Entertaining the Family at Home

Entertaining the Family at Home

The best thing that we can do right now to protect ourselves and our families, friends and neighbors is to stay home. There are only so many hours in the day you can watch Tiger King or binge on whatever show you like.  And if you have young children you will hear them singing along with some Disney character. Let’s face it your family needs something new to do and it needs to be something that the whole family can enjoy while you’re all staying safe at home.

There are some unique opportunities available right now that may be less likely again once this is all over. They provide experiences that the whole family can enjoy that aren’t just the same old TV shows. Though this is not a huge list, there are a few activities that are quite interesting and maybe a learning experience for your kids.

A Virtual Reunion

There are record numbers of people working and doing schoolwork at home, and more people are using video conferencing services like Zoom, GoToMeeting and Microsoft Teams than ever before. These services aren’t just for work, however. You can use them to get in touch with family from around the country, and even schedule a “virtual reunion” to catch up and check in with each other. This can be a recurring event, letting you stay connected with loved ones throughout the pandemic. You may even grow closer as a family despite the distance and your kids can enjoy knowing cousins that could be near their age. I recently baked cookies with my sister, brother & mother via Zoom… then (to make it interesting) we mailed cookies to each other and had the other family members choose a winner! (well everyone won because we spent time together from far apart & there were cookies!) Then we got on a subsequent Zoom call to announce the results from each house.

Museum and Zoo Tours

Even though museums and zoos are currently closed to the public, a number of high-profile museums and zoos have started offering virtual online tours for free. You can go online and view great works of art, watch animals relaxing during their downtime, and even see unique things like puppies getting to run wild in an aquarium. On top of these custom experiences, many zoos and similar facilities have webcams focused on specific exhibits that you can check out throughout the year.

Learn Something New

To help families pass the time, many online learning platforms are offering extended free trials so that people can pick up new skills or learn interesting things while in self-isolation. On top of that, some teachers and experts are streaming free courses on Zoom and other platforms as well. There is a wide range of topics available for both kids and adults, meaning that there’s something for everyone to learn and enjoy. Heck, I’m learning to play guitar for free!

Start or Join a Book Club

Reading is a great way to pass the time, and you can share that with the family by starting a family book club. The premise is simple: Everyone picks out a book, and once a week you get together and discuss what you’re reading. Even younger children can participate; let them pick out a book that they want you to read, and at the meet-up you can let them show off the book and tell everyone about it.

If you want a bit more social interaction with your book club, you can also look into online book clubs that are a bit closer to traditional book club offerings. These can have members from across the nation or around the world. Some of them operate on dedicated websites, and others use social media groups. Either way, there should be options available for most readers.

Listen to a Story

Even if you don’t feel like doing all of that reading, there are a good number of authors and celebrities doing podcasts and videos in which they read a variety of books or stories. Quite a few of these are aimed at children, and some of them are more tailored to adults. Levar Burton (of Reading Rainbow fame) has even recently launched a video version of his podcast Levar Burton Reads with a wide range of content.

A Night in at the Movies

Under ordinary circumstances, you’d be able to take the family out to see some of the many movies that would be in theaters right now. But that’s not possible since all the theaters are closed. So instead, movie theaters are adapting with special digital rentals now available for recent box-office hits that ordinarily wouldn’t be available for rental yet, so that a wider audience can enjoy them. And some movies that were scheduled for early summer release, such as Trolls World Tour, are also making their debut via digital rental. So pop some popcorn and enjoy these new and recent blockbusters all from the privacy and safety of your own home.

Real estate is still being bought and sold. Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail buildings or land? Are you ready to buy or sell a home? We can help you with that, safely… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website http://www.702SellNow.com

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff

What Features Do Buyers Look For When Searching For a New Home?

As a Realtor I like to know what features buyers across a few generations list as being very important in their home search.

Among the top 10 were indoor/outdoor living, natural sunlight, renovated bedrooms and bathrooms, and energy-efficient features. Also high on the list were open floor plans, an area for a home office and hardwood floors or in the last few years the ceramic “wood” tile floors.  Another feature that has become popular is an area for a home gym.

Demand for outdoor living space has been the most popular feature in the southwest and most homebuilders in recent years have constructed homes with an indoor/ outdoor feature. They have glass panels that stack to open up the home to the outside.

In keeping with the outdoors, many homebuyers want fire features such as a fire pit so they can enjoy the outdoors all year round.

