Wednesday, August 28, 2019

6 Easy Steps to Moving with Pets

6 Easy Steps to Moving With Pets

It's that time of year again, the kids are about to start school and many families are rushing to move into a new home and get everyone settled. 

Moving to a new home can be a fun and exciting time for a family, but for animals it can be quite stressful. Here are some simple tips to make your move much more comfortable for your four-legged friends!

1. Stick to their normal routine.
If you normally walk your dog after dinner, be sure to take a break from packing to do that. Sticking to their schedule will keep pets calm and give you a break as well.

2. Keep them occupied. 
The act of packing, moving furniture, and others such "changes" can be a cause of stress and anxiety for many animals. Find something to keep them occupied and stop them from focusing on these changes. Keep cats in a quiet room with their food and water. For anxious dogs, try filling a hollow toy or bone with peanut butter.

3. Set up a safe place. 
On moving day, set up a space for your pet in a quiet, out of the way area in your new home. Be sure to include their bed, blanket or crate, some toys, and of course plenty of water. Set your pet to their safe place BEFORE you begin moving in your belongings. Doing this not only shelters your pet from undue stress, but also prevents them from getting in the way, getting stepped on, or getting outside.

4. Prevent runaways. 
It's very common for a frightened animal to run away, and in a new neighborhood they can get lost quite easily. Before letting your dog out, check the fence in your new backyard for any loose boards or spaces they may be able to slip through. Keep outdoor cats inside until they're comfortable in their new environment. If your cat is hiding, acting aggressive, or displaying any behaviors not usual for them, they are not ready to go outside.

5. Give them their space. 
It may take your pet awhile to get used to their new home, give them all the time they need. Cats especially may need more "alone time" than usual. If you have children be sure to explain this to them. Don't take your pet's unusual behavior personally, they'll come around!

6. Assign a family member to pet duty.
If possible, assign one family member the responsibility of following these steps and keeping the pet safe and comfortable. It will be their duty to set up the safe place, make sure the pet's schedule is followed, and keep them out of harms way during the move. This is a great job to give a responsible older child or a family member who may not be able to help with the physical aspect of moving.

Remember, we all need time to adjust to new situations, even pets! By following these simple steps you can make moving a fun and enjoyable time for the entire family.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Local Events for May 2019

Around Town

Local events in and around Seattle

Looking for some entertainment this spring? Here are just a few of the events going on next month.

May 1st in Woodland Park - Free event, come celebrate spring with singing, food, and dancing around the Maypole.

May 4th at El Centro de la Raza - Free event featuring food, crafts, music, and children's entertainment. 

May 5th at the Japanese Cultural & Community Center of Washington - A free event featuring martial arts, a tea ceremony, taiko drumming and more.

May 11th at the Seattle Maritime Academy - Free event featuring tours, activities, safety demonstration and more.

May 12th departing from Lake Union - Treat mom to a brunch buffet and a two hour cruise.

May 18th at Game Farm Park - Fun run, flying dogs, pig races, pony races and more!

May 25th at The Museum of Flight - Dedication ceremony and grand opening of Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park. Watch fly-overs, color guard presentation and pinning ceremony. Admission is free for veterans with ID.

May 31st at Magnuson Park - Free, family friendly event to celebrate the coming of summer, featuring art, beer festival, and live music.

Have an upcoming event you'd like us to know about? Leave us some info in the comments!

Thursday, April 18, 2019

How to Easily Declutter Your Home Fast

It's Time to Declutter!

Quick and Easy Tips for Decluttering Your Home

Whether you're preparing your home for sale, or trying to make the most of the space you have right now, decluttering is always the best starting point. Not only will you be removing excess stuff from your home and creating more space, you'll be removing a lot of excess stress and giving yourself room to breathe.

Clutter is anything that does not add value to your life, decluttering does not mean getting rid of things you love, but rather things that no longer serve you.

This is a great way to spend a rainy spring day indoors and the entire family can (and should) take part.

Step One - Choose a Room

Decide if you want to tackle each room together as a family, or if each person will be responsible for a specific area. 

Let small children be in charge of decluttering their rooms, but remain there to guide them through the process.

