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December
6

Send Season's Greetings: 7 Holiday Card Ideas to Try

Holiday Card Ideas

After a while, holiday cards can get tedious, sending the same basic sentiment, year after year. This year, though, in addition to looking at holiday cards, you're also looking at Richmond homes for sale, as you prepare to move. That means your season's greetings will also serve as a new home announcement, to let people know about your amazing new place, and when they can visit. You need to make them extra special. Here are seven unique holiday card ideas you can try this year.

  1. Gingerbread House
    Get a thin piece of brown cardboard and decorate it to look like a gingerbread house - or better yet, a gingerbread version of your new home. You can even stick a piece of (wrapped) candy on it for the doorknob. Write your holiday message on the back. It's a great way to convey the holiday spirit and the news about your new home at the same time.

  2. Add a Family Photo
    If you like to send family photos with your cards, try switching it up this year. Take a full-body shot of each family member, individually, in some sort of fun action pose. Then, cut each of their figures out of the printed photos. Take the cutouts, string them all together with a piece of twine, and include it in your holiday card. As a bonus, combine this one with the gingerbread card above: now your cards have your family, living in your new house!

  3. Button Snowmen
    Get a bunch of white buttons of all different sizes. Stack them up three at a time, to look like snowmen, and glue them to the front of your cards. Add accessories, like a tie made from colorful yarn, or a top hat made from construction paper. You can just make one, or you can make several, each representing a different member of your family, with all different distinguishing characteristics.

  4. New Home Announcement
    Instead of the traditional holiday greeting, why not send out a card that tells people you've moved, and shows off your new home? Include a picture of the house (complete with lights and decorations), and your new address, encouraging friends to come to visit - for the holidays or otherwise. 

  5. Washi Tape
    Get a roll of washi tape with a colorful and festive design on it. Put pieces of tape on your card to make fun, holiday designs. Stack several pieces of tape on top of one another in decreasing sizes, to form a tree. Tie pieces of yarn into bows, and put them on top of tape pieces to make them into gifts. Use your imagination.

  6. Snow Globe
    On the inside of your card, draw or otherwise create a snowy, holiday scene. Cut a circle out of the front of the card, so part of the scene can be viewed through it. Get a small ziplock bag, and put sequins in it. Attach the bag to the inside of the card (left side) directly over the hole. When you shake it, the sequins will fall over the snowy scene, just like a snow globe.

  7. Book Card
    Take a book you don't mind sacrificing. Draw outlines of holiday figures and shapes on the pages, and cut them out. Paste the shapes to the front of your cards.

These are just a few creative ideas for sending holiday cheer and announcing your new home during the holidays. Our real estate agents can get you into a house you'll be proud to spread the news about this holiday season. Contact us to find your dream home!

November
22

Holiday Home Tips: Seasonal Scents for Your Home

Holiday Scents

When you enter a room, the scents inside the space impact your feelings, emotions, and immediate perception of the home. This is especially true around the holidays.

Our real estate agents know that inviting, comforting scents are what people associate with the holiday season. Here are a few ways to enjoy seasonal scents in your home. 

  • Light a Festive Candle
    A candle is a go-to way to add festive aromas to any space thanks to its simplicity and widespread availability. Make sure that you keep the wick trimmed to a quarter of an inch in length to prolong the candle's lifespan. Try a candle that mimics the aroma of your favorite holiday treat. Or, opt for a more nature-inspired scent that resembles the fresh aroma of a Christmas tree or snowy winter day. Feeling creative? Create a tablescape to combine multiple candles that have complementary scents.
     
  • Use a Scent Diffuser
    A scent diffuser combines an essential oil or scented oil with water and diffuses the scent throughout the room. Some scent diffusers also act as humidifiers due to the amount of moisture they add to a room. Scent diffusers are easy to use, don't involve an open flame, and add seasonal aromas to your home for hours at a time. They come in a variety of styles and colors, making it easy to find one that suits your decor. Grab your favorite essential or scented oil and add a few drops to your scent diffuser, combining it with the correct amount of water. Start small; you can always add more oil if the smell isn't strong enough.
     
  • Simmer a Festive Blend
    Aromas from the kitchen have a way of wafting throughout your entire home. Put some water or cider in a pot and add cinnamon, orange slices, cloves, and cranberries and simmer on low. Make sure that the water or cider covers the contents, and keep in mind you'll need to add more as it evaporates.
     
