Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Week End Wrap Up

July 29, 2011

Happy Friday East Sacramento Moms and Dads! What do you and your families have planned for this last weekend in July? Back-to-school shopping yet? Wishful thinking, maybe. 🙂 Here are a few suggestions and we’d love to hear from you if you end up out and about in East Sacramento…

  • Ginger Elizabeth’s Cupcake Day is tomorrow! Drop by the boutique at 1801 L Street to sample the Plum Elderflower Cobbler, Peach Melba, Real Red Velvet, or the Salty Caramel cupcake for only $3 each. Mmm…
  • Have you been to Concert in the Park yet this summer? We caught a concert there a few weeks ago and were surprised at how many families and children were there– and enjoying it! Check it out tonight starting at 5PM. Also, it’s *FREE*!
  • Enjoy the fruits (fish, flowers, and far more!) of the downtown farmer’s market under the freeway from 8AM to 12PM on Sunday morning. Get there early for the best selection and be sure to stop by the fresh egg booth in the corner.
  • If you have a baby, don’t miss the Central Library’s Baby Lapsit story time at noon on Sunday. Parking on the street is *FREE* and so is the music and story time.

Enjoy the time with your families and we’ll see you there!

New Carbon Monoxide law passed in CA

July 12, 2011

July 1st marked the passing of Senate Bill 183 which calls for at least one CO2 detector in each single family residence. Find out more about the bill HERE. You can find a handy safety checklist for your home HERE. Does your home already have a CO2 detector? Were you aware of the bill that passed requiring CO2 detectors in homes?

Sacramento Housing Market Stats

May 25, 2011

Hi All,

Although June has taken a break from East Sacramento Mom, I thought I would still pop in for my monthly guest contribution as a local Realtor here in East Sac (and the greater Sacramento area), to share the latest Market Stats for Sacramento.  You can view them here http://courtneyway.wordpress.com/2011/05/25/quarter-1-housing-market-stats-read-em-here/ on my own Blog, and if you’d like regular updates on all things Real Estate feel free to subscribe to my Blog as well!   Or for any other questions real-estate related, drop me a line!  courtney.way@bhghome.com

Hope your Spring is off to a great start…. despite this unpredictable weather!!

Best,

Courtney Way

A break

May 14, 2011

This is just going to be a short and sweet post. Maybe the last, but maybe not. I truly believe that anything worth doing, is worth doing well, and I feel I have not been able to give 100% to East Sacramento Mom lately. I need a break, rather than giving less than my best to you. So, in the meantime, continue to get out and enjoy our neighborhood, meet your neighbors, and grow together. Hopefully we’ll be back soon, and better than ever. Thank you for all of your support, contributions, and encouragement.

– June

A Journey Toward Better Health

May 14, 2011

I am a mom on a journey. Some people might call me, a “mom on a mission,” but that sounds a bit too unwavering and ambitious for me. No, I’m a mom on a journey toward improved nutrition and better health for my family. If I were a “mom on a mission” maybe my 4-year-old son would not look at his plate and say, “I don’t like zucchini” or “I don’t eat tomatoes.” Maybe half my family’s dinner plates would be filled with fruits, veggies, and whole grains as is recommended by the USDA’s 2011 Dietary Guidelines. But a journey it is, and we’re on our way.

I’m already considered “one of those moms” by most who know me. You know the mom: she brings Cuties tangerines when assigned snack duty, scrutinizes the items at the grocery store looking for high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils, and presses her lips firmly together when the goody bags filled with candy are handed out at birthday parties. I may not be a “Pure Mom” as defined by Dr. William Sears (check out his book, “Healthiest Kid in the Neighborhood”) as “those who never let a morsel of junk food pollute their children’s growing bodies,” but I am a mom on a journey, away from junk food and toward whole food.

This all began when I had kids. Before that, I ate “healthy.” Meaning, if the box said “healthy,” I ate what was in it. But the problem was that I was eating out of boxes. The desire to keep my children healthy and thriving, made me pay attention to what healthy eating really was, and it doesn’t have anything to do with boxes. Healthy food comes from the earth.

