Consumer Real Estate News

    • 4 Exciting Features for the Ultimate Outdoor Kitchen

      19 April 2021

      Outdoor kitchens are on the rise in luxury real estate. As homeowners increasingly look to create their own private oasis in the backyard, a cooking space has become just as coveted as a sparkling swimming pool and spacious terrace where the whole family can spend time together. If you want an outdoor kitchen that leaves nothing to be desired, here are few exciting features to include.

      Deluxe Grill
      The grilling station is often the centerpiece of the outdoor kitchen and essential for any warm-weather gathering in the backyard, which is why many homeowners choose to invest in a high-end option. If you want the versatility to prepare everyone’s favorite dishes, a deluxe grill that’s equipped with multiple burners, a rotisserie and a smoker box will ensure successful barbecues all season long.

      Refrigeration
      When it comes to convenience, you simply can’t beat having your outdoor cooking area equipped with a refrigerator. This allows you to keep beverages, side dishes and any perishable ingredients nearby, avoiding the need to run back inside to the kitchen every time you need something. A sleek, stainless steel design is always a popular option to endure outdoor conditions without compromising on style.

      Pizza Oven
      If you want to mix up your menu and take a break from the grill, there’s nothing like a wood-burning pizza oven. With a wide variety of materials to choose from—such as natural stone, brick and clay, to name a few—you can get just the right aesthetic and elevate your outdoor kitchen to enjoy family pizza night on the patio.

      Bar Area
      For those who like to sip a cocktail or craft beer while lounging in the backyard, a well-designed bar area is in order. In addition to a bar counter and stools, you may want to include a prep area for mixing drinks, as well as a built-in kegerator that allows you to keep your favorite beer on tap.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Let’s Bring Back the Monarch Butterfly

      19 April 2021

      With its iconic orange and black markings, the monarch butterfly is one of the most recognizable species in North America. But these beautiful little critters are in trouble.

      Their numbers are down 90% from just 20 years ago, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and they are on the verge of being placed on the Endangered Species list.

      Furthermore, milkweed plants—the only source of food for the monarch caterpillar—are rapidly disappearing as land development and the widespread spraying of weed killers on the fields where they live are destroying their natural habitat. 


      But it’s not too late, scientists say, especially now as gardeners nationwide are preparing for spring growth. Industry experts suggest three ways gardeners can create a welcoming habitat and do their part in preserving the monarch butterfly.

      • Grow Caterpillar Plants - Monarch caterpillars are fussy eaters. Adults lay eggs only on milkweed because that's the only plant the caterpillars will eat. No milkweed, no monarchs—and there are over 100 species of milkweed available. Check your local garden shop for advice.
      • Grow Nectar Plants - Adult monarchs get their energy by sipping nectar. Plants in the sunflower family, which includes asters, black-eyed Susans, calendula, coreopsis, purple coneflowers and zinnias, are particularly nectar-rich.
      • Complete the Habitat - Butterflies need a landing pad to drink and they love mud puddles. Create a few shallow divots in bare soil and keep them moist, so butterflies can sip water and get much-needed minerals from the soil. Be sure to have trees and shrubs in your yard where butterflies can roost at night. Also, butterflies can't fly when they're cold, so place large, flat rocks in locations that receive morning sun to give them a place to warm up.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 4 Ways to Refresh Your Pet's Routines

      19 April 2021

      (Family Features) The spring season and warmer months are typically all about renewal and evaluating things that may no longer serve you, such as habits, products or routines.

      This can be true for your dog as well. As the season changes and you spruce up your daily habits to feel and look fresh, consider these four things that may help brighten up your pup’s spirit.  Learn more at Nutro.com .

      New Dog Bed
      After a long year of cozying up inside, it is probably safe to say your dog’s bed could use a refresh. If you notice he retreats to the couch, floor or your bedroom for a good night’s rest, that may be a sign it is time to switch out the old for something new. Use this opportunity to give your pet a plush and comfortable bed set. There are many options out there from donut dog beds to heated or kennel beds, so make sure you’re getting what’s best for your pup. A new bed could help brighten his mood in the morning, and after a full and active day, it can be exciting for him to have a new spot to relax.

      New Toys
      When provided with the appropriate toys, dogs can keep themselves occupied when you’re busy with work, chores or life’s daily responsibilities that can take your focus away from them. If you have noticed a drag in your pup’s energy –  laying around the house, acting less excited when you come through the door or staring at you blankly when you try to play, your dog may be experiencing boredom. It may be time to give him new toys that pique his interest. As you’re doing your cleaning and shopping, make sure to swap out old toys with new ones and even have him come along on your next trip to the pet store to pick out new ones.

      Change of Scenery and Activities
      It’s not a secret that dogs love the great outdoors. As the weather warms, it’s time to start thinking about breaking your dog away from the same old routine. Consider trying a new dog park, walking trail or taking him on more car rides with you. Your morning coffee run might be a fun adventure and a good way to help your pup start his day, especially if your local coffee shop has dog treats, too. This change of routine and scenery can leave him feeling energized to take on the day with you.

