Tuh-MAY-Toh, Tuh-MAH-Toh

Picture this scenario: You’ve spent the good part of two weeks in your new home and finally have the interior exactly the way you want it. The bathrooms are trendy and smell like roses, the garage is in order and no boxes are in sight, and your bedroom is the coziest it’s been since…well, your last home.  Walking to your kitchen one morning, you make brew a cup of Joe. As you take a sip, you look out of your kitchen window and spit out the coffee. Your eyes widen.

“I forgot the backyard.”

It is a much overlooked area when getting adjusted in a new home, but our garden is a safe-haven for many of us when we want to be outside but not leave the confines of our domain. Birdfeeders, mowing the lawn, and adding patio furniture are just a few of the quick ways to make this area your own, but since we’re in it for the long haul, a small garden can create a Zen-like experience to christen the new home with fresh and (literal) home-grown produce. Of the fruits and veggies that are can be grown by amateurs, Tomatoes tend to have the most use that can be squeezed out of them.

Here are a few steps to get your new home’s garden with tomatoes this summer:

  • Buy seeds instead of juvenile plants
  • Insert soil into a small plastic container (try a solo cup) and then insert your seeds.
  • Since you’re a little behind (you did forget about your backyard), grow your seeds into saplings inside the house with the use of an inexpensive grow-light, being sure to water 1-2 times a day
  • After about a month and your little seeds have begun to grow, having two or three sets of leaves, move them outside to an area where they will have about 5-7 hours of sunshine a day.
  • Clear the area of your yard that will become your garden. Complete it with fresh soil and a solid vine wall or tomato cage, so those puppies can grow.
  • As their stalks grow, prune (trim) your stalks if they’re over 18” tall, never under as it will stunt their growth. Be careful not to immediately water pruned stalks, as well.
  • If you notice de-colored splotches on your tomato stalks, this could be a sign of blight or pests. A spray bottle with a bit of milk could delay these significantly. Crumble eggshells in the soil as well.
  • You’ll notice clusters of buds/flowers within about 4-6 weeks of maturity. After this a green tomato will begin to form. Wait a few more weeks until its color brightens.
  • Depending on the seed you purchased, you should have a full grown tomato harvest within a few months! Pick and decide how to consume!

For more information on how to grow these delicious fruits, check Laurie March’s article on diynetwork.com here:

http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/outdoors/gardening/how-to-grow-a-tomato-garden-pictures

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A Total Toilet Transformation

A Total Toilet Transformation

Have you ever been at a friend’s dinner party and visited the washroom and thought, “Wow!”? Hopefully this exclamation within your head (or even muttered under your breathe) had a lot to do with how much more vibrant, sleeker, and totally trendy the bathroom was compared to yours and not because of its cleanliness (ew). Well, don’t fret because our friends at ApartmentThearpy.com have complied a few suggestions and tricks to make sure that sink doesn’t stink and that a breath of fresh air is the only thing you’ll be smelling when you enter the bathroom.

Know What You Want

Your bathroom is an extension of how you’ve designed and decorated your home, and therefore, and extension of yourself. While they don’t have to match in sophistication levels, you do want them to have similar looks, themes, or decorative crossovers—colors can always solve a problem.

Are you going to shiplap, beadboard, wallpaper, or paint the walls? Wood or tile on the floors? Not going to this extravagance? That’s okay too, but Beadboarding seems to be on the rise, while being a relatively simple DIY home project. Here are some ways you can make the washroom turn a few heads.

Add A Little Storage

If you decide to put up a nice bit of beadboards (about 2/5 of the wall) adding a little ledge will not only give you a considerate and eloquent look near the toilet to place decorations, but a few inches of practical space for guests to place their belongings. Searching for places to hang things? Place a few old-fashioned looking hooks for towels and robes.

The Dresser was a Sink

You’ve seen them in restaurants going for the “American-rustic” vibe or craft cocktail bars that channel the bootlegging backrooms of 1920s speakeasy’s, but reinventing an old dresser into the console for your sink not only conceals the messy pipes and cleaning supplies, but sends out a creative sentiment throughout the room—depending on the color, tone, and look, of course. From a practical stand-point, you should also have a little extra bit of room for washroom items.

