Consumer Real Estate News

    • Celebrate Fall With Family Fun Activities

      20 October 2021

      Autumn is sometimes that overlooked period between the last of summer’s outdoor activities and hectic preparations for the holidays. But fall offers its own opportunities for rewarding family fun. Check out these leisurely ways to make some happy autumn memories.  

      Check Out the Foliage - In most areas of the country, you are no more than a couple hours drive away from some vibrant fall foliage. If you need ideas, get online to find out where you can best view the best of fall’s amazing colors. Pack a picnic and head out for an afternoon of splashing about the falling leaves.

      • Pick Pumpkins - ...but not from the local market. Look for a fall festival or farmer’s market where you can get your fill of fun activities and head home with the best of autumn’s harvest, including the perfect pumpkins.
      • Go Apple Picking - Apple picking season usually starts in August and peaks through September, but there's still time to squeeze in a trip to a nearby apple orchard during the first half of October. You can take photos, pick apples, eat cider doughnuts and stock up on homemade apple cider.
      • Enjoy Oktoberfest - Somewhere in your area, you can probably find a commercial or sponsored Oktoberfest celebration, featuring authentic German foods, a beer and/or cider garden, guides in German folk dress and a variety of games and shopping opportunities the whole family can enjoy.
      • Take a Haunted Road Trip - For a good, friendly scare, find a haunted house to explore during the month of October. If all else fails, tour a cemetery at night and make up your own ghost tales.
      • Make Costumes - Forget the commercially-made costumes at the store and brainstorm some ideas of your own. Find the fabrics and accessories you need and spend some happy family hours making your costume wishes come true.
      • Get Cooking - Spend some time in the kitchen together making pumpkin spice muffins, pumpkin pies or even some pumpkin-based soup. You’ll be making memories your kids will remember all while enjoying the fruits of your labor.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • A Show-Stopping Strawberry Snack

      20 October 2021

      ( When you are craving something sweet, sometimes you just can’t get it off your mind until you have just one bite. You need something small, delicious and something that will ease your cravings. This recipe for Chocolate Coated Strawberry Treats is not only fun to make, but will give you that perfect little snack you have been longing for.

      The recipe begins with fresh strawberries and ends with a drizzle of mouthwatering peanut butter sauce. This is a great recipe for little ones looking to help out in the kitchen. These strawberries are fun to dip and even more enjoyable to devour.

      This snack can also be perfect for date night, a romantic date or just a picnic in the park with friends. They are easy to transport from place to place and don’t leave a huge mess behind to clean up afterwards.

      It’s also simple to just melt, whisk, dip and repeat. The red, ripe berries are bursting with color and the chocolate is glazed right across the top for the perfect bite.

      The best part is you can be creative and dip these strawberries into a number of your favorite ingredients you already have in your pantry at home. This includes, sprinkles, small candies, white chocolate drizzle and different kinds of nuts. The possibilities are endless.

      Next time you can’t get chocolate off your mind, enjoy something delightful, rich and a show-stopping snack.

      Find more snack recipes at

      If you made this recipe at home, use #MyCulinaryConnection on your favorite social network to share your work.

      Chocolate Coated Strawberry Treats
      Servings: 5
      1 1/4 baking chocolate chips
      1/2 baking peanut butter chips
      3 tablespoons coconut oil, divided
      1 pound fresh strawberries
      shredded coconut
      crushed almonds

      In a saucepan, add baking chocolate chips and two tablespoons of coconut oil. Melt on low to medium heat and whisk until smooth.

      In a small bowl, add baking peanut butter chips and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Microwave in 30 second intervals until melted. Whisk together until smooth.

      Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

      Dip all strawberries into melted chocolate. Then, dip 1/3 in coconut, 1/3 in almonds and 1/3 just chocolate and lay on the tray.

      Drizzle the melted peanut butter over the plain chocolate strawberries.

      Put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or until strawberry treats are chilled.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Simple Tips to Tackle Credit Card Debt

      20 October 2021

      Credit cards are convenient for shopping and can come in handy during emergencies, but unless you’re careful, it’s easy to rack up debt fast. If you’re one of the millions of Americans that hold credit card debt, the following tips from the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors will help set you on your way to living debt-free:

      Hit the Pause Button. Take a look at exactly what you’re spending during any given month, and determine if there are any automated payments that can be eliminated or paused temporarily while you work to pay off your debt. You might even consider putting off large expenses for one year to help you pay your debt off faster.

      Reduce Interest Rates. Once you’ve taken stock of all the credit cards in your wallet, as well as interest rates and minimum payments, call your credit card companies to see if there’s any chance they could waive late payments or reduce interest rates.

