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10 quick and easy kitchen updates

  1. Paint an unused cabinet surface with chalkboard paint. Chalkboard paint readies your surfaces for grocery lists or family to-do lists.
  2. Paint cabinets an accent color. Go bold with a blue, or yellow.
  3. Add new hardware to your cabinets. A decorative pull can add sophistication or a little quirkiness to your kitchen.
  4. Keep a kitchen herb garden on a window sill. Many hardware stores sell kitchen herb planters – just add the plant, and you’re set.
  5. Install a pull-out shelf. Make it easier to reach distant pots and pans in your cabinets.
  6. Add shelves for more storage space. Get some sturdy shelves and brackets. Stack your plates and glassware on them so they’re handy.
  7. Install a water purification system under your sink. This is a great idea if you don’t like tap water or you live in an area with hard water.
  8. Get a kitchen cart. A kitchen cart doubles as preparation surface and storage (great for renters)! It’s also highly mobile.
  9. Buy tiered racks to expand your storage space vertically. A removable rack instantly adds two or three more tiers to your cabinet storage.
  10. Add a backsplash accent. Splurge on high-quality tiles for a small space – easy on the wallet, and the eyes.

Or maybe you’re ready for a move.  Call me and I’ll be more than happy to help you list your property and find a new one – complete with your dream kitchen!


Maple Walnut Pumpkin Pie

  • 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp maple flavoring
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ginger
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 (9 inch) graham cracker pie crust or shell

Walnut topping:

  • 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 up all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbs butter
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin, condensed milk, eggs, cinnamon, maple flavoring, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Mix well and pour into pie shell.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce oven to 350 degrees F and bake for 30 minutes.
  4. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. Cut in butter until crumbly and stir in walnuts.
  5. Remove the pie from the oven and top evenly with the crumb mixture. Return to the oven for 10 minutes. Once finished, cool the pie and store in the refrigerator. Serve and enjoy!


Your October Maintenance Tip

Follow these five simple, cost-effective steps for a cozier season and lower utility bills.

Step 1: Beware the draft

A drafty window or doorway may increase your energy bills by 5% to 30%.

The most severe draft often comes from the gap under your doorway. Stop-up this gap with a “draft snake.”

Use weather stripping in window sills and door jambs where movement and flexibility is necessary. For more permanent leaks, such as around your window or door frame, use caulking.

Step 2: Insulate

Insulation doesn’t just go between the walls. Use heavy drapes or air-cushion blinds in the winter to keep the warm air in and the cold air out.

Step 3: Circulate

Flip the switch on the side of your ceiling fan to pull cool air up and push warm air down into the room.

Step 4: Deduct

Invest in an Energy Star-certified solar water heater. Check with your utility company to see if they offer rebates for energy-efficient water heaters.

Step 5: Wear a sweater

Keep it simple — save the most on your energy bill by turning down the thermostat and donning a sweater.


Tips for surviving Halloween

Whether you’re prepping kids for a night out or heading out for your own festivities, use these tips to keep your Halloween free from scary mishaps.

If your kids are trick-or-treating:

  • Add reflective tape to costumes or candy bags for better visibility
  • Make sure you and your kid(s) are equipped with flashlights
  • Use costume makeup instead of masks to avoid obstructed eyesight
  • Pin long costumes and wear comfortable shoes to prevent tripping
  • Ditch pointed accessories like swords and sticks
  • Accompany your kids out or arrange for them to trick-or-treat with a group supervised by an adult
  • Teach your kids how to safely cross the street and check for oncoming traffic
  • Only visit a home if the porch light is on
  • Plan a route and stay together
  • Examine treats and toss out anything unwrapped

No kids?

  • Slow down and drive carefully, and keep an eye out for children crossing the street
  • Properly restrain your pets
  • If you’re handing out treats, clear your yard of any items visitors may trip on
  • Keep your home and walkways well-lit
  • Replace jack-o’-lantern candles with flameless candles or glow sticks

Have a safe — and spooky — Halloween!