I would love to hear from you and hear what are the top features you want in your next home?

When consulting with me on your home search, we will be sure to prioritize what is important to you. This process will help us find homes that meet your needs more quickly and get you into the home you will love.

Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail buildings or land? Are you ready to buy or sell a home? We can help you with that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website http://www.702SellNow.com

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff

6 DIY Projects for Spring

Many of us have a little more time on our hands at the moment.  Instead of binging on TV shows, you and your family might want to try some new DIY projects around your home to for the spring season. The following are fun and easy ways to add some color and vibrancy to your home, and you can get everyone involved.  Keep reading for six DIY projects to get your home ready for spring.

DIY vertical pallet planter –This idea will liven up your outdoor space ready by making your own planter stand with wood pallets. Stand the pallet vertically up against the side of your house and use metal duct clamps to secure flowerpots to the individual pallet slats. You can grow perennials, herbs or anything you can think of to dress up your outdoor area. 

Make your own wall stencils -For a project inside your home, try making over a room by changing the walls. It’s easy to cut your own stencils out of cardstock or other durable paper. You could design and cut out a Moroccan-themed stencil, geometric patterns, leaves or anything else you can think of. Paint over the stencil on your wall using regular house paint or spray paint to make things even easier. 

Make your own milk glass vases -Milk glass is a coveted, vintage item. If you don’t own any, it’s simple to imitate. Choose some vases, bowls or glass bottles around your home and simply spray-paint them white. Make sure to do the inside and outside. They will make the perfect, crisp white backdrop to some of your favorite spring flowers.

Frame spring printables -One of the easiest ways you can freshen up your home for spring is to hang new prints that reflect the season. There are tons of free printables online that you can download. Choose from colorful spring patterns, blooming flowers, motivational quotes and more. Then, simply choose a frame that suits your style to display the printables and hang them to instantly give your home a facelift. To hang them on the wall use removable hooks (they stick to the wall with removable adhesive).  This way each season you can change the prints and move the frames to different positions

DIY wreath out of your favorite flowers – Start with a grapevine wreath, which you can purchase from most craft stores (even online). This will be your base for the wreath that you will decorate with any flower of your choosing. We suggest using artificial flowers so that they don’t die on you, but if you’re willing to change them out for fresh flowers once a week, more power to you! Cut the stems off of your fresh or faux flowers as needed, and weave them into the wreath. In minutes, you’ll have a brand-new wreath for your front door that reflects the new season. 

Striking fabric flower pots – If you really want your flowerpots to stand out, decorate them with fabric in any design you like. You could choose a floral print, polka dots, zigzags or anything that suits you. Using the pot as a guide, cut the fabric so that it will fit snugly around the pot. Attach the fabric to the pot using mod podge, and wrap it around the pot. Make sure you don’t cover the hole at the base of the pot where the water seeps through. Now you instantly have one-of-a-kind pots for your spring flowers to bloom in. 

Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail buildings or land? Are you ready to buy or sell a home? We can help you with that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website http://www.702SellNow.com

Choose to have an amazing day…Jeff

Spring Landscaping To Do List

Spring is finally here and the days are getting longer – Hooray!! Now it’s time to start thinking about the spring landscaping. There are several landscaping activities that you generally want to do in the springtime, but where do you start?

The following are a few suggestions of how to tackle your to do list.  These are some of the most common landscaping tasks that need doing once things start to warm up and getting them out of the way early can make other landscaping tasks easier as we roll though spring, and summer comes.  Who knows – maybe taking care of some of these items will inspire you to take on a larger landscaping project later in the year?

Clean Up That Winter Refuse -The winter can be tough on your lawn especially if you still have grass. Even if you have desert landscape you will likely find clumps of leaves that haven’t quite decayed, sticks and branches that fell during the winter … it can all leave a bit of a mess behind. Spend some time cleaning up the mess left by winter before you start any other tasks and you’ll find that the rest of your spring to-do list will be much easier.

Prune the Trees and Shrubs – Early spring is a great time to prune most of your trees and shrubs, since it’s before they get into a strong growth period. Early pruning allows you to shape them the way you want them to be and gives you a chance to eliminate unwanted overhangs and encroachment. If you wait until there’s new growth you can actually stunt some of that growth and make it harder to control how your trees and shrubs are forming.

