Fall Weekend Guide to Napa Valley

Fall Weekend Guide to Napa Valley

The weather is getting cooler, the leaves are changing into beautiful shades of red and orange and wine country is calling. Fall is one of the best seasons to plan a weekend trip to see all that Napa Valley has to offer. This area has hundreds of wineries that attract millions of visitors each year. Still, this region of California has more to offer than wine. There are plenty of outdoor adventures, relaxing spas and shopping areas to make for a busy trip.

Visitors to Napa Valley can leave the car behind and try an alternate way of getting around. The Calistoga Bike Shop offers both rentals and tours of the area. People looking to go on their own adventure can look to the shop for advice on which places to check out. Rentals start at $28, and helmets, locks and rack bags are included. Ride through Sonoma County on horseback for a unique way of experiencing the natural features of the area. Stables pair riders with gentle horses for trips all year long. One option is riding through wine grapes, apple trees and towering oak groves at Rollin F Ranch. Or people can take the seaside route, riding past the sand dunes along the Sonoma coastline.

People can get a taste of history while traveling through the region on the Napa Valley Wine Train. The rail cars on the train have been restored to their original glory dating back to the early 1900s. Couples can plan trips with an intimate dinner as the stars shine overhead. Or people can put their sleuth caps on and solve the murder mystery dinner. The Santa Train is also a family favorite. Leave the ground behind altogether and tour Napa Valley through a hot air balloon ride. Imagine rising up above the vineyards as the fog clears and the sun rises just over the hills. If this sounds like a perfect start to the day, then make a reservation for this unique tour. Many companies offer champagne mimosas and breakfast after the trip as well.

Take a night and enjoy live music or a film on the big screen. Silos Jazz Club is an intimate space where visitors can listen to rock and blues while sipping local wines. This venue has performances nearly every night. Upcoming acts include the Second Street Band, jazz pianist Mike Greensill and surf rocker John Wheeler. The Cameo Cinema is an elegant theatre that shows both independent and studio-released films. This theatre dates back to 1913, and it has since seen serious upgrades both in 1996 and in 2009. Visitors rave about the theatre’s sound system and seriously cheap popcorn.

Those looking for heart-pumping action should head to the Sonoma Raceway for NASCAR. This track hosts one of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races, which takes place on a road course. Other events at the raceway include the Verizon IndyCar series, the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing series and motorcycle races by the American Federation of Motorcyclists. Video game enthusiasts might recognize the track. The track first appeared in “NASCAR Racing” in 1994 and has since shown up in several other racing games.

At least a half-day of the weekend trip in Napa Valley should be dedicated to a quick Sacramento trip. Just an hour’s drive away, the city dates back to the rough and tumble Gold Rush era. Visit Old Sacramento for a taste of history from the Wild West. Sacramento is the capital of California, and people can explore the origins of the state at the stunning State Capitol Museum. The city is hugged by two rivers, the Sacramento and American River. Visitors can rent a kayak or grab a fishing pole and enjoy a nice day on the water. Great weather makes going to the Drive-In theatre a great activity all year long. Catching a movie there won’t break the bank either, tickets are priced at $7.95 for adults and $1.25 for kids ages 5-11.

Relax after a long day at one of the various spas in Napa Valley. Dr. Wilkinson’s is a hot springs resort that has helped Californians unwind since 1952. Their signature service is the mud bath. The mud is mixed with volcanic ash and lavender, and it cleanses the skin while visitors sit back with cucumbers to cool the eyes. Mud baths end with a 30 to 60 minute massage by their expert staff.

Try some of California’s freshest produce at Oxbow Public Market. This 40,000 square foot area has a mix of food vendors and cafes along with an outdoor deck that provides views of the nearby Napa River. Indulge the sweet tooth at Anette’s Chocolates. Enjoy a freshly baked loaf of bread from The Model Bakery. Or sort through the hundreds of spices at Whole Spice to find the perfect accent to a meal.

Come for the wine and stay for the adventure for a memorable weekend in Napa Valley.

 

Source: Jeremy Alderman

Posted on November 8, 2017 at 8:53 pm
Elizabeth Corvello | Category: lifestyle, local | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Teal Pumpkin Project

HISTORY

The Teal Pumpkin Project was inspired by a local awareness activity run by the Food Allergy Community of East Tennessee (FACET) and launched as a national campaign by FARE in 2014. FARE thanks FACET for their ongoing partnership as we work to reach families across the country and around the world with the Teal Pumpkin Project’s messages of awareness, inclusion and community.

