How To Prepare Your Home For Thanksgiving


Everybody’s favorite feast is right around the corner! If this is your first year hosting Thanksgiving, you may be wondering how to best prepare for the big day. After all, there’s a lot that needs to be done. Just in case you need a few helpful tips, here are some things to consider when preparing your home for Thanksgiving:

  • Early Invites: Make sure you invite your guests as early as possible. The more people you know are going to be attending in advance, the better prepared you’ll be when it comes to budgeting your food and time.

  • Plan Menu Well In Advance: This is something you don’t want to leave until the last minute. Whether you’re doing a buffet style feast or a potluck, knowing exactly what’s being served will save you from a dreaded trip down to the grocery store on Thanksgiving morning.

  • Enlist Help: When it comes to cooking Thanksgiving dinner, you shouldn’t have to take on everything. There’s more to being a great host than doing everything for your guests. Enlist their help with small tasks that will end up giving you a large amount of support while limiting stress as well!

  • Prep Kitchen: Everyone knows a kitchen tends to get cluttered on Thanksgiving. Having all your ingredients, dishes, pots/pans all ready to go will make the actual cooking process go by a lot smoother.

  • Guest Prep: Aside from the food, the other great part about Thanksgiving is spending quality time with your family. Part of tending to your family/guests is making sure everybody is comfortable. That means games/entertainment for the kids, and maybe even a few games to play with the whole family later on in the evening. It’s always best to have a few socially engaging activities planned just in case.

Seattle Seahawks: Hawks Pay Heavy Price in Road Win in Phoenix



On Thursday night, the Hawks traveled to Arizona to take on their division rivals, the Arizona Cardinals. Even though the Hawks were without their All-Pro safety Earl Thomas, the defense came out in force holding the Cardinals to just 17 points and 290 total yards. As always, Kam Chancellor could be found all over the field making plays on the ball, including a few key stops that ended Cardinal drives dead in their tracks. The Russell Wilson to Doug Baldwin connection was also very successful for the Hawks offense, particularly on one 54-yard gain that had Wilson finding Baldwin for a miracle pass that put the Hawks in scoring position.

Being on a short week, many Hawks players were still recovering from injuries. Richard Sherman came into the game with some minor Achilles issues, but it got a lot worse when he went down after rupturing that same Achilles. Doctors say that Sherman will be out for the year, which is difficult not only from a position standpoint (as Sherman is one of the best corners in the game) but from an emotional standpoint as well. Sherman’s intensity and skill on the field will be greatly missed for the rest of the season, and the Hawks will need to find a way to stop teams while having other players that are injured and not playing as well.

Luckily, we have a longer break to recover until the next game which will be on Monday Night Football November 20th at 5:30 pm PST against the Atlanta Falcons. Go Hawks!

Fireplace Makeover Tips



As great as it is enjoying the beautiful outdoors here in the Pacific Northwest, the cold weather has started forcing everybody inside. For many, that means getting the fireplace ready for those social evenings with friends and family, and all joined around a fire. But if you’re not satisfied with its current condition and are instead looking to spruce it up, here are some makeover ideas that will have your fireplace looking better than ever:

  • Painted Brick: Traditionally, most fireplaces have featured the brick design in its natural form, but recently people have been painting the brick to reflect a more modern, contemporary look that compliments a similar design in the surrounding living space. Natural brick doesn’t match with too many modern design schemes, so painting it is a great way to not have your fireplace stand out as much from a color perspective.

  • Side Shelves: Some built-in shelves around the top and sides can really help compliment a fireplace. You can add photos or other pieces of art alongside it, and it will make your room look bigger and taller as a result.

  • Planked Wood Above: Installing planked wood above the fireplace is another way to make the area look bigger as a whole. Match the coloring of the wood panel to the surrounding tile color to really tie the room together.

  • Surrounding Tile: The tile your place around your fireplace really completes the entire aesthetic. After you’ve decided on a color for your brick and any surrounding shelves, consider installing tile with a similar/complementary color.

Seattle Seahawks: Redskins Pull Ahead at the End To Defeat Hawks



Well, that could have gone better. On Sunday afternoon, the Hawks faced off against a Washington Redskins team that was without ⅓ of their starters due to injury. Despite this and the fact that the Hawks had a dozen opportunities to score points, they still lost with the final score ending at 14-17.

