October Events

 

It has officially been six days of fall! It may still feel like summer in Florida, but the official first day of fall was last Wednesday, September 23rd. Even if it is still a bit warm out, we are thinking about apple cider, pumpkin spice everything, pumpkin patches, and fall festivals.Hewlett-Packard

Below are links to a few well-known events in the Tampa Bay Area and surrounding counties:


Hunsader Farms-
Event Dates: 10/10, 11, 17, 18, 24th, and the 25th.

Every year, Hunsader Farms hosts a large event for all ages. Pumpkin patch, craft fair, food, mazes, hay ride, and various information booths. There is something for everyone and will you keep you busy the whole day! You leave feeling like it is truly fall time! For more information, visit their website: Hunsader Farms

Boyd Hill Autumn Fest-Event Date: 10/17

Also every year but much more simple. If you want the Fall festival feel but something much smaller and with some more specific kid-friendly events, this is the festival to attend!

Boyd Hill Monthly Event Calendar

Zoo Boo at Lowry Park Zoo- Event Dates: varies throughout October

This year debuts the all new ZooBoo kids which allows the whole family to enjoy the holiday in a non-frightful and fun way.

ZooBoo Kids

Oktoberfest in Tampa-Event Date: 10/9, 10, and the 11th

3-day event full of family-friendly fun!

Oktober Fest at Curtis Hixon Park

For other events happening throughout Florida, visit the following link:

Tampa Bay Times October Fun Events

Painting the Exterior of Your Home

color-791622_1280Painting the outside of a home can feel daunting-from choosing the right color scheme to deciding whether to do it yourself or hire a professional. Below are some considerations and tips as you make your final decision:

Deciding on a Color Scheme

  1. Take a walk and observe the colors of your neighbors’ homes. You want your home to make sense with the rest of the neighborhood. You may also find some inspiration on what color to paint your home.
  2. If you have a much older home, the time period that the home was built can help with the color palette decision. Depending on where you live, you may need to discuss with the historical society in your neighborhood. They may have suggestions on which colors will complement the “Victorian” or “Queen Anne” style of your home.
  3. There are multiple tools out there that can help you visualize the color scheme. You can take a picture of your home, upload it to the site, and pick the potential colors to get an idea of what you may want. Many name-brand paint companies will provide this tool.
  4. Once you decide, paint a few large swatches on the side of your home. Give it a couple of days to see how it looks. Sun, weather, shade, and even the landscaping of your home can effect the color.

To Hire a Professional or DIY?

Once you have decided on a paint color, it’s time to decide whether you want to tackle it yourself or hire a professional. If tackling it yourself, there are plenty of great resources to help you plan and accomplish your goal. Below are a few resources to help:

Tips from a Pro

How to Paint The Exterior of Your Home

Ten Things To Know When Painting The Exterior of Your Home

Whether you are painting your home to freshen its look or to add curb appeal to sell, it’s important to research, test out paint, and take the time before committing to such an impactful project.

 

Decluttering the Home

It’s September and many are thinking and dreaming of fall. In Florida, we are especially hopeful of slightly cooler weather. It’s almost time to pack away summer and bring out the fall. As you do, consider decluttering and organizing your home.

Try not to tackle decluttering your home in one day. It will be overwhelming, exhausting, and you may not want to finish. Pick one room of your home per weekend to focus on. This will help to truly organize. Speaking of organization, don’t purchase storage containers until after you have decluttered and can take a full inventory of what kind of storage will work for you.

Below are a few ideas to help get you started:

  • In the Kitchen, look for expired spices. Even if the container is full, toss it if it’s expired. It will have lost its flavor anyway. If you have a blender that’s been taking up cabinet space for two years and never been used, time to give it away. Donate or toss anything that you do not use and is taking up unnecessary space.
  • For the bathroom, toss any expired medicine, old nail polish, and old make-up. The bathroom will instantly feel bigger.
  • In your closet, get rid of clothes you have not worn in years. You will thank yourself when you can better see and reach the clothes you do enjoy wearing.

When thinking of the space in your home, it’s important that it is a place that functions for you and allows you to truly enjoy it. As the weather begins to cool in the next month or so, you will be thankful when you can sit on your couch, cozy up with a warm drink, and enjoy a decluttered and organized home.

Labor Day Weekend!

Labor Day was first established in the late 1800’s and commemorates the contributions that American workers have put into continuing the strength and well-being of the country. Labor Day also kicks off the football season, school season, and fall. Retailers will often have great sales to celebrate the labor day weekend.

Click on the link below to see what events are happening in Tampa Bay:

Tampa Bay Times Labor Day Weekend Events

Happy Celebrations!Fireworks_-_Adelaide_Skyshow_2010

Researching Before The Big House Searching

Ah, the first day of September. For most places, the weather will be getting cooler. For Florida, that simply means a few more weeks of barbecues and pool time. However, the pumpkin spice lattes will be available soon, school has begun, and the Fall decor is ready to be purchased at the store. Regardless of the temperature, it’s almost Fall time and maybe you are beginning to think about your move in the spring or early summer. Now is a good time to do some research before you begin the big search.

