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Homes & Money Newsletter – 4th Quarter 2015
Rosemary Mashed Sweet Potatoes With Shallots
5 1/2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
Heat 4 teaspoons of oil in a medium skillet over low heat. Add the shallots and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with brown sugar then cook until shallots are golden, stirring occasionally (up to 20 minutes). Then set aside.
In a medium pan, bring potatoes to a boil and cook for 8 minutes, or until tender. Drain. In a large bowl, beat potatoes with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add rosemary, salt and pepper; mix until blended. Serve topped with shallots and remaining olive oil.
Pamper Your Holiday Guests
Visitors are coming to a guest bedroom near you. So swipe a few style ideas from boutique hotels, and turn that spare room into a star attraction.
Create a great night’s sleep. Have your guests cozy up with high-thread-count cotton sheets, a thick duvet, extra pillows and a fluffy mattress topper.
Stash towels and robes. A deep decorative basket of bathroom linens will allow guests to freshen up upon arrival.
Invite quick reads. Current magazines and books at bedside offer a soothing escape from long-day visits. Make sure end tables have task lighting for late-night readers.
Keep time. A small alarm clock ensures your guests don’t miss any activities … or early flights back home! Avoid vintage clocks that tick-tock, which could keep guests from sleeping.
Stock travel-size essentials. Toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo and soap should be placed in guest room dresser drawers in case they forgot something.
Dim the lights. Blackout drapes help block early morning sunlight (or street lamps), so guests can sleep undisturbed. Inexpensive roller shades will do the trick if you’ve already got curtains.
Add color and ambiance. Tulips are inexpensive, available year-round and arrange easily. A bowl of apples is interesting, smells delightful and makes a healthy snack too.
Ease into morning. Coffee and tea will energize your guests. Mini coffee makers or electric kettles are inexpensive; just add mugs and sweeteners. Your guests can enjoy a cup at the start of the day.
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
By Carol Dweck, Ph.D.
Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck shares a breakthrough idea gleaned from her decades of research on achievement and success: It’s not simply abilities and talent that bring success—but whether we approach them with the optimal mindset.
According to Dweck, people have either a “fixed” mindset or a “growth” mindset. The fixed mindset regards one’s talents and abilities as set in stone, where a growth mindset regards one’s faculties as a work in progress.
Dweck shows that our abilities aren’t fixed, but instead may be enhanced at any age. She also reveals how we can motivate children to achieve better grades, as well as reach our own goals and attain success.
Now a New York Times best seller, you can find it here on Amazon or at your favorite local bookseller.
Parking Help for Holiday Shoppers
Holiday shopping means hunting high and low for a vacant parking space, parking what seems like miles away, or playing chicken in crowded lots with aggravated drivers all vying for the same spot. It’s time to buckle up for a few holiday parking pointers to help you avoid being stuck without a space.
Put your smartphone to work. On-demand parking apps like Parking Panda allow you to reserve and pay for parking in over 40 major metropolitan cities. Parkopedia is another app that lists parking options and availability in more than 6,000 communities in 52 countries.
Rent a car for the day. Some rental providers provide rental customers free reciprocal parking at their other locations, which may be located near prime shopping centers. This is a great perk especially in busy metro areas. It’s important to call in advance, as this perk often depends on available space.
Don’t forget mass transit. If you want to completely avoid holiday parking angst, the American Public Transportation Association website makes it easy to find your local transit systems. Even if the cost is equal to fueling and parking your own vehicle, saving yourself the stress could be a real gift!
Source: USA Today
|Facts & Figures|
El Niño Packs a Punch
According to scientists, 2015 will see one of the largest El Niño weather systems ever recorded. How much do you know about El Niño?
A long history. Since it usually appears around the Christmas holiday, the system was called “El Niño” (The Little Boy) by the Peruvian fisherman who first observed the patterns as far back as the 1600s.
What’s in a name? Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have unofficially named this year’s system “Bruce Lee,” after the martial arts movie star.
Sibling rivalry. When tropical Pacific waters are warmer than normal, the system is called El Niño. When Pacific waters are colder than normal, it is called La Niña.
Gloom and glee. While El Niño can cause floods, droughts and other extreme weather in some areas, other areas experience mild winters, lowered cyclone and hurricane activity, and lighter monsoons. In general, the U.S. experiences cooler weather and more rain, especially on the West Coast.
Weather wonder. While scientists have been able to predict the effects of El Niño around the world, the reason why it occurs in a regular cycle—around every two to seven years—is still a mystery.
Christian Penner Branch Manager | Cell/Text: (561) 373-0987
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The Christian Penner Mortgage Team | Cell/Text: (561) 373-0987