Real Estate News

    • Post-Pandemic Wedding Trends: In or Out?

      29 July 2021

      Much has changed in the American lifestyle since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, but none more striking than in the way we have come together and celebrated. As life returns to pre-pandemic levels and many have found themselves adjusting priorities, wedding planners suggest the top wedding trends most likely to stay in favor—or not.

      Elopements and Small Weddings Are In 
      Couples have realized the financial and safety advantages of elopement or a small wedding. Many are choosing to skip the crowd and use wedding funds as a down-payment on a home or for some other purpose. 

      Live Streaming Is In 
      Streaming wedding ceremonies has become popular as a means for couples to share their special day with faraway friends and family. The trend is likely to stick around long after traditional ceremonies have returned in order to accommodate guests that can't travel. 

      Buffet Dinners Are Out 
      For safety reasons, many couples will choose plated dinners, food trucks and even pre-packed sack lunches or dinners. Others will opt for a cake and champagne reception in lieu of a full dinner at their wedding reception.

      Traditional Bridal Registries Are Fading 
      Many couples who have lived together for a while have the basic household essentials and no interest in high-end china or crystal. Instead, couples ask guests to contribute to their honeymoon trip, down payment on a home or even a donation to a chosen charity.

      Wedding Decor is Changing 
      DIY wedding flowers, invitations and even wedding cakes have increased in popularity and will likely continue to be popular, as couples shave the cost of wedding flowers and decor to allocate funds toward more practical purposes. The cutback also applies to wedding bouquets. Small, but beautiful flowers are replacing the more expensive cascading arrangements.

      Colorful Wedding Suits Are Trending  
      A trend that appears to be taking hold all on its own is the move toward more colorful wedding suits and tuxedos; burgundy and forest green are in for winter weddings, while pastels, ivory and blues are taking over for summer.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 3 Hot Weather Slow Cooker Ideas for Weeknights

      29 July 2021

      Slow cookers are an ideal way to ensure an easy and delicious dinner. On a busy weeknight, there’s nothing better than coming home to a ready-made home cooked meal. While slow cookers can ensure a hearty warming dinner during the winter, you don’t need to store it away in the warmer months. 

      BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders
      Nothing goes better with hot weather than an old-fashioned cookout. If you’re in the mood for BBQ flavor with a fraction of the work, opt for slow cooker pulled pork sliders with BBQ sauce. Simply place a pork butt or shoulder in your slow cooker and coat with your favorite homemade or store-bought BBQ sauce. Cook it on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours; then, place it on a slider bun and pair your sliders with a side of coleslaw and watermelon for the perfect weeknight BBQ.

      Slow Cooker Chili
      Chili and cornbread may be ideal hearty foods for cold weather, but a great homemade chili on your favorite hot dog is the perfect warm-weather comfort food. Enjoy the nostalgia of this classic carnival food with a homemade and healthier twist. A can of fire-roasted tomatoes, a can of diced tomatoes, chili powder, onion powder and garlic powder to taste all come together to make two cans of rinsed kidney beans into the best chili you’ve had in a long time. For extra flavor, consider adding diced onion and even sliced jalapenos. Let everything simmer together in your slow cooker on low for 7-8 hours. Pour your chili on your family’s favorite hot dogs and you’re sure to have a fan favorite on your hands.

      Shredded Chicken Tacos
      When you’re in need of a good meal to serve on your back patio, look no further than shredded chicken tacos. Create a weeknight-friendly mini fiesta by using your slow cooker to make flavorful shredded chicken. Three to four boneless chicken breasts, a half of a cup of water or chicken broth, and a packet of your favorite taco seasoning, are all you need for this simple recipe. Allow the chicken to cook in your slow cooker for 6-7 hours on low and you will have a delicious filling for your weeknight taco dinner. Want to make it even more warm-weather friendly with a zesty kick? Simply lessen your amount of taco seasoning and add a ranch packet to your chicken as it cooks.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Tips to Attract Good Bugs to Your Yard

      29 July 2021

      A great garden and well-landscaped yard can increase your home’s value and will guarantee that you enjoy your outdoor space to its fullest. If you have decided to make the most of your yard this season, ensure that it keeps thriving by attracting good bugs to your yard. 

      What Kinds of Bugs are “Good” Bugs?
      According to the Farmer’s Almanac, in the average backyard, only about 10% of the thousands of bugs that live there are actually destructive. Most are beneficial or simply harmless. Good bugs for your garden include three types of bugs: pollinators, which pollinate your garden’s flowers, predators which eat insects that are pests and parasites, which lay their eggs on bad bug’s eggs so that their larva can eat the eggs once hatched.

