Sep 04, 2020
It’s that time of year again; Labor Day is just around the corner! This holiday, created to celebrate the achievements of American workers and the working class around the world. On this day each year, Americans across the country gather in backyards around grills and picnic tables while they chow down on hot dogs, hamburgers and bevy of good old American comfort food.
On this day, it’s important to remember why you have the day off. Why you can afford to indulge in a cookout with your family, instead of working six days every week for barely any pay. Life as a member of the working class in America is pretty good, all things considered; but it hasn’t always been. The freedoms we enjoy today were hard earned and desperately fought for.
Labor Day commemorates a centuries long struggle by the working class to break free from the iron grip of unscrupulous business owners and corrupt politicians. It commemorates the steady conviction of millions of working class Americans who would not stop until they were treated fairly.
This struggle to claim rights from those who profited by withholding them was not an easy one. This is a story stained with the blood, sweat and tears of men, women and children, who fought for nothing more than the right to have a say in how, where and how long they worked. It was a fight for equal treatment of women, and humane treatment for children.
In the end, many of these rights were won, albeit at a great cost. Hundreds of workers striking for higher pay and more reasonable hours were massacred, and thousands more died as a result of unsafe working conditions and other abuses. Despite this, the efforts of workers unions and labor activists would gradually lead to better working conditions and treatment for laborers.
Today, the situation of workers in the U.S. is far better than it was decades or centuries ago; but many problems remain unresolved, and require our attention. Problems like wage stagnation, corporate anti-union subterfuge, unpaid maternity leave and unfair termination still make the average laborer’s life difficult and unpredictable.
When you celebrate this holiday, remember that it’s more than just a day to grill hamburgers and watch a football game; it’s a time to come together in support of workers rights. No matter what your social status or professional vocation, be sure to use your voice to advocate for fair and equal treatment for everyone. It won’t be easy, but together we can create a future where everyone is given fair and equal treatment.
Jun 17, 2020
We all have our role models in life, and we want to have the same life and the same success as the person we are looking up to. But, the first person who ever influenced our lives, the first human being who inspired us and helped shape our future was our father. Way before we learned about the great minds that shaped our history, and way before we found out about the most successful people on earth, there was only one figure that inspired us more than any other and that was our father.
Think about the time when you were just a kid! Have you ever had an argument with another kid about how strong your fathers are? There was nothing our father could not lift, no physical hardship that he could not bear or problems that he could not solve. That’s how I looked at my father and I would state it loud and clear in front of anyone who would doubt my father’s abilities.
I thought my dad was invincible. Even after I have matured and realized that my father was not invincible I still look up to him as the person that inspired me and was there every time I needed him. Our fathers are our #1 fan, they are behind the scene where no one can see them but close enough that we can receive their support and advice. This life is our stage, we are the performers and our fathers are in the backstage, not interrupting, but encouraging us to go out into the world and conquer our audience.
Our father is a chain link, the bridge between generations that passes on what his father taught him to his children. The cycle continues with us and it is all thanks to our fathers, that’s why they deserve this moment. Today is the day we stop for a second to honor our fathers and remember how much they loved us and how much we love them back.
Take your time and give your father a call, or go to him and thank them for all their support and life lessons that we will never forget. Our fathers give the best “bear hugs”, so give him a hug, pack up an amazing gift for your father on Father’s Day, and let him know how much of a difference he made in your life.
May 07, 2020
Mothers. They feed us, raise us, care for us, and keep an eye out for us even after we leave the nest. When you’ve just experienced a rough breakup, the loss of a job, or the passing of a loved one, they’re there to console you and dry your tears. They’re the all-too-often unsung heroes of society that have shaped the course of history as much as they have our childhoods; without them, the human race would cease to exist.
All throughout childhood, our mothers raise us and guide us to be the best people we can be. From little to big, as children we often think that we’ve got it rough; but as we grow older, we begin to see just who had it harder. The work our mothers put in, from keeping us busy after school as kids to guiding us through the turmoils of adolescence, is worth more than we can imagine. The quotes you’ll hear from moms really say it all!
We’ve collectively set aside the tenth of May to pay homage to these wonderful women, and remember the sacrifices, struggles, and triumphs that accompany the experience of being a mother. No one works harder than they do; no one loves as unconditionally. Today, we come together to celebrate the mothers that are still with us, and remember those that have passed on.
Today, set aside some time to give your mom a call, or pay her a visit. Tell her how much she means to you, and how much she has improved your life with her care and affection. Buy her a bouquet of flowers, or a box of chocolates; it doesn’t have to be much, just something to let her know that you don’t take her for granted.
From all of us here at RealEstateAgent.com, happy Mother’s Day!
Dec 11, 2019
The Christmas season brings with it a bevy of parties, gatherings and meetings. Now, these gatherings can be a lot of fun, or they can be a total drag. Now, wherever these gatherings fall on the fun-scale, one thing is for sure; a couple drinks always make a fun party even more fun, and a downer party more tolerable.
Aside from livening up parties, drinking is an integral and well-beloved part of christmas traditions all around the world! From Romania to China to the USA, everyone loves a good hot drink to ward off the wintery cold. Even for those who don’t celebrate the holiday, christmas-themed drinks can be a great way to blend in and enjoy the festive atmosphere.
Now, when it comes to holiday-themed alcoholic beverages, there are a number of popular drinks to choose from. Let’s compare two of the most popular: the candy cane cocktail and the hot buttered rum. Now, both of these will do their job and provide a festive mood for your next Christmas party, but which one you end up ordering depends on your preferences. Do you fancy a minty, creamy cup of refreshing, vodka tinged-goodness? Then a peppermint flavored candy cane cocktail is for you! If you’re craving something a bit more mellow and warm, why not try a hot buttered rum?
Whichever drink you choose, always take precautions to drink responsibly. Pace yourself, stop before you feel sick and NEVER drink and drive. Cheers, and Merry Christmas!
Dec 04, 2019
It’s the first snow of the year, and outside, snow is coming down by the cubic meter, as the wind howls around the house with the sound of a thousand lost souls in agony. Inside the house, your love seat by the fireplace is softly whispering to you, telling you to throw on some fuzzy PJ’s, make a hot drink and curl up on it with a good book.