  • Bake a Batch of Cookies
    There's nothing like the delicious aroma of a fresh batch of cookies. When clients add their homes to the list of Richmond homes for sale, we often recommend that they bake cookies before open houses or showings to ensure their home smells heavenly. Not only can you change the scent with your cookie recipe, but you'll have a tasty treat to enjoy. 

  • Make Cinnamon Ornaments
    Cinnamon ornaments are an old-fashioned way to add festive scents to your home. While you can purchase cinnamon ornaments, it's much more enjoyable to make your own. Combine three-quarters of a cup of applesauce with two bottles of cinnamon until it forms a soft dough. Then, grab about a fourth of the dough and roll it out until it's a quarter of an inch thick. Use your favorite cookie cutter to cut your ornament out. Make sure to add a hole to hang your ornament with the end of a drinking straw. Bake at 200 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 2.5 hours. 

Want a home with more space for holiday festivities? There are plenty of Richmond homes for sale! Contact us today to start your search.

August
2

Summer Events Throughout Richmond

Summer Events RVA

Is there anything more glorious than summer in Virginia? Make the most of this wonderful season at these entertaining events around Richmond, as suggested by our real estate agents

  • Farmers Market at Midlothian Urban Farmhouse - 13849 Coalfield Commons Pl., Midlothian, VA 23114
    Midlothian homes for sale offer great access to the benefits of urban and rural areas. One of the best examples is Farmers Market at Midlothian Urban Farmhouse. Eat healthily and support local farmers by purchasing produce, eggs, and meat from market vendors. Community artisans are on hand selling baked goods, candles, soaps, flowers, and other items that make wonderful gifts. Bring Fido along to enjoy a doggie treat while you relax over dinner and live music. Market hours are 4 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. each Wednesday through September 29.

  • Restore: The Healing Power of Nature - Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, 1800 Lakeside Ave., Henrico, VA 23228
    Get a refreshing respite from the stress of everyday life at Restore: The Healing Power of Nature. Breathe deeply and feel your spirit revive as you explore the 50 acres of spectacular gardens and woodlands of Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, just minutes from Henrico homes for sale. Special events such as "The Secret Life of Bugs" and "River City Poets - Poetry in the Garden" reinforce the main theme of the program, which runs daily through Sunday, October 31. Hours are 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. seven days a week, with extended summer hours on Wednesday and Thursday. Admission is $14 for adults and $8 for kids aged 3-12. 

  • 2021 Richmond Shakespeare Festival - Agecroft Hall, 4305 Sulgrave Rd., Richmond, VA 23221
    Experience timeless theater under the stars at the 2021 Richmond Shakespeare Festival. This year's productions include Twelfth Night, the Bard's classic comedy of unrequited love and mistaken identity, and The Bottom Show, an original presentation based on one of Shakespeare's most endearing characters. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. each Thursday through Sunday until August 15. Tickets are $33 for adults and $20 for students and must be purchased online.

  • Would I Lie to You? - Various locations
    Inspired by a moment of levity during a downtown hike near Richmond homes for sale, George Tisdale created this unique look at the city's cultural history. Would I Lie to You? is a series of four walks featuring more than 25 murals around the downtown area. After the guide regales attendees with a fascinating story behind each mural, each person must decide whether or not the story is true. Walks are scheduled every weekend from Friday through Sunday. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for kids aged 6-13. Participation is limited, so purchase tickets in advance on the website.

  • Beef Up Your Health 10K - Richmond Raceway, 600 E. Laburnum Ave., Richmond, VA 23222
    No matter what fitness level you are, there's a spot for you at Beef Up Your Health 10K. If you're not quite up to a 10K yet, boost your endurance with a 5K. There's a one-mile race for kids, while walkers and strollers are also welcome. Runners who participate in the Bishops Events series can earn points for 10K, 5K, and Back of the Pack. Early registration fees are $15 for kids, $25 for 5K, and $40 for 10K, with prices going up to $5 after August 15. Race day is Saturday, August 28 at 8 a.m.

Summer is also a perfect time to buy or sell a home in Richmond. Contact us at Joyner Fine Properties to get started.

January
25

Bird Watching Trails in Pocahontas State Park

Richmond Bird Watching

Need a break from the fast pace and digital overload of daily living? Our real estate agents recommend bird watching as a perfect way to connect with nature and restore a peaceful state of mind.

