Real Estate Tips

    • Celebrating Big With Berry Punch

      26 January 2021

      ( Holidays, gatherings and celebrations can be the best time to try new, easy, stress-free recipes. Drink and punch recipes are especially easy to throw together (even last-minute) right before the festivities begin. This way, the drinks are chilled, and the food is hot and ready. 

      No matter if it’s a big crowd or a night alone with a special someone, this Cranberry Raspberry Vanilla Punch is sure to be the star of the celebration with its powerful berry flavor. 

      The end result is tangy, tart, sweet and absolutely delicious all mixed up in one large bowl. With only five ingredients, it’s simple to make and even better to enjoy. 

      Pairing perfectly with sweets or chocolates, this punch packs the flavor for nearly any event, gathering or small family dinner. 

      Start with eight cups of cranberry-raspberry juice then add cranberry ginger ale to the mix. Next, add just a dash of vanilla for a bit of extra flavor. Stir and scoop raspberry sorbet on top for a hint of smooth sweetness. 

      The frozen sweetness of the sorbet combined with the bubbly ginger ale and the natural flavors of the berries give you a taste that is truly unique and special. 

      Add some frozen cranberries on top for garnish and another pop of that deep, red color.

      Set your punch bowl on the table next to a gorgeous bouquet of flowers and it’s guaranteed the punch bowl will not be full for long. 

      Throughout the night, while conversations are happening, sip a few drops of your beverage. You’re reminded instantly why you’re celebrating. You gather, no matter the celebration, for good times with lots of laughs and even better food and drink.

      Find more recipes perfect for celebrating any occasion at

      Cranberry Raspberry Vanilla Punch
      Servings: 6-12
      8 cups cranberry-raspberry juice
      8 1/2 cups cranberry ginger ale
      1 tablespoon vanilla extract
      1 pint raspberry sorbet
      frozen cranberries, for garnish

      In a large punch bowl, add juice, ginger ale and vanilla extract. Stir until combined. 

      Add frozen cranberries and scoops of frozen sorbet. 

      Stir slightly then serve immediately.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Why 2021 is the Year to Be 'Passionate'

      26 January 2021

      Reflecting the current trend toward streamlining and simplifying, Sherwin Williams has introduced its pick for the 2021 Color of the Year: “Passionate”.

      Created in partnership with the design experts at HGTV, Sherwin Williams describes the color as “rich and empowering” while “steeped in history.” While it’s predominantly a red shade, Passionate has a subdued, natural tonality due to an infusion of soft whites.

      Intended to merge “modern design with traditional charm,” Passionate is part of a 10-color palette of complementary colors. While vibrant, the colors also feature earthy tones that give them a natural feel, a nod to our need to escape from an overwhelmingly tech lifestyle.

      “The current cultural climate has created a state of overstimulation and information overload, which has encouraged trends to live life with minimalism, says Ashley Banbury, HGTV HOME by Sherwin-Williams senior color designer. “Consumers are eager to streamline and simplify their lives and homes, but that doesn’t mean we need to forego having fun with color.”

      Passionate and its neighboring colors on the 2021 palette are intended to allow homeowners to transform a sometimes dull backdrop of neutrals with a dose of calming color. Try them in a dining room, living space, bedroom or home office for a setting that fuels creativity while creating a peaceful, nature-inspired vibe. 

      Photo Credit: Courtesy of HGTV HOME by Sherwin-Williams

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Great Garage Door Styles for Maximum Curb Appeal

      26 January 2021

      When it comes to curb appeal, we naturally think of our front door and our landscaping. But a big part of curb appeal you may be overlooking involves the style of your garage door. If your garage door faces the street in front of your home, it’s even more important to make sure it’s in showing shape for would-be buyers.

      As one of the most-used doors in your home, it’s also critical to make sure your garage door doesn’t just look good—it’s got to function properly as well. According to the 2020 Cost Versus Value Study, adding a new garage door has a higher return on investment than siding, windows, entry door or roof replacements. Recouping 94.5 percent of the value of your investment, replacing a garage door can go a long way toward increasing the value of your home...and thereby its sales price.

      So if you’re ready to replace your garage door, here are three attention-getting styles to consider:

      Carriage house style. This look is popular in areas across the country and is an eye-catching look for prospective buyers. These often handcrafted wooden doors come in either single or double door models and can be painted or stained for a natural wood finish. Carriage house doors are complemented with overlay boards that can match the door or be painted in a contrasting color, decorative wrought-iron hardware and optional top window panels.

      Residential aluminum. For a sleek, contemporary look, consider residential aluminum doors. These doors are built with rust and corrosion-free aluminum, and are often available in an array of finishes, including powder-coated wood-grain looks, standard paint colors and anodized colors. In this style of garage door, large glass panes maximize light flow while adding a modern look to your home. The glass can be insulated so you can have as much privacy as you want.

