Consumer Real Estate News

    • 4 Stylish Color Trends for 2022

      18 January 2022

      (Family Features) A new year brings opportunities to refresh your living space and add colors into your life. These four trends are all about incorporating more of yourself and your lifestyle into your home, whether it’s answering your need for a serene escape or dialing up the energy with vibrant surroundings.

      Bring in Nature
      Soothing earthy tones help bring a sense of calm and balance indoors. When designing with nature in mind, use gray-green tones to connect your aesthetic with the serene elements of the outdoors. Incorporate nature’s palette with greens in fabrics, accessories and even on the walls. Wood and stone materials naturally complement these shades for a look that’s cohesively pleasing and peaceful.

      Stylish Sophistication
      If you’re aiming to infuse some sophistication with an update to a favorite space, opt for a monochromatic look in a dark (almost black) hue. The approach is simultaneously bold and classic, but the secret to this trend is finding a shade that’s rich and deep, but not quite black, then complementing it with fabrics and furnishings that let the hint of color shine.

      Connect with Your Inner Self
      Creating a living space that is uniquely yours requires understanding your inner motivations, traits and talents. One source of personal inspiration may be your zodiac sign, a reflection of the earth’s orientation to the sun on your birthday.

      The color experts at Valspar partnered with Ophira and Tali Edut of the AstroTwins to make it easy to explore the intersection of your character and style by explaining which 2022 Color of the Year best aligns with each zodiac sign. When you combine your sign with the convenience and advanced one-coat coverage of premium Valspar Reserve Interior Paint + Primer, available at Lowe’s, you can create a luxurious space that reflects the real you.

      • Aries – Sunset Curtains: A warm and soothing color like this supports a transformational year full of new opportunities.
      • Taurus – Gilded Linen: This clean, cozy color makes spaces feel open, perfect for celebrating togetherness.
      • Gemini – Grey Suit: This is a color of warmth and versatility, a signature combination for Geminis.
      • Cancer – Delightful Moon: A spirited, playful color inspires a year of growth and adventure.
      • Leo – Mountain River: A dark and dreamy color invites inspiration for a year filled with abundance.
      • Virgo – Subtle Peach: It’s the year of partnerships for Virgos; this harmonious color works well alongside others but can also stand on its own.
      • Libra – Orchid Ash: A cool and breezy color keeps it simple so Libras can focus on a year of vitality.
      • Scorpio – Fired Earth: This warm and approachable color is perfect for Scorpios who plan to bring new people into their lives this year.
      • Sagittarius – Rustic Oak: A relaxing and comforting color that welcomes coziness in the new year.
      • Capricorn – Blanched Thyme: For Capricorns, this is the year of variety, and this is a refreshing tone to support change.
      • Aquarius – Country Charm: This hue provides warmth and stability for a year of productivity.
      • Pisces – Lilac Lane: A playful pastel hue that brings softness along with optimism and renewal.

      Add Comfort and Warmth
      Treating your home like a sanctuary never goes out of style, and one way to create a soothing, inviting space is through the use of cozy neutrals. Whether it’s applied to a bedroom retreat or a more bustling space like the living room, a neutral palette can add to the allure of comfort and warmth. Keep the visual interest strong by incorporating subtle patterns, textures and layers of complementary neutral colors.

      Find more 2022 color trends and design inspiration at

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • How to Teach Your Kids About Saving and Spending

      18 January 2022

      You can never be too young to learn the true value of saving. For children, however, the concept of money is much different than the reality. But that doesn’t mean you can’t teach them how to save—even their pennies—responsibly. 

      Once your child reaches the age of about five or six, they start learning how to count and add in school. Of course, their main focus is probably on their favorite new toy, or one they don’t own and have been begging you for. Use this as an opportunity to merge what they’re learning in school with their wants and desires in a financially educational way. 

