How To Open Your Pool

Spring is in full bloom and this can mean a lot of things for many different people. For example, if you own a pool you’re surely thinking (probably dreading) about opening it for the season. There is nothing like watching all your loved ones enjoying its crisp coolness but they don’t know how much work goes into getting it ready. I am here to bring optimism to the equation and tell you that opening your pool doesn’t have to be as horrible as you anticipate. I came across this great article from Popular Mechanics that will definitely help guide you in your efforts. I’ve highlighted a couple of steps below. 

1) Don’t Empty Your Pool 

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According to the article, you should never have to completely empty your pool of the water that had been sitting from the past season. Exceptions to this include if you neglected to cover it or if you need to do any actual construction work to it. Why you ask? Apparently, if you remove all of the water you could run the risk of your pool lifting since it doesn’t have the weight of the water to hold it down. What that ultimately might result in is you needed to replace the whole thing.

2) Cleaning Your Pool and Water

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The most basic way to start cleaning your pool and its water is by buying a chemical opening kit, or by shocking it. Then, change all the filtration systems and clear all of the baskets. You should also take this time to remove any plugs you may have put in place last year. During this step you should still have your pool cover on.

3) Refilling Your Pool 

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If your pool is running low on water, feel free to top it off at this time. However, this should only be done after you have replaced your filters. Once your pool is filled to the desired amount, you can take a sample to your local pool store where they will test it for you. Some places do it for free, but if not, don’t skip this step because it is super important to make sure your water is swim ready otherwise it could be dangerous.

4) Get Ready for Fun in the Sun 

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Your pool’s filter should be cleaned daily until the water appears clear. A ready pool means that you can see the bottom without any issues. You may need to continuously add chlorine to help you reach the perfect balance.

5) Dive In

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Once the water is completely clear and all of the water levels are good you can take off the cover. Taking it off any sooner may prove counterproductive as debris may disrupt your process. Once you’ve gotten to this point, invite the neighborhood (well maybe not the whole neighborhood) and enjoy your summer!

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Unique DIY Easter Crafts

If you’re like me, then you can’t wait for Easter. When I was younger, I thought that dying eggs was so cool. The only thing that could possibly trump it was the hunt that ensued in the backyard afterwards. But as I’ve gotten older, dare I say it, dying eggs has gotten a little repetitive. So when I stumbled upon this great article from Country Living titled, “29 Easy Easter Crafts,” I knew that it was something that needed to be shared. Take a look at a few of the most unique, Easter themed, do-it-yourself projects I’ve ever seen. 

Ombre Eggs 

Easter 1 Unique DIY Easter Crafts

If you live on planet Earth, chances are you’ve heard the word ombre mentioned once or twice. Its popularity surfaced mainly because of the ombre hairstyle, but I think I like ombre eggs better.

Papier-Mâché Egg Nests 

Easter 2 Unique DIY Easter Crafts

Papier-Mâché definitely brings me back to the joys of second grade, or was it third? It may be messy but the outcome, this adorable bird’s nest, makes it all worth it.

Edible Easter Wreath 

Easter 3 Unique DIY Easter Crafts

Jordan Almonds are something I grew up eating, this is a fun and affordable way put a spin on the classic candy.

Decorative Boxes 

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These small cardboard boxes can be found at any craft store. If you look closely, the eggs painted in white on the box above are actually little finger prints. Who wouldn’t love to receive such a cute customized gift, filled with their favorite treats?

Bunny Ears

Easter 5 Unique DIY Easter Crafts

I am not ashamed to say that I would love to make a pair of these Easter bunny ears. Make enough for the whole family and take advantage of a picture perfect moment.

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4 Last Minute Simple St Patrick’s Day Dinner Ideas

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! If you are looking for a fun way to celebrate with family and friends tonight then you are in luck. Here are 4 easy to make dinner ideas that will make your guests want to do the Irish jig.

Mini Shepard’s Pies

shepards 4 Last Minute Simple St Patricks Day Dinner Ideas

I made this dish last year for my family and they went crazy! Little did they know they are super simple to make. Get the recipe here.