Opposites Attract

If you’re in the mood to completely change-up the bathroom, don’t be afraid to take a few risks, because sometimes your own personal creativity will pay off. If you’re beadboarding the lower portion of the wall near an area that is slanted, use that upper half for a boisterous wallpaper that accents the room or an uncommon muted paint tone.

Did these help? Need a few more? Check out Michelle Gage’s original article at ApartmentTherapy.com:

http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/decorating-ideas-10-bathrooms-with-beadboard-wainscoting-246552

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Declutter and Make Money

Are you moving soon? Or, perhaps, your home or apartment is just extremely cluttered with things that you don’t need. Well, you can make quite a handsome amount of cash by selling your belongings online. If you could use the extra money, don’t take all of your things to Goodwill. Nowadays there are tons of options for where you can sell things: Amazon, Ebay, Craigslist, and most recently Facebook on their new feature called Facelist. There are even apps that allows you to sell your things locally like LetItGo. These technologies are making it easier than ever to declutter and make money in the process. Try following some of these tips to sell your things online and make the most money on each item:

  • Know what your item is worth. Look up what you originally spent on the item and analyze the condition that it is currently in. After that research what similar used items have sold for on your chosen selling site. Always price it slightly higher since you can always entertain a bidding war or lower the price of the item if you are not getting any offers.
  • Take good pictures with excellent lighting. Take several from different angles. These items which are well represented visually will always sell fast and for more. Take pictures using a plain background with no flash (natural lighting is always better). Take some close ups so the customer can see the condition of the item.
  • Be detailed in your description of the item including any issues with the item. Customers will prefer an honest seller so if there are any scratches or dings then be up front.
  • Respond as quickly as possible to inquiries into the item. And if people bargain then bargain back. If someone offers forty on a fifty-dollar item then counter with a forty-five. This keeps the dialogue open so that neither of you feels jipped.

 

Good luck in your selling ventures! Let me know if you make any big sales.

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No Room, No Space

Have you ever fallen in love with a home only to realize your worst fear: the bedroom is too small? We’ve all had that one dreaded problem that one point or another over the course of our lives—it’s inevitable, if you’re in an area with a higher volume of people. You promptly question your decision and continue to ask yourself why you went with your gut instead of being logical.

However, having a small bedroom doesn’t mean you have to carefully play a game of Tetris with your belongings or bring it back to your childhood days and push everything into a pile under the bed. No. Here are a few suggestions for getting a little bit more storage space in your small bedroom, and how it could give you the extra space your body and mind needs.

Ain’t no Mountain High Enough

When we were children, throwing stuff under our bed was a no-brainer. We were small and we had easy access to that area of our room. Now, and even for our fun-size people out there, we are more than capable of reaching up high. If you’re lacking closet space, find a clothing rod (maybe shower curtain rod?) and hang it above a dresser or shelf, as an alternative second closet. You’ll be able to choose what articles hang, which could also help the room pop. Be cautious not to hurt yourself with this suggestion, but wall-mounted shelves above your bed can also give you the space you need while being completely out of the way; you’re not Shaq, so it won’t get in your way.

Ain’t no Valley Low Enough

Do you still want to create a tightly compacted storage area on the ground so that you have more fresh air flowing through your living quarters? If you detest the thought of your personal items getting lost in the abyss under your bed and have access to some lifted furniture, try that out. A few bins or baskets under your dresser, nightstand, desk, and entertainment center could help you with excess clothes, accessories, and keepsakes, while taking care of the clutter and dust.

Ain’t No River Wide Enough

Though knowledge is power, bookcases and bookshelves aren’t exclusive to books, as the namesake suggests. Putting a small bookshelf at the foot of your bed gives you a few inches of extra foot space during sleep while your treasures are tucked away underneath. If you’re a daredevil, a taller and wider (matching you bed’s width) bookshelf behind the head of the bed could pile high your belongings and give you some seasonal space below the bed, for things you seldom need. If you want your little room to be even cozier, a tall and narrow bookshelf next to the bed, in place of a nightstand, could give you the space you need whilst being quite space efficient.