Prep Your Lawn – If you have a grass lawn you will want it to look its best, so you need to show it some love in the spring. Aerate the lawn to help break up soil packed by cold temperatures in the winter, de thatch it to help it grow in thicker, and sow some seed to fill in bare spots once it’s warm enough. If your lawn has an uneven surface after the winter, bringing in a roller to go over the lawn wouldn’t be a bad idea either.

If you have desert landscaping, you might want to rake your rocks and use you hose to clean them off.  Look to see areas that are sparse you might want to purchase some new rocks and spread them around.

Clean Up Your Flower Beds – If you have flower beds around your home, chances are they could use a bit of picking up after the winter. Get rid of any damaged plants, pull any weeds or grass that tried to get established during the winter, and tidy up any debris or other crud that might have found their way into your beds. You should also pull away the winter mulch surrounding your perennials and divide them to get your beds off to a good start.

Feed and Protect – While you’re working on your lawn and your flower beds, go ahead and take the time to prep them for spring growth.  Add new mulch to your beds as needed, give your lawn a good dose of fertilizer, and make sure that all your other plants are similarly fed and protected. Your plants, trees and bushes will be doing a lot of growing in the coming months, so you want to make sure that they have everything they need.

Plan Your Summer – This is also the time to prepare for late spring and summer projects as well. If you’re going to have a garden, take the time to start prepping it now by tilling the soil, working in compost and starting some of your spring seeds indoors. If you’re going to undertake a construction project or add new features to your lawn, go ahead and start clearing the area. The work you put in now will make things so much easier when you get to that project.

Ready to Get to Work? –  Depending on what you have planned, you may need a bit of help to get your landscaping in tip-top shape. Luckily, I have a list of professional and trusted landscapers that I can recommend to you. Just reach out any time.

Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail buildings or land? We can help you with that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website http://www.702SellNow.com

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff

no foolin’ – I Got 3 months of Fender Play online guitar lessons for FREE (and you can too!)

There’s no catch! You don’t even have to give them a credit card number! Start learning guitar, bass and/or ukulele at home via your smartphone or computer today. Don’t have an instrument? Post on Nextdoor or Facebook to see who has one collecting dust (someone does… I guarantee it). Just make sure you sanitize it well before using it. And there’s even an app you can download that helps you magically tune your instrument!

Guitar  Image credit: William Iven from Pixabay

The current global situation has many people with a lot of spare time on their hands. To take their minds off of the current situation, many people are turning to music to help keep their spirits up. Surely, you’ve watched videos of various professional and amateur musicians entertaining themselves and others. So why not ensure this forced downtime is as productive as possible and learn a musical instrument? Worried about disturbing the rest of the house? That’s why this instrument is perfect! It’s not the drums or a trumpet! I took an old guitar into a bedroom and closed a door while my girlfriend was studying something new online in another room that she had always wanted to learn… she said I did not bother her at all.

According to this report from Fender, there are so many benefits to learning and playing the guitar; from reducing stress and inspiring creativity, to boosting your immune system, to help stave off Alzheimer’s disease. (their words, not mine).

Image credit: Kevin McIver from Pixabay

When this offer first hit the streets, Fender had limited the number of free subscriptions available to just 100,000. In an amazing demonstration of generosity, they’ve just increased the offer to 500,000. If you or a loved-one missed out the first time, don’t let it pass you by this time.

Fender Play features an ever-increasing bounty of easy-to-follow, instructor-guided videos to help new musicians get underway, as well as developing players who are a little further along on their musical journey. I took 1 guitar lesson here in Las Vegas a few years back and found Fender’s online instruction much easier to follow

“How do I get started?”, you ask? Just visit fender.com/playthrough to redeem your code. Once you have your code you can download the app via Google Play or the App Store and sign into your account. You can also sign into Fender Play via web/desktop.

Image credit: Lubov_ph from Pixabay

Learning songs is a fundamental part of musical development and, in addition to the lessons, the Fender Play library is packed with jam tracks by artists from America to ZZ Top, and there are current artists like Ed Sheeran, Sia and Shawn Mendes. If you’ve been looking for a new hobby or a way to get creative during the uncertain weeks and months ahead, the Fender Play app could be the virtual music teacher you’ve been waiting for.

Hopefully there will be a few silver linings come out of this global pandemic, and if the world has more musicians, I happen to think that would be amazing!

Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you want 3 cash offers? Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail buildings or land? We can help you with all of that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website http://www.702SellNow.com

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff