Real Estate News


    • 4 Tips for a Productive 2021

      4 December 2020

      (Family Features) This year has taught many workers a thing or two about being productive when offices and homes blend into one.

      As the calendar turns to 2021, consider these key products and processes to stay productive next year.

      Find a system (and stick to it) - Creating an organizing system is an easy way to ensure your at-home workspace is ready for optimal productivity. Designate space to house all your work items – a drawer, cabinet or box – and keep work items organized by type (pens, papers, computer gear, etc.) At the end of each day, transitioning to “offline hours” can be easier when you have a place to stow your work items.

      Start your day clean - Studies have shown cleanliness has a direct impact on productivity. Yet, many people struggle to find the time and energy to clean, especially at the end of a busy day at home. An option like The DEEBOT T8 from Ecovacs provides a hands-free cleaning experience, complete with the time-saving benefits of an all-in-one robot vacuum and floor mop, along with TrueDetect technology to avoid tangling in small objects. Easily controlled via an app, just set it to clean before bed and wake up to a tidy workspace.

      Break up your day - With so many hours at home in front of a computer, workdays can get a little monotonous. Break up the day to make working from home feel as “normal” as possible – shower in the morning, take a walk or drive to coffee then make time for at least two breaks throughout the day. Some people have found success with the Pomodoro Technique, which is breaking your day up into 25-minute chunks of work, with 5-minute rest periods. If you continue to work until you feel like taking a break, odds are you’ll overwork yourself until it’s too late to take the “big break” you had in mind.

      Bookend your days with mindfulness - At the beginning and end of each workday, do a 3-5-minute mindfulness meditation. Before signing on to work for the day, allow your mind to fully focus on the day’s tasks at-hand. Signoff by doing another mediation to end the day and let go of any worries or stresses you might have. Incorporating this tactic into your daily routine can help create a natural boundary from work and home while also restoring peace of mind.

      Find more solutions to help maintain productivity at Ecovacs.com.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • How to Host a Safe and Small Socially Distant Gathering

      4 December 2020

      Nowadays, it can be hard to decide what to do to protect yourself and your acquaintances when gathering together, while still maintaining important social connections. As long as you are properly following social distance guidelines, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable small gathering.

      Limit the Guest List
      The key to a safe gathering while maintaining social distancing is having enough space to spread out. The best way to do this is to ensure that your gathering truly is small in numbers. Big parties can wait; stick to a few close friends or family members. Remember to check the CDC guidelines to ensure that you’re taking the minimum risk possible.

      Host Your Gathering Outdoors
      Outdoor gatherings make it easier to spread apart and having a constant flow of fresh air will ensure that germs aren’t able to circulate as easily as they would indoors. Guests can still benefit from wearing a mask outdoors for extra protection.

      Keep Objects Separated
      If possible, have guests bring their own food, utensils and seating. This can eliminate the creation of high-touch areas outdoors. For bathroom use, ensure that a path is easily located and keep doors open, if possible, to remove other high-touch areas from use. Ensure that soap and sanitizer is available and easily accessible.

      Choose Games That Promote Social Distance
      Ensuring guests have fun while staying six feet apart can seem like a tall order, but there are actually numerous options for entertainment that fit the bill. Games like cornhole, ladder ball, disc golf, bocce ball, croquet and badminton all allow your guests to keep their distance while enjoying each other’s company.

      Keep it Simple
      Now is not the time to host the world’s finest soiree. Remember, your guests will likely just be happy to see you! Keep safety and minimal germ spread at the forefront of your mind when planning, but outside of that, don’t let perfectionism get in the way of simply enjoying casual time with those you love.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • New Considerations in Home Design: Privacy and Space

      4 December 2020

      According to a recent report from Zillow, home builders are predicting that there will be a move away from open floor plans as homeowners seek out increased privacy, as well as an increased demand for more space. 

      Growing in popularity for decades, open floor plans have also been touted by popular home-design programs in recent years. In fact, Zillow research found that the share of for-sale listings mentioning open concept layouts more than doubled since 2015.

      However, in the wake of the coronavirus, homeowners are discovering that the lack of privacy involved in an open design concept can often be a detriment. In a recent survey by Zillow and The Harris Poll, 27 percent of those surveyed said they would consider moving to have a home with more rooms—one of the top reasons for considering a move—after spending more time at home because of coronavirus orders.

      Homebuilders agree. The experts at Berks Homes believe that homes built post-coronavirus will have more doors for privacy, dedicated home-office space, better insulation for noise control and separate spaces for kids. The pros at Pyatt Builders believe that open concepts won’t disappear, but will be approached differently, highlighted by features like barn doors, which preserve the feel of openness yet allow for private, multi-use space.

