This Homemade Apple Cider Will Surely Delight

Now is the time to go apple picking! The orchards are brimming with numerous varieties of apples. If you’ve already gone apple picking with the family, then you have plenty of delicious fruit you handpicked yourself.

Why not use a few apples to make scrumptious drinks that everyone will love? Since autumn has officially started, make the most of the season by making some homemade apple cider for your family, friends, or coworkers. Go ahead and roll up those sleeves because this easy recipe will both comfort and delight you.

Get Your Ingredients Ready

  • 10-12 Fresh Apples (Use any variety of apples you want. This recipe originally used a combination of tart and sweet apples)
  • 2 Oranges (cut into quarters)
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tablespoon cloves (optional: 1 teaspoon whole allspice and 1 whole nutmeg)
  • 16 cups water
  • ½ cup maple syrup, brown sugar, or alternative sweetener
  • Fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth

Choose How You Would Like to Make Apple Cider

This homemade apple cider recipe is so versatile, as you could make it on the stovetop, in a crock-pot, or with an instant pot! The version that will be covered here will be the slow cooker version.

This recipe is made for 12 servings, and the total prep and cooking time is 190 minutes (a little over 3 hours). If you would like a smaller batch of cider, simply halve the recipe ingredients.

Putting it All Together

To get started on your deliciously delightful homemade apple cider, simply get your 6-quart slow cooker and follow these 6 easy steps!

  1. Getting Started: Add your fruit and spices first into the crock-pot, then the water (note: make sure to leave 1-2 inches of space at the top).
  2. Simmer: Cook the homemade apple cider on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours. Simmer until the apples are soft.
  3. Get Mashing: Use a potato masher or any other appropriate tool to mash the fruit inside the slow cooker. This step will release even more flavor! Once you’re done, cover the crock-pot back up and let it keep simmering.
  4. Strain the Cider: Use the cheesecloth or mesh strainer to strain out the cider. Squeeze the cloth to release all excess liquid and discard the fruit and spices.
  5. Add Sweetener: Add in the sweetener you chose.
  6. Serve: You’re all done! Your homemade apple cider is ready to enjoy! Make sure to serve warm, and if you’d like some presentation, top off glasses with orange slices or cinnamon sticks.

In six simple steps, you will have made delicious homemade apple cider that is sure to delight your friends and family!

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What to Know Before Getting a Window Replacement

Thinking about getting your home windows replaced? There are many reasons people choose to completely replace their windows, such as:

  • Improve energy efficiency
  • Improved safety
  • Outdated style
  • Defects in the window
  • Age

Window replacement can seem daunting, after all, there are a lot of options to choose from. But no matter what window style or glass coating you choose, there are certain things you should know.

What Type of Window Replacement Do You Want?

There are two types of window installations. You could choose to do a pocket installation or a full-frame installation.

A pocket installation just replaces the sash of the old window. This removes your old window glass but keeps the old frame. If you like the look of your existing window frame, you could just replace the window itself. This is more cost effective and is a lot quicker to install. However, your window options are vastly limited.

A full-frame installation removes everything in your window box, the glass and the surrounding frame. The new frame will give you improved insulation and trim, which could make your windows more energy efficient. In addition, full-frame replacement offers you more options in terms of personalization. One thing to keep in mind though is that this type of installation is both time and labor intensive.

What Types of Windows Can I Choose From?

There are commonly three popular materials for window replacement: fiberglass, vinyl, and wood.

  • Fiberglass Windows: Low maintenance and durable. This material has the quality look of painted wood. This durable window type can withstand extreme heat and subzero temperatures.
  • Vinyl Windows: The easiest window material to take care of, vinyl is energy efficient and cost effective. Vinyl windows typically come with multi-frames which can add extra strength and durability.
  • Wood Windows: Classic and elegant, wood replacement windows are energy efficient and stylish. However, wood is more costly than vinyl and fiberglass. The type and color of the wood can be personalized.

When it comes to the actual window, there are a few features to choose from. You could choose a single glazed window, which is the most cost effective, but can increase the cost of both heating and air conditioning. A double-glazed window is more costly but contains thermal glass which can greatly increase your homes energy efficiency.

There are many ways to go about getting a window replacement, but what you need to keep in mind is cost, material, and durability. Getting new windows can completely transform a home, so  take your time deciding on what kind you want.

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Awe-inspiring Cerro Street Home

If you enjoy peaceful sunsets and awe-inspiring hillside views, check out 408 Cerro Street in Encinitas! This home is quite unlike any other, and it’s calling your name!

This elevated West facing estate home is absolutely incredible! Featuring 4 bedrooms, 2 full baths, one half bath, and approximately 2,175 square feet, there’s plenty of room for your modern family.

This Encinitas home comes complete with double pane windows, a three-car garage, and bright light throughout. There is an attic above the kitchen area that gives homeowners the potential to expand the master bath and closet areas.

