Homeward Bound: Puppy Comes Home

Whether you finally gave in to your childrens’ seemingly endless requests for a puppy or came to the conclusion on your own, the time has come to finally bring a new member of the family home. And at Coldwell Banker Real Estate, we believe that a pet truly makes a house a home.

First thing’s first…home prep is key. That goes for not only inside, but also your yard. Here are some ways to pup-proof your home before Beethoven rolls over!

Training can begin right from get-go as the new member of your family becomes acquainted to her new home. Before bringing puppy inside the house for the first time, it could be a great exercise (literally) to take your new pup around the neighborhood for a few blocks to get her familiar with the sights and smells of her new environment. A little walk can relieve some your new little furball’s pent up energy that has been building up from the stresses of the move.

Pup2

Image via Flickr user kitty.green66

Once inside, you may lead your newest family member on a tour of every room in the house to slowly get her acquainted with a new environment. This is the time to set boundaries to which furniture or areas are on or off limits. Let her know which furniture is okay by designating one spot as your pet’s area in the rooms she will be allowed. Make sure your puppy doesn’t get into bad habits of chewing your stuff by removing loose articles such as floor plants, decorations, shoes and clothing from the floor and out of reach of your new pup. Be aware of objects on tables and low furniture that are at tail level as well! If your little buddy does have a teething problem, try this trick out. 

In the rooms of your home themselves, be wary of tablecloths, draping window treatments or long chords which could be a strangulation hazard if puppy panics. You may also take preventative measures on your floors to make the inevitable first accident easier to manage. If you have wall-to-wall carpeting, stock up on products specifically designated for accidents from pets. Tile, linoleum or sealed hardwood floors with polyurethane are the most pet friendly floors for clean-up. Teach your kids to tidy up their toys and play areas by letting them know that it could be dangerous for puppy if they don’t clean up after themselves.

Stella Bella Blue puppy, day 1

Image via Flickr user Hubert Figuiere

Before bringing your new best friend into the yard, clean up any garden hoses, tools or toys hanging around outside that could be a hazard to an untrained puppy. Make sure doors to sheds or the garage where harmful chemicals or heavy machinery are normally stored are sealed off. Designate separate areas outside where your dog will be potty trained and where they will be eating their meals (weather permitting). Setting a consistent routine early on will set your puppy up on the path to success. The fence to your yard should be checked to make sure puppy can’t escape by checking for gaps around gates and fence sections aren’t large enough that she can poke her head through.

When your little bundle of (furry) joy comes home, it is imperative that you are prepared from day one. Set roles for your family for who will be in charge of feedings, walkings and everything else your puppy needs. But the most important thing to prepare for is the endless amount of love that will be entering your house when puppy strides through that front door for the first time!

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Image via Flickr user Michael Gil

 

 

Haven’t found that perfect puppy yet?  Coldwell Banker has teamed up with Adopt-A-Pet to help 20,000 dogs find a home this year.  There is nothing like coming back at the end of the day to the excitement and love of “Homes Best Friend”.

Header image via Flickr.

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Home: It’s Tradition.

Let’s talk about tradition. It’s defined as “the transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation.” While traditions vary drastically from home to home and family to family, one thing remains the same — tradition and home go hand in hand.

Traditions often start with a story, so that’s how we’ll begin today. Once upon a time, my family sat down to dinner.  Dad had just come back from a long business trip and was clearly happy to be home. As we enjoyed a home cooked meal, Dad looked around the dinner table and dramatically declared, “Isn’t it nice all sitting down as a family?” My sister and I rolled our eyes at our sentimental father, but sure enough the next evening, just as everyone sat down to the dinner table, my sister and I raced to say it first.

Isn’t it nice all sitting down as a family?

And he was right.  It was. From that day forward, it became our version of grace.  Every evening before anyone lifted a fork, we’d repeat that simple phrase.  It was a blissful reminder that home, family and the stories shared over dinner were certainly worth appreciating.

I haven’t lived at home for several years now, but I still say our version of grace with my future husband. “Isn’t it nice all sitting down as [almost] family?” He, too, rolls his eyes. But, I know we’ll carry on the tradition when we have children of our own.

Tradition comes in so many different shapes and sizes. And sometimes, we don’t even realize we’ve created a new one. In Coldwell Banker‘s newest 2015 TV ad campaign, “Catch,” we see how the tradition of backyard baseball is passed down from one generation to the next.

