How To: Build a Backyard Oasis

Building a Backyard Oasis

Spring is here and summer is just around the corner. You know what that means? Backyard barbecues, pool parties and fun in the sun entertainment. Don’t worry if your backyard isn’t ready for guests. These budget-friendly ideas will help you build a backyard oasis that’s ready to entertain in just one weekend!

Mood Lighting

Hanging outdoor globe lights are a fantastic way to set the mood and tone. Creating a peaceful ambiance will help you and your guests enjoy the backyard as the night continues.

Hammock

Nothing says relaxation like a hammock. Day or night, a hammock will be enjoyed by everyone.

Patio Furniture

Providing comfortable and attractive seating for you and your guests is a sure way to make sure everyone will have a good time. Regardless of set up, make sure the furniture is comfortable and practical. Your guests will thank you.

Greenery

Adding additional potted plants and flowers to your patio, deck and yard will help your space feel cozy and welcoming. Mix it up with greenery and flowers. The contrast between the green and pops of color will be stunning.

Firepit

S’mores, stories, laughter and fun. A firepit is a backyard staple that is sure to bring you and your guests together at the end of the night. You can buy one that is already ready to go from Home Depot, Lowes or a store like Target or you can build you own.

Lawn Games

Having activities for your guests to enjoy will help keep conversations going and ensure your guests have a good time. A variety of activities for all age levels is best. Volleyball, croquet, flag football and a slip-n-slide or sprinkler are just a few fun ideas!

To help set you off on the right foot for your newly ready to host backyard, here is a refreshing summer drink recipe I think you’ll enjoy. Happy entertaining!

Peach Whiskey Iced Tea

Find original recipe here.

5 bags of Black Tea
3 cups hot water
8 cups ice
1 cup cold water
1 ⅔ cup diced peaches
¼ cup sugar
1 lemon
Whiskey of choice

  1. Steep black tea bags in hot water for 5 min. Remove tea bags, add ice and cold water.

  2. Puree peaches in blender or food processor with sugar and lemon juice until smooth.

  3. Stir peach puree into tea until combined. Add additional sugar to taste.

  4. Fill glasses ¾ of the way full of ice, add shot of whiskey and top off with peach iced tea.

  5. Garnish with peach slice. Enjoy!

Build a Backyard Oasis

How To: Prepare Your House to Sell

douglas-sheppard-522206-unsplashSpring is here and now is the perfect time to sell your house. However, selling your house isn’t easy and there’s a lot that goes into process. Preparing before you even list your house is important. Not sure where to start? Follow these tips and you’ll be ready in no time.

Declutter

Purge and Declutter

A cluttered home doesn’t look good in pictures which can potentially turn buyers away from even viewing your home.  You want your buyer to see the home for what it is, a beautiful structure ready for its next occupant. Purging will also help with your move to your new home.  You’ll have less to move and several items will already be packed and ready when the time comes.

Depersonalize

Depersonalize

You want potential buyers to see their next home and not a house that is someone else’s. You want the home to be neutral and ready for those who walk through to visualize themselves living there. Replace family photos with easy prints from Etsy or that perfect sunrise photo from the other morning. Removing frames, kids’ artwork, toys and personal items from countertops will really help make the house feel ready for the next occupants. Not sure what to remove? Hiring a consultant to come in and help you determine what should stay or go helps tremendously.

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Paint

As well as removing personal items, painting is a part of de-personalizing. Neutral walls create a blank slate for buyers as they tour your home, making it easier for them to see your house as their next home. Spackle and refresh paint in any room that needs it. Do you have white walls that are looking a little drab? A gallon of fresh paint can go a long way and really boost the sale quality of your home.

Outdoor Beautification

Outdoor Beautification

Curb appeal and backyards are just as important as the interior of your house.  When a potential buyer pulls up, the exterior of your home will be their first impression. Make it a good one!  Take a step back and look at the home with fresh eyes. What would you see as someone just coming to look at your house for the first time. Weed, remove unnecessary shrubs, plants and trees, lay fresh bark and pressure wash the driveway. Clean the roof by sweeping off debris and treating for moss. And don’t forget to refreshing the exterior paint if it needs it.

Fix It

Fix It

Repair any damage and complete the projects you’ve been putting off.  Change your light bulbs, re-caulk your bathroom and kitchen tile and appliances.  Fix the leaky faucet and replace your broken trim. Start by walking through the house and making a list of anything and everything you can find, big or small. Completing your fix it list prior to listing your home to sell will save you some headaches later in the process.

Clean

Clean

It’s time to clean everything, from top to bottom.  This should be your final step before listing your house to sell. Take your cleaning to the next level with a deep, thorough cleaning. Wipe down your lights, walls, trim and cabinets. Clean the windows and gutters and don’t forget those pesky cobwebs in the corners!  Cleaning is something you can do yourself or you can hire professional to come in and do a deep clean.

There’s a lot that goes into selling your home. You want your home to feel comfortable and appeal to potential buyers.  If you take the above steps, not only will you prepare your house to sell but help sell it faster.