TEAL PUMPKIN PROJECT FAQs

What’s the Teal Pumpkin Project®?
The Teal Pumpkin Project encourages people to raise awareness of food allergies and promotes inclusion of all trick-or-treaters throughout the Halloween season. The steps to participate are:

  1. Provide non-food treats for trick-or-treaters.
  2. Place a teal pumpkin – the color of food allergy awareness –in front of your home to indicate you have non-food treats available.
  3. Display a free printable sign or premium poster from FARE to explain the meaning of your teal pumpkin.

Why is this important?

Halloween can be a tricky time for families managing food allergies. Many traditional Halloween treats aren’t safe for children with life-threatening food allergies. The Teal Pumpkin Project promotes safety, inclusion and respect of individuals managing food allergies. This worldwide movement offers an alternative for kids with food allergies, as well as other children for whom candy is not an option. It keeps Halloween a fun, positive experience for all!

What do I do if I want to participate?
Participating is simple. Pick up some inexpensive toys, and place a teal pumpkin and/or a free printable sign from FARE outside your home to show that you have non-food treats to hand out. Supporting the Teal Pumpkin Project is a simple gesture that can have a big impact.

Do you want to help spread the Teal Pumpkin Project’s messages of a safer, happier Halloween for all even further? You can support FARE and the Teal Pumpkin Project in a variety of ways:

  • Download FARE’s promotional flyer to circulate in your local community so that your neighbors can take part too!
  • Host a Teal Pumpkin Project inspired fundraising event to support FARE
  • Order an official Teal Pumpkin Project Halloween Essentials Kit that includes a fun selection of non-food treats, a pumpkin stencil, support poster, cool trick-or-treat bag, and more.
  • Make a donation and receive a free Teal Pumpkin Project magnet (while supplies last)
  • Download free materials and use the hashtag #tealpumpkinproject to help us spread the word.

I don’t have time to paint a pumpkin teal, what do I do?
Simple – you can print out a free sign from our website to post on your door. You can also look for teal pumpkins to purchase online and at local retail shops.

I didn’t know this was a problem. Why is Halloween a challenge for families managing food allergies?
Food allergies are a life-altering and potentially life-threatening disease, and a growing public health issue. In the U.S., one in 13 children has a food allergy – that’s roughly two in every classroom. For these children, even a tiny amount of their allergen has the potential to cause a severe reaction.

Virtually any food can cause a reaction. Many popular Halloween candies contain nuts, milk, egg, soy or wheat, which are some of the most common allergens in children and adults. Additionally, many miniature or fun-size versions of candy items contain different ingredients than their full-size counterparts and some miniature candy items may not have labels, so it is difficult for parents to determine whether these items are safe for their child with food allergies.

Non-food treats provide a safe, fun alternative for children with food allergies and other conditions for whom candy may present a problem.

What children can benefit from non-food treats?
All kids love non-food treats like glow sticks or small toys. There are children who have various conditions that may preclude them from having candy, or can particularly benefit from non-food treats, including:

  • Food allergies
  • Food intolerances
  • Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE)
  • Celiac disease
  • Food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome (FPIES)
  • Children with feeding tubes
  • Any child on a special diet

Is this taking away the tradition of collecting candy on Halloween? 
The goal is not to exclude candy from the Halloween tradition. The goal is simply to ensure that children with food allergies – and other children for whom candy is not an option – are able to enjoy a safer, happier Halloween. Trick-or-treaters typically receive pounds of candies and chocolates, and we’re sure they will continue to collect plenty of candy. Many kids, whether they have food allergies or not, enjoy the experience of receiving little toys and other fun items that they can keep.

Can I still pass out candy?
Sure – just do it safely! The point of the Teal Pumpkin Project is to make trick-or-treating as inclusive as possible. You can keep the experience safe by keeping your food treats and non-food treats in separate bowls.

