Sept. 19, 2019

7 Tips to Get Your Home Ready for Fall and Winter


1. Check windows and doors.

This is one of the easiest ways to save on winter energy bills and keep your house from getting cold. Make sure there are not cracks, leaks or air coming through the window sills or door frames.

2. Clean you heating and air conditioning.

Having your air conditioner and heater units cleaned twice a year- spring and fall- will help your family stay healthier and expand the life of your units. A professional cleaning is inexpensive and takes a very short amount of time.

3. Check your fireplace.

Many people still use wood burning or gas fireplaces in the winter. Do a visual inspection of your fireplace to make sure that it is in good working order. Give it a test run at some point in the fall, before it gets too cold, to make sure that it will be functioning in the winter.

4. Clean your water heater.

You can clean your water heater by simply draining it. Allow all of the water in the tank to come out. This will get rid of any buildup that is in the heater due to sediment and will help prevent it from building up during the winter.

5. Protect your hose.

To keep your garden hose from freezing and cracking empty it completely and disconnect it from the spigot. Moving it inside is also a good idea to help prevent your hose from freezing and getting destroyed.

6. Check your roof.

When prepping maintaining your home it is important to start from the bottom up. Take a look at your roof- even from the ground- and see if there are any missing shingles or holes in the roof. Make sure your gutters are clear of leaves, sticks and debris.

7. Clean out the garage.

Make sure that any unused gas in equipment is removed and stored properly. Allowing the gas to sit in the fuel tanks can cause sediment in the tank and can potentially ruin the equipment. Since it may be out of use for months, fall is a good time to do this.

For more detailed instructions and videos see the full article here.

Aug. 18, 2019

Healthy After School Snacks




Raisins with peanut butter on celery

This snack is a great one to make with your kids’ help. Take a stick of celery (be sure to wash it and cut off the ends), spread your favorite kind of peanut butter inside the celery trough, and line up raisins from end to end. This crunchy and creamy treat looks like ants marching down a log.



Frozen banana chunks

The “popsicle” part will hopefully help your kids want to eat this more. And the best part is there’s no added sugar–just straight up banana. This snack is super easy to make but will need time to freeze. All you have to do is take a ripe banana, take off the peel, cut it up into bite-sized chunks, spread the chunks out on a paper plate, and stick your plate in the freezer. These can be frozen in just a few hours for same-day snacking. If you want to make them in advance, then once they are frozen, transfer them into a Ziploc bag (they will last stored in the freezer for a while this way).



Greek yogurt on crackers with berries

Here is another snack that is fun to make with the kids. Take a Ritz Cracker (or substitute with another kind of cracker), plop some greek yogurt on top, and put your favorite kind of berry around the outside edge. You now have a cracker snack that looks like a crown.





Carrot sticks and hummus

This is a super quick and easy snack, and if your kid likes hummus, then it should definitely become a go-to for you! All you have to do is take some baby carrots or cut a large carrot into sticks and serve them with a scoop of your favorite hummus. (You can substitute ranch or another dip as an alternative if your kid doesn’t like hummus.) You can also use celery sticks or almost any veggie.



Chopped cheese stick with grapes

It’s called “easy” for a reason, folks. Take a cheese stick, chop it into bite-sized chunks, and serve it with some washed grapes or your kid’s favorite fruit. That’s it.


For more detailed instructions and videos see the full article here.

Aug. 18, 2019

Questions To Ask Your Kids, Instead of How Was Your Day

What made you smile today?

Can you tell me an example of kindness you saw/showed?

Was there an example of unkindness? How did you respond?

Does everyone have a friend at recess?

What was the book about that your teacher read?

What’s the word of the week?

Did anyone do anything silly to make you laugh?

Did anyone cry?

What did you do that was creative?

What is the most popular game at recess?

What was the best thing that happened today?

Did you help anyone today?

Did you tell anyone “thank you?”

Who did you sit with at lunch?

What made you laugh?

Did you learn something you didn’t understand?

Who inspired you today?

What was the peak and the pit?

What was your least favorite part of the day?

Was anyone in your class gone today?

Did you ever feel unsafe?

What is something you heard that surprised you?

What is something you saw that made you think?

Who did you play with today?

Tell me something you know today that you didn’t know yesterday.

What is something that challenged you?