Pesto Shamrocks

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This one is fool proof. Boil tortellini, arrange three in a bunch and add a piece of broccoli for the stem. You can add a little pesto for the sauce. Inspired by meaningfulmama.com.

 

Zucchini Pasta With Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce

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**Healthy Alert** If you are looking for a healthy dish then this is the way to go. (The entire dish is only 329 calories) Get the recipe here.

Easy Corned Beef

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You can’t mention food on St Patty’s Day without mentioning this classic dish. Get this awesome crockpot corned beef recipe here.

Enjoy!

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The Loveliest Rooms You’ve Ever Seen

When you think of Valentine’s Day only two colors come to mind…red and pink. We think you will absolutely love these homes we picked for Valentine’s Day and invite you to share your own red/pink decor with us on Instagram. You can tag us with @coldwellbanker.

1. Beverly Hills, CA 

Red 8 e1392045422536 The Loveliest Rooms Youve Ever Seen

This Coldwell Banker Previews International property is listed for $6,950,000.

2. Bellevue, WA

Red 10 e1392045913323 The Loveliest Rooms Youve Ever Seen

This Coldwell Banker Previews International property is listed for $1,848,000.

3. San Francisco, CA

Red 9 e1392045524473 The Loveliest Rooms Youve Ever Seen

Listed by Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage for $6,850,000.

4. San Francisco, CA

Red 6 e1392045094930 The Loveliest Rooms Youve Ever Seen

Listed by Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage for $6,850,000.

5. Paris, France 

Red 5 e1392044986354 The Loveliest Rooms Youve Ever Seen

This Coldwell Banker Previews International property is listed for $7,226,020.

6. Miami Beach, FL

Red 4 e1392044868218 The Loveliest Rooms Youve Ever Seen

This Coldwell Banker Previews International property is listed for $29,900,000.

7. Lake Forest, IL

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This Coldwell Banker Previews International property is listed for $6,250,000.

8. Guilford, CT

Red 2 e1392044641964 The Loveliest Rooms Youve Ever Seen

Listed by Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage for $6,850,000.

9. Phoenix, AZ

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This Coldwell Banker Previews International property is listed for $4,000,000. 

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The Perfect Gift Ideas For Your Loved One This Valentine’s Day

One of the best parts about Valentine’s Day is that it is a chance to show your love to the ones you care about. In my opinion, one of the best ways to express sentiment is through personalized gifts. There is nothing like receiving a present that you know took thought. Check out the ideas below for some gifting inspiration this holiday!

1. A Fresh Bouquet of Flowers

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A custom arrangement with your loved one’s favorite flowers is one of the most perfect gifts, for any occasion. Try getting different sized vases, like the one above, to switch it up. This design can transition beautifully as a centerpiece at home.

Photo via Real Simple

2. A Hand Written Love Letter 

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Handwritten notes, whether they come from your significant other or not, are by far my favorite gift to receive. I’ve saved every card I’ve ever gotten and when I have time I love to reread them. I store them in a beautiful box that also acts as a decorative piece in my bedroom.

Photo via Minico.co.uk

3. Sweet Treats That Can Be Shared 

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Valentine’s Day is just one of those holidays that you have to splurge on some sweets. Take away some of the guilt by sharing it with your partner.

Photo via Food & Wine

4. Frame Your Favorite Photos 

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I am so guilty of taking TONS of photos and NEVER developing them. This year one of my resolutions was to frame, or at least create albums of, my favorite photos. My pictures mean the world to me because they’ve captured my loved ones and I in our most happiest moments, displaying them is an instant pick me up.

Photo via HomeGoods

5. A Subscription to their Favorite Magazine 

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Who doesn’t love a good read? Having your loved one’s favorite magazine come to your home once a month is truly the gift that keeps on giving. It truly is a simple pleasure.

Photo via Elle Decor

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Would You Date Someone Who Lives with Their Parents?

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and Cupid’s arrow is about to strike. With more millennials living at home after graduation, this begs the question – would you date someone who lives with their parents?