Ready to list your house? Contact me, I’d love to be your real estate agent.

How to Prepare Your House to Sell

Discover These 12 Puget Sound Restaurants

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If you’re new to the area, visiting or have lived here for a while, you should know that the Puget Sound has some fantastic local spots! Whether you’re in the mood for fresh seafood, authentic Mexican cuisine or an excellent glass of wine, we’ve got you covered. Here are 12 local Puget Sound restaurants you need to visit when you’re in the Olympia area.

The Bread Peddler

The Bread Peddler is a yummy local bakery with delicious treats and breads. Their breads and pastries are made daily to guarantee freshness and deliciousness. Not only can you go there for baked goods, they also serve homemade classic French style breakfasts and lunch dishes that are out of this world good using fresh, local produce. Offering home roasted espresso and hand shaped artisan breads, they have a passion for their craft and a commitment to quality. You can find them in the cute 222 Market in downtown Olympia.

Eagan’s Drive-In

This old-fashioned themed burger joint is the place to go when you’re looking for a delicious, juicy fresh made burger. Eagan’s Drive-In is a great place to take the family for a delicious meal.  They offer fresh food and homemade milkshakes that are the best in town.  Don’t forget their special homemade goop sauce!

Mercato

Mercato Ristorante is an upscale casual restaurant that focuses on simple, fresh Italian cuisine. Mercato has something for everyone. Your taste buds will dance with excitement when you try their pear gorgonzola salad, homemade butternut squash ravioli or any of their appetizers that are large enough to be a meal.  This space is fantastic for business meetings, date nights or a meal with the family.

Chelsea Farms Oyster Bar

Do you like shellfish? Then you’ll LOVE Chelsea Farms Oyster Bar. Starting out as a family of local shellfish farmers, they have now expanded and opened this oyster bar with a menu to please all shellfish and seafood lovers. Their clam chowder is amazing and they offer steak cooked to perfection. Chelsea Farms is located in the 222 Market in the heart of downtown Olympia in a cute new modern space. At Chelsea Farms, you’ll find a superb dining experience for all ages.

La Gitana

La Gitana is the place to go for authentic Italian wood fired pizza. When you walk in, you’re immediately greeted with a romantic atmosphere – string lights, fresh roses, local art displayed on their brick accent walls and live jazz music every third Saturday. Using fresh and organic ingredients, their pizza is some of the best in town. Don’t forget to finish your meal with a delicious homemade dessert (affogato, anyone!?).

Oly Rockfish Grill

Oly Rockfish Grill serves up an amazing breakfast menu offering six different kinds of benedict. Not an early riser? Don’t worry, they serve breakfast until 2 p.m. Oly Rockfish is family-friendly.  The front of the restaurant provides seating for small or large groups and is also perfect for a date night with their lounge-like atmosphere in the back. Their drinks are definitely worth talking about.

Hart’s Mesa

Hart’s Mesa is an authentic Mexican restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. They offer a variety of vegetarian and vegan options. You’ll find amazing portion sizes, a fantastic happy hour menu and budget-friendly prices. Their newer downtown location is a favorite spot for all ages. You’ll be hard pressed to find something on their menu that you don’t love.

Rumors Wine Bar

Located in the heart of downtown, Rumors Wine Bar is all about wine and the folks savoring it.  Their delicious and intriguing wines are carefully selected from vineyards all over the world. Specials are offered daily as well as wine tastings and classes year-round. Recently moving from their smaller space on 4th Ave. to a spacious location at the corner of 5th Ave. and Washington St., they have the ability to serve more patrons, be better than ever and still provide the same wonderful customer service and attention to detail that they always have.

Don Juan’s Mexican Kitchen

At Don Juan’s Mexican Kitchen, every dish is made with fresh local ingredients to satisfy your craving for authentic Mexican cuisine. With two locations, one in Olympia and one in Tenino, they have their menu down, including some of the best guacamole in town! You can sample their variety of delicious hot sauces before you decide what you want on your wet burrito. When you’re in the mood for an ice cold margarita, you can’t go wrong with Don Juan’s.

Mekong

Mekong offers authentic Thai food. They have superb prices, great portions and tasty food. This restaurant is in the heart of downtown making it easy to walk to from any downtown destination. With plenty of seating, this family-friendly restaurant won’t break the bank. Not sure what to order? You can’t go wrong with the chicken curry or pad Thai. Don’t eat meat? No problem. They offer plenty of vegetarian and vegan options as well.

Uncork and Unwind

You’ll find Uncork and Unwind in an old Tumwater home converted into a quaint wine bar and restaurant. They offer wine tastings throughout the month, a wine club and their own book club! With a wide variety of wine and beer, a small but delicious menu and expert staff, you’re bound to find something you love.

Meconi’s Subs and Sandwiches

Welcome to the “East Coast Style” Italian sub shop. Meconi’s Subs and Sandwiches is the place to go for a sub sandwich. Their daily, fresh baked fluffy bread, tasty meats and cheeses, oregano and in-house oil drizzle make their sandwiches some of the best you’ve ever tasted.  This budget-and-family-friendly restaurant will keep you coming back for more.