The backyard is absolutely incredible! It’s large and private, perfect for relaxing or hosting a get-together. The backyard comes complete with a sparkling pool, spa, back patio, and mature foliage.

The current listing price is set for $899,000 to $915,000. Located close to popular stores, various shops, delicious restaurants, and award-winning schools, what more could you ask for? This home has absolutely no HOA fees and could be easily personalized to fit a homeowner’s unique tastes and preferences.

For more information on this awe-inspiring listing, view detailed information here.

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Prepare Your Home for Fall and Winter

Now that the summer season is behind us, it’s time to think about preparing your home for fall and winter. With the colder months incoming, it’s important to protect your home, and yourself, from the harsher weather.

If you live in warmer parts of the US, like California, you don’t need to do quite as much prep for fall and winter. However, there are still some measures you should take in order to better protect yourself and your home.

Take a look at these smart ways to prepare your home for fall and winter:

  • Clean or Replace Your Gutters

Gutters are important because they protect your home and garage from both interior and exterior flooding. Clean them out of leaves and other rubbish, or if they’re falling apart, replace them.

  • Furnace and Chimney Inspection

Have your furnace checked by an HVAC professional to ensure it’s working properly. Don’t wait until an issue comes up in the dead of winter! If you have a chimney, make sure you get it cleaned at least once a year and have it checked for

  • Check Windows and Roof

Check your windows for damage or drafts. Look at the molding and the seal for leaks. To better catch leaks, wet your hand and move your hand around the edge of each window. It’s also important to keep an eye on your roof to spot any missing or damaged shingles. If you spot any issues, call a professional to avoid a small issue turning into a major one.

  • Test Safety Devices

If you don’t already, make sure you have working fire and carbon monoxide detectors. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), homeowners should have fire alarms on every level, both inside and outside sleeping areas. The rule for carbon monoxide detectors is the same.

  • Fix Cracks in Your Driveway

Cracks in your driveway are more than unseemly, they could turn into a major issue later on. If you live in areas with snow or colder temps, know that water could leak into cracks, freeze, and expand–turning that small crack into a major problem. This is an easy fix though, simply use a concrete crack sealer.

  • Drain Outdoor Faucets

If you live in colder climates, make sure you turn off all outdoor faucets and drain them before the first snowfall. If water freezes, you could risk your pipes bursting.  Older homes may have a valve inside the home that needs to be turned off.

By doing all these home maintenance tasks, you and your home could be better prepared for the changing climate.

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Importance of Title Insurance for Solar Powered Homes

Are you considering making the switch to renewable energy? There are many benefits to using solar power to power your home, including lower energy costs, increased home value, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and so much more.

But this increase in renewable energy has stirred up many questions, specifically about title insurance.

What are Solar Easements for Solar Powered Homes?

Solar easements give homeowners rights to legally protect their access to sunshine. If you live in close proximity to a neighbor with tall trees on their property, having a solar easement ensures that you have the right to direct sunlight for your solar powered home.

A solar easement would ensure that your neighbors’ trees do not obscure any sunlight. This right would mean your neighbor could not grow their trees above a certain height because otherwise, your solar power production would be affected.

Solar easements also allow a third party to construct solar panels on a landowner’s property. California has solar easement policies in place that allow homeowners to acquire a solar easement.

What are Solar Leases for Solar Powered Homes?

Unlike solar easements, solar leases give homeowners the right to lease solar equipment from a business for energy use.

There are many benefits to solar leases, such as saving costs for installation and being able to start using solar power right away. However, homeowners may run into some issues if they decide to refinance or sell their property while leasing.

Issues for Homeowners with Solar Leases

Oftentimes, the solar lease will stipulate that the new homebuyer must be eligible to continue to lease the solar equipment. If the potential homebuyer cannot continue the lease or is not approved, the new buyer may be expected to buy the solar panels from the leaser.

Another issue that may come up is the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) financing statement that is often attached to solar leases by solar companies. A solar power equipment lender may deny homeowners the right to convey the property if they believe the UCC financing has a superior lien to mortgage.

Luckily, there are two ways to go about tackling this issue. Homeowners can simply inform the lender that they wish to refinance or sell their property. This gives the lender time to subordinate the UCC filing or cease the filing and reinstate it with the new homeowner’s mortgage.

Title insurance may be obtained if all other options fail. But if the solar panels on the property are considered fixtures, the property value may be affected. Whether panels are considered fixtures or personal property is best determined by an agreement between the homeowner and the solar leasing business.

Obtaining and Protecting Your Right to Solar Energy

Using solar power is beneficial to homeowners and the environment. But before installing solar equipment, decide if you would like to own the equipment or lease it. There are benefits to both, but your personal situation may determine which route you choose. If you decide to own the solar panels outright, protect your right to the sun to ensure you receive adequate solar production.