After you’ve finished your to do list, you beckon to your furniture’s commands and run to the kitchen to make yourself that warm beverage before you start in on George R.R. Martin’s newest novel (this scenario is set in 2095). But here, you are faced with a choice: do you make yourself a nice cup of hot chocolate for those cozy Christmas vibes, or a creamy cappuccino for a more high-octane, caffeine fueled kick?
Sep 06, 2019
Everyone who had the chance to know their grandparents should call themselves lucky. Their unconditional love can’t be replaced. Their recipes cannot be reproduced. And they were always there when you needed them. They always had time for their grandchildren. Aren’t they amazing?
But if they took care of us when we were little, as we grow up, it is our turn to show them love and respect. We have to make room for them in our own homes or at least make sure that they get into the best senior living facility where they have all the comfort they need. Of course, most grandparents would love to age in place, in the home they had worked so hard to pay off. But sometimes, an empty nest may do them more harm than good. Being around other people their age is far more desirable than loneliness. However, if your grandparents are still independent, you should be really grateful for that.
Nevertheless, we can still think about home improvements that might make their lives easier as they age. For example, you can look for home improvements for those with vision impairments. As hard as it is, we have to prepare for the worst and advise them to adjust their housing as if they were people with special needs. Declutter and organize a garage sale to get rid of unnecessary pieces of furniture, appliances, and clothes. They’ll soon realize that you’ve done them a favor.
As the sunset of life approaches, let’s offer our grandparents the best life possible. Cherish every moment and value their presence, even though they can be annoying, constantly picky and nagging. We don’t know what the old age has in store for us. So, let’s turn to the heroes of this day and wish them all a Happy National Grandparent’s Day! We love you and will forever be grateful for everything that you’ve done for us!
Aug 23, 2019
When women were granted the right to vote, on August 18, 1920, a sigh of relief could be heard throughout the country. Finally, women were treated like a human being who is capable of making responsible choices. They were treated like equals. Gradually, they gained access to higher education, thus expanding their horizons. America has, in fact, quite a few famous female inventors such as Margaret Knight (who invented the paper bag folding machine), Melitta Bentz (who invented a coffee filter system), and Katharine Burr Blodgett (who created the non-glare glass).
Although we would like to say that men have come to treat women equally and even look up to them, the truth is that there are still some discrepancies that need to be addressed.
Let’s take, for example, the real estate industry. The job of a real estate agent fits women like a glove. Since 1920, there have been more women than men in this profession. Even today, about 60% of REALTORS® are women, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. And don’t just take our word for it. Try to find a real estate agent near you on RealEstateAgent.com and you will probably find more women than men who can help you sell, buy, or rent a property. Women have seen in this job the flexibility they need and no limitations when it comes to earnings. If you are looking to work in this industry, take a look at what it means to become a real estate agent. Nevertheless, an unwritten rule seems to restrict women’s access to the industrial and commercial side of the industry which is dominated by men.
In spite of all the inequitable treatment they have received, women still bring balance, love, and peace to our households through their thoughtful words, affection, and demeanor. Yet leaving peacefully together is always a challenge. The battle of the sexes will go on forever. But this is probably the only battle that doesn’t need a winner. At the end of the day, we should all strive to make the world a better place. So Happy Women’s Equality Day!
Aug 21, 2019
Every stage of our life has its beauty. And we must enjoy things at the right time. Late regrets can’t bring back all that we’ve missed. On this day, when we celebrate the elderly, lay back and enjoy a timelapse of your most beautiful memories.
You may be longing for your childhood years and all their irreplaceable flavors. You may get goosebumps thinking about your first true love. And you may feel proud of yourself thinking about your first home and the moment your real estate agent gave you the keys. Many of you have been blessed with kids as well, and today is a great occasion to celebrate you, the parents of our current leaders, politicians, businessmen and so on. Let’s forget for one day what separates us and focus on the things that make America such a great nation. YOU are priceless and we will forever cherish your contribution.
Whether you’ve come to know the true meaning of the American Dream or not is of little importance right now. All that matters is to make the most out of your retirement years. As empty-nesters, you may want to consider downsizing and experience the comfort of studio living. Also, think about making your life easier with some home improvements for visually impaired. You’ll thank us later!
For the silent generation, it is not uncommon to grow old in the house they have been born. Due to globalization, though, most people move several times in their lives. However, the last thing you want as a retiree is to spend too much of your income on housing. That’s why we recommend anyone approaching retirement that they find a real estate agent and move in a home more suitable for the elderly.
Having said all these, beloved seniors, we wish you all a Happy Senior Citizen’s Day from the bottom of our hearts!
Jun 13, 2019
An in-ground swimming pool is a huge investment, but it might save you a lot of money if you replace expensive holidays abroad with staycations. What should you take into consideration before deciding on the type of pool you should install?
First of all, the number of sunny days per year. If you live in a geographical area where the four seasons are quite easy to distinguish, then you may want to give it a second thought. Would you enthusiastically clean the pool in the autumn when leaves are going to cover the ground and the pool? If the answer is no, think about adding a screened enclosure. But this is not the only big advantage of pool screens.
- They provide shadow and reduce the intensity of the sun’s UV rays.
- They allow parents to supervise their children better while serving as a nice play area.
- They provide privacy and intimacy.
- They keep the water free of leaves and debris carried by the wind. Also, when it rains, the water doesn’t change its pH, and there is no risk of flooding.
- They don’t let the birds use the pool and infest it. According to CDC, duck and goose droppings contain germs that may infect humans such as E. coli, Salmonella, Cryptosporidium, and Salmonella.
With an enclosed pool, it is also easier to winterize the pool and the concrete doesn’t deteriorate since it’s not exposed to extreme temperatures.
Secondly, certain types of pools are not suitable for being covered, for example, the infinity pools.
In the third place, you may not want to lose the open space. After all, you’ve installed the swimming pool to enjoy the outdoors and feel the wind blowing. If you don’t have a heated pool, when you cover it, you also lose the heating power of the sun.
Last but not least, a screened pool doesn’t lose as much water to evaporation as one in the open air. You can go further and look for the mathematic formula of water evaporation, but not before you vote! So, what does the ideal swimming pool look like?
May 29, 2019
Would you like to de-stress and have a great time? Here are two options for you.