      Other emerging home trends will include germ-preventing features, such as mudrooms, allowing family members to remove shoes and wash hands before entering the house, and smart home technology like touchless faucets and self-cleaning toilets.

      According to Zillow research, home shoppers are clearly interested in starting from scratch when it comes to home design—searches for new construction homes are up 73 percent from 2019.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • How to Snack Right Before Bed

      3 December 2020

      That before-bed urge to root around in the fridge or pantry for an end-of-the-day treat can be a powerful force. Whether you’re looking for a mindless munchy to accompany your TV-time or just trying to satisfy your late-night sweet craving, eating too close to bedtime, while enjoyable, is one of the common culprits involved in weight gain.

      Though for those night-time noshers, there may be hope. According to experts, eating before bed might not be so bad if you choose your snacks carefully. In fact, some say that certain foods may actually help boost your metabolism while you sleep, such as those rich in protein and complex carbohydrates. So before you reach for the chips or ice cream, consider one of these options instead, recommended by Cooking Light magazine:

      Whole Grain Toast and Hummus. Because it’s made from chickpeas, hummus is rich in vitamin B, which helps metabolize carbohydrates, protein and fats. The fiber in whole grain bread will help satisfy you and may also help you sleep better thanks to the magnesium in wheat flour.

      Cottage Cheese and Cherries. The protein content in cottage cheese may help your muscles repair themselves while you sleep, and boost your metabolism. Not only will tart cherries on top help sweeten this bed-time snack, their natural melatonin may help regulate your sleep cycle.

      Banana With Peanut Butter. A banana dipped into a tablespoon of nut or seed butter is a great choice for a few reasons. First, bananas are a fast-digesting carb, and fast digestion is what you want before bed. They’re also rich in magnesium, which helps subdue stress hormones. The carbs will also help release sleep-promoting insulin.

      Plain Greek Yogurt With Blueberries. Not only a much healthier alternative to ice cream, the calcium in the yogurt will help your body create melatonin for a better night’s sleep. The antioxidants in blueberries will help lower overall physical stress, which can also help in the sleep department. This healthy snack will also help you avoid waking up ravenous, resulting in better eating habits in the morning.

      The goal with these and other healthy night-time snacks is to help you sleep better, regulate your cravings and get an extra dose of the nutrition your body needs most. 

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Pair and Pour Some Festive Holiday Cheer This Season

      3 December 2020

      (Family Features) While holiday traditions and celebrations will likely look different this year, the season is still special. Set the scene for a celebratory occasion by mixing festive cocktails or creating the perfect spread to complement your wines, beers, cheeses and even chocolates.   

      You can help make your spread delicious and affordable by relying on high-quality ingredients like those at ALDI. If you need inspiration, sommelier and lifestyle expert Sarah Tracey can help guide your palate with these festive ALDI-exclusive pairings and seasonal cocktail ideas: 

      Light and Refreshing – With aromas of Meyer lemon and flavors of fresh green apple and white peach, the crisp Landshut Riesling has a touch of delicate sweetness while still being juicy and refreshing. For a savory-and-sweet combination, try pairing it with the Emporium Selection Plain Goat Cheese Log and Winternacht Milk Chocolate Domino Cubes.

      Rich and Decadent – Indulge your senses with the aromas of butterscotch, warm baking spices and the velvety dark fruit notes of the Quarter Cut Bourbon Barrel Red Blend. This decadent red blend offers a smooth finish, similar to mulled wine without the extra work. The rich flavor pairs well with a smoked cheese like Emporium Selection Smoked Gouda as well as the Moser Roth Dark Chocolate Collection Caramel Sea Salt. 

      Savory With Brew – If a craft beer is more your style, consider a rich and creamy dark ale like a stout. Its robust flavors of roasted coffee beans and bittersweet cocoa combine for a sweet yet savory, earthy finish. Serve it with rich flavors like Emporium Selection Premium English Truffle Cheddar and add a touch of chocolatey sweetness with Specially Selected Cocoa Dusted Truffles.

      Signature Libations – Up the ante on your holiday celebration with a special yet simple cocktail you can mix at home with confidence. The secret to making the Mistletoe Mule is the 3-2-1 method: just pour wine for three counts, ginger beer for two counts and pomegranate juice for one count. 

      Find more holiday recipes at aldi.us/holiday-guide. 

      Published with permission from RISMedia.