I’m learning so much and doing my best to implement what I learn and teach it to others where ever and whenever I can. I’m finding that there are others in this community that are on their own journeys, and want to share what they are learning with others. On Wednesday, May 18 (10:15 to 11:15 a.m.), I’m teaming up with Koukla Kids for a discussion on wellness. We’ll talk about the connection between nutrition and chronic disease and ways to support a healthy immune system. I’ll offer guidance on how to read food labels and help you identify the ingredients that should be avoided. I’ll share easy ways to add more whole foods to your family’s diet. I hope you will join me for one or both of these events, and bring those that you know could benefit from better nutrition. If you can’t make it, I can come to you! I’ve given presentations to major corporations, mommies clubs, Bible study groups, and groups of friends and families gathered together in living rooms.

Dr. David Katz, founder of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center (check out his free DVD, “Nutrition Detectives”), has predicted that this generation of children will have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. This is due to the epidemic of obesity, which puts a body at a greater risk for cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and stroke. This is NOT acceptable to me. This is NOT the future that I see for my children and their friends. Children who eat healthy are more likely to BE healthy. I want a healthy future for our children. I want to inspire other families to start on their own health journey.

I know some of you are further along on your journey than I, and I look forward to learning from you. I know that some of you might be afraid to take that first step on your journey, and I’m here to hold your hand while you take it. I want to build a community of healthy families. I want us to be able to support and nurture each other on our personal journeys of better nutrition and improved health.

Color Your Summer!

May 4, 2011

Oh, summer. The kids think of it as a long awaited “break”, but to be truthful, I sometimes think of them in school as the real “break”! I’m kidding. Ok, only half kidding.

Summer is great. Going to the park, picnics, swimming at the pool and beach days are all great. But, even the best of planners have some summer down-time. I mean, you can’t go to the beach everyday! There are always some lazy summer days at home that you look forward to and your children can only complain of boredom.

Easy At home summer project:

How about a combination science AND art project that will keep your kids happy on one of those long, at-home, hot summer days? I love the ‘insoluble paint’ project. It teaches your kids a bit of science while they produce a super fun project. And the best part? It’s an art project they can play with for hours!

The insoluble paint project is based on the scientific concepts of insolubility and density. Water-based paint and oil based paint have different densities and repel each other (you probably knew that)….But combing the two into a laminating pouch is a great art project that is interactive and engaging. Because they are sealed, the liquids will flow and repel, without drying out, all summer long!

Click here to see the video of how it’s done! For me, videos are just so much easier to follow than written instructions. But if words are your thing, I haven’t forgotten you– click here for PDF instructions.

East Sac Creative Camps (read: not at home):

For those of you who need a well deserved “mommy break”– send your kids to a neighborhood camp! KidzArt will be holding tons of summer art camps in Sacramento, including one in East Sac at David Lubin Elementary the week of June 27-July 1st.

We wouldn’t make you read this far without rewarding our busy ESM readers with a GIVEAWAY! Leave a comment on this post and you will be entered to win 2 days of KidzArt Summer Camp at any Elementary KidzArt Summer Camp (valued at $99).

P.S. If two days isn’t enough, they’ll let you apply it to a longer camp and a larger dose of “me-time!” Winners will be announced this Friday in the “Week End Wrap Up!”

Elementary Camp Details:
These camps are the perfect blend of messy art media (that we don’t want on our carpet) and social interaction with other awesome neighbors aged 5-12. Camp hours are 9-2 and families can choose Monday-Friday, Monday, Wednesday, Friday or Tuesday and Thursday to fit any busy summer schedule! (M-F ($225), MWF ($149), Tues & Thurs, ($99)).

And for our mini-doodlers (Ages 2-5):
Check out KidzArt and Fancy Feet camps at Fancy Feet Dance Academy the week of July 11-15th.  The 2-3 year old Mommy and Me camp will be from 9:30-11 on July 11 & July 13 and will include 45 minutes creating a “mess-terpiece” with KidzArt, then kiddos will wiggle and shake their groove thang’ with Miss Elizabeth’s amazing staff for 45 minutes of Fancy Feet Dance! ($24/day, you can choose to attend one day or both!)

Finally, whew, the KidzArt and Fancy Feet 4-5 year old preschool camp at Fancy Feet will be DROP OFF (I can see a “check-in” on FB at Tupelo or Starbucks now) on July 12 & 14 from 9:30-11:30, one awesome hour of art and one hour of dance! ($24/day, you can choose to attend one day or both!)

Good luck to all of our awesome East Sacramento Moms!