The first one is to install a wine cellar or if you already have one, all you have to do is to open a bottle of wine and let Bacchus' liquor to work its magic. In moderation, wine is relaxing and uplifting. Red wine is also good for your heart. A Finnish study published in the Journal of Gerontology in 2007 has revealed that wine drinkers lower their mortality rate by 34%. It also keeps your brain in good shape longer. There are 84 million wine drinkers in the US - a huge market that concentrate its consumption between November and December. According to the Wine Market Council, 26% of the US population drinks wine occasionally (once a week or less often) while 24% are teetotalers. However, wine is a perfect gift for dinner parties or can be used as a cooking ingredient. It is more than just a drink!
The second option: a luxurious dressing. To fill it, though, you have to go shopping. Shopping sprees are also relaxing and make you feel good for a while. Not only do you get to exercise (if walking can be considered "exercising"), but you also get your hands on fresh items as well as on great deals! If you have little kids don't let yourself become overwhelmed by mom guilt - you're not spending your children's money! Besides, you have to take care of yourself too! But all your new clothes would look great in a luxury closet, correct? You may want to order new closets, a higher shoe rack, improve lighting, and even change the color of the walls! You can even improve the flooring! An eco-friendly choice could be bamboo flooring.
Both ideas can increase the value of your property. If in most cases you already have a dressing, for a wine cellar you have to sacrifice a corner of your house. Now, which one would you choose?
May 22, 2019
Stripes - a magic pattern that works wonders in fashion and interior design. Stripes are obtained by alternating one strong dark color and either a neutral color like white or any light color. Your color choice will greatly affect the look and feel of a room. Don’t imagine stripes only on the walls! You may choose to keep the walls in plain colors and opt for striped curtains or upholstery. However, evenly-printed stripes on wallpapers are the innovation of the French wallpaper magnate Jean Zuber. Vertical stripes make a wall look taller and a low ceiling seem higher. The lines also direct the sight towards the ceiling.
But any striped pattern must be used with caution and the colors you choose should not slow down the selling process if you decide to move later on. Although a classic motif, when used in excess, the effect could be overwhelming, as if you’re looking at too many road signs on a pole. Architects don’t recommend using stripes on accent walls, and if a striped room is all you want, make sure to break it up with art.
Another way to create stripes is by using bamboo or wood poles, grids, or narrow stripes with natural or artificial plants. Bamboo is more interesting with its nodes, but birch poles are equally interesting. Take these tips into consideration when staging your home for sale. Stripes tend to mess with our brains, so to avoid a vertigo effect, alternate stripes of different sizes, colors, textures, and patterns. Stripes don’t have to be only vertical or straight. Think about curvy lines or diagonal lines as well - both suggest movement and will maintain the interest. Choose horizontal lines only when you really want a boring interior, that lacks visual interest, or when you want to make a room seem longer or wider.
So, stripes are quite flexible, allowing you to create either a very formal and elegant interior or an eclectic and dynamic design mulled on your personality and lifestyle.
Other important patterns in interior designs are chevron (zigzagging lines), scales, geometric patterns, gingham (checked pattern in two colors), plaid (checkered pattern in multiple colors), floral patterns, quatrefoil (mimicking a four-lobed clover ), trellis, polka dots, paisley, and animal prints (like tiger or zebra prints).
And speaking of animals, what do you think about a large mural depicting a dazzle of zebras? You may also opt for a backlit wall mural which can be changed as frequently as you like.
Apr 02, 2019
Every year, on the second day of April, we observe the World Autism Awareness Day. Adopted in 1999, the puzzle ribbon is the universal sign of autism awareness. It reflects the complexity of the autism spectrum. 3.5 million Americans live with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Almost every family sees a different side of it, but all children and adults affected by it have something in common - they need to be loved and accepted.
Transition into adulthood is a tough part because there is no “one size fits all”. Most parents with an autistic child are concerned about financial planning. People with autism need safe environments and there are agents specialized in special needs housing ready to find the right home. But before you contact one of the agents listed on RealEstateAgent.com, you may want to look at the best cities for families with a disabled child.
Autistic children can attend public schools just like any other child but we have also found some of the best schools for children with special needs.
Unfortunately, more than a third of individuals with Autism will remain unemployed. However, most students with ASD are eligible for housing assistance, day programs, supported employment and job training. Besides this, three out of five people with ASD found a job after going through Vocational Rehabilitation.
We have to listen to what people with autism need and get together as close-knit communities to make their lives easier.
Mar 27, 2019
Island Life or City Life
Time seems to have a different speed in the cities, don’t you think? But besides this, city life has countless opportunities. First, there are educational opportunities. With so many good school districts and universities, your resume is going to outshine many others. We have even found the best schools for children with special needs! Secondly, there are plenty of jobs. Last but not least, most cities have hospitals, so you have easy access to healthcare services.
No two cities are the same. They have different vibes that come from their cultural heritage. You can choose to live in a small rural town or a bustling metropolis. So, when you decide to start a family, read our list of the best cities for families. Will it be Orlando? Or San Francisco? Or will you settle somewhere in between?
Or would you rather live surrounded by water? If you like the remoteness of islands and the sound of waves hitting the shores, why not make this dream come true buying a property by the sea? Of course, beach properties have their pros and cons, but you don’t have to live there all the time. You can rent it through Airbnb or other similar websites. You can even buy a whole island! Did you know that Americans are the largest buyers of private islands worldwide?
Now, where would you like to live? Make your choice above!
Feb 07, 2019
When you organize an open house, there are some do's and don'ts. But an experienced real estate agent knows how to maximize the do's and minimize the don'ts. What could go wrong during an open house? A lot! But a lot of good things can come out of it, too. Real estate agents know how to organize and plan for a successful open house. Most events like these, if well advertised, can bring in very interested home buyers who will make an offer on the spot! And... will eat all your cookies, if you have any left, of course.
Dec 20, 2018
Common sense says everything real is better than fake. But we’re here to contest that when it comes to a Christmas Tree.
