Creative Ways to Dye Your Easter Eggs

Easter is this Sunday! Do you have some fun gatherings planned with your family? Perhaps some load Easter baskets, a delicious feast, or an Easter egg hunt. If you have little kids in your family, then you will know how delightful it can be to see them unwrap the candy or find hidden eggs in the backyard. Dying Easter eggs is a great activity that everyone can do together and is a great way to express individual creativity. If you have never done it before then you ought to start this year. If you do it every year but are running out of ideas to make it new and exciting, then you have to check out this great link from Better Homes and Gardens: http://www.bhg.com/holidays/easter/eggs/quick-and-easy-easter-egg-decorations/ . This article has 35 different ways to dye your Easter eggs so each family member’s egg can be unique to their style. They look so cool too. You can display them afterwards around your house as a fun and colorful spring décor!

These are the six that I most want to try this Easter but take a look at the link above for yourself also and decide on your favorites that you want to try:

  • Tissue Paper Eggs

Make pretty cutout designs with tissue paper and then use decoupage paste to attach the tissue paper to the already dyed and dried eggs.

  • Watercolor Easter Eggs

Use simple and inexpensive watercolor paints to draw on your own personalized designs.

  • Margarine-Marbled Eggs

Using margarine in the dye has the coolest marbling effect. One cup cool water, twenty drops food coloring, two teaspoons white vinegar, and one tablespoon melted margarine.

  • Drizzled Easter Eggs

Drizzle your egg with rubber cement before dipping it into the dye then pull of the rubber cement.

  • Glitter Easter Eggs

Mix glue with glitter that is the color of your dyed egg and paint that on your egg with a small paintbrush. When it dries, the glue with be clear!

  • Painted Bunny Easter Eggs

Dye the eggs and wait for them to dry. Once they have dried, paint on some little bunnies so you can really show your Easter holiday spirit.

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Ten Best Cities for American Expats

Have you ever considered just picking up and moving out of the country? Sometimes it sure is a tempting idea. It would be a lie to say I have never thought about living abroad. If you were to move, though, how would you go about deciding where to live? Some of us have a dream to live in Paris or on an island in the Caribbean. But those aren’t necessarily practical places. More and more people are residing outside of the United States BECAUSE of the practicality, not despite it. The US State Department estimates that there were close to nine million Americans living abroad as of June 2016, which is a huge increase from the estimated 6.3 million in 2011.

With rapid globalization, it has never been easier to live in international cities all around the world. To help you narrow in on the best places to live abroad for jobs and homes and fun, Realtor.com ranked 231 global hubs according to these criteria: housing affordability, cost of living, quality of life, unemployment rate, number of American expats, low national homicide rate. This way you can make your dream come true of living abroad but still be practical about it!

Here are the results:

 

1.      Stuttgart, Germany

Median home price: $269,000

American expats in Germany: 137,575

 

2.      Glasgow, United Kingdom

Median home price: $165,300

American expats in U.K.: 212,150

 

3.      Montreal, Canada

Median home price: $213,706

American expats in Canada: 343,252

 

4.      Wellington, New Zealand

Median home price: $324,900

American expats in New Zealand: 22,300

 

5.      Merida, Mexico

Median home price: $125,000

American expats in Mexico: 876,528

 

6.      Amsterdam, Netherlands

Median home price: $512,900

American expats in the Netherlands: 27,285

 

7.      Canberra, Australia

Median home price: $505,100

American expats in Australia: 110,643

 

8.      Lyon, France

Median home price: $341,500

American expats in France: 53,906

 

9.      Dublin, Ireland

Median home price: $294,300

American expats in Ireland: 30,690

 

10.  Durban, South Africa

Median home price: $108,000

American expats in South Africa: 18,114

 

Learn more about these ten cities here:

http://www.realtor.com/news/trends/top-10-international-cities-for-american-expats/

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Coming Soon: Walking Tour of Historic Encinitas

Why not spend your Saturday learning all about the town that you inhabit and love? I am back again to report of some up and coming events in the Encinitas area and it is some good news for those of you who are history buffs or have always been curious about the history of our particular little coastal town. This Saturday, on April 15th, the Encinitas Historical Society will be holding a free walking tour of the Historic Encinitas. You can learn everything you didn’t know how the history of this lovely coastal town while getting in a nice mid-morning stroll all in time to spend lunch and the rest of the evening doing whatever you like around town. The tour will begin at 10 am this coming Saturday and will be starting from the 1883 Schoolhouse located at 390 West F Street.