Step Two - Collect Boxes or Bins

You will need a total of 4 boxes or bins, labeled Trash, Recycling, Donate, Keep/Storage.

Trash - Any item that is broken, un-needed, and cannot be salvaged or recycled.

Recycling - All plastic, glass, old wires and electronics that no longer work. Be sure to check your local recycling regulations if you aren't sure about an item.

Donate - These are any items in good condition that you no longer have a need for. Consider giving items to your local Buy Nothing group, or set up a yard sale. Encourage children to donate toys and clothes they no longer use to children in need. Local shelters are always in need of clothing for adults and children.

Keep/Storage - Any items you don't have an immediate use for, but you still want to keep, go in this box. 

Step Three - Get Started

Kids can help too!

If the room you're in has a closet it's best to start in there. Closets hold a large amount of clutter, and clearing them out will give you space for the items you plan on storing. 

Go through each item one at a time and decide if it should go in one of the 4 bins, or stay where it is. Move methodically from one end of the room to the other. Once done, empty your trash and recycling bins, then move on to the next room.

A Few Extra Tips

It's OK to keep items with sentimental value, don't feel pressured to toss all of your belongings.

If you can't decide whether you should keep or donate an item, ask yourself when you last used it. If you find something you forgot you had, it's probably safe to donate it. 

Don't get rid of anything that doesn't belong to you, especially items that belong to children. Allowing them to choose which items they no longer want will give them a huge sense of accomplishment. 

Before you throw an item in the trash or recycling, consider its re-use value. For example, old towels can be torn up into cleaning rags. If you enjoy gardening, old papers can be torn up and composted.

If you have a lot of art projects from your kids, take pictures of each piece so you have a digital copy and recycle the originals. 

Label your storage boxes clearly before putting them away. 

Clean as you go.

Enjoy your clutter-free home!

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Long Time No See

Long Time, No See

The other day, while day dreaming about what I wanted to do this summer, it occurred to me that I haven't updated this blog in awhile. I have now come to realize I have not updated this blog in a YEAR. What have I been doing for an entire year that would cause me to completely forget about updating my blog?

For starters, we added a new addition to our family, a baby girl born last November. There's nothing like a pregnancy and a newborn to put a damper on one's blogging schedule. 

Around the same time our baby was born, our beloved dog was diagnosed with bone cancer, again. His illness was long and hard on everyone and he eventually succumbed to it on May 17th. Losing him has been hard on our entire family, but it was particularly devastating to me as he's been my constant companion for the past decade.   

As I work through my grief I'm focusing on the positive and looking ahead to all the changes about to happen in my life. My daughter is 6 months old now and become more independent every day, leaving me more time to focus on my work. 

Speaking of work, starting in June I will have a new agent joining me in a partnership. Retro Realty will still serve all your Mid Century housing needs in and around the Seattle area, but we will also be servicing anyone who prefers newer construction!

I will also continue to write posts on new recipes to try, home maintenance tips, and local activities for you and your family. 

I appreciate everyone who has stuck with me through this extended hiatus and look forward to moving this blog along with all of you!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Spring Cleaning

Spring Cleaning Retro Style!

Now that spring has FINALLY arrived in the Pacific Northwest, you may get the urge to throw open all your windows and clean your home until it's as fresh as that cool spring breeze. 

We all (hopefully) know how to clean, but a lot of people ask me specifically about the cleaning habits of 1950's housewives. So, since I love making you guys happy, I have compiled an easy to follow 50's housewife cleaning schedule, complete with their tips and tricks, that anyone can follow. I've also included a downloadable and printable cleaning schedule at the end, enjoy!

