Well here we go on the annual snow-la-coaster! Every year it happens and it seems a very large amount of Western Washingtonians get antsy about snow coming…or not. Many of us love it and many of us dread the sight of a single snow flake on a cloudy 33 degree day when the news has forecasted even the slightest chance. I get it. It’s a pain. People drive that shouldn’t. And so on.
However, even as an adult it is hard to resist packing a snowball and throwing it at your kids or spouse! Our dog, Noni the German Shepherd loves catching snowballs. She’ll honestly chase anything round that is thrown toward her! And who doesn’t love getting all bundled up to go look for a good sledding hill or a walk in the snow. Of course coming in for a cup of hot chocolate or a latte tops off the event. It takes us back to our youth.
I for one am a snow lover! I love watching it peacefully hit the ground and make everything look so clean and pretty. Driving in it isn’t my favorite thing but I tend to just avoid the big hills, and congested driving times without 4 wheel drive.
Hopefully if we do get a lot of snow in the weeks to come, everyone out driving will slow down a little and try to take a minute at home to enjoy the beauty of it…before it gets all slushy and dirty ha!
It sounds like the weather is heating up this week! Click on the link above for a great list of wading pools, splash-pads and beaches to keep you cool. Don’t forget water to stay hydrated, sunscreen and a hat for the little ones. My sweet grandson is 16 months now and doesn’t have a lot of hair yet so a cute summer hat is a must.
Ever feel like a DIY project?
Whether it’s as simple as installing some lighting or a little more time-consuming like re-plotting plants, a fresh look for the lawn always gives your home a fresh look as well. Here are five easy landscaping projects!
Create a pathway.
To guide you and visitors throughout your yard and link different areas together, install a pathway. You can use materials from a variety of materials, including reclaimed pallet wood, flagstones, gravel, and more to add texture and color.
Add a wall or border.
Installing a flagstone, rock, or brick wall around flower beds or trees adds a sleek, clean look to your landscaping and helps separate different sections of your yard.
Install a water feature.
Nothing says zen quite like the sound of trickling water as you relax in your backyard. You can start simple with by purchasing and installing a small feature powered by a solar panel or create a larger focal point in your yard by installing a waterfall wall or small pond.
Light your way.
An easy way to transform your yard is to strategically use lighting. Place cool-colored lights high in trees to recreate a moonlight feel, use pathway lights to naturally guide the eye, or highlight objects or plants.
May is a pretty busy month for local events and of course Mother’s Day, May Day and Memorial Day! Here’s a quick list of a few things to do and a couple ideas for brunch stops!
May 1st ~ May Day ~ It marks the half way point between spring and summer. The tradition is to make a pretty paper basket, fill it with flowers and hang it on someone’s door. This celebration actually dates back to the 19th century when they would hang the basket after dark, knock on the door and run away.
May 4th all day ~ Tour de Cure at Chateau Ste. Michelle. Ride, run, walk for Diabetes. You can register online until May 3rd by going to their website. http://main.diabetes.org/site/TR/TourdeCure/TourAdmin?fr_id=12687&pg=entry
May 4th 11am -1pm ~ Spring Tree Walking Tour. Celebrate spring with a guided walking tour of beautiful Snohomish heritage trees through the Historic District! No charge to participate. http://ci.snohomish.wa.us/Calendar.aspx?EID=1318&month=5&year=2019&day=30&calType=0
May 11th 5pm – 8pm May 11th ~ Mill Creek Spring Wine Walk in Town Center. https://seattleuncorked.com/event/mill-creek-spring-wine-walk-may-12/
May 19th 9am – 4pm ~ Sky Valley Motorcycle Show. In downtown Snohomish. Hmmm Probably where I will be.
May 27th – 11am – 12pm ~ Memorial Day Parade in Mill Creek Town Center https://www.evensi.us/memorial-day-parade-mill-creek-town-center/305208413
Mother’s Day Brunch ~ We have been to many places for brunch including Ivar’s Downtown, Embassy Suites, Cabbage Patch, Anthony’s and Emory’s. Ivar’s downtown with no doubt is top on my list but it is expensive, in Seattle and traffic is a lot to deal with on Mother’s Day.