      Tips to Attract Good Bugs

      • A diverse array of plants and florals will ensure that your garden area is considered prime real estate for good bugs. Different nectars and pollen will attract a larger variety of beneficial bugs.
      • Early blooming plants will help draw out the good bugs in the early spring. 
      • In the later and warmer months, bees, butterflies and other good bugs will be attracted to plants with blossom compounds, such as mint and lavender. 
      • Native plants will ensure that native pollinators will be especially attracted to your yard.
      • Add a water source, like a bee bath or a pond. Beneficial bugs like bees and dragonflies alike need water. 
      • Bees use water to dilute honey, keep cool and for creating royal jelly to feed larvae. 
      • Dragonfly females lay eggs on water surfaces and will even place their eggs into aquatic plants at times. 

      What to Avoid to Ensure Good Bugs Live in Your Yard
      It might be tempting to use chemical pesticides to rid your yard of pesky pests, but remember that these will likely kill pesky bugs and beneficial bugs alike. Even some substances labeled natural can still kill many good bugs in your yard and gardens. Remember also that non-native plants do a poorer job of attracting beneficial bugs. While you can have non-native plants in your yard, you should prioritize planting natives to ensure the best chance of attracting good bugs. Native plants also offer the advantage of being easier to care for in your normal climate, saving you time and money tending to their needs.

      If you want your yard to remain an enticing home for pollinators and other beneficial bugs, a little planning can go a long way. Creating an outdoor oasis for yourself and your good bug friends just requires the right foliage.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Making Overnight Guests Feel Special

      28 July 2021

      With the worst of COVID-19 seemingly behind us, and vaccinated Americans resuming near-normal lives, thousands of families are getting back together at last. But while hosting overnight guests can be a joy, it comes with a few responsibilities, chief among them making your guests feel welcome without running yourself ragged. If there are overnighters in your future, here are six tips for preparing and managing a visit that is pleasurable for all.

      • Stock the Guest Room - Nothing says welcome like flowers, so a small vase with a few fresh blooms is nice. It’s also thoughtful to leave tissues, a bottle of water, a few mints or chocolates and a note with your wi-fi number on it. Besides leaving towels in the guest room, it’s a nice touch to leave a little basket of hotel-size bottles of lotion, shampoo and body wash.
      • Communicate Ahead of Time - You should know in advance if your guests have any allergies or food preferences, or have any special requests. They should know what time the kids get up, when the showers are busiest and any other family routines.
      • Keep Meals Simple - The more you can do ahead of time, the more you can relax and enjoy your visit. Stock the pantry with basics and the fridge with plenty of fresh fruit and veggies. Prepare a couple of breakfast and/or dinner casseroles you can freeze or refrigerate in advance and heat up as you need them. 
      • Keep It Tidy - There is no need for heavy cleaning when you have house guests, but keep the bathrooms tidy, check the guest bath for wet towels and keep the living areas neat and picked up.
      • Create a Fun Zone - The family room is perfect, but you can create a fun zone anywhere by stocking a sturdy box with cards, books, board games, jigsaw puzzles and sticker books—anything to encourage play times for all ages.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Laundry Tips the Experts Wish You Knew

      28 July 2021

      Laundry is a chore that you likely perform regularly. While laundry can begin to feel like an endless chore, modern washing machines make the process far easier than ever before. However, even the highest-end washing machine can’t make up for common laundry mistakes. Before you throw your next load of clothes in the wash, find out these laundry tips that the experts wish you knew.

      Wash Your Synthetics Separately
      Your synthetic clothes need to be treated differently than the rest of your items. While washing a synthetic garment with other clothes won’t immediately ruin the item, it can cause damage that will wear the garment out over time. Stiff jeans, items with zippers or buttons, and even tops with sequins can rub against your synthetic items causing them to pill or damage their elasticity. As a general rule, wash your clothes with “like materials.”

      Wash With Lukewarm Water to Prevent Stains
      Stains are one of the top laundry problems people have to deal with, and not everyone knows how to address a stain properly. Unfortunately, if a garment with a stain is incorrectly washed, that stain will set and be nearly impossible to remove. Avoid high-temperature washing and drying cycles when treating a stain, and whenever possible, address stains quickly by pretreating them.

      Avoid Using Fabric Softener on Activewear
      Since activewear is designed to absorb oil and wick away sweat, fabric softener or even the wrong kind of detergent can be absorbed into the clothes and clog the pores of the material. This means that your items won’t absorb sweat like they are designed to and may even have a lingering, musky smell. This is because fabric softener can block the sweat and dirt from washing out properly, leaving your newly laundered items smelling like a high school gym locker.

      Prep Your Clothes Before Washing
      Simply tossing your clothes in the washing machine may be easy, but your clothes may suffer from it. Instead, prep your clothes before washing by ensuring that zippers are zipped, velcro is secured and snaps or hooks are closed. This will prevent snags and tears during the wash cycle. To keep clothes at their best, be sure to unroll cuffs and socks, and turn pockets inside out after checking for forgotten items.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.