Real Estate Tips

    • 10 Easy Ways to Refresh a Tired Living Space

      21 January 2021

      If you’re like many Americans who’ve been working from home for many months, you may be tired of the living space you once enjoyed and find it is now totally uninspiring. Decorators suggest 10 simple refresher solutions to perk up your living and work space.

      1. Repaint one wall. Add a new splash of color by repainting one wall of your kitchen, bedroom or living room. Choose a color you find relaxing or pleasing and add new interest to your day.
      2. Bring in a few plants. A little greenery can do wonders to brighten up a space and lift your spirits as well. Try an easy-care philodendron, a low-light friendly Devil’s Ivy or Chinese evergreen, or mini-sago palm or weeping fig.
      3. Hang a mirror. It will get a little more light bouncing around, which can make a room look more spacious.
      4. Try some new wall art. Add interest and create something fun to look at while you work by hanging one larger piece surrounded in an interesting way by several smaller pieces. You can even use framed photos or a variety of smaller watercolors to make a pleasing gallery wall. 
      5. Change up the lighting. Overhead light can be pretty boring. Bring in a table or floor lamp or two to get light coming from different heights and angles around the room.  
      6. Bring in a rug. In addition to adding warmth and texture to the floor, an area rug helps ground a room and the furniture in it. Even a small rug in the kitchen or in your entryway can make a big difference. 
      7. Do some rearranging. Speaking of furniture, you can completely change the look of a room just by moving it around. 
      8. Toss some pillows around. Make a tired room more inviting by tossing some comfy, bright-colored pillows on the sofa,  a chair or a bed.
      9. Change out the knick-knacks. Accessorize a bookcase, shelving or a mantelpiece with some new decorative pieces, such as a couple of framed pictures, a small vase or sculpture, a pretty clock or whatever pleases you. 
      10. Try adding scent. If you find the scent of pine or hyacinths relaxing, bring in some scented candles. Bringing scent into a room can liven it without breaking the bank.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Power Family Meals with Protein-Packed Peanuts

      21 January 2021

      (Family Features) Starting fresh with a new year is a chance to hit the reset button for many people, and your family can use this opportunity to rethink homemade meals while striving for nutritious (and still delicious) dishes. From snacks to the main course each evening, the options are nearly endless for planning a revamped menu with healthier ingredients. 

      Dinnertime can be a cinch with Peanut Butter Chicken, a simple dish that takes less than 20 minutes to make when busy evenings call for a quick solution. If a veggie-based option aligns better with your family’s desires, try Veggie Sammies with Peanut Butter Satay Sauce or go full-on comfort food with Very Vegan Peanut Butter Jackfruit Chili. Snacking doesn’t have to mean forgoing your dedication to nutritious choices either – these Peanut Granola Bars can be your made-at-home masterpiece for adults and children to enjoy. 

      These recipes from the Georgia Peanut Commission are powered by peanuts, a nutrient-rich superfood that delivers 19 vitamins and 7 grams of protein per serving for a health benefit punch in each bite. 
      Discover more nutritious recipe ideas at gapeanuts.com.

      Veggie Sammies with Peanut Butter Satay Sauce
      Prep time: 30 minutes
      Servings: 2

      4 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
      3 tablespoons lime juice
      2 tablespoons water
      4 teaspoons hoisin sauce
      2 teaspoons soy sauce
      2 teaspoons sriracha
      2 French baguette rolls (6 inches each)
      1/2 cup cucumber, sliced
      1/2 cup white onion, sliced into thin strips
      1/2 cup red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
      1/2 cup purple cabbage
      1/2 cup fresh cilantro

      In a small bowl, combine peanut butter, lime juice, water, hoisin sauce, soy sauce and sriracha; mix well.

      Spread sauce on both sides of each roll then layer with cucumber, onion and bell pepper. Top with cabbage and cilantro.