The Seahawks yet again failed to gain any momentum or scoring in the first half from their offense. As has been the case all season, the Hawks relied heavily on their punt game. It didn’t help that new kicker Blair Walsh missed not one, not two, but THREE key field goals. That’s 9 points the Hawks left on the board, and it cost them dearly in the end.

In order to win out the rest of the season, the Hawks need to find a way to score points early on in the game. Too often do they rely on their defense to carry the offense through the entire game, only to save it all toward the end. That strategy can no longer be sustained. The Hawks coaching seems very suspect in games like this. For example, the Hawks called the famous “Super Bowl 49 Slant Pass” twice in today’s game, and both times it ended in interceptions. Whatever is going on, there seems to be some disconnect in the way this team performs on the field. We know it’s not because of the talent since our players are some of the most elite in the NFL, so what’s causing all these issues? The bottom line is that the Seahawks need to figure it out soon (and fast) if they want any shot at the Playoffs.

The Hawks also have a short week this week and face off against the division rival Arizona Cardinals down in Phoenix on Thursday, November 9th at 5:25 pm. As always, make sure you wear that blue all week in support of the Hawks! They need the 12s now more than ever!

Exterior Painting Tips for Autumn



Have you looked at your home lately and decided it needs a new paint job? Well, you might be thinking to yourself that it’s impossible at this time of year to get something like that done. After all, autumn usually brings more harsh weather to this area that can get in the way of a painting project. But luckily for you, painting the exterior of your home during fall is still possible! Here are a few tips to consider before you begin:

  • Plan Ahead: Weather won’t always be your ally. Check your local weather forecasts to make sure you have a high probability of painting without rain, sleet, or snow getting in the way of your work.

  • Quality > Price: Save yourself time reapplying paint later down the road. Buying better quality paint will ensure that you’re not repainting anything before you actually have to.

  • Sand/Wash: Rough/dirty surfaces will make it difficult for paint to stick. You’ll need to clean, trim, dry, and then sand the siding to create a solid surface for the paint to adhere.

  • Primer: Newer, more expensive paint that’s been released in recent years combines the paint and the primer into one container. Might be worth investing in if you don’t want to take the extra time to prime and sand before applying the rest of your paint.

  • Paint Top to Bottom: When you start at the top and work your way down, you’ll help control the streaks as you’ll be working with gravity rather than against it. Drips will still happen from time to time, but this will help limit unnecessary touch-ups later on.

Seattle Seahawks: Texans Fall to Hawks in Offensive Shootout



One thing you definitely can’t say in regards to Sunday’s game is that it was boring. While most Hawk games thus far have started off rather slowly, this game was completely different. Both the Hawks and Texans scored big points in the first half as the game ultimately became an offensive showdown. But thanks to a big final touchdown pass to Jimmy Graham in the closing minutes of the game, the Seahawks were able to walk away with a 41-38 victory.

The biggest takeaway from Sunday’s game is the skill and determination of Russell Wilson. He didn’t just have a good game, he had a fantastic game! Overall, Wilson accounted for 476 out of the 479 total yards for the Seahawks, with 452 passing and 30 rushing. On a day when our defense wasn’t able to bail out the offense like they usually do, Wilson stepped up in a big way and played what might be the best game of his career thus far.

Moving forward into the latter part of the season, the Seahawks need to figure out how to structure their offense. Up to this point, the Hawks have been a “run first, pass second” team. But yesterday, the Seahawks were only able to gain 3 whole yards of rushing on 16 attempts. The run game has been less-than-par ever since rookie Chris Carson suffered a season-ending injury. While Thomas Rawls has shown promise in the past, he just hasn’t managed to breakout successfully this year when running the football. In order to find success in the remaining games (and hopefully the postseason), the Hawks will need to show discipline and execute their plays effectively in every aspect of the game.

Next week, the Hawks travel back east to square-up against the Washington Redskins at 1:05pm PST. Be sure to wear that blue all week to show your support. And as always, Go Hawks!

Staging Your Home for Halloween


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Is your home listed for sale during the Halloween season? If it is, you may be wondering how exactly to stage it. While you may feel inclined to lean into the spooky Halloween decorating, that may not be the greatest idea if you want your home to sell. Here are some tips to consider if you’re staging your home during Halloween:

Things to Avoid:

  • Over-decorating: Even if Halloween is your favorite holiday, if you over-decorate your home while it’s being staged, some people might be put off and focus less on the home itself. If you’re going to decorate, it’s best to keep it simple.