Coldwell Banker Real Estate surveyed 2,000+ Americans, and found that the majority of Americans (72 percent) are okay with dating someone who is living with mom and dad.  Not surprisingly, this is especially true among those ages 18-29 (80 percent), considering millennials think it’s perfectly fine to live at home for up to five years after college.

“Today’s dating habits are evolving as living with your parents is becoming the norm,” says Dr. Robi Ludwig, leading psychotherapist and Coldwell Banker Real Estate lifestyle correspondent. “There is now less of a stigma around living with mom and dad, which has led to dating someone in this situation to be more acceptable. The boomerang phenomenon is directly impacting the way in which we view dating and the relationships that transpire from these arrangements.”

When it comes to the battle of the sexes, men should take heed – 37 percent of women say that they would not date someone who lives with their parents compared to 18 percent of menthat’s more than double. While men seem to be more forgiving in their dating standards, moving out into one’s own pad may be the key to a flourishing love life.

“For those who are in this living arrangement, it’s important to set a plan to eventually transition to the next phase of their lives,” adds Dr. Ludwig.

So while it’s okay to spoil your sweetheart with flowers and chocolates on February 14, it may be wiser to start looking for that love shack – with the help of Coldwell Banker, of course!

 The full survey results can be viewed here

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A Romantic Getaway in France’s Countryside

France is EASILY the most romantic place in the world. Whether you stay in the City of Lights or visit the countryside, you can’t help but feel the love in the air. When I first made the trip a couple years ago I was delighted by the stunning architecture, mouthwatering food, and unique people. I dream about the day I will be able to return to France. In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, the universal holiday of romance, we spotlighted one of of our listings that we think truly captures the cute, flirty, and fun spirit of the day. 

Located in the suburb of Meudon, France, this luxury home is just minutes from all the best attractions the big city has to offer. With 3,660 square feet, 6 bedrooms, and 3 bathrooms the house has just the right amount of space. Designers nailed it when they decided to enhance the home’s original features with beautiful and bright decor. Check out the photos below:

Doesn’t this entrance look like something out of a fairy tale?

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Gather by the piano for a little serenade… 
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Relax in bed while admiring the unique pop of pink on the wall…
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Wake up to this beautiful view while enjoying a delicious croissant… Valentines 1 e1391787964728 A Romantic Getaway in Frances Countryside

What better way to enjoy the day than outside… 
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Slideshow: Show Stealing Properties from Seattle and Denver

The connection we all have to home and our hometown truly dictates the core of who we are. Although I moved away from where I was born and raised by age ten, my old neighborhood lives on in my heart and memories. Some of the happiest and most character building moments took place in that first house whose features will surely be etched in my brain forever. Luckily, I didn’t move too far away so I can always visit my family and friends.

However, when one is a professional athlete, that luxury isn’t always promised. Often times, they are traded to cities they’ve never even been to. It is then up to them to make the most of their adopted hometowns, which I am sure is tremendously challenging.

In light of hometowns and the upcoming “BIG GAME” that starts with an s, we thought it would be fun to construct a compilation of 10 beautiful properties from both Seattle and Denver.

1. Puget Sound and Olympic Mountain Views- $2,980,000

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Three bedrooms, five bathrooms, and 5,760 square feet.

2. A Grand, Yet Intimate Home- $2,650,000

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Four bedrooms, four bathrooms.

3.  Neo-Liberal Style Water Front Property- $2,388,000

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Five bedrooms, five bathrooms, and 5,260 square feet.

4. Contemporary Design at it’s Best- $1,575,000

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Five bedrooms, five bathrooms, and 3,814 square feet.

5. Beauty and Distinction on the Water- $1,275,000

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One bedroom, two bathrooms, and 1,380 square feet.

6. A Bright and Open Floor Plan- $1,457,000

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Three bedrooms, four bathrooms, 3,720 square feet.

7. A Brand New Build with the Hottest Amenities- $599,000

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Four bedrooms, four bathrooms.

