Thrifty Thursday (Feb.27th)

Another installment of some of the best deals I have found this week to help decorate your home, give as a gift, or brighten your day!

* 1000 Thread count 100% Egyptian cotton Sheets: This groupon deal may not seem like such a “deal” initially at $99.00 but for recycleanyone who has ever invested in good sheets, like really good sheets you can attest that it is money well spent.  It seems like we are willing to spend money on a cool pair of shoes that we may wear 3 times a month or on a fabulous dinner that we get to enjoy once but then seem to skimp on items that we use everyday (or every night in this case).  I can’t recommend Egyptian cotton sheets enough!

* 30 Liter Dual-Compartment Recycling Bin: Another Groupon deal this recycling bin helps keep you environmentally friendly in style.  This would also make a wonderful house warming gift!

* Last but not least I want to encourage you use the Target mobile coupons.  Starting on 3/2 there will be a $20 off $50 on select household products!  Click here for full details!

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Keeping Your Night-Time Dessert While Sticking to Your Diet: Here’s How

I’ll be the first to admit that I am a full fledge sweet-aholic.  The idea of giving up my beloved desserts nearly brings a tear to my healthysnackspmeye.  I am on the other hand dedicated to working out and hate the idea of undoing all of my hard work at bedtime by binging on icecream and cookies.  So instead of spending the nights dreaming about a yummy dessert I looked up some low calorie sweets and wanted to share with you a couple of my favorite.  I promise these taste just as good (and sometimes even better) than their full calorie counterparts.

The first recipe is for frozen chocolate dipped bananas.  All you need is bananas, semi-sweet chocolate chips, some salted peanuts, and if you prefer a popsicle stick.  Simply melt the chocolate chips and dip half of a banana into the chocolate.  Before the chocolate has completely hardened you can sprinkle on some chopped up peanuts (or even your favorite cereal).  Place the bananas in the freezer.  I love having these on hand and ready for when my sweet tooth strikes.

The next recipe is another simple one for cinnamon baked apples.  The only ingredients that you need for this low calorie sweet is apples, cinnamon, sugar, and a mandolin for slicing very thin slices.  While most grocery store bought apple chips are deep fried these are baked for a much healthier version with the same great taste.  Just follow this recipe for easy and delicious snacks on the go.

My last simple, low calorie dessert favorite is dark chocolate nut clusters.  With just 2 simple ingredients of dark chocolate and whole almonds.  To make these just line a baking sheet with a nonstick baking mat and place a teaspoon of melted chocolate on the mat.  Top these teaspoons with a small handful of almonds and drizzle the top with a tablespoon of the chocolate.  Repeat this process and refrigerate until firm.

A House for Your Health

 may11It is not too often that you hear about the health benefits that can come from purchasing a new home but that’s because there aren’t many homes on the market quite as remarkable as this beautiful Frank Lloyd Wright inspired home in Pendleton.  And how is a house good for your overall health you may ask?  Well for starters this home boasts over 3700 square feet so simply maneuvering around your home will help you burn calories and get you moving!

Beyond just moving around this house can also help with your waistline by may22featuring a culinary inspired kitchen with a huge granite island.  Having the space and means to cook and create healthy meals helps to motivate even the most novice of chefs to feed their family home cooked meals.  With a beautiful dining room that opens to the large and spacious living room you have the perfect place to entertain.  As we all know, maintaining close friendships is not only rewarding in itself but helps your mental health by keeping you happy and involved.  When it comes to your health you cannot overlook your need for peace and serenity and with the beautiful master bedroom with equally as beautiful and relaxing master bedroom overlooking your breathtaking wooded lot, you will feel your stresses melt away. 

Last but not least anxiety is a real drag on your mental health as well as your overall health and one of the biggest contributors to anxiety is clutter and disorganization.  Luckily with this home you will never have to worry about not having enough closet space, storage, or organization again.  Not only does this house have not one but two laundry rooms to help keep your clothes organized and clean but it also features a mud room with built in planning desk and cubbies, especially handy for busy parents.  So do something good for you for a change and consider this one of a kind home for a lifetime of health and happiness. 

Why Buying A House During Tax Season Makes Perfect Sense

taxrefundpmWith interests rates still low and the great selection of homes on the market right now it only makes sense that this spring is a perfect time to buy your new home.  Not only that but as I’m sure you have heard that often times a house payment is actually less than your current rent payment.  The issue that many of us run into is having enough money for the down-payment on a new home.  This is especially true for first time home buyers who have not built up equity in their current home.  This is why this spring is ideal for buying since you can use your tax refund for a down payment this year!  Even if your refund is not a huge one it will probably still be enough.   Many people mistakenly think that you need to have a 20% down payment on a home when in fact many lending companies only require 5% as a down payment amount.  By using this tax refund money you could also qualify for a larger home or more importantly allow for smaller monthly payments because you are taking out a smaller mortgage.