The tour will be led and directed by an Encinitas Historical Society volunteer who will be providing the participants of the tour with tons of interesting facts about the history of Encinitas including the story of how it came to be called the “flower capital”. All attendees of the tour will also be sure to learn exactly why the early came to the town and stayed in the 1880s and hear entertaining anecdotes about the earliest owners of the many historic buildings in that part of town. The tour will conclude around noon in time for you to grab lunch downtown. If you are interested in hearing more about the tour then call the Encinitas Historical Society President, Carolyn Cope, at (760) 753-4834.

Walking Tour of Historic Encinitas:

Saturday, April 15th

10 am – 12 pm

1883 Schoolhouse, 390 West F Street

Go to this link to find out more information about the tour and other times it will be held in case you miss this tour:

http://www.osidenews.com/2017/04/09/walking-tour-historic-encinitas-set-april-15/

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Downtown Coastal Urban Living

Happy Monday all!

I premiered a new listing on the fourth of April and this new listing is quite a gem, as it is an unique type of property that doesn’t arrive on the market very often. In fact, it is an extremely rare property in this current market climate. 118 Triton Circle is downtown Encinitas coastal urban living at its absolute finest. It has the largest floor plan in the village of North Shore in Encinitas. This 1,815-square-foot home has three bedrooms with two and a half baths and has a starting price of $1,245,000. The home boasts of high ceilings and an abundance of beautiful natural light which flows in from the large windows. It has both a family room and living room along with a two-car attached garage.

In the backyard, there is easy to care for synthetic grass and gorgeous panoramic views of the evening lights in the city. This home is immaculate. It is a mere few blocks away from a kid-friendly park, the library, the town center, excellent shopping, a farmer’s market, tons of delicious restaurants, the coaster station, and some fabulous beaches. I already hosted two open houses this past Saturday and Sunday from one to four in the evening. Everyone that stopped by nearly fell in love with the home, so much so that I am positive it will be off the market very soon. Therefore, I will be hosting another open house this Wednesday from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm. Come by to check it out so you don’t miss your chance.

Open House:

118 Triton Circle

Wednesday, April 12th

10:30 am – 12:30 pm

Here are a few pictures for you to get a taste of this amazing home:

 

Here are the property flyers so you can show your friends who might be house hunting:

 

You can take a look at the listing’s website here:

http://paragonmls.sandicor.com/publink/default.aspx?GUID=1037656e-c4e4-462e-a77d-b0c85a812ced&Report=Yes

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Some Great Easter Recipes

There aren’t as many Easter themed foods or recipes as there are for other holidays. It seems as if most of the food consumed for Easter is pre-packaged chocolate and colored marshmallows. If you are feeling like you would like to do a little more of a homemade Easter feast, then you positively have to try some of these amazing recipes from HGTV. They are creative and so decorative. You can find them all here: http://www.hgtv.com/design/make-and-celebrate/entertaining/our-favorite-easter-recipes-pictures And these are some of the amazing recipes included:

  • Carrot Chocolate Pudding Cup
  • Pink Snowball Cake
  • Royal Icing Bird Nest
  • Mini Hot Cross Buns
  • Melon Cups
  • Lemon Cupcakes
  • Brunch Flatbread
  • Carrot Cake Cookies
  • Pink Snowball Cakelettes
  • Three Ways to Make Deviled Eggs
  • Chocolate Coconut Candies
  • Strawberry Strata
  • Hatching Chick Cake
  • Easter Egg Macaroons
  • Salmon Lollipops
  • Spring Flower Lollipops
  • Lemon Pots de Crème
  • Spring-Inspired Petit Fours

There are a total of fifty five Easter recipes. Try as many of them as you have time for!