Don’t get us wrong, we LOVE a real Christmas tree. The fresh pine scent, the beautiful sight of it, and, of course, the *feeling* you get when you think “wow, this is a real Christmas tree! There’s a living thing here in my living room” – plants have a special kind of energy; if you believe this stuff. If fake Christmas trees were so cool (i) Christmas in the White House would be made of fake trees and not real ones and (ii) the sole song related to them (Radiohead’s “Fake Plastic Trees”) wouldn’t be such a downer.
However, looking at the practical side of it… come on. Fake Christmas trees have come a long way when it comes to their life-like nature. You can’t tell a good fake Christmas tree from a real one unless it’s a different color such as a solid white one. They will stay the same throughout the season, while the real one might arrive on the eve of the 24th barely standing up, fighting for its life, minus a bunch of branches. And while it’s a nuisance to store them if you live in a limited storage space property, ultimately you won’t be killing nature just to satisfy your Christmas aesthetic craving. Not to mention that real Christmas trees shed and you have to constantly sweep the floor because of it, give water to it… the same maintenance argument found on the natural grass vs artificial grass is found here. What if there is a pest outbreak and all of a sudden you need to call pest control to take care of the whole house because it latched to the wooden furniture and/or the floor? Not to mention the diseases they can carry. YIKES!
So, really; it’s a toss up. What about you? Are your presents under a real or fake Christmas tree? Click to vote and write in the comments the arguments behind your choice!
Dec 13, 2018
Sometimes that's the only way of actually getting out of bed and showing up to work - especially in this weather!
How about you? How do you kickstart your day? Do you drink coffee? Do you need a slow build or a quick sleep disruption? Do you use the aid of smart home devices to wake up? Or do you have someone throwing water towards your face? Hey, all is fair in love, war and waking up.
Nov 30, 2018
Hanukkah is upon us, and while the Jewish history is filled with gloomy cases of persecution and near extinction… what a merry and delightful codename for a holiday is that “festival of lights” that accompanies Hanukkah, don’t you agree?
Taking place during 8 days, Hanukkah is a Hebrew word for dedication and correctly observing it takes exactly that attribute. On each day, one candle is lighted. The menorah (a large candelabrum) holds 9 flames. One of them is the shamash (Hebrew for “attendant”) which is used to kindle the other eight lights and is usually held at a distinct position in the menorah (usually between and above the eight candles). On the first night, only one is lit. On the second day, another one. And so on and so forth until all 8 flames are kindled.
But you don’t just go there and light them like it’s nothing. There are special prayers and blessings recited – often to a traditional melody – and traditional songs are sung after the candles are lit. The menorah, then, is displayed by the window or the doorway so that people see that, despite all, the Jewish tradition and culture is very much alive and, in that house, lives proud Jewish people. Nice, right?
Real Estate tip: just watch out with all those flames, ok? Fire & Lightning damage is the 3rd most common homeowners insurance claim and by far the most expensive one; you do not want to turn the sacred festival of lights into the festival of fire!
The whole history behind Hanukkah goes a little bit like this: when Judea was ruled by the Seleucids (Syrian-Greeks), Jewish people were forced to accept Greek culture and beliefs instead of mitzvah observance and Jewish beliefs. But they refused to do so and, one day, a miracle occurred: against all odds, a small pack of Jews led by Judah the Maccabee, rebelled against the mighty Seleucid army and drove them off their land, reclaiming Jerusalem’s Second Temple. When they went to light the temple’s menorah, they noticed they had only one single cruse of olive oil that had escaped the Greek contamination and was still had the seal of the kohen gadol (high priest) that was needed for the menorah. Although that little flask should only last a day, it burned for eight days straight, the time needed to prepare a fresh supply of kosher oil for the menorah. Because of that, the holiday is celebrated for 8 days.
And because of that, because the miracle involved oil, the customary Hanukkah food is usually fried in oil. Fried Potato latke (a sort of pancake, usually garnished with applesauce or sour cream) is a big Hanukkah food hit especially in Eastern Europe. In Israel, the favorite Hanukkah food is the Sufganya, a sort of donut filled with jelly.
The dreidel is a four-sided spinning top bearing some Hebrew letters and its customary for kids to play with it during Hanukkah. The idea here is putting the dreidel to spin. When the dreidel stops spinning, the face that stops facing up decides if the player has lost or won the Hanukkah Gelt – or gifts of money - usually a pot of chocolate coins, nuts or other things decided by the players. Gelts can also literally be coins or gifts given as a reward for the child’s positive behavior and devotion to the study of the Torah, and, what’s really nice, is that their parents usually give them but only as an opportunity to give tzedakah which is something like “charity”. It teaches them the importance of giving back and sharing.
Lately, especially in the western civilization, Jewish people have been giving a gift to their child as the last candle is lit. Check our advice on how to give gifts we can ensure it won’t be regifted - the poor kid almost dies in anticipation lighting all 8 candles and in the end gets a fruitcake? No no.
But the biggest Hanukkah tradition is to remember the miracle of Judah and pass on the message of never being afraid to stand up for your beliefs, never being ashamed to show who you are. A little light amidst the dark goes a long way for like-minded people to see they are not alone, and the menorah shows us that. Take it to the streets and show how proud you are of who you are!
Nov 29, 2018
Well, it's undeniable! While it only officially starts December 21, judging by the fact that every single part of the country is pretty cold right now, Thanksgiving Day has passed and all houses are already filled with Christmas lights; we can say that Winter is here.
Sure, for someone in Minnesota, the "cold" in Florida is nothing. If they were experiencing the amount of "cold" Florida has right now, they would be going out in shorts like it's a Summer day. But since everyone carries the cross they can bear, what's important is that we keep ourselves active and warm just like the little Olaf on the picture above. And that can mean that the winter is a wonderful time to put you to action doing some much-needed work within the home you wouldn't make time to do it when the weather was so nice outside. How about trying some DIY Home Improvement projects this winter? It's a nice way to jump ahead so that, when spring and summer comes, your house is in a premier position (and condition) to get sold!
If you're feeling adventurous - and especially if you live in an area where snow is not that oppressive - you could also try these unique winter garden ideas!
In the end, winter home improvement projects are the means to an end - selling the home or having a nicer home to live in - but also an end in itself because keeping active is the best way to keep ourselves warm! Let's get to work!
Nov 21, 2018
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!