What are some of the traditions in your home? Wearing matching pajamas on Christmas Eve? Baking Grandma’s secret chocolate chip cookie recipe? Throwing an annual 4th of July barbecue? Let us know in the comments below — we’d love to hear.

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Kid Friendly St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast Lunch Dinner and Dessert

Celebrating holidays, no matter how big or small, make a house a home. Here are some fun food ideas that will create lasting memories for your little ones this St. Patrick’s Day.

Breakfast

Shamrock Eggs

Look no farther than your veggie drawer for a lucky four leaf clover. This easy pepper and egg combo is a quick and healthy way to kick off St. Patty’s Day. Recipe Here.

St Patricks Day Four Leaf Clover Eggs

Lunch

Bento Box

While you could totally get away with a green salad, we suggest a fun option like this lucky Bento Box complete with a pot of gold(fish). Recipe here.

St Patricks Day Kid Lunch Bento Box

 

Dinner

Green Mac & Cheese

This is a sure hit for little leprechauns. Recipe here.

St Patricks Day Dinner Green Mac and Cheese

Dessert

Cake-in-a-Jar

Lucky Charms + Chocolate Cake…need we say more? Recipe Here.

St Pattys Day Dessert

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Home Tip of the Day: No Valentine’s Day Babysitter – No Problem

If you’ve struck out on finding a babysitter for the kids this Valentine’s Day, don’t fret! Here are a few ways you can still have some quiet time with your significant other.

For other clever home tips & tricks, subscribe to Coldwell Banker On Location to view the complete Home Tip of the Day video series.

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Live from CES: A Smarter Home = A Smarter Family

There are three major takeaways I am leaving with after Day 1 of CES:

1) Saying “Smart Homes are the thing of the future” is a cliche. Smart Homes are NOW.

2) Creating a smart home is surprisingly more affordable than I expected.

3) A Smart Home runs in parallel with a Smart Family.

As our #CBCES team explored the over 2 million square feet of exhibit space, we saw everything you could possibly imagine in a smart home from light bulbs that play music to home robots that put Rosie from the Jetsons to shame. But the thing that ties almost every product together is most definitely a smart phone. Nearly every exhibitor did their product demonstration right from the palm of their hand furiously swiping through pages of the app to get through their well rehearsed sales pitch. With each app came a promise to give homeowners an easier lifestyle by means of efficiency, control and automation not just for them but their entire family.

A smarter home makes a smarter family.

While I can clearly understand why thousands flock to innovative products on the entertainment side of smart homes, like the incredible 4K TV for example, what really stood out to me was how brands are changing the way parents care for their kids as well as their own parents. Let’s dive into how a smart home is changing how parents take care of and monitor their children.

The Evolution of the Helicopter Parent

A “Helicopter Parent” is a term coined by the media for parents who pay extreme attention to their children, meaning they constantly hover. A helicopter parent can mean anything from the parent who snoops through their children’s text messages to acting like their personal secretary.

Today I realized that the helicopter parent of the future will evolve into a group of parents who will know everything from the second a child leaves their bed to their exact location at any given moment.Here is a round up of some of the products that parents can use in their smart home to better connect them with their children.

Sleep Number Sleep IQ Bed

“Family connected, sleep perfected”

This cloud connected mattress syncs with your smart phone to track your child’s sleep and adjusts the comfort to an optimized Sleep Number®. Talk about dynamic comfort! Here are some of the other standout features for parents…

1) Monkey Alert: “No More Monkeys Jumping Out of Bed!” If a child is out of bed, up late or restless parents will receive an alert on their phone. The app also lets you set bedtime goals so is takes the stress out of a parent and child’s bedtime routine. When a child gets in bed at the predetermined time they get their star for the night.

2) Twinkle Twinkle When a child gets out of their bed a light under the bed will turn on.

3) Lifts Them Up  Whenever I had a wicked cold growing up my mom would prop some pillows under my mattress to make me feel better. The Sleep IQ bed has a head tilt feature that removes the need to prop up the mattress with pillows.

4) Monster Scanner Quite possibly my favorite feature, the sleep number app banishes unwanted creatures not only under the bed but in the entire room with a monster detector feature.