8. A Fine Upscale Aboad in the City’s Center- $989,9999

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Three bedrooms, four bathrooms.

9. A Beautiful Traditional Style Retreat- $1,297,500 

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Five bedrooms, six bathrooms.

10. No Expense was Sparred for this Custom Estate- $1,950,000

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Five bedrooms, eight bathrooms, 7,749 square feet.

Enjoy the game and may the best team win!

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14 Lovely Valentine’s Day Decorating Ideas

January is almost over which means Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Get your house ready for the loveliest day of the year with these 14 Valentine’s Day decorating ideas.

Entry Table Chalk Board

Great for a countdown until kisses or daily love notes.

entry 14 Lovely Valentines Day Decorating Ideas

via http://makeitluxe.blogspot.com/

Heart Mirror

Something you can leave up year round.

heartmirror 14 Lovely Valentines Day Decorating Ideas

via decorativecountryliving.com

XO Pillows

Perfect to add a little touch of love to your bedroom decor.

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via Anthropologie

A Conversation Hearts Vase

The best part? You can eat your decor on Feb 15th!

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via pandahall.com

VDay Runner

We love the runner but how delicious do those macaroons look?!

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via founterior.com

Love Placemat

Perfect for a romantic dinner at home.

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via icandy-handmade.com

XO Wreath

Spread the love in your neighborhood.

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via etsy.com

Wall Art Cottage Sign

Another great piece that can be left up all year round.

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via fashion.allwomenstalk.com

Drinking Glasses

These glasses are so sweet.

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Heart Dishes

What is Valentine’s Day without candy? Serve up your goodies in style.

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via PotteryBarn.com

Valentine’s Mantle

Add a little love to the focal point in the room.

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via chiconashoestringdecorating.blogspot.com/

Picture Frame

This also makes a great gift.

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via etsy.com

Dish Towels

A simple, subtle way to add a little Vday decor into your kitchen.

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via somewhatsimple.com

Lalique Rouge Amour Vase

This luxurious vase is a good reminder to bring flowers home :)vase 14 Lovely Valentines Day Decorating Ideas

via crystalclassics.com

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3 Snow Day Essentials for Kids

There are four little words that kids long to hear during cold months…

Schools Closed Snow Day

Now for those in warmer states, like Florida for example, you may not be able to relate but trust me when I heard these words as I kid I felt like I hit the jackpot! A snow day at home means sleeping in, having hot chocolate and of course, the best part, playing in the snow!

If you grew up before 2000, I am sure you will agree that the only toy that really mattered on a snow day was a good sled. Well my friends, things have changed. Each year my cousin Tracey makes Christmas shopping super easy because she tells me exactly what my cousins Matthew and Patrick want.  This year they had a snow ball and snow brick maker on the list and I must say they are actually pretty cool toys. In addition to these I also found Sno-Markers which I have a feeling I will end up getting for them as well. Check out these awesome toys that have have now become essentials for a good snow day at home.

Snow Ball Maker

snow 3 Snow Day Essentials for Kids

For less than $10 this product has some pretty awesome benefits.

1) Makes up to 60 perfect snow balls per minute. (Um, wow!)

2) Obvious but eliminates cold, wet hands

3) Snowballs disintegrate on contact so they won’t hurt like ordinary hand-packed snow balls

Proof that it works!

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Patrick was a snowball making machine with his new gift!

Get it on Amazon

Sno-Brick Maker for Building Winter Snow Walls, Igloos and Castles

snowblock 3 Snow Day Essentials for Kids

I’m sure this existed when I was a kid but until my cousins asked for it I had never heard of a snow block maker. Needless so say I am jealous I missed out on this awesome little invention. I was pretty excited to see the boys laying down a nice foundation. Check it out in action!

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Patrick and Matthew testing out their new toys.

Get it on Amazon

Sno Art Kit

snowart 3 Snow Day Essentials for Kids

What is a child artist to do when sidewalk chalk isn’t an option? They use sno-markers!

Get it on ToysRUs.com Here

Do you know of any other cool snow toys? Let us know about them in the comments section.

 

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