Do kids with life-threatening food allergies actually trick-or-treat?
Yes! Who wouldn’t want to take part in such a fun tradition shared with friends, classmates and family? Many kids with food allergies go out to trick-or-treat just like their friends. They know they’ll give much of their candy away because it’s not safe for them. They have come to understand that a lot of their fun will come from dressing up in a costume. We hope the Teal Pumpkin Project becomes a tradition for years to come so kids will know that when they knock on someone’s door that has a teal pumpkin, they’ll have a treat they can fully enjoy.

Are there any non-food treats that I should avoid?
There are a few considerations when choosing which non-food items to hand out. First, some non-food items still contain food allergens. For example, some brands of moldable clay contain wheat. Additionally, try to choose latex-free items, as there are children who have latex allergies.

If I’m handing out candy and non-food treats, how do I determine which treat to give to each trick-or-treater?
You can either ask trick-or-treaters if they have any food allergies, or give every visitor a choice of which treat they’d like: candy or a non-food item.

Do kids really like non-food treats?
They don’t just like them, they love them! Finding a unique treat at your house will be a fun surprise. Glow bracelets, for example, are a great option. They are inexpensive, kids can wear them throughout the night, and parents are appreciative because they help make kids more visible after nightfall. Other non-food items, such as pencils and stickers, can be used at home and at school long after candy has run out or expired.

How do I know which houses in my area are participating?
FARE is providing a Teal Pumpkin Project Participation Map that allows people participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project to add their home address, street or neighborhood. Adding your household to the map shows your support and allows you to connect with other families in your area who are participating.

How do I get my neighbors involved?
Getting your community involved is easy!

  • Ask your friends and neighbors to learn more about the Teal Pumpkin Project and participate. Print out FARE’s flyers and hand them out.
  • Host an event like a teal pumpkin painting party and ask your friends and neighbors to participate.
  • If you have a neighborhood email listserv, send out an email about the initiative, including a link to FARE’s website (www.foodallergy.org).
  • Reach out to your local library, dentist/doctor offices, schools, or community buildings to see if they would be willing to help you post signs or get the word out.
  • Share information on social media, and post a picture of your teal pumpkins when you have them near your door! Don’t forget to use #tealpumpkinproject when you post!

Why teal?
Teal is the color of food allergy awareness. It has been used to raise awareness about this serious medical condition for nearly 20 years.

How did the project start?
The Teal Pumpkin Project was inspired by an awareness activity run by the Food Allergy Community of East Tennessee (FACET). FARE thanks FACET for their ongoing partnership as we work to reach families across the country and around the world with the Teal Pumpkin Project’s messages of awareness, inclusion and community.

Posted on October 15, 2017 at 5:07 pm
Elizabeth Corvello | Category: lifestyle, local | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Why the Fall Selling Season Is Better Than You Think

Why the Fall Selling Season Is Better Than You Think

There is a common misconception that spring is the only worthwhile time to list your home, and listing anytime outside the prime “selling season” will lose you thousands. In truth, the fall selling season is the next best time to sell your house.

There is a common misconception that spring is the only worthwhile time to list your home, and listing anytime outside the prime “selling season” will lose you thousands. In truth, the fall selling season is the next best time to sell your house. Here are the main reasons why selling in fall is a good idea — and how to present your home to its best advantage.

The Numbers

The National Association of Realtors reports that 34 percent of homes sell within 30 days on the market during the fall selling season. This is just a shade behind spring, which comes in at 39 percent. Many of these homes sell for above-asking price based on the study, which researched homes sold between 2010 and 2014.

The Reasons to Sell

Though there is a slight slowdown in the market during the fall, there is less competition. By being able to highlight your home — particularly if it’s only one of a few available in your area — chances are high you will end up with multiple offers or an offer over asking price, something that every buyer covets.

It is also important to remember that regardless of the season, serious buyers are still looking — and ready to purchase when the right home comes their way. This means you can focus your marketing on buyers who are serious about your home.

How to Show Your Home

Though it is still a good season to sell, fall does have some unique challenges, particularly if you live in an area where the seasons change drastically throughout the year. Regardless of where you reside, these five tips will help ensure your home stands out.

1. Warm It Up

Regardless of where you live, open shades and blinds and turn on all the lights to warm your home with an abundance of natural light. If you live in a colder climate, consider turning on a gas or electric fireplace or boosting the thermostat by a few degrees to ensure potential buyers feel the warmth.