TempTraq

When you think about “wearable technology” you may think about a Fitbit or Google Glasses. Temptraq, which was unveiled today, is taking wearable tech to an entirely new place with their new “wearable bluetooth thermometer patch.” TempTraq is the first and only 24-hour intelligent thermometer that senses, records and sends alerts of child’s temperature to a parent’s mobile device.  Now if this isn’t helicopter parenting I don’t know what is. Gone are the days of checking in every few hours with an old school thermometer! Check out how it works…

Video Surveillance  

Not only can parents now track a child’s every move via smart phones and wearable technology but they can also watch! A major theme at this year’s CES was video surveillance. The show had every type of video camera you could imagine from a wireless baby monitor called the ibabi HD (pictured to the right) to Sengled Snap, an led lightbulb that has an integrated ip camera, speaker and microphone. Oh and this bulb won’t burn out for at least 17 years! Not only is this a “bright idea” for home security but it is also a great way to keep tabs on your family members while you are home or away. Look out for our video on this super cool lightbulb later this week!

In addition to parent’s connecting with their children via technology, another theme that ran concurrent was watching over elderly parents. Technology enables older parents to keep their independence and allows their children to have piece of mind. Products like Onelink by First Alert offer both home and personal protection through a smart device. As a caregiver you can set up connectivity with things in an elderly parent’s home from temperature adjustments, smoke and carbon monoxide detection and even monitor their home via video surveillance.

With over 20,000 new product launches at this year’s CES I am sure there dozens of other products that I could add to this list and I look forward to exploring them during day 2.

Follow our adventure in real time on twitter with #CBCES.

 

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Welcome Home, Mrs. Klein!

After being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Floral Park, NY elementary teacher Josephine Klein has had to rely on a cane or wheelchair to get around her home. With no handicap accessible exits, her family worried that should an emergency happen, Josephine would be unable to get out of the home on her own.

Here’s where George Oliphant and his team of designers come to the rescue. George turns the Klein’s backyard into a beautiful oasis, equipped with a handicap lift to allow for easy accessibility in and out of the home. Of course, one of the sweetest touches George adds to the space are the terracotta pots, painted by each child in Mrs. Klein’s class, which he incorporates seamlessly into the design of the new patio.

True to form, Josephine expresses her gratitude to George not for coming to her rescue, but for the rescue of her family: “While you may be thinking you’re rescuing me, I think you’re rescuing the whole family. I had no idea they worried so much.” And Mr. Klein is most thankful for bringing his wife’s independence back. “You’ve given her freedom,” he says.

When asked what Home Sweet Home means to her, Josephine Klein puts it perfectly when she says that home is “the place where you feel most peaceful.” We hope she enjoys this new tranquil backyard oasis.

A heartwarming story for a very deserving family, click here to view the complete segment of George to the Rescue.

Welcome home, Mrs. Klein!

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Leaving Home and Going to College

The following is a guest blog post from Julie Allison, a Syracuse University senior and Coldwell Banker Commercial summer intern. 

When it came time to apply to colleges, I knew for sure that I wanted to be somewhere different than my home state, New Jersey. So when I was accepted to Syracuse University, I readily agreed to separate from everything I knew to live in a quad with three other girls. I was very excited but also nervous to go somewhere I knew nothing about besides the brutal winters that everyone seems to mention.  Little did I know that would be one of the many challenges of going away to school.

The excitement of starting a new chapter lasted for some time until I finally realized, you’re not in Jersey anymore Julie. There were a lot of new things to adapt to including: complete freedom, sharing a bedroom and bathroom, dining hall food and living on a floor with 30+ other people. These challenges also came with more responsibility especially when dealing with money, time management and people.  One of the most difficult adjustments I had to make was sharing a room with someone I hardly knew. Add the stress of a homework load I had never experienced before and I quickly became very homesick.

Within three weeks I even found myself on a plane, yes plane, on my way home to see my family and friends. I really missed my family, friends and the delicious bagel sandwiches that no one in Syracuse could ever seem to replicate.

But there is undeniably something Syracuse has that New Jersey just doesn’t for me, the opportunity to grow, become an adult and meet and learn people from various parts of the world. Throughout my time in college it became easier to adapt once I realized the lessons I learned from leaving the comfort of my home. I’m happy that I was ultimately able to meet new friends who helped me find a place where I could get some delicious pizza (thanks, Varsity!).

Freshman year was a time of important life lessons and once I came to grips with all of the opportunities there are for me at college, being away from home turned out to be just as sweet. I also now have a newfound appreciation for my family and their unconditional love and support…and obviously the home cooked meals!

There’s no place like home, but there’s something quite comforting about the journey and lessons you learn when you decide to leave.

college cover photo

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