      Very Vegan Peanut Butter Jackfruit Chili
      Recipe courtesy of the National Peanut Board
      Prep time: 5 minutes
      Cook time: 35 minutes
      Servings: 8

      2 teaspoons oil
      1/2 large white onion, chopped
      1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
      1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
      2 garlic cloves, chopped
      1/2 teaspoon salt
      1 teaspoon cumin
      1 teaspoon chili powder
      1 tablespoon tomato paste
      1 can crushed tomatoes
      1 can whole tomatoes
      2 cups water
      1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
      1 can green jackfruit, drained and chopped
      1/4 cup peanut butter
      cornbread (optional)
      tortilla chips (optional)
      cinnamon rolls (optional)

      Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add oil, onion and peppers; cook for 3 minutes, stirring often.

      Add garlic, salt, cumin, chili powder and tomato paste, stirring to coat. Cook 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly, then stir in crushed tomatoes, whole tomatoes, water, kidney beans and jackfruit; bring to boil then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 25-30 minutes. Stir in peanut butter and simmer for 5 minutes.

      Serve with cornbread, tortilla chips or cinnamon rolls, if desired.

      Peanut Granola Bars 
      Prep time: 10 minutes
      Cook time: 6 minutes, plus 30-45 minutes cooling time
      Servings: 12-14
       
      1/2 cup honey
      6 tablespoons unsalted butter
      2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
      1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
      1 teaspoon vanilla 
      1/4 teaspoon salt
      2 cups rolled oats (quick or regular)
      1 cup bran flakes
      1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
      1 cup dried fruit (raisins, blueberries or cranberries)
      1 cup roasted peanuts, chopped

      In a large, shallow, microwavable dish, combine honey, butter, peanut butter, brown sugar, vanilla and salt. Microwave at 50% power 2 minutes then whisk to combine and microwave at 50% power 2 minutes. 

      Add oats, bran flakes, coconut flakes, dried fruit and peanuts; stir to combine. Microwave on high 1 minute. Stir and microwave for 30 seconds. 

      Press mixture into a 13-by-9-inch baking dish lined with parchment or wax paper with some extra hanging over edges to easily lift bars out. Use the bottom of the glass wrapped with plastic wrap to press the granola mixture firmly into the pan. Allow to cool completely 30-45 minutes. Cut into 12-14 bars.

      Peanut Butter Chicken
      Recipe courtesy of “Unsophisticook”
      Prep time: 5 minutes
      Cook time: 12 minutes
      Yield: 6 cups 

      Peanut Sauce:
      1/2 cup creamy natural peanut butter
      3 tablespoons sweet red chili sauce
      1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
      1 tablespoon soy sauce 
      1 tablespoon honey
      1/8-1/4 cup hot water (optional)
      chopped unsalted roasted peanuts (optional)
      2 tablespoons olive oil or avocado oil
      1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into 1-inch cubes
      1 tablespoon soy sauce
      3/4 cup peanut sauce
      cooked brown rice
      assorted bell peppers, sliced
      chopped unsalted roasted peanuts (optional)

      To make peanut sauce: In a small glass bowl, whisk peanut butter, sweet red chili sauce, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce and honey until blended smoothly.

      Thin sauce with hot water to desired consistency. Garnish with chopped unsalted roasted peanuts, if desired.
      To make chicken: In a large skillet over medium-high heat, drizzle oil. Add diced chicken then pour soy sauce over top. Saute about 10-12 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked.

      Serve with peanut sauce, brown rice and colorful sliced veggies. Garnish with chopped unsalted roasted peanuts, if desired.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • How to Safely Move Your Wine Collection

      21 January 2021

      Buying a new house is always exciting. The moving process, however, is not quite as much fun. If you have a valuable wine collection, one of the more stressful challenges you may encounter is figuring out how to safely transport it. After all, you probably don’t want precious bottles rattling around in the back of any old moving truck. So when it’s time to pack up your wine collection, here are a few tips to ensure it arrives at the new house safe and sound. 

      Make an Inventory
      If you’re a passionate collector, chances are you have more than just a few bottles on hand. In order to make sure none of them get lost in the move, start by taking inventory of the entire collection. This will help to avoid any confusion throughout the process.

      Get Insurance
      There’s always the possibility that something could go wrong while in transit, which is why getting insurance for a valuable collection is a good idea for peace of mind. You can start this process by first getting a professional wine appraisal and then purchase insurance to either cover individual bottles or the entire collection.

