Tip Tuesday: Moving in Together for the First Time? Think about this!

moving_couple_holding_hands1
Photo credit: http://www.moving.com

We saw this blog post and thought it was the perfect post for today’s Tip Tuesday!  If you’re moving in together as a couple for the first time, it’s a very exciting yet scary time. Top Interior Designer (and a Dance10 friend of Krystal’s…..did you see our Hump Day Love post on Dance10?), Taylor Spellman brings you the best advice to make this transition and your new living space a happy, peaceful home.  

 

P.S.: Don’t forget to watch her new reality show, Yours, Mine or Ours, premiering on Bravo in October.

Hump Day Love: Old Wethersfield Country Store

Are you craving a small town feel?  Are you craving  store that has unique finds that you really can’t get anywhere else?  How about a place that specializes in local goods?  Or a place that brings you back to the “good old days”?  We’ve got the place for you!

Old Wethersfield Country Store is just that and more.  Looking for a good bottle wine?  Connecticut Vineyard Wine bottles are featured here.  How about a good jam or bbq sauce? Local brands are specialized here.  Home-made dog treats?  Fun gifts like beer glasses that feature “I love Wethersfield” or “I love CT” on them?  Craving a Nora cupcake?  Need some gluten free rolls?  How about filling your body with sthe endless benefits of Kombucha juice…on tap!?  Check, check and check!  This store has it all and don’t forget about the old fashioned candy display….perfect for both adults and kid.  wethersfieldstore

Recently, they’ve been featuring their ability to create and cater cheese plates for your next party.  It’s a great idea for your next picnic or trip to the vineyard.

The owners of this beautiful, small-town store are always welcoming and do a fantastic job of keeping the store consistent yet updating it throughout the year to offer fun, new surprises and features that are consistent with the seasons/holidays.  Be sure to “like” their Facebook page as they are always highlighting their daily in-store features and it makes you want to rush right in as to to be sure not to miss anything!

It’s certainly worth a visit whether you’re in Wethersfield or anywhere in the area; be sure to stop by and trust us….get some Kombucha juice!

Tip Tuesday: Thinking of Rain Barrels on This Rainy Day

Lately, it seems that everywhere I go I see rain barrels…even at our son’s preschool!  So on this rainy day, it has me thinking; should we install a rain barrel?

rain-barrel
Photo Credit: pinterest.com

Well, in case you’re like us and trying to figure out if this provides a benefit for your household, we did some research for you.

You may be surprised to learn that according to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American uses 320 gallons of water per day and out of that, 30% is used outdoors.  By investing in a rain barrel, you’re actually making a long-term savings investment in your personal water bill as well as helping to conserve water for the planet.

Beyond benefitting your wallet and the planet, you’ll also be providing the best water for your planets.  Rainwater has natural nutrients and minerals that your plants will love and is absent of all of the salts and chemicals that the treated water from your home has.  

So, the next question is how does it work?  It’s a very basic concept that’s dated back to ancient times; collect and utilize water from a natural source.  Rain is collected in a barrel through the a downspout, water is filtered through a screen to catch any sticks and leaves and is then directed into a barrel.

You can make one yourself (directions here) or buy ones ranging in price depending on the style you choose (this one is my favorite).

Overall, a basic concept that’s worked for generations and generations.  The benefits are consistent and is something we’ll be looking into installing in our home!  How about you?

Hump Day Love: Dance 10 Performing Arts Center

I’m shooting this week’s “Hump Day Love” to the one and only Dance 10 Performing Arts Center.  Let me start by saying this post (long but I did my best) comes from all sorts of angles; as a former student, as a former teacher (not only there but at other dance studios) and as a lover of the arts.

I found Dance 10 during my Freshman year of high school when I had begun to realize that dance was going to be more for me than a hobby and actually be the thing that carried me into college.  I needed a place that would give me more technique, more challenges in terms of choreography and let me have some fun.  I had found a place (a high school) that gave me all of that in the classical forms but I was craving more and had realized that the studio I had been at wasn’t able to give it to me.   I came to Dance 10 after some recommendations and I never left.  It challenged me technically in terms of styles that aren’t considered “classical” and challenged me choreographically but the best part was that I smiled and laughed more there than I had ever done with not only the teachers but my peers.  It was a “safe haven” for me and in my teenage years, I’m forever grateful for that.

That technique and choreography came from some of the best teachers around.  Artist instructors are brought in from surrounding cities (NYC in particular) to provide workshops.  Guest choreographers (who many times happen to be former students who have gone on to conquer the world)  are brought in to provide new perspectives and push students out of the box.  And the teachers there day-in and day-out with the students pour their hearts and souls into the students.  Keep in mind I was very conscious about saying students and not dances.  Yes, they put hours into creating those dances but they create dances with their students in mind.  They find moments for every student to shine and ensure that the dances they create showcase the technique the students have been taught throughout the years.  When students are cast in certain pieces for competition numbers or the Holiday special, it is not without thought or many hours of deliberation.  It is well-thought out to give every student the right balance of moments to shine while also challenging them.