Whether you go alone or with family and friends, check out these great bird watching trails in Pocahontas State Park, just minutes from Chesterfield homes for sale.

  • Beaver Lake Trail
    Bodies of water always attract great numbers of birds. As a bonus, they provide a beautiful background for bird-watching scenes. Stunning scenery is one of the reasons that make Beaver Lake Trail one of the more popular destinations in Pocahontas State Park. The dog-friendly 2.3-mile trail offers a moderate challenge suitable for families. Please note that, unlike several other trails in the park, biking is not permitted. 

  • Forest Exploration Trail
    When you really want to get away from it all, head to Forest Exploration Trail. The densely wooded grounds create a peaceful serenity that lets you focus on spotting birds. Leashed dogs are welcome on the 2.2-mile trail, which is also a good spot for mountain biking year-round.

  • Bright Hope Trail and Otter Lick Loop
    Want to combine bird-watching with an invigorating workout? Bright Hope Trail and Otter Lick Loop may have a tongue-twister of a name, and at 6.8 miles, it's one of the longer trails in Pocahontas State Park. On any given day, you may share the trail with hikers, mountain bikers, runners, and horseback riders. Bring your leashed dog along when you visit the trail, which is accessible all year long. 

  • Parallel Trail
    Enjoy an outing with the kids and get them hooked on bird watching with a hike along Parallel Trail. Measuring just over one mile in length with minimal elevation, the trail accommodates both newbies and experienced hikers. The forest setting allows for easy conversation along with opportunities to view different trees and plants. The kids will be happy that they can bring Fido along as well. 

  • Pocahontas State Park Red Trail MTB
    Mountain bikers, rejoice! Pocahontas State Park Red Trail MTB is reserved exclusively for bikers. Keep your eyes peeled for sightings of birds and wildlife as you cycle around the 3.2-mile looped route. February through November are the best months to visit this trail.

Bird Watching Tips

  • Avoid dressing in bright colors. Birds have poor color vision, but the greater the contrast, the more you'll stand out from the natural background. Stick with dark colors and earth tones in order to blend in with the surroundings.

  • Be patient. Birds are not on a schedule. They will eventually reveal themselves on their own timetable. Also, avoid sudden movements and loud noises that are likely to frighten birds away.

  • Keep the sun behind you. When you're facing the sun, resulting shadows make it harder to distinguish actual bird sightings.

  • Bring a bird identification guide along. National Geographic and Peterson are considered the gold standards by most bird watchers. Today, many guides are even available for download on a smartphone. Take a picture with your cell phone camera to make identification easier.

  • Binoculars are a must-have for even casual bird watchers. Without a decent pair of binoculars, you'll miss out on many details of a bird's appearance and behavior. 

Where will you be feathering your nest this year? Find out why Chesterfield is a wonderful place to call home. Contact us at Joyner Fine Properties to learn more.

August
21

Productivity Tips for Home School and Home Office

Maximizing Your Space For Work & School
 

If you're a parent of a school-age child, or school-age children, your home probably will need to accommodate some distance learning when the new school year starts. Below, interior designers and a professional organizer share four must-have items and practical tips for creating a study space at home, plus a few design tips to make your home office more conducive to working from home!

For the Home School

Girl at Desk

1. Functional Desk

"It is important to remember that no matter how big or small the space you designate for schoolwork, you need to establish a routine and a specific place to go every day," interior designer Karri Bowen-Poole of Smart D2 Playrooms says. Having a specific desk, work surface or table in your home for schoolwork will help add structure to the day and week for your child and entire family.

Teen at Desk

2. Comfortable Seating

A comfortable chair or other seat for your child is high on the must-have list for a successful study space.

If space allows, create a secondary study area or reading nook with an alternate seating option to provide a change of scenery during the day. Consider a quiet corner with a nice view and a floor cushion, beanbag or comfy armchair.

Desk Organization

3. Practical Storage and Organization System

As the school year progresses, the amount of projects and assignments to keep track of will grow. The possibility of clutter and for things to get unorganized is magnified for families who have multiple children at different grade levels. Having a solid organization system in place is critical to ensuring a smooth and successful schoolday.