We love Thanksgiving. Do you? In a world where people take everything for granted, it's a nice little reminder for us to be thankful for every little thing we have. The simplest of things: a roof above our heads, the freedom and ability to express ourselves, knowing that we will have something to eat, a smile from someone... we are lucky to be alive with health.
If you need some Out-of-the-box ideas to celebrate Thanksgiving, click on the link! And Happy Thanksgiving once more!
Nov 16, 2018
Well, I don't know about you, but I'm glad this week has ended. Thank God it's Friday! We've worked like a dog, might as well rest like THIS dog...
What is it with weeks nowadays? They last for years! Seriously: I think I was 28 years old when the week started. But then, work, kids, the government... it all happened and I aged 30 years in 5 days. Yes, I'm 68 years old now.
What? 28+30 is not 68 but 58?!
Dude, this week has aged me so much I'm now senile. You can't expect me to make math calculations! Not only because I'm old, but because today is FRIDAY and I'm not doing anything besides writing this huge pointless text to stall until the clock says 5 PM and I can finally go home and rejuvenate a few years with the weekend. And, if you are still reading this, chances are you are doing exactly the same: reading this big pointless text under a picture of a dog in a robe(!) to procrastinate until it's time to go home. So, good on you, mate. Me and you; we're doing this "life" thing just right!
Nov 08, 2018
What are your feelings towards being surprised by something? Do you like realizing you were not aware of something or does it make you angry/humiliated to know you don't have everything figured out?
I, for one, think we are put in this world to learn things and the moment we have nothing else to learn is the moment we die. Learning of our own ignorance is a sign we have much to live still. So, embrace it! Don't react to it; act on it. Get stoked that life is saying you still got a lot to learn.
Oct 30, 2019
This Sunday we’ll all time travel.
Yes. You’ve read it correctly.
This Sunday (November 3, 2019) we’ll all go back in time 1 hour because of the end of daylight savings time. It’s a chance for us to re-do whatever we did wrong but never a chance to leave it as an opportunity to arrive late to your appointments. Did that not make any sense? Probably due to the jetlag we’re already feeling due to the upcoming time travel. Anyways, here’s a reminder: this Sunday, turn your clocks back 1 hour. Most cell phones automatically update their clock but if yours doesn’t or if you still have a lot of analog clocks – don’t forget to turn them all back 1 hour.
Do you know why we use daylight savings time? While this custom was first applied in Germany during World War I as a way to preserve energy, centuries before Benjamin Franklin had proposed a form of daylight saving on his “An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light” essay. He writes that Parisians could save the money they spent on candles by waking up one hour earlier, making use of the natural morning light. While most view the idea as a joke, provoking the French for being too bohemians, it was the same line of thinking used by the Germans. Something like “hey, if the sun could stay up a little longer we’d have less need for electrical energy, and electrical energy is something we cannot afford to lack during wartime”. But it was such a brilliant idea for a number of reasons, that several nations began to do it. Some adopted daylight savings time throughout their nations, some only in some parts. Hawaii, Arizona, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the US Virgin Island, for instance, do not mess with their clocks. Some countries use it just during summer, others for the majority of the year.
In America, it was only in 1966 when the Uniform Time Act was created, that daylight saving across the US became standardized. Before the Act, each state could decide when and how long they would enforce daylight savings time, which created a huge mess with several different artificial time zones within the country. Ever since 2007, America’s daylight saving stretches about 8 months of the year, from March to November. There are some people who don’t like it and try to end it by asking their representatives to take their states off daylight saving time. However, this movement has not been successful. In fact, Indiana, one state that never adopted daylight saving time, decided in 2007 to stop being stubborn and joined the majority of the nation. A hard blow for the “resistance”.
Lastly, if you do not care at all about time traveling - hey, you can use the extra hour of sleep, right? Enjoy it!
Oct 29, 2018
Ok, who wore it better?
The best part of Halloween for anyone who has a kid or a pet is dressing them up. It's not for every grown-up to wear Halloween costumes anymore, right? You have to maintain a certain image of seniority; you can't just go bonkers with costumes like you used to. You'd lost your authority. But you can still go all out with the dressing of your lackeys-- I mean; your loved kids and pets. Have fun this Halloween and watch out for the stomach aches; try some Halloween themed recipes that aren't that heavy!
Oct 25, 2018
Halloween is great. But do you get a stomach ache? It’s just SO.MUCH.CANDY! And what do you do to get rid of all the candy your kid gets? Do you eat a bit of it yourself? Do you sneakily throw some of them in the trash? Kids notice that; so you need to have a plan to do that daily in a way they don’t take note of the shrinking amount of candies. Ah, it’s just a mess...
How do we reconcile the Halloween traditions with the need to give healthier food to kids? Is there a way?
Yes there is! In the end, it’s all about the fun of it. So we’ve come up with a few suggestions of themed foods that are still delicious but not that trashy that your kids will like.
The first Halloween recipe is the one in the main picture of this post. It’s super simple to do it and it will make your kids excited about Halloween. All you need to do is put your aesthetic skills to the task. Get a nice blue plate to serve as the canvas and start to assemble your masterpiece: First, put a heated round waffle to act as the full moon. Get some chocolate bars and crush it; put beneath the waffle moon as if it was the dirt. Flying above the moon, assemble a few bats by getting sets of three raisins. The piece of tangerine in the picture… well, we wouldn’t put it. It makes no sense to the dish's taste and aesthetic. Like, how come there’s another moon? We figure it’s there because, aside from the bananas, it’s mostly chocolate so the fruit gives a little “fit” feeling to it. Alright, suit yourself, then. But let’s talk about the ghost bananas now! Get one banana, slice it lengthwise. Halve them through zig-zag cuts. You will have 4 slices of banana now, right? You only need 3, so give yourself a treat and eat one of them. Now get a Nutella jar and make two eyes and a scary mouth. Put the banana ghosts flying over the waffle moon. Your kids will freak out with this as their breakfast!
To decorate the house, you can do a variation of this Halloween recipe. Get the bananas but instead of cutting lengthwise and zig-zagging it, leave them whole and just cut the bottom of it so they can stand on their own. Make the Nutella mouths and eyes. Peel some tangerines to act as pumpkins. Cut a little bit of celery and place it atop of them as if it was the pumpkin stem. Make little concentrations of it (just like in the picture at the right and spread through the house).
