Real Estate News

    • On-Trend Colors Reflecting Comforting Lifestyle Design

      7 February 2023

      (Family Features) Upgrading your home design is an opportunity to tap into new color schemes. Knowing what shades are trendy and how different hues can work together for a cohesive design is an important step in creating an attractive design aesthetic.

      While you might turn to family or friends for inspiration for your next DIY project, another resource for collecting concepts and options to upgrade your space is the internet. Consider the Valspar Color-verse, which allows visitors to explore colors in a unique way and offers paint color inspiration and decor trends they can envision within their own homes.

      After experiencing the Valspar 2023 Colors of the Year firsthand by painting walls and art from the collection to see the 3D virtual house come to life, you can find the perfect paint shade for your space.

      “Through the Color-verse, visitors can experience the 12 Colors of the Year in a realistic virtual home,” said Gus Morales, vice president of brand marketing for CBG Sherwin-Williams. “Aside from exploring the Colors of the Year, the home is an engaging space for visitors to create art, play games and order paint chips to see how their top color picks look and feel in their homes.”

      Color Trends to Consider
      Many of this year’s popular nature-inspired designs are all about finding comfort, embracing a flexible lifestyle, rediscovering joy and leaning into the growing DIY movement. The most trend-worthy, forward-thinking and livable colors reflect specific facets or emotions of life so you can update your well-used spaces with thoughtful colors that evoke positive energy and lasting change.

      Comfort and Contentment: If your goal is to create a space that envelops you in a sense of comfort, consider a white with a yellow undertone that makes a space cozy like a soft blanket, like Cozy White from Valspar. Complement the softness with a muted clay that brings in brown undertones that suggest gentle contentment. 

      Calming Restoration: Tap into the calming tones of nature with a hazy green that has duality, which brings in both the calm and liveliness of the great outdoors. Another option is a deep midnight blue used as an elegant calming shade to restore mind, body and home. 

      Healthful, Mindful Living: Create an uplifting space where your wellness is a priority. Evoke a greater sense of health consciousness with a light blue that has a dose of softness used as a fresh neutral with uplifting qualities of a modern pastel, like Valspar’s Rising Tide. Reinforce the benefits of mindful living with a cool gray that is balanced by the warmth of the yellow undertone, a natural hue like a cotton muslin cloth. 

      Connections and Joy: Establish spaces where you can celebrate relationships with others, the world around you and happiness in your being. Consider hues like a white softened by a violet undertone, a harmonious shade promoted by digital connectivity. Evoke joy with a dependable classic tan that features a yellow undertone suggesting new life with uplifting qualities. 

      Natural Balance: Bringing hints of the outdoors into a well-loved living space creates a soothing ambiance. Consider a warm neutral brown tone inspired by the shades found in nature or a cooled down blue that strikes a beautiful balance between cool and warm shades in your design.

      Inspirational Thought: A work-from-home or crafting space needs color to inspire great thinking. Try a faded natural terracotta that sparks individuality and warmth or a deep blackened olive, an on-trend neutral that embodies charm and sophistication. 

      Explore the tool and find more colorful ideas at Valspar.com.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • How to Save Money at the Pump

      7 February 2023

      Whether gas prices are climbing high or relatively stable, getting the most bang for your buck when fueling up should always be standard operating procedure. Not only will the following strategies from Simplify help you save money on gas, they'll help support the ongoing maintenance of your vehicle.

      Consider a membership plan. Places like Sam's Club and Costco offer memberships that can give you access to some of the lowest gas prices in town. If the membership to join (usually $50 - $60) is cost prohibitive, consider splitting it with your family members or housemates.

      Check out an app. Apps such as GasBuddy allow you to find the lowest gas prices in your area and provide helpful tools, such as trip calculators to budget fuel costs for long trips, pointing out the best prices along your route from point A to point B.

      Pay with cash. Many gas stations charge a fee for credit and debit card usage. While using cards can be convenient, you do often pay a price for it, so be prepared with cash instead.

      Keep up with maintenance. Be vigilant about the various tasks involved in maintaining your car, such as oil changes and changing your air filters. These items all contribute to fuel efficiency meaning you'll get more mileage for your money. Keeping your tires properly inflated will also help the cause by enabling your car to run more smoothly.

      Use alternatives when you can. The ultimate way to save on gas costs is to use your car less frequently. So take public transportation, bike or walk whenever you can. You'll get the added benefit of exercise and helping the environment.

      Carpool. If walking or public transportation isn't an option, carpool with coworkers when heading to the office or with neighbors and friends when running errands. Doing so provides you with the added benefit of social time.

      While these ideas may seem small, they'll add up to valuable savings each month, and lead to better—and less—use of your vehicle all around.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 7 Brain-Boosting Habits to Reduce Memory Loss

      7 February 2023

      Did you know that after age 40, the brain shrinks about 5% each decade? Fortunately, health experts say there are a few common-sense habits that can reduce the common signs of aging on the brain, helping to stave off memory loss and possibly reducing the risk of diseases like Alzheimer's and dementia. Whether you've reached middle age or not, incorporate these seven steps from author and brain expert Dr. Marc Milstein into your lifestyle to help keep your brain in the best possible condition.

      Monitor blood pressure and cholesterol. A healthy heart will help ensure that your brain is getting enough oxygen. High blood pressure weakens the heart muscle, so take the steps necessary to make sure yours is no higher than 120/80. Cholesterol also plays a big role in brain health, so be sure to get your levels checked at least every 4 - 6 years.