Desk Lamp

4. Good Lighting

The right lighting helps kids stay focused and can protect their eyes. A layered approach that combines natural daylight with artificial lighting is ideal. Carr says task lighting is a must-have, and there are a lot of fun options to choose from. A directed task-light source will be especially important when the sun sets earlier in the fall and winter.

For the Home Office

1. Design With Video Meetings in Mind
Videoconferencing has prompted many people to rethink their home office. Sure, you should spend some time thinking about how your background looks on camera. But how you integrate your preferred videoconferencing screen is also important.

2. Add Biophilic Elements to Promote Wellness
It's important to stay energized and feeling good in a home office space. Adding biophilic design principles, which help a person feel connected to nature while indoors, is a good way of ensuring that happens.

3. Collaborate in a Shared Office Space
Working couples, and working couples with kids, know that a divided workspace is key to having a productive day. If you have a busy household, consider splitting up a single large work area into multiple smaller ones so that more than one person can work at a time.

4. Set Up a Reading Space
Even if you have the most ergonomic office chair, you still should take a break from sitting in front of a screen all day. Try to integrate a lounge chair with a footrest to take phone calls, open mail, read printed reports or meditate.

Home School and Office

Photos: Adobe Stock

Articles: Houzz

 

July
10

Home Organization Tips To Inspire You While Social Distancing

Organizing and decluttering can be great ways to stay productive while social distancing. The only thing more satisfying than an ultra-tidy closet, pantry, or laundry room is seeing what it looked like before it was super organized. And it doesn't need to be spring for us to get overly excited about a good clean-up and organization project. If you need a little inspiration to start your own, these tips and tricks are the perfect motivation to tidy up.

To-Do List 1. Create Effective To-Do Lists

Make a habit of writing down your short and long-term goals. Then create additional to-do lists, separated by task. Listing out the steps you need to work toward your goals will help you reclaim the kind of crisp, results-oriented mindset that builds and sustains momentum.
Mise En Place 2. Make "Mise-En-Place" a Way Of Life

The French phrase translates literally to "put in place," and it refers to the practice of gathering all the ingredients and utensils needed before cooking a meal, then systematically cleaning your utensils and workstation as you go. Mise-en-place also beautifully focuses the mind, and, best of all, dramatically cuts down on organizational chaos.
Dresser Drawers 3. Expose Everything in Your Storage Spaces

Stacking clothes up pancake-style means you inevitably only end up wearing (and re-wearing) the few garments that land on top of the piles. The solution: Fold clothes small and tight, and store them in drawers "standing up rather than laid flat," says Marie Kondo, author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.
Kid's Toy Box 4. Reuse and Repurpose

You don't have to leave the house to purchase anything for these organization projects. Get creative by repurposing shoe boxes and bank-check boxes (both lids and bottoms) as drawer dividers, or putting instruction manuals in a three-ring binder and you'll never rifle through drawers again.
Closet Organization 5. Hang and Stash

Hanging and stashing can make any space seem tidier. Think outside of the box when looking for creative storage solutions. A wine rack might store magazines and newspapers, while a wooden peg rack can be used to hang brushes or a blow-dryer in a bathroom.
Organized Desk 6. Keep Your Files Streamlined

To keep your desk and living spaces clear of papers and documents you're not currently using (both energy-sapping eyesores), try a simple, three-tiered filing system: one file drawer close at hand for current projects, another for research material you may need in a month or two, and a third for documents relating to finished projects you should hang on to for legal reasons.
Photos: Adobe Stock
Source: Real Simple
May
4

10 Apps to Help You Stay Connected While Social Distancing

Social Distancing Apps

It's a trying time for most of us, when not only are we concerned for our physical health and safety, but also for our economic and emotional health. But at least we have the internet and social media to keep us connected, and happily, there are a number of apps that help you do just that. Here are some of our favorite apps for overcoming social distancing and connecting with friends and family members. Plus, some are also a great way for talking to your real estate agent. 

  1. FaceTime 
    Look for this in any Apple device. You can call and talk to people around the world -- as many as 32 at one time. This app requires your contacts' phone numbers to connect with them, and only works with other Apple devices.

  2. Google Duo
    It's a video conferencing platform that allows you to make video calls to just one person or up to eight. Also, leave video messages. Plus, you can play messages over and over.   