How did someone fill your bucket today? Whose bucket did you fill?

Did you like your lunch?

Rate your day on a scale from 1-10.

Did anyone get in trouble today?

How were you brave today?

What questions did you ask at school today?

Tell us your top two things from the day (before you can be excused from the dinner table!).

What are you looking forward to tomorrow?

What are you reading?

What was the hardest rule to follow today?

Teach me something I don’t know.

If you could change one thing about your day, what would it be?

Is there anything on your mind that you’d like to talk about?

Who did you share your snacks with at lunch?

What made your teacher smile? What made her frown?

What kind of person were you today?

What made you feel happy?here

What made you feel proud?

What made you feel loved?

Did you learn any new words today?

What do you hope to do before school is out for the year?

If you could switch seats with anyone in class, who would it be? And why?

What is your least favorite part of the school building? And favorite?

If you switched places with your teacher tomorrow, what would you teach the class?


For more detailed instructions and videos see the full article here.

June 30, 2019

JELL-O Firecrackers


2 Hrs 45 Mins

45 Mins Prep

2 Hrs Cook


What You Need:

 1-1/3 cups boiling water (divided into 2)

 1 pkg. (3 oz.) JELL-O Berry Blue Flavor Gelatin

 1 pkg. (3 oz.) JELL-O Cherry or Strawberry Flavor Gelatin

 1 envelope of Unflavored Gelatin

 1 cup milk (divided into ¼ cup and ¾ cup)

 3 Tbsp. sugar

 1/2 tsp. vanilla

 20 maraschino cherries with stems, well drained, patted dry


What To Do:

1. Add 2/3 cup boiling water to berry blue gelatin mix in small bowl; stir 2 min. until completely dissolved. Repeat in separate bowl with cherry or strawberry gelatin mix. Cool.

2. Meanwhile, sprinkle unflavored gelatin over 1/4 cup milk in medium bowl; let stand 5 min. Bring remaining milk to simmer in saucepan. Remove from heat; stir in sugar and vanilla. Add to plain gelatin mixture; stir until gelatin is completely dissolved. Cool 10 min.

3. Spoon berry blue gelatin into 20 (1-oz.) plastic shot glasses sprayed lightly with cooking spray, adding about 2 tsp. to each. Refrigerate 15 min. or until set but not firm.

4. Top with unflavored gelatin mixture, adding about 2 tsp. to each cup. Refrigerate 10 min. Insert cherry, stem end up, on top of white gelatin layer in each cup. Refrigerate 2 min.

5. Cover with cherry or strawberry gelatin, adding about 2 tsp. to each cup. Refrigerate 2 hours or until firm. Remove desserts from cups before serving.


For more detailed instructions and videos see the full article here.

June 30, 2019

Where to Celebrate the 4th of July!

June 2, 2019

Essential Summer Home Maintenance Tips


Clean out your gutters

There's no telling what kind of crud has collected in there since the last time you cleaned them out. 


Do a deep fridge cleanout

Have some unidentified leftovers in a Tupperware way in the back or a long-ago expired jar of pickles in the door? The first step is to chuck it all - but make sure to schedule your cleanout to coincide with the trash pickup for the week. The last thing you want is a jar of mayo siting out in the bin for five consecutive 100-degree days.

While you're attacking the refrigerator, don't forget to address the coils. The coil is located either on the bottom behind the kickplate, or on the back of the refrigerator. To clean refrigerator coils, turn off the power to the fridge, then vacuum the coils using a homemade wand from a cardboard gift wrap tube or a vacuum cleaner brush attachment.


Change the batteries in your smoke detectors

It is recommended that smoke alarm batteries be changed out every six months. To make it easier to remember when it's time, do what the upper-organized do: Put yourself on a twice-a year-schedule in summer and winter (June 1 and December 1, for instance), and mark the dates in your phone so you don't forget.


Change out your filters

This is one of those areas where homebuyers don't tend to heed product manufacturers' guidelines. The general recommendation is every 30–60 days.


Deep clean your carpets

You should be doing this at least once a year to protect your carpets and limit allergens. Summer is the perfect time in most climates because the rainy season has passed, which means there's less likelihood of kids and pets tracking in mud. 