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How to Move When You have Kids

Moving is an extremely stressful life event, we are all aware of that fact. But when you have kids it can be significantly more difficult to keep your head screwed on straight. Having kids while dealing the draining experience of moving has the ability to make you feel like you are losing your mind. Here are some ideas on how you can minimize the craziness of the process of relocating with kids:

Give Them an Early Heads Up:

Kids have strong intuitions and will likely know if something is going on that they haven’t been told about. This is why it’s a good idea to tell them you are moving early on so they don’t get anxious about the unknown. Explain that they will have plenty of time to say goodbye to their friends and that all their things will be going with them in the move.

Let Them Decorate the Boxes:

Getting the kids to personalize their boxes that hold their belongings will keep them busy for longer periods of time and will make them feel more included in the moving process which will give them a sense of ease that they might not have had otherwise.

Keep Kid ‘Essentials’ on Hand:

Make a box of things that the kids would need or want ASAP and then take it with you in your own car rather than putting it in the moving truck. Let your kids pick some of the essentials that they want to have easily accessible during the move.

Keep Important Family Paperwork Around, Too:

Also, bring another box that you can fill with all important personal or school-related documents for your kids such as birth certificates, medical records, transcript, and social security cards. You don’t want to lose important papers or documentation amidst the hustle and bustle of the move.

 

Those are just the first four tips. You can find four more tips for moving with kids at the original article linked below:

http://www.realtor.com/advice/move/how-to-move-with-kids/?iid=rdc_news_hp_carousel_theLatest

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Last-Minute Tax Tips for Homeowners

The due date for tax returns was pushed back a few days this year to April 18th. Nevertheless, we are getting a little too close to the due date for comfort. If you haven’t filed yours yet or even started thinking about it then you are cutting it close. But there is no need to panic. Realtor.com gives some good last minute tax tips to get more tax breaks on your home and save you a lot of money.

Tip Number One

Grab a 1098 form, otherwise known as the Mortgage Interest Statement, which is sort of like your home’s W-2. With this form, you can get your two biggest breaks in regard to your home: the mortgage interest and property taxes.

Tip Number Two

File an extension on your tax return so you can use some extra time to get all the work done that you need to in order to get the tax breaks that you qualify for. In recent years, the IRS has made it significantly easier to get an extension.

Tip Number Three

If you make less than $64,000 a year, you qualify for free tax prep software. This way the process will be significantly easier and likely cut down how long it will take you to finish your return and send it in. Even if you make more money than that, you can still find free or low-cost online tax prep that you can use to speed up the process.

So, you did wait a little too long this year and are slightly stressed out now. You will still get it done it time and obtain the tax breaks you are hoping for. But now you know that next year, you ought to start prepping for tax season a little bit earlier than you did this year.

 

Check out the original article here:

http://www.realtor.com/advice/finance/last-minute-tax-tips-for-homeowners/?iid=rdc_news_hp_carousel_theLatest

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Some Maintenance Tasks to Complete in April

According to many home improvement experts, April is the prime time to complete a lot of important home projects. April is the perfect time because most parts of the country have just finished a harsh winter but they won’t enter the sweltering heat of summer until later on. Realtor.com has made some great suggestions of outdoor tasks you can tackle during this perfect window of time. These kinds of maintenance or upkeep tasks don’t take very long at all but if you don’t regularly do them, you could end up with a world of hurt! So, get up off your couch and out into that spring weather:

  • Check your yard for low spots

“After a spring shower, tour your yard to look for puddles that indicate low spots that will kill your grass and provide a happy breeding ground for mosquitoes.”

  • Check soil drainage around foundation

“Make sure soil slopes away from foundation walls to prevent water from soaking the soil around your foundation and causing leaks and cracks.”

  • Clean out planting beds

“Prepare flower and veggie beds for spring planting by removing debris, trimming back last year’s dead perennial growth, and adding compost and mulch.”

  • Check sprinkler system

“Get your sprinkler system ready for summer by inspecting each zone to make sure it’s working and covering each zone properly. If you find dry spots, straighten and re-aim any crooked sprinkler heads. Replace heads with broken or worn parts.”