For the trick or treaters, why not make a fun, delicious but a little less industrialized Halloween recipe as treat? These green apple Frankenstein mouths are very visually enticing and make for a delicious (and actually very nutritious) treat for kids. Thick slice green apples lengthwise, get two slices and glue them together with either peanut butter or dulce de leche. Do it with no finesse; the more it drips outside of the void between the slices the cooler it looks. Make the teeth with chocolate eggs and stuff them between the slices. Try using the same color (white) but one or two yellow ones might give a nice twist to it.
And if that much sweetness, regardless of being natural sweetness, is giving you a stomach ache already; what about doing something salty to eat at dinner with the kids, but still maintaining the Halloween theme? Get a pepperoni pizza and add spiders to it! Slice red peppers thinly and dispose them around the pepperonis as if it was the spider’s legs! Don’t eat meat and need a veggie version? Do it with the black olives; it’s very simple: put a few whole olives on top of the pizza – it will be good to give a round shape to the spider; makes it more believable. And then get another olive and slice it. Get the slices and dispose them around the whole olive to make the spider’s legs.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our Halloween recipes “tricks” and put it to action! The kids will get “scared” at how cool you are! Happy Halloween!
Oct 17, 2018
Do you waste a lot of money? Not like, buying stuff you don't need, but buying stuff you can't consume. Whether you don't have time to do it or you don't have the will to do it, it has become common for us to get things that we know we won't use. We buy them as a statement to others and ourselves. In the capitalist world where possessions are so important to set apart one from the other, it's more the act of getting and having than actually using that matters.
Didn't expect serious thoughts under a meme, right? Well, we always try not to waste your time, so that's our little philosophical nugget: critic sense is something we should use and not only have, so that's that.
Oct 11, 2018
Is your son an artist? Because everything my kids do I just find it fantastic! They're so creative!
The other day my youngest was peeing in the garden, my spouse told me to reprimand him, but you know what? He was peeing to irrigate the flowers; he's just worried about nature and it's pretty admirable to have this much environmental awareness at such a young age, don't you think? My daughter leaves all her clothes, school materials and other objects on the floor and, for sure, it's a visual nuisance, plus it's a bit dangerous - the other day I tripped on her skateboard and fell to the floor - but it's okay; I believe in the importance of freedom of expression in your individual spaces and while I was on the floor I noticed how I missed a spot under her bed the last time I cleaned her room, so I call that a win-win.
Oct 04, 2018
Has it ever happened to you?
The kids are in their room and all of a sudden you notice something is different: things are... quiet.
That's like the worst thing that can happen, right? Because it always means that those little brats are up to no good. Noise means they are going about their lives as they do; it's the silence that is maddening.
Tell us... what was the funniest craziest thing your kids were doing when the room was silent?
Sep 27, 2018
Ok, just a few, because... oh my God, right?!
Why is that when we sleep it seems that the world goes into fifth gear and people start sending tons of messages, e-mails and smoke signals?! You just wake up and BAM! Adrenaline shot right through your eyeballs! Oh my! No need for coffee when you have 123456789 messages to read and only a few free minutes to read it before having to get up and take care of the kids, fix breakfast, go to work or whatever else that seems so tame in comparison with all the crazy jaw-dropping messages left while you were sleeping!
Sep 20, 2018
Every time I see a TV commercial with kids eating all nice and polite, properly using forks, eating vegetable smiling... I just want to throw my remote control on the screen!
That's SO far from the truth!
The reality I know of children eating by themselves is of stained wardrobe, filthy floor, burps, 90 minutes-long nightmare where you're constantly saying less polite variations of "for the love of God, eat your food and get done with it because I have to clean this mess, give you a shower, tuck you in, and still deal with my own life".
Is it just me? Am I the wrong one? In what world does that perfect neat dinner experience exist?! Tell me in the comments because I wanna move there! NOW!
Sep 13, 2018
I don't know about you, but I always buy salad.
I rarely eat it... but it makes me feel good knowing that I didn't go to the supermarket and get JUST candy, snacks, frozen food, soda, and ice cream.
I make a big scene. I even say out loud "Here's my romaine salad, some arugula and, of course, broccoli; my favorite" to a cashier who could care less and, deep down, knows I'll eventually throw it all away unless a healthy visitor comes to the house and asks for salad.
But now a thought has come to my mind: what if that person doesn't really want to eat salad, and it's doing exactly what *I* do at the supermarket; just posing as a healthy person?
Mind-blow: are we all financing the healthy food industry because of our guilt and need to show off to others?
Cue in the angry comments that don't understand a joke and come swearing they LOOOOOVE eating salad.
Sep 06, 2018
Who's never been in this situation, right?
We bet that's you, tired after a whole day of showings, catching up with the e-mails... we know how hard is the life of a real estate agent, and we feel for you!
We know you don't mean to, we know you know how important is to relax and rest... But what can you do? There seems to be a sort of vortex that sucks you in and when you see it... it's been 12 hours since you sat on that chair!
Is it that? Or is it that we procrastinate so much - and there are just TOO MANY places that help that; I'm talking to you, Facebook! - that we end up never fully focusing on what we really need to do?
Or does this image speak nothing to you? You're super strict about bedtime - or you haven't the will to stay up that long - and you either go to bed or fail to stay up and drool all over the keyboard? Anyways, I'm kind of sleepy myself, writing this at 2 am, so *yawn* sorry about that. So... let us know by writing in the comments becausezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...
Aug 29, 2018
Is it just me?
Whenever I need help around the house, whenever I need to put the kids to bed or the plates and glasses in the dishwasher, whenever there are warning signs of roof disrepair... Him, the handyman, the know it all, suddenly gets too busy and pretends he didn't hear a thing. What a dog!
Aug 23, 2018
Technically, both of those are "mobile", right? But which would you choose to live in it? A houseboat or a "home on wheels" type of mobile home?
A houseboat, allows you to explore the world. You can sail whenever you want wherever you want; the world is 71% made of water! People have been living in Houseboats for centuries and, though it has its challenges, when done right, it's very charming and freeing. With the rise in real estate prices, a lot of non-sailers have been turning to houseboats as a more affordable alternative housing.