  • Clutter: Make sure you eliminate a lot of the clutter around the property. Too many things scattered across the home draws attention away from what you’re trying to sell.

  • Cheap Items: Again, you don’t want your home/property associated with anything too extreme or cheap. Plastic tombstones and plastic spiders are fun, but they should be put away.

Good Alternatives:

  • General Fall Decor: Instead of Halloween decorating, try for something that’s more fall-based. Use a lot of natural materials like gourds, pumpkins, and fall colored leaves.

  • Plants: Ornamental cabbage and chrysanthemums are just a couple examples of good plant life to feature in your home during the fall season.

  • Assorted Items: Rustic planters, benches, wheelbarrows, and other antique tools go really well with a natural, Fall decor. But it’s important that you use them sparingly so that your property doesn’t end up looking like a junk pile.

Seattle Seahawks: Big Win In The Meadowlands as the Hawks Defeat the Giants



The bye week appeared to have served the Hawk on Sunday afternoon as they traveled east to play the New York Giants. The Seahawks started off the game with a traditionally slow start, only able to put 3 points on the board in the first half. But in the second half, the Hawks stepped on the gas offensively and made some big plays in the endzone, which lead to their 24-7 victory.

As has been the story for this season, the defense was critical in securing a victory. The Giants finished the game with only 177 yards of total offense. While it’s true that they were without their best player Odell Beckham Jr (who’s missing a large part of the season with an injury), the Hawks discipline made them efficient in forcing 3rd downs.

Doug Baldwin has been a vocal leader on this squad for a few years ago, and on Sunday afternoon he proved himself once again. As the Seahawks often find themselves in troubling situations early on in games, Baldwin always seems to stand out and execute when big plays are needed. Sunday showed that if that Seahawks want more continued success on offense, then they might need to lean on Baldwin a pit more in the passing game.

The Hawks face off against the Houston Texans next Sunday at 1:05pm PDT on CBS. Go Hawks!

Mid-Century Modern Waterfront Living



You’ll want to jump at the opportunity to own this brilliantly renovated mid-century modern masterpiece located at 472 W Lake Sammamish Pkwy NE in Bellevue!

Artfully positioned on a gorgeous, shy-acre waterfront property with 88’ of no bank waterfront, you’ll be able to drink in dreamy lake and mountain views from just about every vantage point! And that’s not all. The indoor space features a beautiful wide open floor plan with a mid-century modern aesthetic. You can dine alfresco on the lake view deck and walk down to a sandy beach, dock, and lift.

At this home, every day will feel like a vacation! With a great location that lives private but is still close to all of the great amenities in downtown Bellevue, Issaquah, and Redmond, you’ll be able to enjoy yourself in this wonderful 4 Bedroom 1.75 Bathroom property that has everything you need.

If you’re interested in this home or would like more information, please contact Margo Allan and view the listing page!

Home Inspections That Could Save Money


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Buying a new home usually comes with some degree of complication. All too often, people invest so much of their time, effort, and money in a home, only to find huge structural issues after the purchase. In order to cut down on any surprises that may befall you after moving day, here are some main inspections that could wind up saving you money down the road:

  • Plumbing: A home inspector will be able to look for leaks and perform tests to ensure that the water is running smoothly,  but they won’t be able to look inside the drain pipes to see if any problems reside there. Because of this, you may want to highly consider hiring a plumbing expert who will be able to use camera technology to look in your sewer lines for any issues. Cracked drain lines can cost upward of thousands of dollars, and that’s not an expense you want to be stuck with.

  • Asbestos: Most commonly found in popcorn ceilings, pipe insulation, or exterior siding, asbestos is a fibrous material that’s naturally occurring in some homes. Asbestos was used in a lot of building materials throughout the 20th century but was later discovered to be harmful when ingested by humans. A local environmental testing agency should be the one to perform the test.

  • Lead-Based Paint: If your home or property was built/painted before 1978, you may want to have a test conducted for lead-based paint. Although lead-based paint was banned in the US in 1978, there are still some homes across the country that could carry it. You can call in a professional or just buy a lead-test kit from any home improvement store and test it yourself.

  • Pests: There are certain wood-eating bugs that have the potential to cause tens of thousands of dollars of structural damage to your home if not taken care of. Termites, flying beetles, and carpenter ants are just a few of the culprits. Hiring a professional pest inspector to look into this is probably a good idea.