  • Tune up your lawn mower

“Sharpen the cutting blade, add a new spark plug and air filter, and change the oil to make sure you’re ready to tame your lush lawn. Regular spring maintenance ensures a long life for your mower and avoids costly replacement.”

  • Check foundation and eave vents for obstruction and damage

“Your house likes to breathe and has vents that let air circulate through crawl spaces and roof framing to help prevent mold and mildew. These vents have screens to keep out debris and—worse—critters. Tour your house to check and clean clogged vents along the foundation walls and under eaves, and to repair any broken or missing screens.”

  • Spot worn and chipped paint exterior

“Not all house painting tasks are major. This yearly job involves inspecting your siding and exterior trim for small cracks and chips and repairing spots before moisture can penetrate.”

Check out the original article:

http://www.realtor.com/advice/home-improvement/home-maintenance-tasks-checklist-april/?iid=rdc_news_hp_carousel_theLatest

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You Don’t Need to Be Royalty to Stay in a Castle

I think we all, at one point or another, have dreamed of living like a king or queen in a castle. We all wonder what it would be like to be waited on hand and foot or how it would feel to live in utter extravagant surroundings. Well, now you can with the help of the HomeAway Castle Collection. There are castles all around the globe that you can stay in, sometimes for as little as fifty dollars a night. Here are a few of the positively gorgeous castles you can spend a few nights in:

Duns Castle, Scotland: This 14th century castle sits on a 12,000-acre estate that is about an hour south of Edinburgh. Its starting price is $3,108 per night.

Stuhlingen Castle, Germany: This 453-year-old castle is actually not a castle but is, in fact, a former rectory of a church. You can stay there for a mere $59 a night!

Arquenay, France: This beautiful 19th century palace has its very own private lake, swimming pool and cinema.

Chateau de Servigny, Yvetot-Bocage, France: The 16th century retreat has great historical significance as it is the place where the treaty of Cherbourg between the United States and Germany was signed in 1944.

Lisheen, Munster, Ireland: This 19th century castle is located in County Tipperary and hosts private parties of up to sixteen people at $1,075 per night.

Saint Polten, Austria: This baroque style palace in Austria even has a moat!!!

Castello Claves, Acireale, Italy: At $270 a night, you can enjoy lovely views of the sea off the Italian coast, a huge private pool, and panoramic terraces.

La Bijoire, Vendee, France: Swim in the Atlantic while staying at this gorgeous oceanfront chateau in Western France.

 

Take a look at some of the beautiful castles that you can stay in at the original article linked below:

http://www.hgtv.com/design-blog/entertaining/why-should-belle-have-all-the-fun–anyone-can-stay-in-a-castle

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Five Things to Do After Work for a Stress-Free Evening

Have you ever had a really stressful day of work and all you can think about is relaxing when you get home only to find yourself completely unable to de-stress? That is one of the most frustrating things you can experience! There are certain things that you can do right when you get home from work to have a calmer evening. Certain things you can do to keep your mind off of work once the work day is over. Try these five different things:

  • Put things where they belong

If you leave tons of work items laying around your home, try to put them away and out of site instead including briefcases, coats, shoes, and the mail. This will help keep your mind from wandering to work and your to-dos for tomorrow.

  • Check in, connect, and center

When you get home from work, you need to connect with your loved ones or your roommate or your pet. And if you live alone, then connect with yourself! Feeling centered and connected to those you care about will set a lovely tone for the rest of your evening.

  • Cook an easy-to-make meal

Good nutrition is extremely important and making an easy yet nutritious meal can make the evening far more relaxing than if you were to strain over a complex recipe or eat only junk food that drains you of real energy.

  • Spend a little time on a hobby, habit, or goal

Spend just 20 or 30 minutes on something creative that you have always wanted to pursue or read a book you’ve always wanted to read. This will invigorate you and give a purpose to your day that you may not be lucky enough to find in work.

  • Prep for the next day

Pick a few things you can do to make your day run a little smoother tomorrow. Just a little prep work can make the world of difference.

 

Check out the original article here:

http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/have-happier-evenings-at-home-5-things-to-do-the-moment-works-over-216445

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