  3. Google Hangouts
    Use Google Hangouts for messaging, or voice calls with one person or more. It's free and can be a smartphone app or Google Chrome Extension. Use it on your smartphone. Enjoy emojis, photos, stickers, and more.

  4. Houseparty
    It's another party app, but one that lets you video chat as if you're in an intimate gathering of friends— no matter the physical distance. A split-screen feature allows up to eight participants to chat face-to-face. It's for both Android and iOS.

  5. Marco Polo
    Not everyone wants to stop what they're doing to jump on a video call. Marco Polo lets users send video messages that are to be responded to at the recipient's convenience. Texts, photo messages, and live video talks are also in the mix. 

  6. Netflix Parties
    An extension of Google Chrome, Netflix Parties lets you and your friends watch movies and TV shows together. If chatting about videos in real-time is your thing, this is for you.

  7. Snapchat
    For the selfie-obsessed (and those who want them to disappear quickly), Snapchat is still a thing. But this app also has a free quick video call function, which lets you check in with far-away pals.

  8. Skype
    Skype has been around for a while, but still enjoys great popularity for video or conference calls -- and it's free. Use it on the computer, as an app, through the web, or as a smartphone or tablet app.

  9. WhatsApp
    Who doesn't know about WhatsApp? Send text messages, make phone calls, send and receive documents, videos, and voice messages (to 256 friends or acquaintances at the same time). Syncs with Android, Apple, and Windows PCs, and has free and secure messaging. 

  10. Zoom 
    Many of us have already used Zoom to get together with friends we're missing. Whether it's a group of five or a thousand, Zoom can bring you closer. They're using it in classrooms and for meetings everywhere. You can even have virtual cocktail parties. Get 40 minutes free, then up to $19.99 a month for more for one-on-one calls.

Looking for a team that will use the latest technology to help you reach your real estate goals? When the time is right for you, our real estate agents are happy to discuss Richmond homes for sale. Contact us today. 

April
27

How to Stay Productive While Working From Home

Working From Home

More people than ever are working from home in the Richmond area and around the country. If you have never worked from home before, it's normal to feel that it can be a challenge to juggle family, work, and other obligations the same as if you were going to an office on a daily basis. Our real estate agents understand the struggle and compiled these seven strategies you can apply to make working from home a bit easier.

  1. Ease into the New Routine 
    Don't feel as if you have to become a work-from-home professional overnight. It takes time to adjust to working from home. You may feel isolated, frustrated, and a bit anxious. That's entirely common, and it's alright to ease yourself through the transition gently. 
  2. Dress for Success
    It may seem silly, and while you can work in your pajamas or sweats, wearing your "work clothes" can help you maintain a professional mindset and protect your morale.
  3. Manage Your Time Wisely
    You should stick to a set schedule that mimics as closely as possible to your regular routine. Sticking to a set schedule during remote work helps keep you on schedule with work-related tasks. While you will need to make some adjustments to take care of children, don't give in to the temptation to knock off early for shopping errands, yard work, etc.
  4. Establish a Workspace
    If you're one of the fortunate few who still have a home office, this is the time to use it. If not, establish a workspace in the bedroom, kitchen, or living room where you can go to work without interruption. Make sure your spouse or partner and children understand that this is a work area and encourage them to respect that. Similarly, establish study areas for your children where they can get schoolwork done.
  5. Learn the Technology You Will Use
    Many companies already have established programs and tools for employees who work from home. However, many are jumping into the deep end without dedicated programs, computers, etc. in place. If you are suddenly using new programs and tools, set aside some time to familiarize yourself with the technology your employer wants you to use to communicate with clients and co-workers.
  6. Create Lists
    Lists are a great way to help keep your day on course. Making a list each morning can help you accomplish your goals for the day. Moreover, it can boost your morale significantly as you check off tasks and can see the progress you are making toward your goals.
  7. Stay Away From Distractions
    The news can be depressing, and distractions, such as neighbors who drop by or family members who call, can take away your focus. Stay off social media, and do your best to maintain a sustained focus on work-related responsibilities.

Looking for a home with the home office space you need? We encourage you to contact us for more information about Richmond homes for sale.

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 08/20/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 08/20/2022. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of CVRMLS (last updated Sat 08/20/2022 1:07:52 AM EST) or Bright MLS (last updated Sat 08/20/2022 12:54:02 AM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Joyner Fine Properties 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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