 

Need for tricks and tips to help out with the small bedroom blues? Check out Nancy Mitchell’s article on apartmentthearapy.com below:

http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/7-smart-storage-solutions-for-small-bedrooms-245411

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AMERICAN PRIDE

 

After a horrific, unjustifiable, and evil act of terror took the lives of 49 people in Orlando, the entire nation locked arms with their brothers and sisters in the LGBT community to spread love and knowledge, dismissing the hate and fear that still embodies some small-minded Americans today. One year later, we look back in respect and remembrance of those wounded and those lost, and live for them, loud and proud. Many of our nation’s Pride month festivals have boomed, with turnouts doubling, and even tripling, from prior years.

In our San Diego area, the neighborhood of Hillcrest has always been known as a beacon of hope, tolerance, acceptance, and pride. Well, our friends over at Trulia and OKCupid teamed-up to research and analyze which US neighborhoods have the highest concentration of same-sex couples, and how much it would cost to live in those neighborhoods for said couples and anyone else looking for a modern place to live. Their findings were a bit surprising, financially speaking, as it costs folks nearly 40 percent more per square foot to live in a zip code with large LGBT population. Here are some of the top neighborhoods where Pride is more than a five letter word:

 

Edgewater, Chicago

Situated on Lake Michigan at the north side of the Windy City, its average home value per square foot is $342, which isn’t too pricey to be near Wrigley Field. The average pride score was .53.

Hillcrest, San Diego

Our lovely Hillcrest made the list, with a pride score of .55, and an average home listing at $504 per sq. ft.

Palm Springs, California

Our resort neighbors to the north hit with the same pride score, but a cheaper value with $267 per sq. ft.

West Hollywood, California

The hills scored the highest pride score on the list with .75, while having a $696 per sq. ft. price.

Treme-French Quarter, New Orleans

This Big Easy neighborhood scored a .47 while only paying $290 per sq. ft., which gives you more money to sip on hurricanes.

Castro, San Francisco

What would a Pride list be without the most notable safe haven for the LGBT community? This San Fran neighborhood lists at the most expensive home value per square foot with $1,261 and a pride score of .66.

For more neighborhoods on this list and more information on the methodology behind the Pride scores and home value, visit our friends over at the Tribune for their initial coverage:

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/data-watch/sd-me-pg-lgbtq-neighborhoods-photogallery.html

 

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The Architect’s Vision

A Bird’s eye view of Koenig’s 3,000-square-foot personal residence. | via Realtor.com

Though famed modernist architect Pierre Koenig passed away thirteen years ago at the age of 78, he is still managing to garner attention here in southern California, as his personal home in Brentwood is going on the market for close to $4 Million.

The USC graduate (and eventual professor at USC’s School of Architecture) was part of the coalition of architects commissioned by ‘Arts & Architecture’ magazine to experiment and design cost-efficient residential modern homes during the post-WWII housing boom, dubbed “The Case Study Houses”. Koenig was personally responsible for Case Study Houses #21 (the Bailey House) and #22 (the Stahl House), both of which reside in Los Angeles, with the former now a California monument, while the latter has been used for dozens of shoots and films in popular culture.

Koenig built his private residence in the mid-1980s, but this recently restored home has the feel and design of the retro-50’s space-age vision of the future. The 3 bedroom/2.5 bath home of steel and glass structural design is bright white and has a parlor, interior courtyard, music room, open kitchen and a three-story atrium with glass staircases and tall clerestory windows. The home also features an exceptional acoustic range.

As a tribute to the late designer, Koenig’s stepsons, Barry and Thomas Kaufman, spent nearly three years restoring the unique home to a vision of its original beauty and scope. The men even went as far as to include Koenig’s studio, complete with their step-father’s drafting tables.

While the hefty price tag may deter many interested buyers, this home is a testament to a creative man whose vision and style helped revolutionize the residential housing industry—it is a home unlike no other.

 

Want to know more or get in-touch with Altman Brothers Residential and Commmercial? Check Realtor.com’s initial coverage of Koenig’s listing below:

http://www.realtor.com/news/unique-homes/pierre-koenigs-personal-residence/

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ALL DAY AND ALL OF THE NIGHT

Growing up, we all tend to flip-flop between being a “Morning Person” or a “Night Crawler”—it just comes with the territory and any different factors come into play. Waking up early with the sunrise or staying up until that time can also determine which habitat is the best fit for someone’s life.