Purchasing a home is a difficult decision and it’s important to take your time, but also remember that no home will be perfect. When looking at older homes, remember that there will be quirks such as hidden closets, not much storage space and extra repairs such as plumbing and windows. Newer homes won’t necessarily be perfect either, the design may be beautiful, but no one has been living in it yet. Be prepared for both small issues such as the sink faucet needing to be replaced to potential big ones  (again, plumbing issues). There is hope that with a newer home, there will be no issues, but it is best to be prepared.

If you feel certain about a home, ask your realtor to show it to you again. Open every door, look under rugs, sit down and take in the room. Sometimes when we first see a home we love, we quickly dream of spending holidays in the family room, hosting dinners in the dining room, or reading by the window. We forget to notice all the quirks and possible fixes in the home. Drive by the home at different times of the day to get a good feel of the neighborhood.

Once you do make an offer, make sure to get an inspector with great credentials and be present on the day of the inspection. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, even ones that seem silly. This is your future home and you want to make sure you know what to expect and that you can comfortably make it into your home.

House hunting can be fun but also overwhelming. No house is perfect, but there is definitely a house out there that can be your home.

Back to School Week!

Reflective_LED_school_zone_signThis week begins back to school for many in Florida. Whether you are a parent or not, that means school zones will be active during the morning and possible afternoon commutes. If you are not rushed for time, then the momentarily slow drive may come of no bother, but if you are, it may be a good idea to plan ahead for alternative routes. If you pass by school zones on your commute, look for other ways that will not slow your commute. If you will continue to go through a school zone, pay close attention to the signs, cones, and crossing guards to know when to slow down and when you have passed the school zone. Most school zone speed limits begin 20-30 minutes prior to the start of the school day, so between 8am-9:30am, depending on if you will be passing an elementary or middle school. High school zones typically begin around 6:30-7:15am. The afternoons are also busy between 2-3pm and again around 4pm.

Drive safe and happy school year!

Making the Most of Your Morning Routine

The morning has come once again. The alarm plays a sound. You hit snooze. It plays again. You hit snooze. Finally, ten minutes have passed and you quickly and frantically hop out of bed. Time to get out the door!

Below are some tips on how to make the morning routine more enjoyable:

  1. If you can, get more sleep. We are told time and time again, sleep is so important for all ages. But if not, thankfully there is coffee.
  2. Speaking of coffee, set your coffee pot the night before. There is something so beautiful and sweet to waking up to the percolating rhythms of the the coffee maker. Prepare other things the night before-such as lunches, your outfit, and any important documents needed for the day. Have them ready and set for you in the morning.
  3. Create a morning playlist. Something that will help perk you up and gradually help you feel ready for the day.
  4. If you shower in the morning, consider getting a timer to help you stick to the time you need to get out the door.
  5. Remember to eat breakfast! Even if it is on the go!

Morning routines can help to create a positive outlook for the rest of the day by having time to get yourself physically and mentally ready. Here’s to happy mornings!

So Much To Do, But Never Enough Time

Every one needs more time and no one has enough of it. Time management is important during the day but who has time to read about it? Below are some quick tips to help.

  1. Lists. List out what needs to get done and how your day will look. Find what works for you- be it a notebook, planner, journal, and/or sticky notes.
  2. Calendar. Write events and even daily to-do’s on a calendar. If you physically write it down, you are more likely to remember it. However, there is convenience in having everything on an electronic calendar (the advantage is that you can see it from work, home, on your phone, or even share the information with a spouse).
  3. Set priorities. Label what’s the most important right now to accomplish.
  4. Place time limits. How long do you expect checking your e-mails for work to take?
  5. Think about what you can accomplish while waiting. At a doctor’s appointment? Send those two needed e-mails. Waiting in line at the deli? Quickly read to the article your boss sent you earlier that day.

There is no perfect way to balance life and work and to manage time. But taking small steps is always helpful!

Back to School Season Begins Today!

This weekend begins “Back to school season” as Florida offers yet another tax-free weekend. This year the dates are from August 7th to the 16th. The tax free applies to certain clothing items below $100, some school supplies under $15, and even certain technology items. Local stores will have more specific information for buyers.

This can be a great time to get yourself and your children ready for the new school year! Shopping has never been easier as there are countless online and in-store options to fit your needs. It’s helpful to google the specific stores you want and savings the stores may offer. This makes comparison shopping and savings so much easier! Finding great deals and savings is a great to start off the school year!

Triple Pane Power

While our double-pane windows offer superb energy efficiency, our triple-pane products are even better! Triple-pane windows from A1 Windows and Doors consist of three panes of glass, two low-emissivity (or Low-E) coatings, argon or krypton gas between the panes, and a choice of our metal PPG Intercept spacer or our structural foam Super Spacer.A1’s top-of-the-line triple-pane windows achieve some of the best NFRC ratings in the industry.

It’s imperative to select a triple-glass system that’s tailored for your climate region. Our wide array of triple-glass configurations — which can include your choice of several spacers, inert gas options, and several different Low-E coatings — allows you to choose the option that’s just right for your home. This will ensure that you receive the full benefits of our triple-pane windows, including a more comfortable and draft-free home and lower energy costs.

While triple pane windows aren’t able to be manufactured as hurricane windows, that doesn’t mean they are just for those who live inland. You can pair your triple pane windows with hurricane screens or shutters from A1 to still meet the update Florida Building Code requirements and keep your home safe in the event of a hurricane.