Consumer Real Estate News

  • A Family Favorite in Just 5 Minutes

    28 September 2022

    ( Running short on time from a busy schedule shouldn’t mean skipping out on your favorite desserts. In fact, it should be all the more reason to enjoy a sweet treat as a reward for all that hard work.
    When you’re due for a bite into dark chocolate goodness, all it takes is a few minutes out of your day to make 5-Minute Dark Chocolate Cereal Bars. This quick and simple dessert makes it easy to celebrate the day’s accomplishments without added stress.
    As a fun way for little ones to help in the kitchen, you can cook together the butter, marshmallows, peanut butter and cereal then let the kiddos drizzle the key ingredient: melted chocolate. All that’s left to do is cut and serve or pack a few off to school and work for an afternoon treat.  
    Find more seasonal dessert recipes at
    If you made this recipe at home, use #MyCulinaryConnection on your favorite social network to share your work.
    5-Minute Dark Chocolate Cereal Bars
    Recipe adapted from
    4 tablespoons butter
    10 ounces marshmallows
    1/2 cup peanut butter
    6 cups cereal
    4 ounces milk chocolate, melted
    4 ounces dark chocolate, melted
    Heat saucepan over low heat. Add butter, marshmallows and peanut butter; stir to combine. Add cereal; mix until coated.
    Line 9-by-13-inch pan with parchment paper. Add cereal mixture to pan.
    In bowl, mix milk chocolate and dark chocolate. Drizzle chocolate over cereal mixture; spread evenly then allow to cool.
    Cut into bars and serve.

    Published with permission from RISMedia.

  • 5 Journaling Tips to Help Maintain Your Routine

    28 September 2022

    Journaling is a relaxing and rewarding practice that can oftentimes be therapeutic. It is also a wonderful way to catalog and recognize your growth through different stages of your life. Unfortunately, the concept of moving the beautiful swirling ocean of thoughts from your head onto the page can easily become overwhelming. 

    Find a Journal You Like 
    Journals come in all shapes, sizes and colors. You should have one that you’re excited to fill! Find a journal that fits what you’re looking for. Do you want something small and discreet or something with plenty of space? Should your pages be lined or blank? How durable do you want your cover to be? Check bookstores, online stores and office supplies stores for a full range of designs and formats.

    Keep It Where You Can See It
    It’s easy to forget about a new practice when it’s in the primary stages of becoming a habit. Placing your journal somewhere where you are sure to see it will help to remind you to jot down a few thoughts before your day comes to an end. Set your journal on your bedside table-—or even under your comforter so that it’s out of view of others—to give yourself a visual reminder each day. 

    Write a list of prompts on the front page of your journal that you can refer to on days you’re feeling particularly stumped. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

    • Tell a story about something funny that happened today.
    • What interactions did you have with others today that added value to your life? Did any interactions take away?
    • Was there something that happened during the day that you wish would have happened differently? Why? 
    • What are you grateful for today? 
    Get Artsy
    Journaling does not always require words. When you can’t quite articulate what you’re feeling by writing it, let yourself explore your artistic side. Doodle, sketch, make a word map. Journaling is an intimate and personal experience. You get to choose how you practice it. 

    Remember, Nobody Can Read it Except You 
    It’s easy to put pressure on yourself to make each journal entry a beautifully-written essay chalked full of perfect grammar and profound epiphanies. This is an entirely unrealistic and unnecessary expectation to place on yourself. Feel comfortable being sloppy, honest and open because nobody else will ever read your journal unless given permission.

    Published with permission from RISMedia.

  • Why You Shouldn't Try to Repair Your Roof Yourself

    28 September 2022

    Roof repairs are often expensive. If a problem occurs, you may be tempted to buy materials, watch some videos online and tackle the repairs yourself. That can be a big mistake.

    You May Underestimate the Scope of the Problem
    Professional roofers know how to spot signs of roof damage. They also understand that issues are often more serious than they initially appear. If you don’t understand how roofing systems work and know what to look for, you may miss a significant problem.

    For example, you may think that your roof just has a few missing shingles. A professional roofer, however, may discover that water has gotten into the area where those shingles used to be and damaged the beams underneath and may realize that the roof needs major repairs.

    You Can Make the Problem Worse
    Fixing a roof isn’t as simple as it may seem. Using tools or installing shingles incorrectly can cause even more damage. For example, you may install shingles and leave gaps that can let water in. If that happens, you will eventually have to hire a contractor to make repairs, likely spending more in the long run. 

    If the shingles aren’t lined up properly, the repairs may be obvious to anyone who looks at the house. Your attempt to fix your roof can turn your home into an eyesore and can make it hard to sell it in the future. 