  • Wake up in a good mood (seriously) before everyone else
  • Freshen up 
  • Begin breakfast for family
  • Wash the breakfast dishes while kids get dressed and make their beds
  • Prepare yourself for the day
  • Move from bedroom to bedroom, make un-made beds, place dirty clothes in hampers, dust, open drapes and windows
  • Carry a basket with you to carry stray items and bring them back to their proper place
  • Wipe down bathroom sink, faucet and mirror
  • Dust and straighten the living room
  • Take out the trash
  • Head out to do any errands or grocery shopping
  • Return home and put groceries away
  • Start preparing dessert for that evening
  • Have some lunch! Then wash those dishes
  • Sweep and mop the kitchen floor
  • While floors are drying, sweep or vacuum the rest of the house
  • Perform "big chore" for the day
  • When kids get home have them do their chores
  • Start preparing dinner, write down anything you're running low on
  • Set the table
  • Finish up dinner and place on table
  • Freshen up for husband
  • Wash dinner dishes
  • Make next day lunches for kids and husband
  • Wipe down counters, rinse dish rags and hang to dry
  • Help kids with homework
  • Send kids to bathe and get ready for bed while you lay out their clothes for the next day
  • Put kids in bed
  • Spend some relaxing time with husband
  • Bed time!
Each day will have a scheduled big chore that gets done once or twice a week. Big chores include deep cleaning appliances, doing laundry, washing windows, scrubbing bathtubs, etc. Some women would deep clean one room a day, which means removing everything from shelves and drawers to scrub them down, scrubbing under furniture, cleaning out closets, you get the picture. 

Are you exhausted just thinking about this? Well don't worry, the housewives of the 50's have some tips to make it all go a bit more smoothly.
1. Enlist Help. You're not the only one living in your home and there's no reason for your children to be lounging around while you slave away. Choose age appropriate chores for your kids and have the older ones help the younger ones. Chores teach children responsibility, teamwork, and the importance of the family unit. 
2. Husband Can Help Too. This may come as a surprise, but husbands of the 50's helped out as well, usually by stopping by the market on the way home from work. Give him a list of staples that he will get once a week, the list never changes. Then you will only need to pick up the random item while running errands. 

    3.Make Beds the Time Saving Way. Apparently in the 50's there were "time-study engineers" who devised a much quicker way to make a bed. You completely make the top left corner of the bed from bottom sheet to pillow and comforter. Throw loose portions of bedding across bed. Continue to left bottom corner and do the same, repeating with each corner. This ensures you only have go around the bed once. 
    4.Choose Your Arsenal Wisely. Use no-rinse cleaners to speed things up. Invest in the proper products, such as a Venetian blinds brush, go get jobs done fast.

    5.Dress to Impress. Wear an apron and cotton gloves to avoid ruining your clothes and drying out your hands. 

    6.Divide and Conquer. Keep dark and light laundry in separate hampers, or place a divider in a single hamper, to cut down on sorting time on laundry day.

    Additional Tips
    • work your schedule around your family's needs
    • plan a week's meals in advance so you're always prepared
    • set the breakfast table the night before
    • make more side dishes than you need so you can have leftovers the next night
    • make double quantities of pie and cookie dough, freeze half
    • use a cart to bring all the dishes and food to the table at once
    • wrap baking sheets in tinfoil so you don't have to wash them after use
    • do any chores you can sitting down to preserve energy
    Here is a printable cleaning schedule that you can customize by writing in the times you'd like to perform each task, as well which big chores you'd like to do and which chores your kids will do. Enjoy!

    Happy Cleaning! 

    Tuesday, April 25, 2017

    Spring Maintenance

    Spring Maintenance For Your Home

    Spring is finally here in Seattle! While everything outside is popping up fresh and new, your home may still be bearing the wear and tear of winter's havoc. Here's a simple spring home maintenance check list you can follow to ensure your home is as ready for spring as you are.

    Indoor Maintenance

    Let's be honest, spring in the Pacific Northwest is wet. So as much as we'd like to be outside right now, we'll be spending more a couple rainy days inside. This indoor checklist will keep you busy and make the time fly by!

    • Clean and maintain your furnace, it's been working hard for months
    • Clean and maintain your air conditioner to prepare it for the warm months ahead
    • De-clutter by storing away your winter clothes and blankets

    • Check your window seals for leaks and condensation 
    • Wash cushion covers and drapes
    • Steam clean upholstery 
    • Change air or HEPA filters
    • Check your basement for dampness and condensation or leaks around pipes

    If you find any dampness or leaks around your home it's a good idea to call in a professional before any substantial damage or mold growth occurs.  