A mobile home like an RV, a motorhome or a "home on wheels" type of alternative housing? Mobile homes are as freeing as houseboats but more practical in a way; although the world is majorly made of water, people do live on the land, so, with mobile homes you can actually explore more places and interact with more people. When you travel with a houseboat, at best, you'll spot dolphins, sharks and whales. When traveling with mobile homes you get to see the monuments, people walking by and the whole 9 yards. Now, when it comes to the housing itself, you have a lot of depreciation to deal with and maintenance.
So, who's your knight in The Non-traditional Homes Battle? Between those two what would you pick as your alternative housing?
Aug 16, 2018
This cat is like the Monalisa version of cats. You can't tell if it's very scared of the spider or if it's just casually observing it.
And that's the beauty of it. If it was scared, we would pay no mind to the image; being terrified to death, getting on top of the chair (or running around yelling and crying) is the normal reaction when seeing a spider in your home. Right? It's not just me, correct? And if the cat was relaxingly looking at the spider, it would be just too surreal and not believable to such an extent, that no one would bother to appreciate it.
But because it's inconclusive, the Cat-alisa (got it?) is truly a work of art we invite everyone to enjoy and share with other art consumers.
What is your favorite thing about the Cat-alisa, 21st Century's most significant piece of art? Tell us in the comments!
Also answer in the comments: Would you live in a Haunted House if the price was right? Even if that meant SPIDERS?!
Aug 09, 2018
Sometimes the world seems upside down.
And what should we do when that happens? When all values get skewed, when right becomes left (or even worse; wrong!) and light gets dark? Should we speak up? Should we fight for what's right and defend it in an effort to put things back where they belong?
But for now, making memes and captioning this picture is all we ask of you. How would you caption this picture?
Aug 02, 2018
"Oh, but ~~insert something that is always on and can be later viewed on YouTube~~ is on right now!"
Is this your house too or is it only mine?
Because if it's mine; take the feet off the coffee table and come help! And if it's not, do your part and come help! Either way: turn that TV off because I do not get paid for this, Mister. I am not doing this alone!
Jul 30, 2018
We love these silly generator things!
What's not to love? All you need to do is combine your day of birth with your month of birth and you have a random generic idea for your next home.
But one thing caught our mind and we can't stop thinking about it: what if a lot of people born on the same day and month (not the year, necessarily) follow through with this generator and start actually building, I don't know... a smelly beach house! Wouldn't that fundamentally change real estate as a whole? For starters, a beach house necessarily has to be built on the shores, right? And while the USA has a lot of coastal lines; if everyone starts to do it, it will become unbearable! Could you imagine? Driving the famous Big Sur without being able to roll down the windows because of how awful the smell of thousands of smelly beach houses is?! And that would eventually unfold to a crisis in the convertible car production, and, then, economic chaos which would eventually make the real estate market itself suffer and how could it go back up when most of the supply is made of SMELLY beach houses?!
So, I guess what we're saying is that.... play with our home generator, but be responsible, ok? The faith of the world might be in your hands.
Jul 25, 2018
You've heard of Troy, right? The whole shebang where some guys thought they were getting a giant wooden horse as a gift, only to realize that inside of it were several of their enemy's army!
Well, this image is a bit similar to that. How? - you ask.
At first look, it's a harmless fun meme, asking you to tag that person who does this, so you can both share a laugh.
But the truth is that, dear RealEstateAgent.com reader, I'm sick and tired of going to MY bathroom to alleviate myself only to discover the last person did not make the HUGE and STRESSFUL gesture - some irony required - of getting up and walking to the pantry to get a new paper roll to the toilet paper holder! My intent is to post this while the boss is not looking so I can finally start my revolution where every monster that does this feels so ashamed of doing it, they'll never do it again and then--- Hold on, hold on, the boss is here...
So, that's why the Real Estate Market is so good for homeowners and real estate agents--
Ok, the boss is gone.
But I haven't got much time.
Pass this link on to the soulless person that cares not about the next one, who cares not about your need for toilet paper.
Feel free to share on your own page; I don't care. All I need is this to stop. I can't stand it anymore. Join the toilet paper revolution!
Jul 19, 2018
We're living a moment of tension, with tales of espionage, anonymous hackers and other things that seem straight out of a spy movie.
But did you know that this is nothing new to Real Estate?
Yes, it might look dull at first sight, but there's a whole 'nother side where real estate agents, home buyers, neighbors and anyone remotely connected to a property must be resourceful and come up with codenames to refer to someone without that person knowing he/she is talking about him/her. Some of these codenames are flattering, some are not. But figuring out what yours would be like is always fun!
Just add the adjective after your day of birth to the noun after the month in which you were born and tell us in the comments your result!
Jul 16, 2018
How tiny can you go with Tiny Homes, really?
Seriously, this one was supposed to be a joke, but some people are so into this tiny house trend, always downsizing everything, that it wouldn't be surprising to hear of someone living inside a Kangaroo pouch - not inside a snail shell, come on THAT'S impossible.
For single people, we get it. It's a bit too much to have a lot of square footage all for yourself; not to mention that it must be very lonely! The sound echoing reminds you that you're all alone. However, with a family, if not out of necessity, we think it's a little bit crazy to move into a Tiny House. Kids need space to properly grow and understand the concept of freedom. Plus, they trip on things and can hurt themselves, so big spacey places are safer for them. But, then again; Tiny Houses have not that many objects, so...
Tell us: what are your thoughts on this whole craze of Tiny Homes Across the USA? Do you think it's amazing or ridiculous?
Jul 12, 2018
It's common to say that when people see things differently, the "truth" is somewhere between both visions.
In this case, we have three.
Mom's vision: ok, it's not as clean as it was when you cleaned it up... but is it really this pandemonium?
Kid's vision: it's not like they do it on purpose... kids don't understand yet the concept of "mess", they can't help themselves.
Dad's vision: Yeah, that's pretty accurate.
If you know the cure to dad's blindness, give us your miracle recipe in the comments!
Jul 05, 2018
OMG... so many things going through our minds seeing this image. How would YOU caption this one?
Vent in the comments! Let all the rage (and the sarcasm) out!
Jun 07, 2018
Dogs Or Cats? Cats Or Dogs?