      Work Toward Eliminating Your Most Expensive Card First. While it’s important to pay the monthly minimum on all cards to avoid fees, any leftover money should be applied to the card with the highest interest rate. Once you’ve paid this card off, apply the same strategy to the card with the second-highest interest rate while making minimum payments on all other cards. Repeat the process until all of your credit cards have been paid off.

      Create a Written Budget. Putting pen to paper and creating a written budget will go a long way toward helping you stay out of debt in the future. Be sure to include an emergency fund in your budget so that you’re financially prepared should you experience a job loss or health crisis. And don’t forget to check in with your budget each and every month.

      Set Goals and Keep Your Eye on the Prize. Whether it’s saving for a down payment or preparing to go back to school, write down your goals so that you’re more driven to reach them. Remember that the changes you’re making now will help you reach your goals well into the future.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 9 Kitchen Tips You’ll Wish You Knew Sooner

      19 October 2021

      For those new to the kitchen, every meal prep is an adventure and shortcuts can be few and far between. Even experienced chefs may be surprised at some of these nine simple tips that go a long way toward saving time, effort and food.

      • Extend Veggie Freshness - Lining your fridge’s crisper drawers with paper towels helps absorb moisture to help keep veggies fresh longer. Wrapping fresh mushrooms in paper towels will help keep them from getting slimy. 
      • Keep Cheese Fresh - Spread a little butter or margarine on the cut surfaces to keep leftover cheese from drying out. Be sure to wrap them loosely in wax paper rather than plastic wrap.
      • Prevent Bacteria in Dairy - To make cottage cheese or sour cream last longer, place the container upside down in the fridge. Inverting the tub creates a vacuum that inhibits the growth of bacteria that causes the food to spoil.
      • Don’t Toss That Honey - Honey is a truly non-perishable food. If it crystallizes or looks cloudy, microwave it in 30-second increments until it is clear once again.
      • Keep Brown Sugar Soft - Keeping brown sugar in the freezer will keep it from hardening. If the brown sugar in your cabinet is too hard to use, pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds—and voila!
      • Make Juicing More Efficient - To get more juice from any citrus fruit, roll it gently on the counter before halving and juicing it. Don’t waste a whole lemon when you don’t need to. If all you want is a few drops, poke holes in it with a fork and extract just what you need.
      • Ripen Fruit Quickly - To ripen peaches or avocados, place them in a paper bag with an apple. Apples release ethylene gas that hastens the maturing process of other fruits.
      • Save a Scorched Pan - Sprinkle the burned bottom with baking soda, then add four to five tablespoons of salt, plus enough water to cover the area. Let stand overnight. Scrape out the charred remains with a rubber spatula.
      • Keep Copper Shiny - Apply a thin coat of ketchup—yes, ketchup—and rub it off with a clean rag.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Decorate Your Way to a Howling Good Halloween

      19 October 2021

      (Family Features) Costumes and candy may be mainstays of Halloween, but decorating is a fun way to set the mood and add a little extra excitement in the weeks leading up to the holiday. These spooktacular ideas can help dial up the drama and delight for all ages.

      Pumpkins aplenty: A traditional glowing jack-o’-lantern may be one of Halloween’s most recognized icons, but pumpkins can be used in plenty of other fun ways. You can dress them up with glitter and ribbon for a more elegant look or group a series of pumpkins in varied shapes and colors for a seasonal centerpiece. You can even give a pumpkin a coat of chalkboard paint and count down the days until Halloween.

      Creepy kids’ crafts: Get little ghosts and goblins into the Halloween spirit with hand-made decorations that make your seasonal decor equal parts sweet and spooky. Fold a black piece of construction paper down the middle and trace a child’s hand and wrist, with the wrist extending over the folded edge. Cut along the traced line, leaving the fold intact, and when you unfold the paper, you’ll have a bat to decorate. Add eyes and attach string to the top of the wings to hang and display.

      Gross and ghoulish: Some of the best Halloween displays have something in common: attention to detail. Get creative with your props and decorations to incorporate some unexpected attention-grabbers like brains in a jar. Place bunches of cauliflower in a clear glass container and cover with water died red.

      Spooky serving: If you’re entertaining for Halloween, incorporate spooky decor with your food and drinks to keep the theme going throughout the party. Use cauldrons as serving bowls and skeleton hands as serving spoons. Add plenty of cobwebs and other spooky accents to the table, and search for easy recipes that fit your theme. One fun idea for kids is baking sugar cookies in fun Halloween shapes and serving them with a selection of food-safe syringes prefilled with colored frosting.

      Ghostly greetings: All the tricks and treats indoors make for plenty of good spirit, but don’t forget to set the scene outside, too. Dressing up your front door lets visitors know they’re in for a real treat. A haunted graveyard scene or a spooky spider den with lots of critters dangling from fake cobwebs are sure to show all who dare to enter that a howling good time lies ahead.

      Find more frightfully fun ideas to make your home Halloween ready at

      Published with permission from RISMedia.