      Insulated aluminum. If you live in an area prone to severe weather, insulated aluminum doors offer protection and come in styles ranging from traditional to contemporary. Constructed of long-lasting and corrosion-resistant aluminum, these doors can be enhanced with a variety of decorative glass for a personalized style.

      When replacing your garage door, be sure to work with a professional who can discuss the pros and cons of different door types, and help you select the style that’s best suited for your home and region.

      Source: Haas Door

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • At-Home Date Nights That May Beat Going Out

      25 January 2021

      Whether it’s because you have kids at home and no babysitter, or because your favorite date-night haunts are currently off the table, most of us are spending far more time at home these days—and nights—than we’d like. Here are some fresh, new date night ideas to help make your evenings at home more fun.

      Pick a puzzle - Remember jigsaw puzzles? Those 500-piece challenges you were tempted to save and frame after all the fun and work that went into them? Pick out one that recalls your favorite vacation spot, or the destination next on your bucket list, and spend the evening puzzling.

      Have dessert for dinner - Whether you order in your favorite dessert from a local restaurant, build your own towering ice cream sundaes, or choose a delectable recipe and cook it together, throw nutrition under the bus for one night and indulge your sweet tooth together.

      Make it a tapas night - If you can’t get behind a sweets-only dinner, make tapas together instead. The Spanish custom of assorted appetizers offers lots of leeway and a broad array of food choices, such as thin sliced ham, cheeses, pickles, flatbreads, sauces and dips. Let your taste buds be your guide, then arrange your tapas feast attractively on boards or platters and enjoy with your favorite music as background.

      Enjoy a spa night - Fill up the tub and surround yourselves with scented candles, plush towels and your best lotions and soaps. 

      Have a candle-lit evening - Turn off the lights and your cell-phones, light some tapers and scented pillars, and spend the evening by candle light. Eat, read to each other, listen to music or stroll down memory lane perusing the pages of an old photo album.

      Plan a trip - A flight to Paris? A cross-country road-trip? An over-water bungalow in Fiji? Most airlines, resorts and cruise companies are offering great prices on post-pandemic vacations booked now. Spend an evening deciding on your next destination and scoping out prices, cuisines, sight-seeing musts and all things related to your next trip.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Wedded Bliss in Times Like This

      25 January 2021

      (Family Features) During pre-COVID times, wedding concerns like venue capacity had far more to do with budget and vision than with the health and safety of guests. It’s a different world today, but with some careful planning you can still find ways to safely celebrate your love.

      As the vows say, marriage is in good times and in bad. It may simply require some flexibility and creativity to make your dream day a reality.

      Enlist help from an experienced coordinator. If you weren’t planning to use a wedding coordinator, the pandemic is a compelling reason to reconsider. Keeping track of changing mandates and how they affect gatherings, crowd sizes and more is a job in its own right. Allowing your coordinator to keep tabs on the latest recommendations, and adjust arrangements with your vendors accordingly, may save a great deal of time and frustration.

      Be realistic about your invite list. A year ago, it would have been unthinkable to create a tiered guest list and even consider making cuts even after invites go out. Today, that decision may be out of your hands. Rather than waiting until you get news that you’ll have to make cuts, take time now, with a level head and less emotion affecting your decisions, to segment your list. Determine who absolutely must be present as you exchange vows then expand in increments. Your coordinator or venue contact can help you determine thresholds (e.g., 25, 50 or 100 guests) based on the guidelines in your community. 

      Understand expectations. Vendors are required to enforce local guidelines, so ensure you’re clear on what measures they will implement on your day. This may include everything from masks and distancing to whether you’re allowed to use a dance floor during the reception. 

      Keep guests informed. If you haven’t already, create a blog or send out regular updates about wedding plans to guests. If circumstances require you to uninvite someone, be conscious of timing and give plenty of notice so travel can be canceled, if necessary. As the event approaches, be clear about expectations so guests can arrive prepared or bow out if they’re not comfortable with what you’re planning.

      Make safety convenient. Providing masks, gloves and sanitizer can all go a long way to help make guests feel more secure at your event. A personalized hand sanitizer holder might even be a practical gift that guests can use and think fondly of your wedding day.

      Forego traditions, for now. The pandemic won’t last forever, but while it’s still here, consider skipping high-contact traditions like photos that bring multiple households together or a receiving line where everyone is in close contact. One alternative is to plan a mini-wedding (or even elope) now, and save the bigger celebration for later, when everyone can honor your marriage more safely.

      Find more wedding advice and tips for daily life at

      Published with permission from RISMedia.