was leaving my friends. I didn’t want to have to start all over and meet new friends. I had been playing sports with most of my friends since we were in little league.”
Leaving friends and family may be a big challenge for your kids. Help your kids get acquainted with where they are going by making an appointment to visit the school your kids will be attending. Meet with some of the teachers and coaches, if possible. Your kids are just as worried about their new school as you are about your new job. This will help put their mind at ease.
“It helped that our parents talked to us about moving three or four months before we actually moved. It gave us time to say bye to friends. It definitely helped me transition better. My dad and I went golfing and we talked a lot about the move. It was nice to know he cared specifically about what I was thinking.”
If you know you’re moving ahead of time, prepare your kids by talking to them. This will enable them to work through the many emotions that might be involved with the move. It will also make them feel like they are playing a part in the move. They need to know they are being heard.
“If I had to give a piece of advice to someone my age getting ready to move, I would say don’t wait to get involved. Before we moved to Indianapolis, we made a few trips to visit. During the visits my dad helped me get signed up for some recreational basketball leagues where I met a couple of guys that I ended up hanging out with. My dad also convinced me that Indianapolis was not a boring because we went downtown to a Pacers game and out to eat. The downtown seemed pretty cool.”
Plan ahead by getting your kids signed up for activities to get involved within a few weeks after you’re settled into your new home. It will provide a much smoother transition. Encourage your kids by showing enthusiasm about relocating. Research unique things to do in the area. Involve your kids in the research process and ask for their opinion. Make arrangements to do something fun once you get in town. This will help to maintain a positive outlook on the moving experience.
When Mitch is not moving you can find him on the basketball court, playing Madden Football, or hanging out at his church youth group.
Meet Carly, a 12 year old ‘fashionista’ in seventh grade. There’s a lot on the agenda in seventh grade, but moving is not usually one of them. Here’s what this seventh grade fashion queen has to say about moving.
“Like Mitch said, I was really afraid to leave my friends! I’m shy at first and I was so comfortable with all my friends. But once I visited our new school, I was so much more relaxed. Everyone was asking me about Ohio and it gave me a chance to talk about home.”
“Another big thing for me was packing. I don’t enjoy packing and I just have so many clothes – it took forever! Plus, I didn’t just want to throw them all in a box. I wanted to make sure my clothes were packed right!”
Do your kids, and yourself, a favor by getting organized. Don’t leave all the packing for one night. Establish an organized process that works for you and start well in advance. You can also leave the packing to Wheaton. Visit our Web site to learn about available packing services.
“One of the hardest things so far has been changing neighborhoods. All of our friends lived in our neighborhood in Ohio. Here we don’t really know any kids in the neighborhood. We don’t even know our neighbors.”
The sense of community plays a big role in the success of the move. Ultimately, your kids want to feel plugged in and accepted. Once you’ve settled in, make an extra effort to get to know your neighbors. Let your kids help plan a house-warming party.
“I wasn’t really excited to move at first. I didn’t want to get rid of any of my stuff! But after when sorted out things to get rid of, we went shopping for my new room! We didn’t order it until we moved in. But it helped get me excited about my new room and house.”
This is a perfect time to complete those Pinterest projects you’ve been perusing. Take advantage of a clean slate at your new house. Visit our Pinterest page for some decorating ideas for your new house.
“If someone my age was moving to a new town, I would tell them not to be shy. I know it can be hard, but it was the best thing I’ve done since we moved. I’ve made a lot of new friends at school and that makes it feel more like home.”
As a child, some of my favorite memories are times spent with my great grandmother. Every year, she would plan a week-long visit during the winter While visiting, my family could be sure we would get our fill of home cooked meals and endless stories. My great grandma lived to be 100 years old and we cherish the fond memories of her. After she passed away, she left me a picture frame that hangs in my home. It has quickly become a prized possession of my family.
Like you, I understand the importance of keeping your antiques items safe during a move. Below are some steps to properly prepare and ensure fragile antiques go unharmed when being transferred to a new location.
Before the move
The first step in protecting your antiques is getting them appraised by a qualified person. Knowing the value of your personal items will be necessary for your homeowners’ insurance policy. It also will assist you in choosing the proper valuation level with your mover. It also won’t hurt to do some research on your antiques. Do they need special cleaning treatment before or after the move? Visit local antique and hardware stores for cleaning products for such items.
In addition to getting an appraisal of the items, it is a good idea to take photos of each of the antiques before the move, paying special attention to any scratches or damages as you’ll have to note this on your mover’s inventory.
When you get your in-home estimate , be sure to point out to the agent the high dollar or fragile items so special packing arrangements can be made. Although you may pack yourself, it’s a good idea to trust the professionals with your specialty items. We can build special, customized cartons to suit each item and ensure it’s fully protected.
It is crucial that you or a trusted individual is present during the packing process. This ensures any questions that the Wheaton representative might have concerning your valuables can be answered. It is a good idea to address such details before a move, rather than trying to pick up the pieces afterwards.
Arriving at your destination
When you arrive at your destination, it is important to take inventory all of your household goods, especially your high dollar possessions. If your belongings need immediate attention upon arrival, make arrangements with your destination agent to do so.
Taking these steps will help your antiques and memories arrive successfully to your new home!