      In order for them to save money, they will need to make money to put away, so don’t forget about their allowance! Reward completed chores with small amounts of cash that can be used towards whatever they desire, with your permission, of course. Also, if they choose to start a lemonade stand or sell their old toys at the next yard sale, the money earned can be added to their savings. 

      Money from birthdays or holidays can be added to their savings fund, as well. You can even help them out by matching every dollar saved with 25 - 50 cents. At the end of each week, sit down and count how much money they have in total and how much has been added from the week before. 

      Use a clear jar where their money can be easily displayed. It’s smart to set a goal to start, be it a new toy or activity, to financially work towards. Once they see that they are getting closer and closer to the amount needed, it can push them to work harder and even add an extra chore to their list. 

      Once they meet, or hopefully exceed, their set goal, discuss how they would like to use it. If they are ready to go out and purchase their hard-earned prize, be sure to only take out the amount needed. This is a good way to teach budgeting. For example, if they plan to spend $10 on a new toy, but have $20 saved, be sure to only take out the amount needed. If you bring the total amount with you, they may decide to spend it irresponsibly on a random purchase. Leaving the rest at home gives them a jump start toward their next savings goal. 

      During this learning process, be sure to hold your children responsible for the money going in and out of their savings fund. Some things take longer to save for, but are more valuable in the long run. The sooner they understand that, as well as the time and effort it takes to build savings, the sooner they will understand the beginning steps of financial responsibility.  

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • What to Do When You Find a Mouse in Your Apartment

      18 January 2022

      What’s worse than finding a huge spider lurking in the corner or a line of ants under the fridge? Finding that a rodent has made its way into your apartment. Take these  steps when you find a mouse:. 

      First, Tell Your Landlord
      If you live in a rental, notify your landlord or property manager as soon as you can, as they will want to take care of it as much as you do. They may call in a professional to clean up and seal off any points of entry for future visitors. 

      Locate Point of Entry
      It’s just as important to figure out how the mouse got in as it is to get it out. Check common areas where mice tend to enter, such as cracked window sills or foundations, exterior doors (especially to basements) and piping. Be sure all doors to the outside stay closed when they aren’t being used. 

      Close Off Holes
      Once you locate the areas where mice may enter, patch or close it off to reduce the risk of more mice, or any other little critters, from exploring the inside of your apartment. Installing screens on all windows is a good way to ensure they can’t be used as a point of entry. 

      Set & Check Traps
      There are many different types of mouse traps and bait on the market, so you shouldn’t be short of options here. Be sure to place them in areas where you find mouse droppings, dark corners and behind large pieces of furniture. Keep a constant eye on the traps, as a mouse who gets stuck can urinate and attract other rodents, spread diseases or stink up your entire home. 

      Keep it Clean
      Make sure food is kept in sealed containers to reduce attracting rodents. If you drop crumbs or accidently spill something, clean it immediately. Wipe down counters and don’t let dirty dishes pile up in the sink. Remember to take trash out, especially when it’s full of food.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • A New Year, a New Sustainable You

      17 January 2022

      (Family Features) Committing to healthier living isn’t just about calories and fitness. Choosing a healthier lifestyle also means making smarter choices for the world around you, especially when it comes to eating and other daily routines.

      Commit to doing your part for a healthier environment with these tips:

      In and Around the Kitchen
      What you eat accounts for a great deal of your environmental impact – in fact, more than one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions caused by human activity can be attributed to the way people produce, process and package food, according to a United Nations-backed study. Factors like animal agriculture, processing, packaging and transportation all influence a food product’s cost to the earth. Being conscious of where and how you shop for food can have a positive effect on the world around you. For example, by shopping locally, you can reduce transportation impact. Choosing to buy in-season produce as opposed to fruits and veggies from other regions can also help.