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Coldwell Banker’s Homes for Dogs Project Hosts Adoption Event

Coldwell Banker partnered with back in 2015 to find homes for numerous dogs in need of tender love and care. Since then, over 20,000 dogs have been placed in their furever loving homes!

Join the movement by supporting the Homes for Dogs Project, which hosts events throughout the year. This year, an adoption event will be held to benefit the Helen Woodward Animal Center in Rancho Santa Fe.

Where and When is the Adoption Event?

The event will take place on September 28th, 2019 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. The animal center is located at 6461 El Apajo, Rancho Santa Fe, California 92067.

The Helen Woodward Animal Center is located near San Dieguito Road, right across from the Rancho Santa Fe Fire Protection District Station 3.

Donate Items at the Adoption Event or Have Them Picked Up

This event will help pair lovable dogs in need of a home with their perfect family. Along with adoptions, there will be a pet supply collection to help feed the animals at the Helen Woodward Animal Center. Acceptable food donations include unopened dry or wet food for both cats and dogs of all ages.

If you can’t make the event, but still wish to help a worthy cause, simply contact me by phone at (760) 310-0234 or email at I will arrange a pickup of your donated items and take care of the rest!

Get Ready for Adoption

Adopting a pet is a huge responsibility that requires preparedness and careful thought. If you have the intention to adopt a dog, your heart is in the right place! Now make sure that your home is prepared to handle a new family member.

For a complete list of items you will need to welcome a new pet into your family, check out this checklist for new adopters.

There are a multitude of health and social benefits that come with being a pet parent. If you’re still mulling over the idea of owning a dog, know that there are plenty of positive incentives for doing so, such as improved heart health and increased happiness.

This adoption event is open to everyone, so feel free to stop by, even if you don’t plan on adopting. I hope to see you there!

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New Coldwell Banker Program Allows You to Sell Your Home for Top Dollar with Zoom Casa

Are you currently selling your home or thinking of putting it up on the market? The way you present your home is crucially important, after all, potential home buyers should be able to envision themselves living there.

Even if your home is newly remodeled and picturesque, proper staging can help you earn top dollar for your home! Don’t let your personal style and décor distract from your gorgeous archways and spotless hardwood floors.

Zoom Casa could help you turn your beautiful house into the perfect model home that buyers will absolutely love!

What Exactly is Zoom Casa?

Zoom Casa empowers homeowners by offering painless home renovation and staging solutions! With the proper set up, you could earn top dollar faster for your home!

Stagers work with professional real estate agents in order to offer home sellers staging and renovation services through Zoom Casa Partners, like Coldwell Banker.

Don’t worry about paying out of pocket! By using Zoom Casa, you don’t have to pay upfront as 100% of the costs are deferred until close of escrow.

There is total transparency when you work with Zoom Casa, so expect no hidden costs or charges. There is also no interest or fees of any kind!

What Work Will Be Done?

With Zoom Casa, you could receive several beneficial services that could help you score top dollar on your home listing in California.

Your home could be renovated with high impact cosmetic upgrades like:

  • New paint
  • New flooring
  • Granite counter tops
  • Basic home improvements

In addition, if your home is in need of quick repair due to roof leaks or mold, Zoom Casa will be able to make mandatory repairs. Once the basics are covered, it is time to begin staging your home!

Staging one’s home before selling is often overlooked, but can help home sellers achieve a better, faster outcome. With professional staging, you are ensured that prospective buyers will experience an unforgettable first impression. With the right furnishings, you could elicit emotional responses that may get you multiple offers.

If you’d like to earn top dollar for your home and sell it faster, then submit your home listing or talk to your agent about using Zoom Casa.

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Apple Orchards to Visit During September in Southern California

Autumn is the harvest season for apples, specifically both August and September. So make time this month to visit an apple orchard in Southern California and go apply picking!

Apple orchards not only allow you to pick your own apples right from the tree, but they offer seasonal delights like sugared cider donuts and homemade apple cider. There are also fun family activities to enjoy with the kids!

Take a look at what these apple orchards have to offer in California:

Volcan Valley Apple Farm

  • 1284 Julian Orchards Dr, Julian, CA 92036
  • Reopens September 13 from 9:00am – 4:30pm

This apple farm is the largest orchard in Julien. There are over 7,000 apple trees and seven different types of apples to choose from. Volcan Valley Apply Farm will have all rows and apple varieties available on September 13th.

 Julian Farm and Orchard

  • 4381 CA-78, Santa Ysabel, CA 92070
  • Weekends from 10:00am – 5:00pm beginning September 21st

As of now until September 21st, you can still experience the summer harvest and pick raspberries and blackberries. The fall harvest activities after September 21st through Halloween. Julian Farm activities include cider pressing, farm animals, axe throwing, archery, and more. This orchard is 25 acres and has 1,500 apple trees.