In case you missed it, Yuqing Pan and the team at Realtor.com set out to find some of the top cities in our nation for catchers of the worm and nocturnal creatures alike. Here’s what they found out:

WE OWN THE NIGHT

Are you able to sleep soundly when the rays are shining through the window, the lawnmower is at full-strength, and the recycling bin is being picked up? If you answered “yes” to any of these, you might be a night owl. If your current residence doesn’t suit you, maybe try giving one of these cities a whirl.

5. Miami

Miami is most notable for its fun in the sun and surf atmosphere—just don’t tell that to those Art Deco-style neon signs that illuminate on South Beach after sunset. Many exotic clubs don’t open until about 10 pm, closing around 6 am, just in-time for breakfast.

4. Cincinnati

A city in Ohio on this list? Though this little city may not get lively until its weekends, during the week a large portion of Cincinnatians start their work day in the evening, thanks to its hefty dose of health-care and manufacturing workers keeping America afloat.

3. New Orleans

Is anyone surprised that this city made the list?  If there’s a city in America with culture, it’s this southern belle, often referred to as ‘NOLA’ (New Orleans LouisianA). From drinking a fruity hurricane at a piano bar at 9 pm to purchasing the best gumbo you’ve ever tried at a street vender at 4 am, New Orleans is party culture incarnate.

2. Las Vegas

Cue Elvis! Or cue a dozen Elvis impersonators!  There’s really nothing like seeing Sin City’s illuminated strip for the first time, before and after you win it big at the casino, or catch a late-night magic show. Las Vegas’ nightlife is only surpassed by a city with a nickname only made for night owls…

1. New York City

Did you expect any other city than “The City That Never Sleeps”?

THE HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN

If you made dinner at 6:30 pm and fell asleep halfway through an episode of ‘House Of Cards’ by 8:30 pm, chances are you’re catching the worm every single morning. Take a look at these cities to see if maybe the breakfast and early morning activity sheet is a tad better than where you reside.

5. Arlington, VA

In close proximity to the capital, it makes sense that most Virginians are awake and ready to start their days—especially if it means eating an inherently American breakfast dish like chicken and waffles.

4. Bakersfield, CA

Bakersfield is well-known throughout literature and pop-culture as being the agricultural backbone of the southern California area. The phrase “rise and shine” doesn’t apply to the hardworking Bakersfield farmer, who is generally up before the rooster crows.

3. Scottsdale, AZ

Because of its beauty and heat, Arizona is the Florida of the west and an attractive place for retirees that have worked their entire lives to live in a resort-like atmosphere. As we age, we tend to like to start our days early.

2. Denver, CO

The last few years, it seems millennials have been leading a mass exodus to the Mile-High city for its adventurously outdoorsy scene and its mixture of blue-collar and trendy careers.

1. Honolulu, HI

While its breathtaking beauty is hard to come by in the wee hours of the morning for tourists and natives alike, fisherman know the exhaustion of what a day’s work may encompass, and that many other fisherman are competing in the same field with that same mindset.

 

To learn a little bit more on these cities and where you might fit in, follow the link below to Pan’s main article on Realtor.com’s website:

http://www.realtor.com/news/trends/best-cities-for-early-birds-and-night-owls/ 

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Best Summer Destinations for 2017

Are you thinking about options for your summer vacation this year? Well National Geographic has come out with a list of the best summer trip destinations for 2017. These are the top destinations that they came up with:

Bonito, Brazil

You can go snorkeling and spelunking in the remote Rio de Prata. Check out the Blue Lake Grotto and all the gorgeous caves inside the Bodoquena Mountain Range.

Rotterdam, The Netherlands

If you love big cities then you have got to explore all the gorgeous architecture and taste the delicious food in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. If you go in July, you could enjoy the world-famous Port of Rotterdam North Sea Jazz festival when it takes over the city.

Cocos Island, Costa Rica

Costa Rica has an abundance of hiking trails, jungles, and amazing underwater adventures. This island is home to hammerhead sharks, tiger sharks, and whale sharks, manta rays, and dolphins. Jacques Cousteau called it “the most beautiful island in the world.”