Ask the Realtor: Should I overhaul my kitchen?

April 20, 2011

A question I often get from clients — and even family and friends — is, “What should I remodel? What’s worth the investment?” 

One client in particular, a couple who lives in East Sac, had two major potential upgrades: a new HVAC system and a complete kitchen overhaul. 

Before getting into the details of their upgrades, I first had to consider that they want to sell their starter Bungalow here in East Sac and get into a larger home, probably within the next 1-2 years. Given this fact, I had one main piece of advice: Spend some money on upgrades to make your home attractive to a new buyer, but don’t overspend for the market you’ll ultimately be selling to. In this case, this couple will most likely sell to a first-time homebuyer. Although East Sacramento is one of the few neighborhoods where you can actually realize more “return on investment” for upgrades, one should still consider the current market and what type of buyer they will obtain before spending thousands of dollars on upgrades that they will not get to enjoy in the long run. 

First let’s look at the HVAC system, which is old, but a licensed company that performed basic maintenance said it’s still running well—and should continue to do so for another 5-7 years. After the refunds offered in 2010, a new top-of-the-line system still would have cost these homeowners $7,000—which they needed to save for their “move up” home. Financing that money likely wouldn’t have increased the overall list price for their home—but it would have hurt their finances for purchasing a new one. Since the home already has an HVAC system working in good condition, that already gives them the competitive edge over some of the other comparable homes in their neighborhood that do not have a central heat/air system at all. 

Upgrading their kitchen is a similar situation, but has a difference: Remodeling their galley-style setup likely would give this couple the competitive edge when selling, but it ultimately wouldn’t provide much of a difference in terms of layout or additional storage. They likely would have spent thousands to get the same kitchen that’s visually more appealing, but had the same functionality. My advice? Paint the cupboards and walls, add stainless appliances and re-tile the countertop using granite—all work they can do themselves for a reasonable price. Even if they couldn’t add more space to the kitchen, having upgraded appliances, including a dishwasher, along with some other modern updates, would definitely provide the extra value over the other charming — yet older and not updated — comparable properties when they decided to sell. 

The bottom line is that many aspects of a home can be upgraded without heavy artillery. Before doing any remodeling, I would first consider the length of time you plan to be in the home to enjoy those upgrades and realize the full return on investment. Second, if you plan to sell, consider what type of market you will sell to and what will ultimately give you that competitive “edge” over the competition.  Even in East Sacramento, the types of upgrades you choose to do can vary greatly depending on your immediate neighborhood. For example, a home in the “Fab 40’s” may need a more thorough update than say, a smaller Bungalow in Meister Terrace. 

 If you’d like any more advice on remodeling or the current value of your home, please leave me a comment here or send me an email to courtney.way@bhghome.com.  Or if you’d like any contractor referrals, I have those too!

Have a great Spring Break!

Creativity RULES!

April 6, 2011

As parents we know that letting our children be creative and use their imagination can promote social cooperation, self confidence, fine motor skills, organization and problem solving.  We want to make sure our kids get their weekly dose of creativity through art, music, imaginative play, building, creating, exploring… you name it! In today’s busy world, sometimes you have to schedule time to be creative!  And that’s ok, as long as at the end of the day, there was time for it.

As adults we have easily forgotten the importance of creativity and imagination in our own lives. Maybe it starts to feel silly or juvenile.  But let me assure you, if you want to stay sane, you need a little room for creativity and imagination. Play is one of the most important tools for learning in the early years of our kids’ lives! Perhaps the most easy and satisfying way to get your dose of creativity is to work on projects that spark creativity with your children.

Do You Make House Calls?

I can see it now.  Your hands are clammy and you’re starting to tense up.  You’re thinking what a disaster paper-mache is and the fact that the last time you tried to sew something you became a human pin cushion.  Well, don’t worry if you’re not Mrs. Crafty Mom, because I’ll let you in on a little secret… neither are we!  And when you really think about it, sometimes the projects that turn out the worst make for the best story.

Here are three projects you can easily do with your children without extraneous mess or complication! Once you read the directions, make sure to consider the side-effects ladies because these projects are known to cause creative explosions and lots of giggle!

1.BUILD IT

If we’ve learned anything from Early Engineers, it’s that when children are given the most of simple directions, they end up taking a project to a new level we wouldn’t have even thought of ourselves!