      New Food
      As the seasons change, it may be time to switch up eating habits and choose a diet that suits your lifestyle and dietary preferences. If you’re feeling ready to make a change to your normal routine, consider doing the same for your dog. An option like NUTRO™ dry dog food provides a healthy and nutritious diet with recipes featuring ingredients such as chicken, brown rice, kale and spinach, and garnishes like egg, tomatoes and more. Following the NUTRO™ FEED CLEAN™ philosophy with simple, purposeful and trustworthy recipes, each recipe is rich in nutrients, full of flavor and made with real, recognizable ingredients to help energize your dog from the inside out.

      SOURCE: Nutro

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Why Losing Weight Gradually is Generally Better Than Slimming Down Quickly

      16 April 2021

      Many people are eager to lose weight and try fad diets that promise to help them shed pounds fast. Although one of those diets may help you lower the number on the scale, you may experience a host of problems. Losing one to two pounds per week is generally considered to be healthy and sustainable. 

      Fast Weight Loss Can Be Harmful
      If you restrict the amount of food you consume and limit or cut out entire food groups to lose weight quickly, your health may suffer. You may experience vitamin deficiencies that can leave you feeling tired, weaken your immune system, and cause your hair to become brittle or to fall out. You may become dehydrated and may be more susceptible to heart problems and other health issues.

      Rapid Weight Loss May Not Result in Fat Loss
      Detoxes and cleanses may help you lose weight quickly, but most of the loss will come from water weight. If your body doesn’t get enough calories from food, it will seek other sources of energy, such as muscle. If you lose weight gradually, on the other hand, you will lose fat, not water or muscle.

      A Restrictive Diet Can Affect Your Mental Health
      Cutting calories and not allowing yourself to have foods you enjoy can make you feel deprived, anxious and irritable. Those feelings may affect your ability to focus on your job and your relationships with loved ones.

      Fast Weight Loss May Not Be Sustainable
      If you lose weight gradually, your body’s metabolism will adjust and remain efficient. If you shed a lot of pounds in a short period of time, your metabolism will eventually slow down and you may regain some or all of the weight you lost.

      Slow Weight Loss Can Instill Healthy Habits
      Small changes can lead to significant weight loss. Many people find that making minor changes is easier to handle – physically, mentally, and emotionally. If you begin to eat healthy foods and incorporate more physical activity in your daily life, you will see the benefits in terms of lost weight, increased energy and decreased stress. Those positive results can encourage you to stay the course and help you keep the weight off. 

      When Rapid Weight Loss May Be Appropriate
      If you are obese, have diabetes or another serious medical condition, or undergo gastric bypass surgery, a doctor may advise you to dramatically reduce the number of calories you consume. In that case, a physician will monitor your food intake and may instruct you to take supplements so you get all the nutrients your body needs. 

      Talk to Your Doctor
      If you’re concerned about your weight, speak with your physician about your current health status, how much weight you should lose and how to do it. Your doctor may recommend dietary changes and increased physical activity and may advise you to seek help from another professional, such as a nutritionist or a personal trainer.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Raising Big Dreamers: Ways to Have Career Conversations With Kids

      16 April 2021

      (Family Features) Pre-pandemic, Take Your Child to Work Day was an opportunity for children to peek behind the mysterious veil of “work” – to see what their parents do all day and begin to dream about the careers they might like to pursue when they grow up. 

      For some parents, every day might feel like "Take Your Child to Work Day." For others, health and safety concerns might make it impossible to bring children to their workplaces. That doesn’t mean it’s any less important to take some time to help your children imagine turning their passions into careers. 

      “Children need exposure to the possibilities that exist so they can envision themselves doing what inspires them in the future,” said Content Architect Rashelle Chase from KinderCare Learning Centers’ education team.
      “Learning about different career options also helps children learn about how the world works and the different types of roles and systems that are in place to help society function.”

      Consider these tips from the experts at KinderCare to help parents infuse some of the Take Your Child to Work Day spirit into everyday life.

      Expose your children to a variety of career options. Young children tend to think of careers in terms of the kinds of jobs they see adults doing, like doctors, firefighters and teachers. Help your children discover careers that are new to them. Talk about essential workers and why they are depended on so heavily. Share details about the work your immediate and extended family members do – perhaps you could arrange a virtual call so your children can see a family member at work. Point out other kinds of workers as your child encounters them, whether that’s during a walk around the neighborhood or while reading a book. 

      Help your children imagine turning their passions into careers. Not every block builder turns into an architect. Some go into construction, some into engineering and some pursue other careers entirely. When children express an interest in a specific career or type of work, help them think about the kinds of skills they could work on now to help turn that dream into a reality. Help your children make connections between the things they like to do now and the kinds of careers that could lead to. Maybe there’s an activity or volunteer experience your children could do, or a club they could join, that would help nurture that passion and expand their skillset.

      Break career stereotypes. Point out diverse people doing jobs as you see them in the community or in books or media – like female firefighters, male teachers or biracial female vice presidents – and talk about the diverse viewpoints and experiences each person can bring to his or her career. Be active about squashing gender stereotypes whenever you see or hear them. Encourage your children to pursue their ambitions and let them know you believe in them and their ability to succeed in whatever career they want.

      Help your child to see “work” and “jobs” as positive things, especially after rough days. Be honest about the struggles and successes you have in your own career. Celebrate your successes and talk with your children about how you problem-solve or persevere through tough times. Model coping skills your children can apply to their own “job” – school. It’s important for children to understand one can still find fulfillment and passion in a career even if there are tough moments.

      For more ideas to help your children explore and expand their career dreams, visit kindercare.com.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.