      Consider Your Food Footprint
      One simple step you can take is to check the packaging of foods you buy to understand their carbon footprint. For example, each box of Airly Oat Cloud crackers helps remove greenhouse gases from the air through an innovative farming technique that makes agriculture a solution, not a contributor, to climate change. The carbon footprint is on the back of every box, so you can see how many grams of carbon dioxide you are helping remove from the air and start rethinking the food supply chain. Sustainable doesn’t have to mean bland or expensive, however. Made with real, wholesome and 100% truly delicious ingredients, all four flavor varieties (Cheddar, Sea Salt, Chocolate and Salted Caramel) make for delicious, satisfying, convenient anytime snacks.

      Plan to Start a Garden
      Through the plants’ photosynthesis process, gardens can help manage carbon dioxide while increasing oxygen. Producing your own food means you’re relying less on the supply chain and you have a ready supply of fresh, nourishing food without having to leave your home. Gardens are also natural habitats and food sources to important critters like bees, which play an essential role in pollinating and sustaining the earth’s vegetation.

      Eat Less Meat
      For many people, creating a more balanced diet means adding more fruits and veggies while cutting back on things like meat and carbs. Diet aside, eating less meat can promote environmental health, too. Agriculture, and livestock production in particular, contributes to global warming. Livestock animals are a significant source of methane gas, which can be more detrimental than carbon dioxide to the atmosphere and is growing at a rapid pace, according to the International Panel on Climate Change. The livestock industry also affects land usage and clean water, among other environmental concerns.

      Practice Upcycling
      Giving new life to old things is known as upcycling. It’s a concept that keeps useful things with plenty of functional life from filling landfills. You can practice upcycling by reimagining everything from furniture to clothing. Before tossing an item, consider how it could be used differently or serve a new purpose.

      Use Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products
      Some cleaning products are full of chemicals that pose hazards to the environment. Green products are generally free of those harsh, smelly chemicals and often come in packaging that is more earth-friendly, too. If you make your own eco-friendly cleaners using household ingredients like baking soda, vinegar and lemon, you can also save some money.

      Explore more ideas for a healthier approach to living at

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 5 Household Chores for Kids Under 10

      17 January 2022

      When everyone pitches in around the house, there is more time for fun, games and family bonding. Teaching household chores and responsibilities at a young age can help children grow up to be clean, organized and happy adults. 

      So, what chores should you assign to the young ones? Be sure to avoid heavy objects, like vacuum cleaners, and chemical cleaners to reduce the risk of injury or death. Instead, start with easier tasks that still provide a sense of responsibility and success. 

      Here are five chores for kids under 10 to get you started on the road to a cleaner home and a happier, healthier (and more responsible) family:

      Dust Furniture
      Dust accrues almost daily in every room in your home. By assigning this task to young children, they get a better understanding of the spaces that get dirty, even where they would least expect it. Dusting is easy enough that risk of injury is minimal, yet extremely helpful in the overall cleaning process.  

      Water Plants
      If you have indoor plants, or even a beautifully landscaped garden outdoors, you can connect your children to nature while also teaching them to acquire a green thumb. This can also be a great way to dive into science, demonstrating photosynthesis and the importance of sunlight and water. If you grow herbs, you can even show them how to use the plants they care for in the kitchen! 

      Feed Pets
      Having a pet is a huge responsibility, especially for a child. And when that child is too young to take a dog for a walk or clean out a litter box, feeding time is a great way to pitch in. Make it easier by providing a scooper, rather than lifting a heavy bag, and giving them a set number of scoops for how much food is needed. 

      Set the Table
      As dinner is cooking in the kitchen, have younger children take on the job of setting the table. A plate, utensils, a cup and a napkin at every seat is simple and easy. If the meal requires serving utensils (other than knives of course) or condiments, have them handle it so they understand where things are located and where they belong when it’s time to put them away. 

      Sweep the Floor
      A vacuum cleaner may be a bit heavy duty for a small child, but a broom is not. Similar to dusting, children will learn the nooks and corners that need to be swept for a deeper clean when you follow up with a vacuum. Also, since sweeping collects physical piles of dirt that need to be scooped up, kids may feel a sense of pride when they see what their hard work has accomplished.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.