    You Can Get Hurt
    Walking on a roof is dangerous. It can be difficult to balance on a sloped surface, and wet or damaged roofing shingles can make it even more treacherous. If you don’t know how to walk safely on a roof, don’t know how to spot signs of damage that aren’t obvious and you try to make repairs that you’re not sure how to do, you can get seriously injured.

    You Can Void the Warranty
    Roofing shingles come with a warranty, but it usually stipulates that they must be installed by certified professionals. If you attempt a DIY roof repair, you may void the warranty. If you encounter a problem later, you won’t be able to take advantage of the shingles’ warranty, even if they were damaged when you bought them. 

    DIY Repairs Can Affect Your Homeowners Insurance Coverage
    If you repair your own roof and you aren’t qualified to do so, that can make your home susceptible to serious damage. If you then file a homeowners insurance claim, the company can deny it because your repairs, not a covered peril, caused the problem. If the insurer learns that you made DIY roof repairs, it may even cancel your policy. You may find it hard to get homeowners insurance through a different company.

    Hire a Professional Roofer
    There are some home projects that you can DIY, and there are others that you shouldn’t. Roof repairs should be left to professionals. Fixing your roof yourself can lead to a host of additional problems. It’s just not worth the risk.

    Published with permission from RISMedia.

  • A Flatbread for the Family

    27 September 2022

    (Family Features) When dining outside with your loved ones, there are few things better than a tasty dish the whole family can enjoy. This Chipotle Chicken Flatbread makes for a perfect al fresco meal.

    Prepared along with a fresh salad or simply enjoyed by itself, this flatbread is simple to make and even kids will love adding the toppings and sauce. It’s colorful and fresh, making it a perfect addition to get-togethers on the patio.

    Plus, the cooking time is only 16 minutes, which makes this a quick and delicious solution to defeat.

    For more al fresco recipe ideas, visit
    Chipotle Chicken Flatbread
    Adapted from

    2 flatbreads
    2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
    1 clove garlic, diced
    4 chicken tenders, cooked and cubed
    1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
    salt, to taste
    pepper, to taste
    1/2 cup ranch dressing
    1 1/2 teaspoons chipotle seasoning
    2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, chopped

    Preheat oven to 375 F.

    Place parchment paper on baking sheet and add flatbreads. Sprinkle cheese on flatbreads. Top with garlic, chicken and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bake 16 minutes until cheese is melted.

    In small bowl, mix ranch and chipotle seasoning.

    Drizzle ranch dressing on flatbread and sprinkle with cilantro leaves.

    Published with permission from RISMedia.

  • 4 Tips for Setting and Reaching Your Goals

    27 September 2022

    As another year comes to an end, we find ourselves reflecting on what we have accomplished and how we can improve. The New Year provides ample opportunity for a fresh start, and we are poised and ready to take it. 

    While we might have good intentions, we frequently find ourselves getting lost in the sea of substance-less goals that seem to cycle back every year: lose weight, exercise more, eat healthier, read more. The list goes on and on. 

    Too often we let our ambition fizzle out after the first few months of the year. Luckily, these tips will help you fortify your goals so you can face the new year head on and conquer it every step of the way. 

    Start With a Word 
    It’s easy to get excited about the prospect of starting something new. As a result, the goals we set are typically sporadic and encompass too many aspects of our lives. When setting your goals this year, choose one word that you would like to amplify in your life. Use that word as a launch pad to curate a longer, more extensive list of goals. This method helps to keep you focused and centered as you move forward. 

    Goals Come in All Shapes and Sizes 
    It’s important to dream big! But it’s also important to dream medium and small. Set one overarching major goal. This should be what you would strive for if nothing stood in your way. While it’s exciting to push the limits of all you can do, something that big can easily feel impossible if left at face value. Work backwards from your big dream and think about the steps it would take to get there. Use those steps as a basis for your smaller goals. 

    Write Them Down
    If you never move your goals from your head to paper, they’re very likely to simply remain as passing thoughts. It is imperative to physicalize your goals in some way. This can mean writing them down in a journal, posting them on sticky notes around your house, creating art about them or even simply typing them into your phone. Having a physical manifestation of your goals holds you more accountable and helps you remember them as the year goes on. It also allows you to reflect on your progress at the end of the year. 

    Define Your Why
    You’re more likely to follow through on the goals you set when you understand why you set them in the first place. Do you want to find happiness? Improve yourself? Improve your relationships? Find success in your field? Take time to sit and reflect on the true reason you want to achieve the things you’ve set out to achieve. This “why” can help act as the driving force that will keep you reaching for them throughout the entire year.

    Published with permission from RISMedia.