Date Archives: August 2021

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August
23

Rainy Day DIY Projects

Rainy Day DIYDepending on your point of view, rainy days can be either the best or the worst. It's frustrating being stuck in the house with nothing to do. But with a little creativity, there are all kinds of activities you can participate in while waiting for the weather to clear - especially for new homeowners who are working to make their new house their own. Here are a few DIY projects that can help you pass the time and feel productive on a rainy day.

  • Build a Birdhouse
    This is a simple but rewarding project that you might even be able to get your kids to help you with. All you need are a few small wooden boards and some basic tools like a saw and a drill. Build the house, decorate it, and when the rain stops, hang it in the yard to give the local birds a place to hang their proverbial hats. Be aware: if you paint your birdhouse, sometimes the paint smell can keep birds away the first year. If you do choose to paint your birdhouse, go with light, muted colors that reflect heat rather than absorbing it and won't attract predators. And be sure to use non-toxic paint.

  • Make a Chalkboard Wall
    This one is much simpler than it looks. It doesn't require a large, unwieldy board or even the use of nails or screws. Rather, with a special kind of paint, you can give a wall or section of a wall in your house the look and feel of a chalkboard. Clean the wall thoroughly first, then apply a coat of chalkboard paint. Wait a couple of hours, then apply a second coat, then a third coat after another couple of hours. Let it dry for three days before marking it with chalk. Once the wall is ready, though, you can use it to make shopping lists, leave notes for family members, and more. Plus, you and the kids can use it for future rainy day activities, like playing tic-tac-toe or even just doodling. It's the rainy day gift that keeps on giving.

  • Change Knobs and Handles
    Look at your drawers and cabinets. Do you like the way the handles and knobs look? Maybe they're showing their age, or maybe they just don't fit with your aesthetic. The good news is, they're easy to remove and switch out for new ones. If you have the replacements handy, most likely, all you'll need is a screwdriver and maybe some new screws.

  • Do Some Odd Jobs
    There are probably plenty of small jobs around the house that you've meant to get to but just haven't had the time. Well, a rainy day is a perfect time. Take a screwdriver and tighten up that wobbly chair. Change the burnt-out bulb in your light fixture. Rearrange your pantry to make things easier to find. There are also several jobs that homeowners should perform periodically but most people tend to forget. A rainy day is a great opportunity to catch up. For instance, check your HVAC system's air filter and see if it's time to replace it. If the filter is white and translucent, it's still good. If it's dingy, gray, and opaque, then it's time for a new one. Another task that's relatively simple but a bit time-consuming is doing a deep clean of your dishwasher. Remove the bottom rack and do a quick clean of the drain on the bottom. Then, put a cup of vinegar on the top rack and run it through the cycle. Once it's done, sprinkle baking soda on the inside, and run it through a rinse cycle. When it's done, your dishwasher will not only be cleaner but function more efficiently.

  • Get Your Kids Involved
    Let's face it. The ones who are most likely to be bored on a rainy afternoon are your kids. You can let them sit and watch Netflix all day while you do home improvement tasks, or you can get them to help you. If they're old enough and responsible enough, take the opportunity to show them some basic DIY skills: how to use different tools safely, the importance of some of those odd jobs, etc. You can spend some time constructively and bond with your children at the same time. Then when the next rainy day rolls around, you've got a built-in helper for the next set of DIY tasks.

These are just a few things you can do on a rainy day to make your house feel more like home. Our brokers can get you set up in the perfect house to meet your needs. What you do with it after that is up to you. Contact us anytime, rain or shine, to learn more!

August
16

National Honey Bee Day: Plants Bees Love on the West Coast

Honey bee gardensOne of the best reasons to buy a home is to have enough land to practice all your hobbies. Gardeners know it's crucial to have enough space for their plants to flourish. By choosing the right plants and nurturing them in the right ways, they make a positive impact that reaches far beyond their own home.

Never is this more obvious than when it comes to the humble honey bee!

Support Your Local Honey Bee Population with Bee-Friendly Gardening

National Honey Bee Day, also known as Honey Bee Awareness Day, is observed every August 21 in the United States. What better time than now to learn precisely what you can plant to attract bees and other pollinators? After all, the great majority of plants need pollinators like the bee to help them thrive!

When gardening to attract honey bees, remember that these little creatures have preferences. Flowers that consistently attract honey bees have visible pollen or nectar, making it easy for them to reach. Long, thin flowers don't appeal to bees, whose short tongues can't reach in. 

Hybrid flowers bearing big, showy blooms tend to have less nectar and attract fewer honey bees.

In addition to bees, hummingbirds and butterflies are common pollinators. Just because you see one type, it doesn't mean that the other types have been scared off. Plant a variety of flowers and you will get plenty of different pollinators. For those who are wondering, blue is widely believed to be honey bees' favorite color!

For a more bee-friendly garden, our brokers encourage you to consider these additions:

  • Bee Balm
    These colorful flowers have a unique "frilly" appearance and attract a wide range of pollinators. In addition to bees, you can expect to see more butterflies and even hummingbirds. Their distinctive dark green leaves hold a surprise: When crushed, they provide a surprisingly strong citrus-mint smell.

  • Joe Pye Weed
    Don't be put off by the name – this perennial plant is far more than a simple weed! Beloved by butterflies, in particular, Joe Pye Weed adds a pop of vivid pink, purple, and white all throughout late summer and fall. The dome-like flower growths are supported by lovely vanilla-scented leaves.

  • Yarrow
    Throughout history, Yarrow has been prized in many areas of the world as a plant associated with healing. These days, this perennial is appreciated as a drought-tolerant and colorful addition to any garden. It is highly attractive to both bees and butterflies. Beginning gardeners love yarrow because it is so easy to care for.