So take advantage of this time of year and start looking for your new house today.  If you have questions as to what you can afford with your tax refund or what the next step is that you need to take feel free to contact us today! We look forward to helping you fulfill your dreams of home ownership!

Thrifty Thursday

In today’s rebuilding economy it seems that most of us are trying to pinch pennies one way or another.  I have decided that every Thursday we will feature some of my favorite deal site finds, money saving tips, or deals around town that are focused on housing decor and housing needs.  Today’s Thrifty Thursday will spotlight a few of the best online deal site deals thvacuumat I came across.

* The first one is a hand held vacuum featured on groupon goods.   I personally have one similar to this and cannot tell you how often I use it (especially if you have kids or pets).  This way you don’t have to drag out your bulky vacuum just to sweep up some crumbs.  This also makes for a great house warming gift as well.

*My next great find was this dual AC/USB wall outlet on Eversave.   It features 2 AC Outlets but has 2 USB outlets and a built in surge protector as well.  For those of you who are constantly moving your phones and tablets around the house this is ideal!

pillow* Last but not least my third favorite deal this week comes from my new favorite deal site for home items as well as cute clothing and baby items as well, called Jane.  This week they have some super cute pillow covers for those of you looking to add a pop of color to your couch or chair.

A Dinner Recipe Idea to Get Out of That Cooking Rut

If you are anything like me you may find yourself buying the same things at the grocery store to come home and make the same spinachlasagnapmdinners only to do it all again the next week.  Why not spice up your evenings and your dinners by trying this new take on lasagna? These spinach lasagna roll ups have been a big hit in my house and have added at least one new dinner to my normal dinner rotations.  Your grocery list will consist of:

Ingredients for Spinach Lasagna Roll Ups

8 lasagna noodles
2 cups finely chopped baby spinach, from about 3 ounces
1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
2/3 cup shredded cheese, such as mozzarella, Romano, or a blend, divided
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup spaghetti sauce

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9×9-inch baking dish.

Cook the lasagna noodles in plenty of salted boiling water according to package directions. Remove when they are al dente and lay out on a clean towel to dry and cool.

Mix the spinach, cottage cheese, 1/3 cup shredded cheese, Parmesan cheese, garlic, salt, and a generous quantity of black pepper.

Divide the spinach and cheese mixture evenly between the noodles, spreading the mixture over the entire length of each noodle. Roll up the noodles from bottom to top, and place in pan, side by side, touching. Pour the tomato sauce over the rolls, and sprinkle the remaining 1/3 cup shredded cheese over top.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until heated through and the sauce is bubbling.

Fun, Indoor Places to Bring the Kids Right Here in Anderson

Let’s face it, according to the weather channel (and the even more reliable groundhog) old man winter is going to be sticking kidwindowpmaround for quite a bit longer.  It is at times like these that cabin fever really starts to kick in and it can almost seem like the walls are closing in on you and the kids.  Instead of suffering through the winter months why not get out and enjoy some of the fun, kid friendly places right in our own backyard.

The first place that I highly recommend taking your rambunctious, energetic little ones is Bonzo’s Fun Zone in the Anderson Mall.  This is essentially a spacious play area for kids featuring blow up fun houses, obstacle courses, arcade games, pool tables, and smaller children’s play equipment.  While it not only guarantees hours of fun it also provides a place for kids to burn some long bottled up energy.  At a very reasonable $7.00 per child (adults are free) this is a great place for a play date!

The next place that I suggest checking out this winter is the Anderson Roll Arena.  This is another wonderful place for kids to get that much needed physical activity.  It is also a very affordable afternoon activity that offers an array of fun options to keep even the shortest attention span occupied.

Last but not least the Anderson Public Library is a wonderful destination to snuggle up and read a book on a cold winters day.  Check out the entire calendar of events that our community focused library offers! There is truly something for everyone (even a “Boogie Woogie Babies Class” for babies 0-2 years).  Not only is this a great place to take the kids for some entertainment but it allows us as adults to converse with other parents and have that rare adult conversation!

Pinterest: The Perfect Site for the Home Buyer, Owner, and Seller

For those of you not familiar with Pinterest be prepared to instantly lose 4 hours of your life as you get sucked into the depths andpinpm treasure trove of information that is called “Pins”.  For you readers who are already familiar with Pinterest you can attest to it’s usefulness in discovering new ideas, decorating tips, how to organize your home, recipes, and just about anything else you could possibly want to know.  With that being said, I am excited to announce the creation of “The Real Estate Pros” Pinterest page.  Not only will you be able to follow our home decorating, dream home ideas, and curb appeal boards but we will also be posting boards about the town of Pendleton as well as the city of Anderson.  In addition, we will be posting all of our new listings with additional information about these properties on our boards.  Sporadically we will have contests through Pinterest where you can win money, gift cards, and gifts.  Don’t miss out on these home tips and tricks as well as up to the minute information! Plus we look forward to seeing your pins as well! Click here to browse our boards: Don’t forget to follow!