    Outdoor Maintenance

    Take advantage of those sunny days by working on your home and sucking up as much vitamin D as you can! We all need it after our gloomy PNW winters.
    • Check your roof for damage, loose shingles, and moss growth (you can do it from the ground with binoculars)
    • Check your chimney for cracks, loose bricks and damaged flashing
    • Clean out your gutters
    • Inspect the house foundation for cracks or damage
    • Trim shrubs and pull weeds from garden beds
    • Look for loose boards on patios, decks, and stairs
    • Inspect siding for damage and maybe give it a new paint job!

    PNW winters can be rough on our homes and minor damages can turn into major issues if left untreated. Remember, your home is an investment, it's important to keep it in the best shape possible. 

    Home repairs can be pricey, especially when you need to call in the pros, but the longer damage is ignored the more expensive it becomes to fix it. 

    YouTube is full of great DIY videos for minor household repairs, and doing it yourself can save you a bundle. 

    Not all of us are comfortable doing repairs ourselves, if that's you don't be afraid to ask friends and family for help. A lot of people will be more than happy to offer their skills and expertise for a home cooked dinner or a case of beer. Never hurts to ask!

    Wednesday, April 19, 2017

    Issaquah Garden Club Plant Sale

    Issaquah Garden Club Annual Plant Sale 2017

    It seems like spring is taking forever to make an appearance this year. I know this is typical of the PNW, but personally, I'm over these cold, dreary days. Unfortunately we have no control over the weather, but we can put ourselves in more of a "springy" mood by participating in some spring time activities. 

    One of my favorite spring activities is reviving my garden with new and colorful plants, and for me that starts with the Issaquah Garden Club annual plant sale. 

    The Issaquah Garden Club was founded in 1928, making it one of the oldest in the state of Washington. The club is a Not-For-Profit volunteer run organization made up of some amazing ladies who are all incredibly active in the community. 

    Some of the activities they're involved in include:

    Amateur Horticulture & Floral Designs – encourage members in the study and practice of horticulture and design.

    Civic Development – make permanent improvements for public benefit, e.g., landscape public buildings.
    Conservation – assist in projects to conserve Natural Resources (watershed, erosion control, re-forestation, wildlife, nature study, birds, butterflies, pollution, trees, etc.).
    Conservation Teachers Scholarships – provide scholarships for teachers interested in advanced training in environmental fields; administered by the WSFGC with the assistance of the US Forest Service and the Association for Environmental & Outdoor Education.
    Education – provide workshops/programs on horticulture, flower arranging, conservation, landscaping, etc.
    Environmental Awareness – encourage clean air, water and land through proper use and disposal of toxic products, landscaping for air purification and noise control.
    Garden Therapy – Active: garden related activities with handicapped and/or institutionalized individuals; and Sedentary: centerpieces, etc. made for such groups.
    Litter, Reclamation & Recycling – promote recycling of home and yard waste; and prevention and control of litter.
    Operation Wildflower – work with Bellevue Botanical Garden to maintain its wildflower/native plants garden.
    Scholarships – provide scholarships for young people planning to become horticulturists, landscape designers, forest rangers, botanists, etc.
    World Gardening – club may contribute to CARE, Heifer Project International (HP) or Plant a Row for the Hungry.
    Not only are these ladies doing amazing things for their communities, they have an amazing knowledge of all things gardening and if you have the opportunity to pick their brains I suggest you do!
    Lucky for all of you, that opportunity is coming up. The garden clubs annual Plant/Garage/Bake Sale will be held on 
    Friday, April 28th 2017 and Saturday, April 29th 2017 from 10am to 2pm and will be held at 16023 252nd Ave SE, Issaquah WA.
    Not only will you be able to find some rare plants at amazing prices (including Mother's Day baskets) but you'll also find some amazing antiques and unique garden pots and decorations, many of which are handmade. 
    Did I mention the prices are amazing?
    So come out and support these amazing ladies and help out your community. Oh, and don't forget to stop by the bake sale area (run by yours truly this year) to pick up a homemade treat!
    For more info please visit or visit them on Facebook
    I hope to see you there!