Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tis the Season!

        I woke up today and looked outside and there was a pretty, thin layer of white.  I had to go out early to turn my car on so it could heat up and still had to scrape off my car (because I was too lazy to move it into the garage last night).  All that being said, this is still one of my favorite times of the year.  As soon as Halloween is out of the way, all I start to think about is first Thanksgiving and then Christmas.  I think of all the traditions that I get to start with my daughter and all of the things that made the holidays special to me. 

                There is such a combination of things that get me into the holiday spirit including the music, cheesy movies, weather (it might get me in the spirit but I didn’t say I necessarily liked it), and decorations.  Lately I have been on a decoration kick! We are now in a new house and this will be our first Christmas in it.  I don’t have that many decorations for this house and I am on a budget so trying to figure out how I am going to decorate it cheaply has been interesting.  I have recently become a very big fan of pinterest.  I know some people will read this and completely agree with me and others will be rolling their eyes thinking “she’s one of thooose people”.  Well I will tell you that if you take the time to actually use some of the ideas on their, it can be a very helpful tool!  I have found several different ideas for ways to decorate my house on a budget and tried one of them this last weekend.

                Someone had posted a picture of a really pretty glittery gold glass jar.  I thought that would be a great idea to put some spruce tips in them and use them either as a centerpiece for the table or to decorate the fireplace mantle with.  I already have several glass jars laying around so I didn’t have to worry about buying any of those (if you have any condiment jars this is a great way to recycle them!).  I went to Jo-Anne Fabric for the other supplies (you could go to a Michael’s or any other craft store).  Here I bought a can of spray adhesive (between $6 and $11 depending on the size of can) and 4 different colors of glitter for $5 each.  I also bought some ribbon that I will be using on another project as well although that is optional.

                Once I got home I laid some old newspaper out on the table, got my glass jars, glitter, spray adhesive, ribbon, and scissors.  All you need to do it spray the adhesive inside the jar and then pour a liberal amount of glitter inside.  Shake it so the glitter gets evenly distributed and then pour the rest back into the glitter container (it doesn’t take much glitter).  For the darker colors you might need to repeat the process. This whole process only takes a couple minutes, so it is quick, easy, and cheap!

Written by Melissa Bye

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Annual Pumpkin Giveaway

We had another great turnout for our Annual Pumpkin giveaway! It turned out to be a beautiful fall day, cool and crisp; a perfect day for pumpkins, cider, and seeing great people!  We had it at Cal’s market in Savage and were again happy with the service they have provided for us.  They are always friendly and helpful and do anything they can to make our event go well.  They provided the petting zoo with baby goats and calves; apparently goats eat pumpkins,J as well as the haunted house maze which the kids all seemed to enjoy. 

We were so happy to see all the people who came and hope those who couldn’t make it will be able to join us all again next year.  We had a lot of fun prizes not only for the kids, but some cash prizes for the adults as well. Between the food, prizes, and free pumpkins we hope everyone was able to enjoy it as much as we did!

Come and checkout all of the fun we had by checking out the pictures at our Facebook.com/jamrealty page! It was a great time for everyone to catch up and an inexpensive way to get out of the house and enjoy the beautiful fall that Minnesota offersJ

We want to thank everyone who came for coming and we hope you will all join us again next year!

Written By: Melissa Bye

Monday, October 7, 2013

Fall Fun

When the air starts getting that cool crisp feeling to it and you start smelling fires burning in the fireplace, you know it is once again fall in Minnesota.  Every year I go back and forth trying to figure out whether spring or fall is my favorite season.  In the spring, I always say spring, and in the fall, I always say fall.  Well this year seems to be no different. I love having fires in the fireplace, driving down the MN roads seeing all the beautiful colors, and bringing out all the decorations of fall:) 

My daughter is now 2 and a half years old and I am trying to start new traditions with her that will hopefully last into adulthood.  One of those traditions is finding a great apple orchard to take her to where we can pick our own apples, go on a tractor ride, and just have a great family experience.  We went to one a couple years ago (I will not name names) and we found it lacking.  It was so commercialized it didn't even feel like you were at an apple orchard, so this year when Jenna told me about Parley Lake Winery we decided to give it a shot. We were not disappointed!

Parley Lake Winery is located in Waconia, which for some might be a bit of a drive (it was about an hour drive for us, but we are in more of the southeast metro) but it was well worth it! Plan on going there and making an afternoon of it if you can.  You can bring lunch and make it a picnic or you can get a pizza that they make outside in the fire truck where they converted the back end into a pizza oven (So cool!).  They also have an area where you can see and pet a variety of animals.  When you get there you can go into the large barn where they have an assortment of jams, butters, etc... to buy, apple tastings so you can decide which apples you would like to pick, and apples already in bags if you don't have the time to go and pick yourselves.  If you go up to the counter you can purchase a bag to take with you on your picking expedition.  Then you can either go out and wait for a tractor to take you to the trees that are in season, or you can make the walk out yourself (its a beautiful trail no matter which way you chose to enjoy it).  My daughter LOVES tractors, so of course we took the tractor ride:)

When we got back from the apple picking we decided to do some wine sampling! It was $5 for 4 tastings or $10 for 8 and you get to keep the glass.  The wine was great and my daughter loved the little crackers they gave you. 

The overall experience here was fantastic.  We had such a good time and there were things to do for both children and adults!  There is also a lot to be said about the overall picture the winery presents.  They have it decorated and ready for fall and the old barns they house the store, bar, and samplings in is simply charming. 