Snow-Line Orchard and Winery

  • 39400 Oak Glen Road, Yucaipa, CA 92399
  • Open daily from 9:00am – 5:00pm

Experience more than just apple picking at this incredible orchard and winery! Snow-Line Orchard has delicious apples, fresh cider, u-pick raspberries, apple cider mini donuts, local honey, farm made wine and hard cider, and much more! Visit the tasting room to try delicious wines and hard ciders!

Parish Pioneer Ranch

  • 38561 Oak Glen Rd, Oak Glen, CA 92399
  • Open 7 days a week from 9:00am – 5:00pm

This ranch is huge and is a joy to explore. Pick apples from the area, such as a Vasquez, which was developed by Juan Vasquez–a long-time Parrish Ranch foreman. Or you may decide to try antique apples that are no longer commercially available, like a Gravenstein or Pink Pearl.  Don’t forget to say hello to the farm animals, like the mini horse named Cinderella!

Riley’s Los Rios Rancho

  • 39611 Oak Glen Rd, Oak Glen, CA 92399
  • Monday, Thursday, and Friday from 11:00am – 5:00pm
  • Saturday and Sunday from 9:00am – 5:00pm

This operating Southern California apple farm has been the largest since 1906! Enjoy historic entertainment and the fruits of traditional farming this September. Activities include country dances, nature trails, horseback rides, and more. For more details on the fall activities, check out their detailed itinerary.

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Chic Outdoor Decorations for the Fall Season

The fall season is almost upon us! The children are back in school and Starbucks has released its coveted pumpkin spice latte!

Autumn brings cooler temps, changing leaves, and seasonal harvest favorites like pumpkin, apples, sweet potatoes, and more. There’s a magical quality that encompasses the fall season, and you can capture the spirit of autumn with these chic outdoor decorations!

  • Adorable Scarecrows

These standing scarecrow figurines welcome your guests into your home with cheeky grins and adorable harvest outfits.

  • Pumpkin Tower

This gorgeous topiary figurine features three sized pumpkins atop a detailed holder. Buy two to place on either side of your front door for maximum curb appeal!

  • Autumn Harvest Basket

This autumn harvest basket would look so chic right by your entrance. The basket is filled with leaves, grass, mini pumpkins, and colorful leaves to fill your eyes with delight.

  • Traditional Fall Wreath

This seasonal wreath fully captures the spirit of autumn! With mini pumpkins, acorns, sunflowers, fern, berries, and fall leaves, this colorful wreath is sure to impress.

  • Lighted Berry Garland

If you want to frame your door with seasonal décor, check out this beautiful berry garland that lights up!  Not only do you have a chic doorway, but you have more illuminating light.

  • Pumpkin Outdoor Mat

This outdoor mat is unlike a traditional door mat. Shaped like three pumpkins, this stunningly chic mat is sure to get your compliments.

  • Potted Japanese Maple Tree

This unbelievably gorgeous Japanese maple tree looks like a dream! Tall and whimsical, this faux tree looks realistic with colorful leaves and dense foliage.

  • Neutral Toned Wheat Wreath

This neutral toned wreath is minimalism at its finest. With a beautiful mix of dark green and beige colored ferns, this fall wreath is both simple and finely detailed.

  • Leaf Covered Throw Pillow

This leaf covered outdoor throw pillow comes in three chic colors and three sizes. Choose between brown, navy blue, or rust.

  • Rusty Car and Pumpkin Yard Stake

Want a yard stake that looks chic and weathered? Choose between a classic red pickup truck with pumpkin cargo or a pumpkin with the words ‘Happy Fall’ for traditional outdoor décor.

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Enchanting Rosebay Falls Home

Looking for a one of a kind townhouse with spectacular ocean views? Look no further than 155 Rosebay Drive 6 in Encinitas, California!

This enchanting listing can be found at Rosebay Falls, and it has the absolute best location in the complex! Featuring 2 bedrooms and 2 baths, this end unit has approximately 1,000 square feet of spacious room. There are 2 car parking garage spaces as well.

A laundry can be found inside for convenience, as well as double pane windows and a slider. The marble floors are white and sleek, and new homeowners will love the redone kitchen and baths. There is even a new water heater for the unit.

This sought after Rosebay Falls end unit is right beside peaceful gardens with lush foliage, sparkling streams, and picturesque rock landscaping. Relax or entertain on the shady balcony overlooking panoramic ocean views. Gorgeous sunset views can be enjoyed every day!

This home is close to town, breathtaking beaches, shopping, and restaurants. Easy freeway access can be found nearby. Located near several award winning schools, this location is perfect for families. To top it all off, the HOA fees are low! The current listing price is $749,000.

This Encinitas location is hard to beat. For more information on this enchanting listing, view the listing details page.

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