Got some legos at home?  How about blocks from an old game of Jenga?  Alright, how about sugar cubes?  Do you see where we’re going with this? Although I do love a good trip Target, sometimes the idea of just getting the kids into the car makes me reconsider how much I really need a new tube of toothpaste.

So, take any building media you have and give your child a simple task, such as “build the tallest tower you can.”  Guide them along as they figure out they need to widen the base to support it when it gets too tall or realize if they turn a block a different direction they can better utilize its length.  It’s so much fun and the laughs really start when it inevitably topples! Also, these toys never tire, they can re-use them forever, unlike the “computer” you purchased collecting dust at the bottom of the toy box.

2.BAKE IT

I love SteamyKitchen.com.  It is a great site with an awesome attitude.  My favorite part is that, Jaden, a mom and creator of the site, often involves her sons in the cooking process.  I highly recommend trying her recipe “No Knead Bread: So Easy a 4-Year Old Can Do It!” It not only produces soft on the inside, crunchy on the outside, delicious home-made bread, but her four-year-old actually did do it!  And you can too, easily, with your bundles of joy at home.

3.PAINT IT

Make your own paint.  Face paint, finger paint and edible paint for decorating cookies can all be made easily with ingredients you probably already have at home.  All you need is a pack of food coloring!

Edible Paint to use on sugar cookies:

mix ÂĽ cup of condensed milk with a few drops of food coloring of the desired color.

Face or Body Paint:

mix 1 tablespoon of cold cream, 1 tablespoon of water, 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and a few drops of food coloring.

Finger Paint:

mix ½ cup cornstarch with 2 cups of water and a few drops of food coloring.

Mix your recipe of choice and boil until thickened.  Voila!

Last Words:

The best thing about creative, “unplugged” play, is that it eventually allows children to play by themselves, an important tool to help develop independence. Also providing Mom with precious extra minutes to get dinner started, fold the basket of clothes in the corner, take a shower (gasp!) or just sit and watch children play and create using their imagination!

That is it for this month, we look forward to stock piling your creativity tool belt to use every day but especially for those rainy, sick or the super hot summer days!

Where to “Park”?

March 16, 2011

Hello Fellow East Sac Moms! I’m excited to be a guest contributor here at East Sac Mom, and I look forward to sharing current ideas, trends, tips and advice as they relate to real estate in wonderful East Sacramento.

Why do we love East Sac so much? If you’re like me, you were probably drawn to the family-oriented and active lifestyle, all centered around three beautiful and popular parks:  McKinley, East Portal and Bertha Henschel. As local parents, you likely know each park’s highlights—awesome playgrounds, hosting events like “Pops in the Park” and “Screen on the Green”, and the recreation they provide with their tennis courts, jogging trails and playing fields. 

What many people don’t think about, though, is the role these parks play in the decision to buy or sell a home. Given that most East Sac homes have smaller yards, being right on the park gives many families that extra room to “stretch.” Personally, I love the idea of looking out my front window, seeing my son playing at the park, and calling him back home when it’s dinnertime. Just a hop across the street? Perfect.

But as I’ve learned during several Open Houses I’ve held right across from neighborhood parks, not everyone agrees. Many people see the park as a deterrent—they’re concerned about noise, crime and parking.  And should they purchase that home “on” the park, those things also make them question re-salability.  Ultimately they like the idea of being near the park—but they don’t want to be directly on it.

In East Sac, no definite market statistics exist that show whether homes on the park sell higher or lower, faster or slower.  This is easily contributed to a lack of one common opinion on the subject. It’s sort of like swimming pools—some people love them, some people don’t.

So I pose the question to you—the East Sac Mom reader. Where is your ideal place to “park”?  Would you pay $10,000 more for a home directly on or across from the park, or would you see the park as a drawback and therefore want to pay less for a home that you loved nonetheless?

I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

Oops!

February 7, 2011

We were making updates to East Sacramento Mom last night (you know, after the kids were to bed, the laundry done, lunches made, and a large glass of wine was poured) and it seems we are missing some content! That’s what I get for being a banker and not a techie. So… check out the East Sac Mom calendar page for daily events, check back each day for new activities, reviews, giveaways and more, and hopefully we’ll have January’s posts restored as soon as possible.

Thank you!
June