Nashville, Tennessee

If you really love music then head to music city of course! There is tons of live music both day and night in Nashville, Tennessee. You can check out several music festivals in that general vicinity including Bonnaroo and the Tomato Art Festival and the Let Freedom Ring concert.

Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

You can literally hang out with Apes if you visit here. How cool is that? This national park is part of a conservation project to protect the critically endangered mountain gorillas. And ten of the female gorillas are habituated to tourists.

 

To learn more about the best places to visit and the prime destinations to need to check out, go to this link or the main article on National Geographic’s site (there are also tons of gorgeous pictures of those destinations there too):

http://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/features/best-trips/best-summer-trips-2017/

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Walk Wednesdays in Encinitas

If you haven’t been checking out Encinitas’ Parks and Recreation department’s blog lately then you have been missing a lot of great Walk Wednesdays. Just in case you missed them, I am going to share some highlights from their suggestions with quotes of their descriptions. You need to check out some of these great Encinitas area walks this month!

Boneyards Beach Walk

“The route is 1.8 miles round trip and gets you a great workout on the sand.  The tidal range is large this week, so be sure to get out there early in the AM to catch some great negative tides, or the afternoon low tide so that you have plenty of beach to walk on.  During low tide conditions, the reefs near Swami’s are well exposed and fun to explore.” – Encinitas Parks and Recreation

Cottonwood Creek Park Trail

“This 1.1 mile out-and-back stroll starts and ends at Cottonwood Creek Park, an Encinitas favorite, just off of Encinitas Blvd, west of I-5.  Along the way, spot the interpretive signage telling the story of the watershed, and how the design of the park, and the City’s practices serve to filter and clean up the water before it reaches the ocean.” – Encinitas Parks and Recreation

Olivenhain Lone Hill Horse Trail

“Your hike will start from off-street parking available along Lone Jack Road near Lone Hills Drive.  From marked trail 93 along Lone Jack Road, you’ll head up Lone Hills Drive.  Go through the pedestrian opening around the gate and stay along the marked Recreational Trail.  As you hit the summit, you’ll find the trail marker to cross Lone Hills Drive to get onto trail 141, which will round a bend and provide you sweeping views of the canyon below.  Once the trail section ends at Lone Hills Drive, you can either turn back or explore other trail options that branch out to the east, at Encinitas’ city limits.” – Encinitas Parks and Recreation

Fortuna Ranch Loop

“Our route for this week takes you back to beautiful Olivenhain for a lengthy 3.67 mile loop.  The route, while passing along ranches and homes, keeps you on City multi-use trails, open to runners/walkers, horses and bicycles.” – Encinitas Parks and Recreation

 

For trail maps and more great tips and information check out all the original posts at the Encinitas Parks and Recreation blog:

http://ci.encinitas.ca.us/walkwednesdays

 

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Coldwell Banker $20,000 Summer Cash Giveaway

It is that time of year again everyone! Time for another Coldwell Banker Cash Giveaway of a whopping 20,000 dollars! Enter to win today. All you need to do to enter is go straight to this link right here: http://www.coldwellbankergiveaway.com/lindamoore and fill in your full name, address, phone number, city, email, state, and zip code before pressing submit. And just like that you qualify to win $20,000 during our drawing on September 4th. The deadline to submit your entry is September 1st so you still have a lot of time but the summer could pass more quickly than you expect so it’s always better to get a head start! What would you do with the money if you won the $20,000?

I have so great ideas on what people could do with that much money:

Cover Tuition Costs

Your kid may be heading off to college soon or perhaps you’d like to send them to a nicer private school in the area for high school. Or maybe you would like to return to school for a further degree. This money could help you do it!

Go on a Big Vacation

Have you been itching to take a big family vacation or a romantic anniversary getaway? With this much money, you could go almost anywhere that you wanted and stay in some of the nicest lodgings.

Invest It

You could be smart and practical by investing it in your retirement fund or any other special account. Or if you have been in the investing game for quite a while now, you can put it in some preferred stocks and gain a bigger return.

Treat and Pamper Yourself

What about using part of this money to pamper yourself for the entire weekend or week at the spa? You likely need a break from life. Doesn’t everyone? You could use this money purely on selfcare. Take a solo vacation. Go to the spa. Treat yourself to some much need rest away from work.

 

Go enter today!!!!

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