There’s a little bit of something for everyone here in the Olympia area.  Not only is it a fantastic area to visit, but an even better place to live. Keep an eye out for more posts like this with other hot spots in the Puget Sound!

Interested in moving to the area? Let me help! Contact me today to schedule a consultation.

Puget Sound Restaurants

Why Hire a Real Estate Agent?

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We live in a DIY world and while doing the work yourself can be beneficial for many projects, some things are better left to the professionals. Home buying and selling is a huge undertaking, physically, financially and emotionally.  Having a real estate professional by your side, guiding you through the process, will provide support in many different ways. Here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t give up on hiring a real estate agent just yet.

Knowledge

Assisting in buying or selling your home is a real estate agent’s full time job. They come with the knowledge and experience needed to make this a smooth and seamless process. Their education and experience are key to handling this process with ease.

Paperwork, Paperwork, Paperwork

Whether you’re buying or selling a home, the amount of paperwork involved can be quite grueling and time consuming.  As a client, your time is precious. Hiring a real estate agent allows you to ask questions and sign on the dotted line without having to worry about all the details in between.  Let them handle the who, what, why and where!

Professional References and Referrals

Having been in the field for a while, most real estate agents have collected the names of the best professionals in all areas needed in home ownership.  They can give you the dos and don’ts as well as who you should and shouldn’t hire. They know everyone and are more than willing to help a client out, even after the home purchase is complete.

Negotiations

Negotiations can be tricky.  In a perfect home transaction, the buyer and the seller are both reasonable, easy to work with people who get along.  However, that’s not always the case. Often times, they don’t see eye to eye and a real estate agent can play the middle man, negotiating your terms without emotions getting in the way of the transaction.

Market Analysis and Pricing

The housing market fluctuates on a daily basis and it’s a real estate agent’s job to keep up with the trends.  You may know that a house in your neighborhood was listed for $350,000, but your real estate agent knows that it only sold for $300,000 after sitting on the market for 45 days.   Setting a price too high for a home can be detrimental. Allowing a real estate agent to assist in setting an appropriate price can make for a quick and easy sale.

Emotional Support

Selling your home can be an emotional process and quite honestly frustrating at times.  Whether you’re selling to downsize or upgrade, there’s often an attachment to the home you are selling.  Real estate agents are there to assist through the entire process. This also means when things get emotional, they are right there to listen and help you through whatever you are feeling. They are there for you 100%.

There are many benefits to hiring a real estate agent.  We are here to make the process of buying and selling your home as seamless as possible.  Contact me today and let me help you make this the best experience you’ve ever had!

hire a real estate agent

2019 Interior Design Trends to Watch For

Every New Year brings a sense of revival in several aspects of our lives. A healthier you is always on the agenda, but what about our homes? Our home should be our escape and a relaxing retreat from the world around us. What better way to make it a place of comfort than to follow some of the décor trends for the year? Here are 7 fantastic 2019 interior design trends to give you some inspiration!

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Black and White

This trend creates an amazing visual contrast.  The softness of the white mixed with the boldness of the black is a timeless look for any room in the house!

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Minimalism

In 2019, less is definitely more. Simplicity and minimal living is a great way to bring peace to your home as well as your life. Be strategic in your purchases and buy pieces you truly value.  Everything needs a place and overly crowded surfaces are out.  Appreciate your space and decorate with purpose. A good simple rule to a minimal lifestyle: Keep it simple.

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Bold Patterned Tile

Clean, white kitchens have been popular for a few years.  This year will bring a fun new revamp on a classic style.  A bold patterned tile and bright pops of color will add a fun twist for a fresh new look!  Don’t be afraid to be bold!

Interested in another fun display of bold tile?  Try it around your fireplace!

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Mixed Metals

Metal accents are a fantastic way to add variety and depth to any room. Getting a good mix of warm, cool and neutral metals will perk up a space that needs some fun.  Pick a dominant metal and add from there!  Don’t be shy!  There’s no going wrong when adding this timeless look to any style.

Warm Metals: Brass, copper and gold.

Cool Metals: Aluminum, stainless steel and other silver metals.

Neutral Metals: Cast Iron and black metals.

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Plants and Greenery

Whether they are fresh or faux, adding greenery with plants adds life to your space.  Pick greens that speak to you and your home.  Add some interest by placing it in a fun basket or pot. Try hanging it from the ceiling, sitting it on a shelf, counter or the floor.  The more greenery you have, the better!

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Bold Art

Bold art pieces are a great way to add personality to your living spaces.  Find pieces that truly speak to you. No matter the color or style, make it big and make a statement!

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Boho

Boho is back and with a modern twist. The boho style brings life and culture to all living spaces.  Layering boho inspired décor and fun patterned fabrics bring texture and a vibrant look to any room. Adding statement pieces against a crisp, modern white is exactly what you need to achieve the boho vibe.

I hope these interior design tips inspire you to make positive changes in your life and home and motivate you to celebrate your own individual style! How did you decide to implement these trends? Leave your feedback in the comments below!

2019 interior design trends