Have your air conditioning unit serviced

If you're the type who only makes a call about your air conditioning when it's not working, consider this: Units that are serviced regularly tend to last longer and have a lower incidence of breaking down, which always seems to happen on the day when the heat index breaks a record.

As your HVAC system runs, it accumulates dust and dirt in key areas that affect its efficiency, like the condensing coils and air filters. Left unchecked, your A/C system can lose 5 percent of its operating efficiency each year because of this buildup, meaning it can't cool your house as capably as it could if it were clean.



If you haven't cleaned your showerhead in a year - or, ever - it's well past time. This involves one of our favorite home maintenance tips of all time, because it takes almost zero effort.

To clean, fill a plastic bag with white vinegar. Attach the bag to the showerhead. Wait one hour, then remove the bag and turn on the water to flush. Polish with a soft cloth.


Examine your clothes dryer vent

This is a critically important maintenance issue and should be done regularly. Not only will a clean vent make your dryer run more efficiently and dry your clothes faster, but it will also help keep your home and family safe. 



For more detailed instructions and photos see the full article here.

June 2, 2019

Oven Baked S'mores


What You’ll Need:

9 Honey Graham Crackers, broken crosswise in half (18 squares), divided

36 Large Marshmallows, cut crosswise in half

4 Milk Chocolate Bars, (1.55 oz. each), chopped



HEAT oven to 350°F.

Place 9 graham cracker squares in a single layer on the bottom of an 8-inch square pan.

Add 36 marshmallow halves.

Sprinkle the chopped chocolate on top of the marshmallow halves.

Place the remaining graham cracker squares on top.

Finally, add the remaining marshmallow halves, cut sides down.

BAKE  9 to 11 min. or until marshmallows are puffed and golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.



For more detailed instructions and photos see the full article here.

June 2, 2019

Wedding Etiquette




2. Only back out of it’s absolutely necessary.


3. A plus one is not implied. You should only bring a plus one if it is specified on the invitation.


4.  Bring a gift and stick to the registry.  Even if you are invited and cannot attend, it is still good manners to send a gift.


5. Stick to the dress code. If you are unsure, it is always better to be over dressed than under dressed. And, remember, never wear white! White is reserved for the bride. Afterall, this is her special day!


6. Be on time. In fact, it is recommended that you arrive 20-30 minutes before the time specified on the invitation.


7. Keep your phone on silent!


8. Unless the couple specifically requests no photos, it is perfectly acceptable to snap away. Just make sure you do not get in the photographer’s way!


9. Those photos you took…wait to post them on social media until you have the green light from the bride and groom.


10. Have fun and enjoy yourself! 


For more detailed instructions and photos see the full article here.

May 6, 2019

Tips to Survive Traveling with Small Kids...


Water Wow! – These surprisingly keep my very busy 4 year old busy for quite a while. Plus, you can find them pretty much anywhere – Walmart, Target, amazon, etc.


Pipe Cleaners – Endless possibilities for play!



Car Bingo – Something the whole family can play! There are tons of free printable cards on Pinterest that you can simply download and print on your own.



Velcro Lollipop Sticks


Magnets in a lunch box


Plan stops – Map out rest stops ahead of time that have plenty of space for the kids to play or just run around.


Age appropriate Audiobooks or Podcasts


Snacks! Snacks! Snacks!



March 3, 2019

Who Is Involved in the Homebuying Process?


Your Realtor – Your Realtor’s main focus is to help you find the home of your dreams! Then, he or she will use his or her knowledge and expertise of the current market to help make the right offer for you. Your Realtor will advocate for your needs and desires throughout the entire transaction.


Your Loan Officer – First, your loan officer is going to prequalify you to help determine exactly how much you can borrow. Then, your loan officer will work with you to obtain full approval as quickly as possible.


Your Title Company – Your title company is there to ensure that title is clear prior to you closing on your new home. The title company will be working with all parties to facilitate the final signing of closing documents.


Your Inspector – Your inspector will thoroughly inspect your home, looking for any potential repairs or safety issues. The inspection report will help you determine if any items need to be repaired or replaced prior to you purchasing you home.



At One Plus Realty, we have built relationships with select Loan Officers, Title Companies, and Inspectors. We have worked with each of them on multiple transactions; and they have proven to be trustworthy, knowledgeable, and determined to work together so that your homebuying process is as smooth as possible!