Many of the studio’s teachers were once the studio’s students.  They went on to receive further education in dance and have come “home” to take that education and pass it on to the next generation. As their peer students in the 90’s (yikes!) I’ve had so much fun learning dance with them. As their peer teachers I’ve learned so much from them.  I’ve seen Misty run from one end of the studio to the other just to give a simple correction but she wants to make sure that correction isn’t missed because for that one student it isn’t a simple correction, but could be the difference for making a technical element work just right.  I’ve seen Lisa challenge herself in terms of how much she pulls her time thin to balance her full-time job, teaching and extra rehearsals but she does it with grace because the education she’s giving those kids means everything to her.  I’ve seen Kayla have such patience with students that are truly struggling and help them get past the struggle and have fun.  I’ve seen Jess be the one person one of the tiny two year olds need to turn their first stage performance from a crying mess into a smiling masterpiece.  When I recommend Dance 10, I’m not just doing it because I went there or taught there, I’m doing it because I’ve lived it and experienced it in every way possible.

dance10pix
Teacher pix! My final year as a teacher while pregnant with my 2nd and yes, I refused to wear a crop top while dancing on stage and pregnant.  Miss you all!

 

As a teacher, it’s to be appreciated when you can come in and truly just worry about the lessons you have to teach.  I’ve worked at other studios where I have to do so much of the administration that I don’t get time to teach.  The value placed on the talents teachers have to offer is high here.  That’s why the staff behind the scenes is there and without their fabulous dedication to the job, the studio wouldn’t have grown from the 1 room rental in the American Legion when it was Dance 10 Studios to the entire building that is now Dance 10 Performing Arts Center (and yes, more than dance is offered there.)

But perhaps the greatest asset of this whole studio is the woman at its helm, Mary Ellen Reilly.  It is her vision, her leadership, her talents, and her love that has turned this “dance studio” into “home” for generations of students.  Her goal has always been to make sure that whatever path your child decides to take with dance…recreational, semi-professional, professional….that they have been taught a true dance education so that your money was not wasted, but also that it was done with love and respect for both the dancers and their family.

17 years ago I walked into Dance 10 and as I’ve grown up it’s been one of the few things I can always rely on.

This marks the studio’s 30th anniversary (I’m literally already stressed about the alumni dance) so it’ll be big and fabulous! Find out more via their website here.

I hope to see you at the recital!

 

 

 

Tip Tuesday: Watch Your Debt…Even After You’ve Had An Accepted Offer

You’ve gotten pre-approved for a mortgage!  Great!

You’ve gotten an accepted offer! Great!

You’re only days away from closing!  Even Better!

But….your debt is still being watched.  You’re not in the clear until you walk away from the closing table with the keys in your hand.  Therefore, be cautious when spending money while leading up to the closing of your home.  While some of these “commandments” below are pretty obvious, others do provide some trouble for people.  In particular, the furniture one and the one regarding making large deposits.  Keep your debt and bank account under control in the time leading up to your closing day…it could be the reason that you lose out on your home at the very last minute.

 

buying a home commandments
Photo Credit: Lighter Side of Real Estate

 

 

 

 

Tip Tuesday: Don’t Make These Mistakes As a Seller!!!

Biggest Home Seller Mistakes
Photo Credit: My Realty Times

 

Putting your home on the market means that you want to sell it.  As a seller, you have a bottom line and our job, as your agent, is to protect that bottom line. Needless to say, know that going into the process you will need be aware of certain factors that make your home un-sellable and to do your best to avoid those factors.

  1. Overpriced Home: Let’s face it, you love your home.  Of course you do or you wouldn’t have transformed it from a house to a home.  Whether it’s the home you’ve lived your single life in, home you got married and brought your babies home in, the home you grew up in or a simple transition home; you at one time fell in love with this home so much that you made the largest financial decision of your life.  Well, someone else will fall in love with your home but won’t have the emotional connection to it yet so while you think it’s worth a certain value, that value may not be market value.  While some neighborhoods are carrying low inventory so they’re attracting multiple buyers; for the most part, it’s a buyers market.  Pricing your home appropriately for the market will help it to sell quick and you could be one of the lucky ones with multiple offers and a bidding war on your home.  However, if your bottom line is well above market value then right now may not be the time to sell because the longer you keep your home on the market at an unreasonable price, the less attractive it becomes to buyers and the less likely it will ever sell.
  2. Showing Availability: You wouldn’t buy the outfit before you saw it, right?  So why would anyone buy your home without being able to see it?  Buyers schedules are all over the place…day, night, weekends, weekdays.  Everyone has a different life with a different schedule so the key is to make your home as available as possible to get as many people in the door as possible.
  3. Cluttered Space: Make your home see spacious!  Clear up the mess and make your home feel airy, open and like someone can’t wait to live there….not cluttered and closed off.  This includes your closets!  Take a look at last week’s Tip Tuesday on linen closet organization here.
  4. Unwilling to negotiate:  Again, the longer your home sits on the market, the less attractive it becomes to buyers so you want to get it sold fast.  This means that you have to be willing to negotiate price and terms.  Of course, we will protect and not compromise your bottom line but each side (buyer and seller) must be willing to give a little.  This could include anything (not just price) from the size of the initial deposit date, the contingency to have to buy/sell another home first, etc.
  5. Unpleasant Odors: This is perhaps the quickest way to have buyers enter and exit your property before even seeing your home.  They get scared that they won’t be able to get the odors out.  Keep your home tidy.  Don’t cook anything too strong before a showing, don’t smoke in the home and clean those kitty litter boxes!
  6. Won’t Make Repairs: We’re not going to ask you to redo everything in your home but understanding that if there are safety issues or major concerns to the structure and function of the home, no buyer will be interested and thus, you need to fix them to get it sold.

Your home will sell.  Be sure to have a game plan.  A clear bottom line from the beginning and great agents (hint, hint)!  Good luck!