Last year after brunch we went to Waverly Beach Park in Kirkland and we all decided that this year instead of going to a restaurant, we would pack brunch and go back, weather permitting. It was fun and a change from the norm.
See you next time…happy May!
An evacuation plan is a necessity for every home, especially if you live in an area where fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, flooding, and other disasters are a possibility. Many homeowners create evacuation plans for their homes and practice them with their kids, but my guess is fewer have considered an actual plan for their pets. I’m sure most people would try their best to grab their pets but a plan is always helpful. Take these steps to add your pets to your evacuation plan.
Assign pet evacuation to an adult. Everyone should know how to act during an evacuation, and that includes assigning one parent or adult to the pets. This allows the other parent and the children to focus on their part of the evacuation plan, so there’s no confusion during a high-stress moment when time is of the essence.
Keep evacuation maps and pet carriers readily accessible. If you need to evacuate, you should know exactly where every important item is. If you pets require carriers, keep them in a place that you can access easily.
Practice your plan. Include your pets in your home evacuation drills. It’ll help you see how they will respond and make changes to your plan if necessary. Getting your dog out of a window may not be as simple as you think!
Be prepared in case you get separated from your pets. No matter how much you drill your evacuation plan, it’s possible that a dog or cat will run off while you’re focusing on keeping your family safe. A microchip or a GPS-compatible tag can help you find your pets once it’s safe to return to the area.
I know Noni will be very happy to know that we would not forget her in the case of an emergency!
Refinancing your mortgage is something most homeowners usually consider at least once throughout the lifetime of their home loan. It allows you to pay off your current loan by applying for a new one that may have better financial advantages. Here are five common reasons to refinance according to my preferred lender, Jeff Baxter with Guild Mortgage. If you need a great lender, Jeff and Guild are awesome!
- A lower interest rate. The number one reason homeowners decide to refinance is to secure a lower interest rate on their mortgage. Not only does this save you money in the long run and decrease your monthly payment, but you can start building equity in your home sooner.
- Has your credit score improved? Even if interest rates have not dropped in the market, if you’ve improved your credit score over the last few years, you may be able to reduce your mortgage rate.
- Shortening the loan’s term. If interest rates are decreasing, there is a chance you may be able to get a shorter loan term with little to no change in your monthly payment, allowing you to pay off your loan sooner.
- Switching from an adjustable rate to a fixed rate. If you chose an adjustable-rate mortgage with great introductory rates when you initially financed your home, that rate may increase significantly over the years. By switching to a fixed rate while interest rates are low, you can protect yourself from future increases.
- Need some cash? If there is a big purchase or payment on the horizon, such as funding a wedding or going back to school, your best option may be to use the equity you’ve built in your home to borrow money at a lower cost. Rates are pretty good right now so it might be a great time to be sure you have the best one you can get! See you next time for a great thought on how to be sure your pets are included in your evacuation plan in the case of an emergency!
Ever wish you could become one of those rare morning people? The ones that wake with a start, feeling refreshed and energized. The ones that get in that morning workout or wrap up some work before many of us even hit the snooze button for the first time. Here are five tips to help you achieve that early bird status!
- Create a morning schedule. Physically write down the things you’d like to complete in the morning and set a time for each. Then stick with it. Once you force yourself out of bed early one or two weeks consistently, you’ll find it gets easier and easier to do.
- Let the light in. Whether natural or artificial, light tells your brain its time to get up and get going. If your room lacks large windows where you can open the blinds up, consider investing in a timed lamp or alarm clock with a light.
- Prep and eat breakfast. Although there are many of us who chose the skip breakfast, it is key to perking up your energy in the morning. Try prepping protein-focused meals the night before or grab a yogurt or fruit and try to consume it right after you wake.
- Get your body moving. Whether it’s a short walk around your neighborhood or a rigorous 5:30 am spin class, getting your blood pumping will help wake up your body and has a ton of other benefits, like stress and anxiety reduction.
- Feed your mind. Stimulate your brain and do something you enjoy first thing in the morning. Try reading a favorite book, catching up on the news, doing a daily devotional, meditation, or setting intentions.
I am pretty sure that spring has finally arrived. I know we have had snow in April in the past but I am feeling the warmth and hoping for the best…this time! So if you are thinking about doing some spring cleaning here are a few tips. If you are thinking about selling your home this spring then this is a must have list.
1. If you are going all out and doing a total deep cleaning then a schedule is a great idea. Look for areas that need the most cleaning and places you skip during routine cleaning.
2. Clean your vacuum. One with a HEPA filter helps catch particles you cant see, but if you don’t have one with that type of filter, clean the one you have anyway.
3. De-clutter…I know I say that so often but did you know that studies have shown that a disorganized home and clutter adds to stress. The obvious is, that if there isn’t a lot of stuff laying around it will also be easier to clean.
4. Think green when looking for cleaning supplies. The last thing I want when I clean is chemical smells and residue. I have heard that steam cleaning is great for many things and since it uses hot water vapor it is 100% natural. If you don’t have a steam cleaner, one of the best natural combinations for cleaning is white distilled vinegar, baking soda and water. These ingredients have worked for ages when it comes to cleaning.
5. Clean from the top down. Get those cobwebs up high first and work your way down to the floors.
6. Walls and windows get dusty too. A damp towel works well to wipe down walls and blinds as well. Your steam cleaner will work on windows with a squeegee to make them sparkle.
7. Kitchens and baths are places everyone probably keeps pretty clean but it’s always a good idea to go through thouroughly to be rid of any lingering germs. Spring is also a great time to check the bathroom fans to be sure they are in good working order.
8. Don’t forget about air quality! Replace furnace and HVAC filters to keep the air clean and healthy.
9. Wear protective gloves, especially if you have allergies.
10. Once you have completed your spring cleaning, consider making a few changes to your decor to finish the nice clean look. Maybe get a few new colorful pillows or an art piece you have been wanting. Replace old items like bedding and towels.
See you next time…I’m off to make a list and start cleaning!
Mill Creek Town Center is a popular place all times of the year. It’s beautiful and there is something for everyone; ice cream shops to boutiques. A beautiful walking trail or just strolling through town is fun. Great grocery options, restaurants and many other shops.
There are events going on quite often and of course we at Windermere are always involved. From the Santa parade to the Witches of Windermere to Where’s Waldo. We host an Artist of the Month event and periodical shred events (located at our main office up the road) along with being part of the Wine Tasting event.
We call our Town Center office, The Living Room, because of its cozy comfortable feeling. There is always a fire going, nice leather furniture and even a kitchen. Agents use it as a place to meet their clients and passerby’s that might have real estate questions. A qualified agent is there seven days a week 10am to 6pm.
You are always welcome to stop in for information, a cup of coffee or a bottle of water! And of course feel free to come by and see the new art we have up each month! You’ll find me there off and on throughout each month.
See you next time in The Living Room!
Do you think that the tiny homes we see on HGTV shows are a trend? If you really think about the complete aspect of living in a home that is less than the size of most garages, I can’t imagine why they would be. I can certainly understand the cost effectiveness of a tiny home and that is huge especially for the millennials now but I cannot say for myself that I am a fan.
Most homeowners complain about all the stuff they have packed away here and there that they just don’t need. With a tiny home it would be necessary to get rid of a lot…okay almost all of your unnecessary stuff. Mementos and special things would have to be downsized as well as clothing. Closet space is limited as is all storage in a tiny home. Can you entertain in a tiny home?
If your tiny home gets the least bit messy it must be huge in a tiny home…haha! I mean, if you spill something or don’t put things away the whole house is trashed right? But it would be very easy to clean a tiny home and that would be nice. Does that outweigh the fact that making your bed in a 3 foot high loft would be incredibly frustrating. And smells from cooking or whatever in a tiny home must be overwhelming at times.
Apparently it’s not always easy to find a place to park your home and moving it can be difficult. Just packing up your entire home, being sure the water, sewer and electricity is properly unhooked much like an RV can be trying. Most tiny homes have weight restrictions so you can’t just add a granite countertop or anything that weighs too much. There are zoning requirements to learn about before you build or move too.
But there is the up side of a small home. A cozy relationship with whomever is living in it with you; your spouse, children and pets. It would surely teach everyone how to be more social with each other just because of the simple fact that you would be physically closer. That alone might make it worth it. The joy of having your people right there would probably make the downside more acceptable. Working together to make a tiny home your home could be very rewarding.