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Champagne cocktail

  • 4 shots orange-flavored liqueur
  • 4 tsp honey
  • 4 fresh strawberries
  • 1 bottle champagne, chilled
  1. Add the orange-flavored liqueur, honey and strawberries to a food processor and blend until smooth.
  2. Fill each glass halfway with the mixture, and fill the rest of the glass with the champagne. Serve and enjoy!

Grow a winter garden

Don’t let the cold weather stop you from growing a garden. Consider planting winter-friendly crops and flowers this season.

For vegetables, try:

  • Leaf vegetables, such as lettuce, spinach and kale – make sure to keep your soil moist!
  • Root vegetables, including carrots, onions and garlic.
  • Flower buds like broccoli and cauliflower – these bloom best in colder temperatures.
  • Pods, such as snap peas and sugar peas.

To add some color, go for:

  • Marigolds – ranging in shades from orange to bright yellow, these will thrive from fall to spring.
  • African daisies – these hardy flowers perform well in California’s mild winters and come in a variety of vibrant colors.
  • Pansies – these bloom in multiple colors and last throughout the winter.
  • Snapdragons – tall and lush, these add color and foliage to your garden.
  • Sweet alyssums – these are hardy enough to endure freezing temperatures and self-seed to provide year-round flowers.

Maintenance Tip!
In California, all residential properties with a fossil fuel burning heater, fireplace or attached garage are required to have a carbon monoxide detector installed. Make sure your home and your family are covered by:

  • installing a carbon monoxide detector on each floor of your home;
  • purchasing alarms with battery backups in case of a power outage;
  • performing weekly checks to ensure alarms are functional;
  • ensuring detectors are close to the sleeping area so they will be heard if the alarms go off; and
  • not idling your car in the garage, using a gas oven to heat your home or using appliances that do not vent fumes outside.

10 New Year’s resolutions for homeowners

Bring in the new year with these helpful housing resolutions:

  1. Create an annual budget for your mortgage and home improvement needs. Consider increasing your monthly mortgage payments this year – try 10% – to shorten the life of your loan.
  2. Set up autopay for your mortgage payments.
  3. Cut down your energy use. Consider replacing old insulation and installing energy-efficient light bulbs.
  4. Inspect your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to ensure they’re functional.
  5. Declutter your home. Adding extra storage will make reorganizing a breeze.
  6. Reduce your water use by installing low-flow showerheads and toilets, and planting drought-tolerant landscaping.
  7. Add some color to your yard by planting a garden. Try your favorite vegetables and a variety of flowers.
  8. Make a list of all the maintenance issues around the house, then complete two of them each month.
  9. Spruce up your home by giving it a new paint job or re-staining your cabinets. New decorative pillows, window treatments and wall décor also add color to your home and make it more inviting.
  10. If this is the year you’re ready to move, call me to set up a listing appointment!

Happy New Year!