      Reduce sugar intake. While blood sugar levels fuel the brain, too much sugar can damage blood vessels and tissue, leading to premature aging. Dr. Milstein emphasizes that the real danger lies in excess amounts of sugar, which can easily sneak up on you via packaged foods. Read food labels to avoid hidden sugar in these ingredients: dextrose, fructose, galactose, glucose, lactose, maltose, sucrose. Avoid foods that contain high-fructose corn syrup.

      Increase your sleep quality. Studies show that untreated sleep apnea can bring on memory loss much earlier in life than usual. According to Dr. Milstein, a healthy brain and your body's immunity require between 7 - 9 hours of sleep. To help ensure a good night's sleep, make the following part of your bedtime routine: Go to bed and wake up at the same time; turn off devices an hour before bedtime; partake in a relaxing activity before bed; and go outside and get some natural sunlight as soon as possible upon waking.

      Focus on nutrition. A healthy diet has systemic benefits for your body, especially your brain. Be sure to regularly eat: fatty fish, such as salmon, avocados, nuts, blueberries and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts and collard greens. Avoid foods that have too many ingredients that you can't pronounce, and always focus on a rainbow of colors when selecting fruits and veggies.

      Give up smoking. The harms of smoking are abundant and well-documented, including a 30% increased change of developing dementia. Commit to quitting and try your best to avoid second-hand smoke. 

      Get social. Interacting with others as well as doing small acts of kindness on a regular basis help boost important brain chemicals like serotonin and endorphins. In fact, according to a recent study, those over age 55 who regularly attended social events had a lower risk of losing their memory. 

      Keep learning. While your daily word puzzle might be fun, learning new skills and acquiring information are better ways to make new connections in the brain. And, the more connections you make, the better your memory will fare. Dr. Milstein recommends pursuing a variety of learning activities during the course of the week, such as learning a new language and playing tennis. Think of it as cross-training for your brain. 

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Kick Winter’s Chill With Hearty Chowder

      6 February 2023

      (Family Features) Colder, shorter days call for a little comfort. Cozying up with a hearty meal on brisk winter evenings can help fight off the chill while savoring favorite flavors alongside the ones you love.

      Avoid venturing into the cold for a trip to the store by turning to a pantry staple like sweet potatoes. As one of the most versatile veggies, they’re easy to add to a variety of recipes while enhancing both flavor and nutrition. Perfectly suitable for both simple and elevated dishes, they can be baked, microwaved, grilled, slow cooked or prepared on the stove so their sweet taste never goes out of style.

      Their long shelf life – up to four weeks if stored properly in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area away from heat sources – means you can rely on sweet potatoes throughout the winter as an on-hand ingredient. Additionally, as a “diabetes superfood” according to the American Diabetes Association, they’re rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber, all of which are good for overall health and may help prevent disease, making them a key source of nutrients during wintertime.

      When your family needs a warm-up on those frosty days, put sweet potatoes at the center of mealtime (with an added kick) in this Jalapeno Sweet Potato Chowder. Loaded with the flavors of winter comfort, it’s a filling meal that makes enough for a crowd so no one goes hungry.

      Visit ncsweetpotatoes.com to find more comforting meal ideas.

      Jalapeno Sweet Potato Chowder
      Recipe courtesy of the North Carolina SweetPotato Commission
      Servings: 6

      2 large North Carolina sweet potatoes, baked
      1 small onion, 1/4-inch diced
      2 tablespoons olive oil
      1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
      2 cups cooked chicken, cubed
      1 1/2 cups whole corn kernels
      2 teaspoons minced jalapenos
      1/2 cup heavy cream
      1 teaspoon salt
      chopped scallions, for garnish

      Peel baked sweet potatoes; discard skin and puree.

      In a soup pot, saute onion in butter until softened. Add pureed sweet potato and stock, as desired. Bring to boil, reducing liquid slightly.

      Add chicken, corn, jalapenos, heavy cream and salt. Simmer for 10 minutes.

      To serve, ladle into bowls and garnish with chopped scallions.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • The 2023 Color of the Year, and How to Use It

      6 February 2023

      It's that time of the year when paint companies and color experts weigh in with their top color pick for the new year. And for Benjamin Moore, that color marks a bold departure from recent years.

      While for 2022 Benjamin Moore selected a soothing, muted shade of sage green, October Mist, this year's color hails from the high-energy realm. Raspberry Blush is a vibrant, attention-getting shade of red-orange that will instantly add life to any room—the ultimate pop of color.

      The company admits that color experts had to push themselves out of their comfort zone in selecting this color, deciding upon a shade that makes a bold statement after originally selecting a softer color palette. And Raspberry Blush certainly does just that, conjuring up images of a summertime popsicle or a tropical garden.

      According to Benjamin Moore, while neutral colors on walls serve as the backdrop for bolder shades that take a starring role in a room's decor, this year, they wanted the wall-paint color to command the stage. The choice is a nod toward the trend of maximalist style and increasing color confidence. Here's how to use the color in your home:

      Create a high-energy living room. Using Raspberry Blush in your living room is an ideal choice if you love to gather with friends and family and entertain regularly. The color will energize your space and make your living room the life of the party.

      A cheer-filled dining room. Since the color is certainly invigorating, it's best suited for the social areas of your home, such as the dining room. With its infusion of reds and pinks, Raspberry Blush provides a warm, flattering rosy glow that is wonderfully suited to gathering around the table for a meal.

      Stand-out architectural details. Put the interesting architectural details of your home, like chair rail, wainscoting and moldings, under the spotlight by painting them in this stand-out color. Benjamin Moore recommends painting the entire wall from top to bottom—details and all—in Raspberry Blush for an artistic and provocative look.

      If the above ideas seem a little too daring given the bold nature of this hue, use Raspberry Blush for an accent wall or on built-in shelving to add new life and character to any room.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.