  • Delphinium
    This flowering plant adds texture to a garden thanks to its tall spires of colorful flowers. Those flowers come in a full spectrum of colors including blue, lavender, red, pink, purple, and white. A delphinium is sure to attract its share of admirers of all kinds – but it is particularly favored by hummingbirds.

  • Hardy Fuchsia
    With long, tubular flowers, the hardy fuchsia is another plant that calls out to pollinators of many different kinds. Bird-lovers enjoy planting it as a rest stop for hummingbirds and other feathered friends. Multicolored flowers are not uncommon with the hardy fuchsia, which usually blooms from late spring until frost.

  • Penstemon
    Bees can be attracted to the gently fragrant penstemon in surprising numbers, visiting its tubular flowers from far and wide. Butterflies often choose to alight there, too. Penstemon is well known among gardeners for its propensity to thrive in hot, sunny conditions. Beware that it does require regular watering.

  • Catmint
    A distant relative of the catnip plant, catmint won't be quite as compelling for your feline friends – bees, on the other hand, adore it. Bees are by far the most common catmint pollinator and will be visiting from late spring through the summer. Catmint's loose spikes of pink, lavender, or white can fit in many places in your garden.

Plant a few of these flowers and you're more likely to see honey bees buzzing along happily in your garden. Local, native plants often get lots of attention from bees. You can make their job easier by creating a water source in your garden. Bees use the water to cool their hives.

Looking for a new home with a yard perfect for putting your green thumb to the test? Contact us at Coldwell Banker Bain to discover real estate opportunities throughout the area.

August
9

Bookstores in Seattle for Book Lovers Day

Bookstores Seattle

August 9th is National Book Lovers Day, and our brokers honestly can't think of a better place than Seattle to celebrate this particular holiday. We happen to have some of the greatest independent bookstores in the country, and we're excited to share some of our favorites in honor of National Book Lovers Day!

  1. Ophelia's Books - 3504 Fremont Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103
    A strong case could be made that Ophelia's Books is Seattle's most fun bookstore for those who like to browse. Packed to the gills with secondhand books spanning genres and decades, Ophelia's spans three levels, with enchanting spiral staircases that lead you up to each new floor of literary wonders. Located conveniently to countless Seattle homes for sale, the shop also has cozy couches where you can sit and read, and there's a good chance you'll be visited by one of the live-in cats. 

  2. Phinney Books - 7405 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103
    Phinney Books
    opened its doors in 2014 and quickly established a reputation for offering a well-chosen selection featuring all the latest and greatest from the literary world. The shop's owner and noted bibliophile Tom Nissley, an eight-time Jeopardy! champion who knows a thing or two about books. The staff is always friendly and happy to help you find your next great read.

  3. Twice Sold Tales - 1833 Harvard Ave, Seattle, WA 98122
    Nestled in Seattle's endlessly enjoyable Ballard Neighborhood, Twice Sold Tales is the sort of bookstore that warrants repeated visits. That's because, as its punny name suggests, Twice Sold Tales is a used bookstore, and its shelves are always being replenished with new and fascinating volumes. Be careful when you open and close the door not to let the shop's resident cats out!

  4. Couth Buzzard Books - 8310 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103
    A bookstore that's also a coffee shop—what could be more Seattle? Couth Buzzard Books is one of the city's favorite bookstores not just because it has a great selection of books (and great espresso) but because it's a warm, welcoming space that makes you feel like you're right at home. Their shelves are packed with literary treasures, and the staff is always friendly and knowledgeable. Couth Buzzard's cafe sells coffee and light bites and often hosts live music.

  5. Elliott Bay Book Company - 1521 10th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122
    A mainstay of Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood, Elliott Bay Book Company is more than a bookstore. It's a hub for the local literary community, with a vast selection of reading materials in every genre and discipline. They frequently host compelling live author readings, and the adjoining Little Oddfellows Cafe is a beloved local hangout for bookish types.

  6. Secret Garden Bookshop - 2214 NW Market St, Seattle, WA 98107
    Another Ballard neighborhood staple, Secret Garden Bookshop, sells all kinds of books, but children's books are their real specialty. This is a fantastic place to find books for kids and young adults, and there's a good chance all your own childhood favorites are here (including the 1911 novel from which the shop takes its name). Best of all, Secret Garden's location on Market Street puts it within walking distance of some of the city's best shops, galleries, and cafes. 

  7. Madison Books - 4118 E Madison St, Seattle, WA 98112
    Opened in 2019, Madison Books is one of Seattle's newest bookstores, but it's quickly become a trusted source of new reading material in the Madison Park neighborhood. Situated on a picturesque tree-lined street, Madison Books carries a superb selection of new titles, with lots of cozy nooks where you can settle in and flip through the pages. We also love the irony that this bookstore was opened by two former Amazon employees!

  8. Magus Books - 1408 NE 42nd St, Seattle, WA 98105
    A fixture of the University District for some 40-odd years, Magus Books has been buying and selling used books since 1978. Their space looks like one would expect from a used bookstore near a college campus: floor-to-ceiling shelves overflowing with books, stacks of stray volumes threatening to topple over. It's a treasure trove of the old, rare and unusual. Magus Books is a great place to find early editions and collectible books.

Contact us today to learn more about the great independent businesses that thrive in Seattle, and be sure to ask how our brokers can help you find your Washington dream home. 

Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 08/13/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 08/13/2022. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of RMLS (last updated Fri 08/12/2022 8:34:57 PM EST) or Willamette Valley MLS (last updated Sat 08/13/2022 8:57:18 AM EST) or COAR/MLSCO (last updated Sat 08/13/2022 9:01:23 AM EST) or NWMLS (last updated Sat 08/13/2022 8:54:13 AM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Coldwell Banker Bain may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --

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