2. Use Seasonal Decor

Seasonal decor can create an emotional impact on potential buyers. As one of the strongest senses, smell can play a large part in creating a visceral reaction on a buyer. Scented candles in a harvest scent, freshly baked goodies, or even a stew roasting in a slow cooker can help buyers picture themselves gathering in your home with friends and family. Throw pillows, gourds, and fall flowers will also add a bit of extra color to bring the feeling home.

3. Keep Up with Curb Appeal

Raking leaves, and cleaning gutters remain essential in ensuring your home looks good from the outside in. Line pathways or porch steps with pumpkins or brightly colored mums in harvest hues. Even dried corn stalks tied to a porch column can provide a seasonal pop that makes your home stand out

.

4. Play to the Crowd

Fall is a prime season for empty nesters or new buyers to the market, so make sure to speak with your agent about how to target your home to the most applicable buyer, and ensure your staging and marketing efforts keep them in mind.

5. Show the Seasons

In fall or winter, your yard may not show at its best, so keeping a photo album of your property in full bloom available for buyers to browse can help them visualize your home in its glory.

Regardless of the season, if a property is priced right, it will sell. Work with a real estate agent to determine local demand, buying patterns, and selling prices in your area to determine the best time for you to list.

Image Source: Flickr/Sharon Mollerus

Source: Melina Gillies

Posted on October 8, 2017 at 6:57 pm
Elizabeth Corvello | Category: get real (estate), local | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

HONEY LIME MOJITO FRUIT SALAD

HONEY LIME MOJITO FRUIT SALAD

Honey Lime Mojito Fruit Salad – A quick, easy, and refreshing summer fruit salad with a tangy honey lime dressing, and the addition of mint for a splash of mojito flavor!

honey lime fruit salad

Ok, I know, there are only about a bajillion fruit salad recipes out there.

But, why not add another that really jazzes up the typical honey/lime dressing combo?

I love sipping on a nice cold mojito when it’s hot outside.

Sometimes when it’s REALLY hot all I can tolerate is an icy beverage and a big bowl of fruit salad.

Here’s where the fruit salad and the mojito combine, get married, and make my fave new summer salad ever.

fruit salad with mint

You can really play around with whatever fruit combo you like best for this – I add the pineapple instead of oranges because it somehow tastes completely spectacular with the mint!

AND – yes, it is a mojito salad, so the addition of rum is totally optional, but I highly recommend it if your having a fun adults only gathering this summer!

I’ve done this with plain rum, coconut rum and they’re both amazing.

Most of the time we make it without because we do have kiddos – the addition of mint with the sweet lime dressing is really what makes it taste mojito-ey anyway, and you won’t miss the alcohol if you don’t use it.

fruit salad with mint

Welcome to your new favorite way to cool off this summer!

Enjoy!

~Nichole

 

Print
Honey Lime Mojito Fruit Salad
Prep Time
15 mins
Total Time
15 mins
Servings: 10
Author: Nichole
Report this ad
Ingredients
  • 1 Pound Strawberries, Quartered
  • 1 Cup Red Grapes, Cut in half
  • 12 Ounces Blueberries
  • 4 Kiwi, Peeled and sliced
  • 1 Cup Pineapple Chunks, Fresh or canned
  • 3 Tablespoons Honey
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Mint, Chopped
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1 Ounce Rum, OPTIONAL
Instructions
  1. Place the prepared fruits into a large serving bowl, set aside.

  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, lime juice, chopped mint, and rum if using.

  3. Pour the dressing over the fruits and stir gently to combine.  Serve immediately or chill until ready to serve.

Honey Lime Mojito Fruit Salad: This fruit salad recipe is easy and healthy, perfectly refreshing and makes enough to take for summer parties! Summer fruits topped with the best honey lime mint dressing, that makes it taste like a mojito!
Source: The Salty Marshmallow
Posted on June 25, 2017 at 7:24 pm
Elizabeth Corvello | Category: lifestyle, local, Recipes and Food | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Walking Trails Overtake Golf Communities

Walking Trails Overtake Golf Communities

A golf course is no longer the showpiece of a master-planned community. Instead, buyers are showing a greater preference to live near extensive trail networks and shared gardens. Developers are responding with new developments that are pushing out golf courses in favor of other outdoor areas that foster a sense of community.