      Hire a Wine Shipping Specialist
      Just as you would hire a specialist to transport a priceless work of art, it’s best to have a specialist move your valuable wine. A professional will be able to carefully package each bottle to avoid damage and maintain ideal conditions through the entire trip. Additionally, if you’re moving to a new state, check that the company is licensed to transport alcohol across state lines, otherwise, your insurance might not cover you in the event of any damage.

      Be Prepared for Arrival
      Be ready to unpack and properly store your collection as soon as it reaches your new home so that it doesn’t end up sitting out in the sun for a long period of time. If you have a wine room or cellar, make sure it’s set to the perfect temperature and humidity level, as well as properly set up with racks and refrigerators ahead of time. Of course, you might want to leave one bottle out to celebrate once you’re all settled in.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 4 Home Features for Staying Active Throughout the Winter

      20 January 2021

      During the warmer months, it’s easy to stay active. Whether you’re hiking, cycling or swimming, there’s endless opportunity to exercise outside. When things cool down, however, it can be a bit more challenging to keep up with your routine. Home gyms, of course, are a great solution, but if you’re looking for an alternative to running on the hamster wheel, here are a few exciting home features that will keep you active all winter long.

      Indoor Swimming Pool
      Swimming is an excellent low-impact, full-body workout, but once the temperatures drop, you’re probably not going to be using the outdoor pool. With an indoor pool, though, you’re able to keep doing laps throughout the winter without ever having to leave the house. Furthermore, everyone can enjoy an indoor pool, from kids to grandparents, which is sure to help when everyone starts feeling cooped up inside. 

      Backyard Skating Rink
      For those intrepid souls who like to exercise outside even in sub-zero temperatures, a backyard skating rink is the perfect feature. Whether it’s a natural pond or a homemade rink, you can sharpen your skates and glide around with the whole family until it’s time for a well-deserved hot cocoa break. 

      Sports Court
      Indoor sports courts have become increasingly popular for homeowners who want a large recreational space. They can often be used for a variety of purposes, like tennis, basketball or even rollerblading, and will certainly keep the kids busy regardless of what the weather is like outside. 

      Climbing Wall
      From professional-grade to kid-sized, climbing walls are on the rise among adventurous homeowners who want to take luxury to new heights. This exciting home feature can cater to all abilities and is guaranteed to keep you fit while getting your adrenaline fix all year long. 

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Easy Kitchen Hacks to Help Save on Groceries

      20 January 2021

      There is little that home cooks can do about rising prices at the local market, but there are plenty of ways to make your grocery fund go further. Check out a few of these simple kitchen hacks to save pennies that add up to dollars.

      Grate your own cheese. You pay big time for the convenience of pre-grated cheese. Buy an economical chunk of cheddar, or whatever type of cheese you like, and grate it yourself. Freeze what you don’t need right away so you’ll always have some on hand.

      Chop and freeze herbs. Most recipes call for just a tablespoon or two of fresh herbs, but they come in bunches and unused portions often go to waste. Chop what you don’t use and pack it in ice cube trays with a little water. Throw the cubes into your soups or stews, or mix them with butter in your veggies.

      Stop tossing brick-hard brown sugar. Store it with a marshmallow to keep it from hardening. If it’s too late for that, put the box or jar of hardened sugar into the microwave for 20 seconds to soften.

      Roll your lemons. Don’t use two when one will do. You’ll get a lot more juice out of a lemon when you roll it on the counter before you cut it. 

      Keep homemade cookies fresh. Lay a slice of fresh bread over them in your storage container. If they’re still around after a few days, change the bread to keep them fresh a little longer.

      Skip the cooking spray. It’s more expensive and less nutritious than the tablespoon of olive oil, butter or coconut oil you need in your skillet.

      Make leftovers more appealing. People turn up their noses at microwaved leftovers because they often wind up dry and tasteless. You can save on lunch by adding a bit of moisture to make them taste like they're fresh-cooked. Wrap bread in a damp paper towel before nuking. Put a glass of water in the microwave when heating pastas, meats or stews.  

      Published with permission from RISMedia.