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Add new life to your kitchen with these easy kitchen updates:

  1. Paint an unused cabinet surface with chalkboard paint. Spice up a wooden cabinet surface with a little chalkboard paint to make the surface ready for grocery lists or family to-do lists.
  2. Paint cabinets an accent color. Cabinets don’t have to be white or brown. Go bold with a bright blue, or sunny 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 big-box and hardware stores sell kitchen herb planters – just add the plant, and you’re set.
  5. Install a pull-out shelf. These are especially popular for the space underneath your kitchen sink, but they can also be used to make it easier to reach distant pots and pans in your bigger cabinets.
  6. Add shelves for more storage space. Need more space, and have some open walls? 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. Have hard water? Install a purification system right under your sink and get rid of all those plastic water bottles.
  8. Get a kitchen cart. Tapped for storage, but don’t want to install right into the wall? A kitchen cart doubles as preparation surface and storage (great for renters!) They’re also highly mobile.
  9. Buy tiered racks to expand your storage space vertically. A removable rack doesn’t involve any installation and 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!


Spiced Pumpkin Raisin Cookies

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • ¾ cup raw sugar, plus additional for sprinkling
  • ½ cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tbs pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup raisins
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, oats, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and allspice. Stir to blend.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, pumpkin puree, oil, syrup and vanilla. Whisk to blend. Gradually stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture. Stir in raisins.
  4. For each cookie, drop 1 generous tablespoon of batter onto the baking sheet, spacing the cookies about 1 inch apart. Use moist fingertips to flatten each mound to a 2-inch diameter, and sprinkle with sugar.
  5. Bake the cookies until brown, about 17 to 20 minutes. Cool and enjoy!


Maintenance Tip!

As winter approaches, consider fortifying your home against the cold to keep your family comfortable.

Step 1: Beware the draft

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

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

Step 2: Insulate

Insulation doesn’t just go between the walls. The addition of heavy drapes or air-cushion blinds in the winter keeps the warm air in and the cold air out. Don’t forget to insulate your water heater and hot water pipes.

Step 3: Circulate

Flip the switch on the side of your ceiling fan? when it gets cold and your fan will reverse, pulling cooler air up and pushing warmer air down into the room.

Step 4: Deduct

Invest in an Energy Star-certified solar water heater. Not only will this equipment pay for itself over time due to increased efficiency, but you may also receive a tax credit for up to 30% of the cost.

Step 5: Wear a sweater

Keep it simple — turn down the thermostat and donning a sweater to capture and retain body heat.


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!