Move over Apple vs. Microsoft, Star Wars vs. Star Trek, Kate Perry vs. Taylor Swift... THIS is internet's fight of the century!
Which side are you on?
Team Dog will say they are loyal, foolish little beings of love, at the same time they can be fierce and act as a great reliable home security system.
Fierce? Have you see a cat when pushed against the wall?! - will counter a member of Team Cat. Cats are great companion too and are the cutest thing when playing and pushing their paws against your belly like a cute little masseuse!
But then team dog will say that cats are not called "man's best friends" and cats will counter that this moniker was coined by jealous humans who couldn't reach the level of complicity (and complexity) cat-relationship demands and the fight will go on and on and on until the end of times. The only way to finish it is by VOTING! Numbers don't lie, people.
Note: All arguments regarding allergy will be disregarded, as they can both cause allergies.
Vote! Defend thy pets honor!
(For the reasonable that will say "Can't I vote for both?" - no, you can't. There's no place for reasoning here. This is war! Vote for the best animal now!)
May 31, 2018
Take your pick!
Do you think a Two-Story house is too dangerous for kids and elders? Or even for teens and adults; you don't want to be exposed to liability, right?
And let's not even start with how tiresome is to go up and down those stairs every day, carrying laundry... no, no! Go Team Lazy-- I mean; Team One-Story House!
You do get more space for less, right? You can have a bigger garden and maybe even build something there, like a She Shed. Plus, having your room on the second floor will give you a nice, quieter view from above; have you thought about that? And, lastly, most important: two-story houses are generally seen as more valuable, so how about that for the Team Two-Story house?
If you need more info to make up your mind and your vote, read our whole One-Story House or Two-Story House article! Just don't forget to vote!
May 24, 2018
Which gives you the best bathing experience?
Do you feel clean after you take a bubble bath? Or do you hop in the shower afterward so you don't "miss a spot"?
Can you sing in a bath or is that a shower only thing?
On the ecology realm, Team Bubble Bath will say that they are saving water, but Team Shower will counter that the bubbles might not be that eco-friendly...
Team Shower will ask " Who has time for a bubble bath, anyway?" and Team Bubble Bath will say: "well, who has time to vote on this Or that polls? And yet here we are..."
So, just cast your vote and let's settle the fight between Shower and Bubble Bath!
May 10, 2018
Here we go with another polarized issue: Rent Or Own?
We could just stick with the saying that goes "to everything there is a season", after all it seems that buying a home is something we only do when we get more mature and renting is almost reserved to young people, but that notion is getting out of fashion. More and more we're seeing older people renting and it can even be a good option to buy a home when you're looking for Student Accommodations for your just-accepted-at-College kid.
What do you say?
Do you prefer to rent and have some spare money to invest in improving your education, and traveling to create memories? Do you prefer the rent so you're not stuck to a city and a never-ending mortgage, and can move around whenever you feel like it?
Or do you prefer to buy a home and call it your own? A place where you can decorate the way you want. Where you can, if you want to, tear down the rooms and play LEGO building whatever you feel like? Plus, the security of knowing that whenever the going gets tough you have a safe haven is invaluable.
Where do you stand on this one? Give us your vote!
Apr 25, 2018
When it comes to bringing that green feeling to the house; are you Team Natural Grass or Team Artificial Grass?
Oh, this is a tough one!
Sure, the natural grass has some important features. It drains rain, can provides us with other planting possibilities and bring us that wonderful natural smell.
However, when you do the artificial grass, you don't have to worry about taking care of it, it doesn't attract fungi and other parasites, and it consistently looks the same; you don't get a period of time where it looks terrible.
But, then again, when at is prime, natural grass looks so good and laying on it feels like nothing else...
Ok, we give up!
Just close your eyes and vote for one of them!
Apr 17, 2018
Say you have a spacious window sill: would you use it to make an internal garden to get fresh herbs for your cooking, nice scents to the house and that amazing forest feel indoors…
Or use it as an extra space for seating, reading, window gazing and that perfect power nap?
What are you? #TeamGardening or #TeamExtraSeat?
Apr 10, 2018
April 10th is National Sibling Day! Which type of Sibling is best for you?
The one easily reachable, that can be at your door in a matter of minutes… Or the one who lives far away - providing that sweet home-away-from-home vacation home?
Now, mind-blown scenario: what if two siblings vote each on a different a different option?! Oh, the family/sibling drama! We love it!
(Don't worry, we won't tell your sibling which option you voted for)
Either way: call/meet your sibling and say: “ Happy Sibling Day”!
Apr 04, 2018
Which is the most reliable home security system? A security guard patrolling the house or a guard dog?
Team security guard will say that everyone who watched a cartoon knows that a piece of stake is enough to tame an angry dog, but Team Guard Dogs will say that you get a better value out of Dogs, as they are 2-for-1 and can serve as both a security system and men's best friend! However, dogs can't help carrying your groceries, right? But with the right training they can bring you food - which is not one of the security guard's duties.
Oh, we can't answer this one: what are your thoughts? Sound off on the comments about your thoughts regarding the best security system for your home!
Mar 23, 2018
Easter is right around the corner and we want to know: what is your preference when celebrating it? Do you get the kids Hand Painted Eggs OR Plastic Eggs?
Hand Painted Eggs Team will say that there's nothing like putting your artisan skills to the task; that it is a nice therapy, even!
But Plastic Eggs Team will counter by asking " Who has time for that?", plus the mess those eggs can make...
So, tell us: what side are you on?
This Easter, will your house feature Hand Painted Eggs or Plastic Eggs?
Mar 22, 2018
St. Patrick's Day is only a few days away and the festivities are heating up! Chicago and Boston are two towns that take the festivities really serious and have a tradition of organizing awesome celebrations.
While Chicago dyes its river green since 1962, Boston has the most remarkable parade filled with kids and St. Patrick's motives.
If you had the opportunity of travelling to either Chicago or Boston to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, which would you choose?
Would you go with the Windy City of Chi-Town or would you choose the famous City on the hill of Boston, Massachutes?
Mar 22, 2018
This Saturday the country will be taken over by green! People of every city storm the streets to enjoy the Luck of the Irish, - on this lucky day which do you prefer Green Beer or a shot of Jameson's?