If you decide you want to visit an orchard and start your own traditions, I would highly suggest the Parley Lake Winery.  If you need any suggestions for what to do with your apples once you have them, the I would highly suggest this Carmel Apple Crisp recipe.  I found it on pinterest and it is incredibly easy to make and tastes like something you got at a restaurant!

Written by Melissa Bye

Friday, September 20, 2013

Fall Bucket List

Last night was the first night in quite some time I went to sleep leaving the windows open throughout my apartment. I woke up feeling so refreshed with the crisp fall air pouring in. It was nothing short of magical. I promptly brewed a cup of caramel drizzle coffee, lit a pumpkin spice candle, and pulled out some of my fall d├ęcor that has been hiding in the closet for a year. I don't think there is a season us Minnesotans appreciate more than fall. Though I can't quite admit I'm ready for summer to be over, I do love fall more than anything.

Since summer flew by faster than I had expected, I started thinking about all the things I wanted to do but never quite got to because there just weren't enough weekends. This prompted me to think about all the things I want to do this fall, and I quickly started a new note on my iPhone so I wouldn't forget about them. After all, since this season is just kicking off I actually have time to get to everything on my list!

Here's a few of the activities on my list:

  1. Visit Parley Lake Winery - Some of my girlfriends and I visited this winery/apple orchard last fall, and I can honestly say that day was one of the highlights of my year. Is there anything better than a perfect fall day, your girlfriends, and wine? We loved it so much, we've actually planned to go back next Saturday, and I couldn't be more excited!
  2. Have a BBQ - I can't host one myself, but I've got plenty of friends who can. 
  3. Go to the Minneapolis Farmers Market - This is something I failed to do this summer, and it maybe actually be more enjoyable with the cooler weather. I am some what of a health fanatic, and loading up on fresh produce excites me. Plus, I live less than two miles from the Lyndale Ave market, so there are no reasons for me not to make at least one stop on a Saturday morning.
  4. Walk around the Chain of Lakes - This is something I do on a regular basis regardless, since Cedar Lake, Lake of the Isles, and Lake Calhoun are all less than a mile from me. I'd like to do it even more, so I can soak up as much fresh air as possible before I hibernate for the winter months. Especially once the leaves start to change.
  5. Sit by the fire -  I'm not really sure where I could check this off the list other than back at my parents house, so good thing I'm headed there this weekend. I know my dad will be more than willing to have some drinks, roast some marshmallows, and relax by the fire on Saturday night.
  6. Get ice cream from Sebastian Joe's - Whether its the Linden Hills or Franklin Ave location, I've got to get one last cold treat before it's too cold.
  7. Dinner on the patio - Dinner, drinks, coffee, lunch, etc. There are countless patios to enjoy in Minneapolis, and again, I'd like to get to as many as possible before it's too cold.

What's on your fall bucket list?
Written by Jenna Maxfield

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Parade of Homes

Parade of Homes

It’s that time of year again! Parade of Homes books are out and it starts September 7th and goes through September 29th.  The homes will be on display Thursday through Sunday noon to 6pm.  Whether you are looking for a new home to buy or just want to have a fun day of looking at million dollar listings, this is something free and fun to do! You can pick up a Parade of Homes book from your local Holiday for free.

 You can also visit their Dream Homes.  These are listings that are typically over $1 million and have some sort of unique features.  They cost $5 to get in but it is a tax-deductible admission that helps the BATC Foundation continue their work building and remodeling homes for deserving families, so you can be happy knowing it is going towards a good cause! (The rest of the homes are free to get in) The three Dream Homes are located in Chaska, Wayzata, and Afton. 

You can visit www.paradeofhomes.org for more information.
Written by Melissa Bye

Monday, August 19, 2013

Looking for a house?

Looking for a home and not having any luck on the public websites?  We offer a great feature at our website that updates every few minutes with any changes, new listings, etc...  Click on our website www.jamrealty.com and you will see a map at the top of the page.  All you have to do is create an account or login, and then select to the right of the screen what criteria is important to you, whether it is the number of bedrooms and baths, the sq footage, price, or all of them!

One great feature that you won't find on the other websites is the lifestyle feature.  If you want to find a place that is within a certain distance to lets say your church, you can enter your church and it will give you the listings within whatever geographical distance away you enter.  You can also enter things such as coffee shops, restaurants, golf courses, etc...  Not only can you look for a place within a certain city, but this way you can see what is available in the neighborhoods you are looking in without even going out of your house!

If you find a place you would like to see, all you have to do is click on the "Schedule Showing" and we will get a showing set up for you!

There is also a feature for those of you looking to sell a house and would like to know how much your house could be listed for.  If you select the green value icon on the right side of the screen, you can enter your address and request a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA).  We would then be able to get back to you with the comparable's in the area and an idea of what your house would most likely be able to sell for.  

Whether you are a buyer or a seller this website can help you find the right house in the right location or help aid you in your decision to sell. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Money magazines 50 Best Places to Live

Money magazine has come out with their 50 top places to live in 2013.  3 towns in Minnesota made the list and the results may surprise you!  Chanhassen made number 4, no real surprise there, however, Apple Valley made number 17 and Savage made number 21! If you want to read the reasons behind these towns making the list just go ahead and visit Money Magazines website.  You can also check out what other towns around the country made the list.

Written by Melissa Bye