Read more: What Will Replace Golf Course Communities?
“What we’re seeing is this trend toward helping people interact with each other and helping them interact in natural environments,” says Ken Perlman, a principal at John Burns Real Estate Consulting in San Diego. “There is a real desire to be outside, to have their space, and to get their breath of fresh air.”

In response, developers are adding in more walking trails in a community. But the trails can’t just be in a straight line, they say.

“When you talk about trails, they should be meandering,” says Dean Naef, president of Rise Communities, based in Katy, Texas. “No one wants to be on a linear trail where they can see what’s coming. We want curvilinear where the landscape changes. We like to create monuments along the way, respites to work out on, or take a rest to enjoy art.”

The New Home Company’s upcoming Russell Ranch community in Folsom, Calif., is adding mountain biking and hiking trails that rise and fall with the topography. A community known as Daybreak, outside of Salt Lake City, will use its mountain backdrop to have a looping walking trail and a separate bicycle lane for riders. The community also features public gardens, kayaking, and 30 miles of trails.

Jessica Lautz, managing director of survey research at the National Association of REALTORS®, says that millennials are a big driver behind the trend of more nature incorporated into developments. More millennials rate living near parks and recreation facilities more important than do older generations.

Source: “A New Kind of Green: Developers Trade Golf Courses for Hiking Trails, Gardens to Draw Buyers,” Construction Dive, National Association of Realtors, REALTOR magazine

Posted on April 20, 2017 at 10:25 pm
Elizabeth Corvello | Category: get real (estate), lifestyle, local | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Renting in Solano County- apartment gap

Looking in Solano county because San Francisco is too expensive?

Our proximity to both the bay area and Sacramento creates a unique housing market.  Because of this location, we have always had a fair amount of the population that commutes to one or the other. Anyone can see that if they spend time on the freeway before 9 am or after noon on most days.

Based on a recent article by FORBES, (link here) the bay area apartment rent prices are beginning to level off in some markets, however in the markets that are being hit the hardest, are not.

Recent construction in California has been primarily Class A apartments and rental units, where the major demand for rentals is in Cass B and Class C housing markets. Luxury apartments are going in statewide, but there are fewer apartments going in that can appeal to the majority of the population.

Because many in the B and C market are faced with very few apartment options, that they are in many times opting to live in a single family dwelling. This has caused our supply to dwindle, and prices to increase. Why? Because it can. Simple supply in demand.

Some investors are beginning to opt to revitalizing older apartment complexes- which is in many ways wiser and more affordable on their end, in order to tap into a growing market of the market, however the supply is still yet to be met.

In my opinion, this is one of the many factors that is causing a few problems currently affecting our housing market… If someone is paying more in rent than they can afford they are unlikely to be capable of saving money to purchase a home. And it’s not because of a surplus of better options. Most in the rental market have very limited options.  With no downpayment, looming  debt, even with a good paying job it seems impossible to purchase a home.

 

So, how do you buy a home when you can’t afford a down payment?

There are people doing it- so it’s gotta be possible. Millennials have set a record breaking high of 40% living at home with their parents. Some are home with the intention of saving money, some just because they do not have affordable options for rent. There are many that live at home because they cannot or do not want to find work.

For those that do have good employment history may have limited options, however they do have options. There are loan programs for $80,000 buyers and buyers in the luxury category. It is important to be realistic about expectations. While certain shows may be appealing to watch, a first time buyer may not get updated flooring, valued ceilings and granite counters. Sometimes you have to create the home you want, and thats ok- it will be yours, and improvements can always be made later down the road.

No matter where you are in the process, living at home with parents, getting ready to move up to your retirement home, or any where in between, that you speak to a local lender or mortgage company. Why local? They are people you can actually meet with, sit down with and discuss your plans with. They have an investment in your community and know the programs that will work for you based on your specific situation. Many will also help you with credit repair, help you know how much to save and where to make it work in your budget. It will not cost a thing, and it will get you in the mindset and give you the tools to create a plan to move forward, rather than spinning your wheels in the rental market.

For more local resources or to start making your home buying process, feel free to contact me.

Lizzy

Posted on January 19, 2017 at 3:25 pm
Elizabeth Corvello | Category: get real (estate), lifestyle, local | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,