Our Favorite Chocolate Brownie Recipes

Posted by Tara on

Chocolate is one of the most popular desserts, whether you like dark chocolate, milk chocolate or mint chocolate, chocolate has a way of making you smile! This could be used to realize the stress of moving, a comfort food or just to satisfy your sweet tooth.

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Here are some easy chocolate brownie recipes that put a fun twist on brownies.

Brownie Mint Cookies

– there really isn’t a recipe for these, making them simple and delicious. Purchase a box of brownies and mix according to the box plus an extra cup of flour and a whole pack of chopped up Andes mints. Bake them at 325 for about 9 minutes. Delicious! Read More

How to Help Make a Smooth Transition to a New School

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You may be moving to a better school district and neighborhood, moving to be closer to family or maybe you are running away from a bully – either way you, as the parent, know that this move is in the best interest of the child. The child may disagree and be very angry with you for taking them out of their comfort zone and for making them leave their friends, which is why we put together a list of things you can do to help your child adjust.

Ava

Spend time at the school. If you know that you will be moving in the next few months, then go to the school and get familiar with the building and the area. For younger children spend an afternoon playing on the playground and for teens take them to a chorus concert or sports game. Most schools have a lot going on during the school year which is a great time to engage your child with the school and get them excited about this new chapter!

Talk up the school. Tell your child about the great features of the school. If your child plays a sport, tell them how good the team is that they would be joining – try to introduce them to the coach as well. For the younger kids, tell them about the exciting new playground or the fun new gym that they will get to play in.

Find someone that goes to the school. Do some research and figure out if an acquaintance or an old friend of your child’s goes to that school, which will give your child a small sense of comfort because at least they know one person when walking into the lunch room or going out on the playground. Read More

Do’s and Don’ts When Taking Listing Photos

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Listing photos are what will attract potential buyers to your visit your home, so take the time to read these dos and don’ts of taking listing photos.

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Do: Use a real camera, not a Smartphone. Your smart phone takes good photos but using a ‘real’ camera will allow the photos to be enlarged and viewed better online.
Do: Take a shot from the curb and use that as your main photo. The first photo that you take should be of the house and a great spot to take it from is the curb. Make sure your landscape is taken care of before you take the photo.
Do: Order your photos. Put your photos in the order that you would see the photos as you walk through the house. This will help potential buyers feel as though they are walking through your house. Read More

Must Have Items for Adopting a Dog

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The only thing with dogs is that they can reek havoc on your home, which is why following these tips will help keep your space damage free.

1. Purchase a crate or kennel. A crate gives your dog the secure space that it needs. It is a place for the dog to retreat to and take a nap or stretch. The crate should be large enough for your dog to stretch. It is also a great way to keep your house in tact while you are at work all day – dogs need to stretch and move around just like us, so make sure that the crate is big enough!.

2. House-training pads. There are pads that are made for when you are potty-training dogs. They are placed by your door with a detectable scent on the pad that usually attracts your dog to go to the bathroom. These are not 100% but they work well. You can buy these at any local pet store.

3. Furniture and carpet protectant. Before you bring your dog home, spray Scotchguard (or another furniture protectant) on your clean couch, love seat, chair and carpets. This will help protect them from odors and ‘accidents.’ Read More

Terms You Need to Understand When Buying a New Home

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We put together some terms (in alphabetical order) you will need to understand when buying a home to make it easier for you.

Acceptance

Agreeing to the terms of an offer, thereby creating a contract. This happens when the seller and the buyer agree on the selling price of the house. Once this has happens, neither the buyer nor the seller can back out without facing consequences.

Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

A yearly interest rate that includes upfront fees and costs paid to acquire the loan. Mortgage lenders are required to disclose the APR so the buyer can accurately calculate and compare the cost of different loans – rates may vary with different lenders. Read More

How to Move Your Plants

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Before you start to move plants you want to make sure that they are watered very well so they have moisture to draw on throughout the relocation – this is especially important if you’re doing this work in the summer when plants are extra dry from the warm temperatures.

Next, get a pot (proportional to the size of the plant) and fill it with dirt/potting soil. Dig a small hole in the center that you can set the plant in—this pot will protect the plant and roots during transit. After the pot is ready you must prepare for the actual task of uprooting your plants, which can be tricky – you don’t want to damage the roots and in turn kill the plants.

Using a sharp shovel, dig around the plant in a circle, leaving as much dirt as you can around the root ball. Wrap the root ball in a damp burlap sack and place it in your prepared pot.

**When digging the circle around the root, measure about one vertical foot from the base of the stalk or trunk. Then, measure the diameter of the stalk or trunk in inches and multiply by 18. This is how big the root ball should be.

Once your plants are ready for transit you will need to secure them in the moving truck. Read More

College List of the Essential Items to Bring

Posted by Tara on

We want to help you help yourself or your child prepare for freshman year with all of the “must have” tips. Below we have a well-organized list that you should really print out and cross off as you pack!

Cooking / Eating Items

• Mini Refrigerator
• Microwave
• Coffee maker – Keurig is a great option, one cup, since it is just you. Don’t forget coffee and filters if needed.
• Travel Coffee mugs
• Paper plates, and utensils
• Can opener
• Water bottles
• Cleaning items – paper towels, Clorox, and a vacuum

Bedding Supplies

• Sheets
• Comforter
• Mattress pad is a must! Read More

Moving Expenses that You Should Know About

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To start the moving process you usually start online – price checking with moving companies. Most companies will offer you a free quote. This will give you an approximate charge, but there are things that they might not tell you (either they honestly forgot to mention it or they are hidden fees).

Extra Weight – Many moving companies base their quote on the weight of the shipment, but if they do it over the phone than they are relying on your estimate to build a quote. If they pick up the items and they appear to be much more than stated on the phone than the company will issue a re-weigh causing your price to go up by a good amount of money depending on how much you were off by.

Stairs – Be upfront with your moving company about stairs. If you neglect to tell the moving company that you live on the 5th floor and their isn’t an elevator, they may charge you as much as $50- $75 per flight of stairs. Read More

How to Not Get Emotionally Attached While House Hunting

Posted by Tara on

Just like with life, no one (or house) is perfect, sometimes you need to settle. You may find your ‘dream‘ home that has absolutely everything you are looking for but it is in the wrong school district – which as parents know is very important. Or maybe you find the right house but it is out of your price range. Whatever it may be, house hunting can take a toll on your emotions, which is why we want to help.

When you start house hunting you need to go into with an open mind. You may want to stay in a specific area but try to be open to nearby locations that may have more of what you are looking for. Read More

College Move in Day

Posted by Tara on

But on the bright side, fall is an excellent time of the year, with great weather to look forward to and so many fun things to do – apple picking, pumpkin patches, and holidays right around the corner.

For those of you starting college in a few weeks or for the many of you returning to college, we have a few reminders for you. Below is a list of things you should bring to school.

Tools – you never know when you will need a screw driver, hammer or nail. For those of you who do not have one, ask your dad to put together a small tool box for you to bring.

Cleaning Supplies – Even if you never picked up a sponge your whole life, now is the time. You can’t (or shouldn’t) go the whole school year without ever dusting, vacuuming or cleaning your room – especially the bathrooms, yuck! Purchase a cleaning bucket, and fill it with Windex, Mr. Clean, a duster, sponge, paper towels and pick up a small vacuum. You should be good to go! Read More

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