How to Clean Area Rugs

When is the last time you gave your area rugs in your home a good deep cleaning?  As we near the end of summer, now is a great time to give your rugs a little TLC before fall sets in.   Here are a few basic steps to make cleaning your rugs a snap!

Find a cleaning partner if you can, especially if you have large area rugs.  This will help prevent injury and help navigate some of the awkward positions the rug will want to fall into when you are taking it outdoors.

Step One– Shake and Beat the Rug.     Dirt will have embedded itself deeply into the fibers.  Using a sturdy clothesline or porch railing, and vigorously shake the larger dirt particles free from the rug.

Step Two– Spot clean areas based on the type of material the rug is made from.   Most rugs can be spot cleaned with a gentle solution of laundry detergent and water, but you will need to make sure that the rug is colorfast. Review any tag instructions.   Use a commercial grade spot cleaner for tough stains.   Spread the rug out to dry.

Step Three–  Sprinkle Baking soda and let sit for at least thirty minutes.   Then vacuum and check any decorative fringe for knots.    Have your cleaning partner help return the rugs and furniture and then celebrate your success!    Rugs should be deep cleaned twice a year to help expand their life.

 

Do you have any special rug cleaning tips?  We would love to hear them!   Share below!

MarketPlace REALTY offers a wide portfolio of real estate services in the Shenandoah Valley.   Call 540-450-2747 for a custom consultation, or visit us at mympr.com and discover all of our beautiful current listings.   We are located at 302 South Braddock St. Winchester VA, 22601.   Angela Duncan, Broker.   Licensed in VA and WV.  Equal Housing Opportunities.

 

 

 

 

Back to School Prep

Is your home ready for back to school?   Here are a few tips to help kick off the new school year right.

1.) Clean out the Fridge and make room for lunch-  Give the fridge a good wipe down and load it up with healthy options for your family to easily pack their lunch.

2.) Designate an area for storage and organization-  Give your hall closet a quick makeover, or look for ways to create more storage.   Making sure that coats, bookbags, and other seasonal items have a proper home will eliminate the mess that is usually dropped by the front door.

3.)Create a homework space-   Load up a simple plastic organizer with extra school supplies, paper, art tools, and writing utensils.  Don’t be afraid to go ahead and grab some poster board and presentation supplies as well.  This will help those last minute shopping trips for “emergency” projects.

What are your favorite ways to spruce up your home for back to school?   Share below!

MarketPlace REALTY offers a wide portfolio of real estate services in the Shenandoah Valley.   Call 540-450-2747 for a custom consultation, or visit us at mympr.com and discover all of our beautiful current listings.   We are located at 302 South Braddock St. Winchester VA, 22601.   Angela Duncan, Broker.   Licensed in VA and WV.  Equal Housing Opportunities.

5 Ways To Fall In Love With Your Home Again

Taking good care of your home is paramount to how you feel when you are there.   If your home is ill kept, suffering from lack of maintenance, or has troublesome environmental issues the place you love can quickly become a place that you loathe.

Here are a few tips to try and restore happiness in your current residence, AND are also great tips if you are thinking of dipping your toe into our HOT local market.

1.) Declutter-   Not enough space or too much stuff?   Decluttering does not have to be about throwing everything away.   Proper decluttering addresses storage issues, and helps your favorite items stand out for you to enjoy.     Not sure where to get started? Check out Pinterest for loads of articles and inspiration.

2.) Lack of Privacy-  Are your neighbors creating stress?  Try this simple trick.   Invest in some rice paper window coverings to block out prying eyes, yet still, let natural light in.   Purchasing a simple white noise machine can tone down loud neighbors and improve your sleep at night.

3.) Paint-  Research neutral but soothing colors to paint your home.  Dark colors can pull down your mood and can make rooms feel smaller. Choose a light and bright pallet and freshen up your interior spaces.

4.)  Environmental Hazards- If you suffer from allergies, research ways to reduce dust and improve the air quality in your home.  Check basements for mold, and other areas in your homes for leaks.  Making sure your home is mold free can improve your overall health and well being.

5.) Turn your bathroom into a haven-  Fluffy white towels, a few Epsom salts, and a new light fixture can make a world of difference in a dark neglected bathroom.   This room has heavy traffic.   Keep natural cleaning supplies close by for quick spruce-ups.  This room needs special attention on a daily basis to combat dirt, environmental hazards, and water damage.

Do you have any suggestions?    Share them below!   We would love to hear from you!

MarketPlace REALTY offers a wide portfolio of real estate services in the Shenandoah Valley.   Call 540-450-2747 for a custom consultation, or visit us at mympr.com and discover all of our beautiful current listings.   We are located at 302 South Braddock St. Winchester VA, 22601.   Angela Duncan, Broker.   Licensed in VA and WV.  Equal Housing Opportunities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy Our Local Summer Berries With This Recipe

The best part of summer is the peak of berry season!  We are so lucky to have an abundance of local farmers markets to pick up fresh produce.   We found this great treat from our friends at Southern Living, and we think that this will be a great way for you to make a special dessert for your family and friends to enjoy.

Sharing the best tastes of summer with the people you love is a great way to appreciate the sunshine and magic of that is unique to this time of year! OH and feel free to substitute either berry mentioned for YOUR favorite berry!

Bon Appétit!!

Double Berry-Almond Galette

Ingredients

  • CRUST
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 1/4 cup cold vegetable shortening, cubed
  • 3 tablespoons ice-cold water
  • 3 tablespoons vodka, chilled
  • TOPPING
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup fresh blackberries
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • FILLING
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 2 cups fresh blackberries
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
  • ADDITIONAL INGREDIENTS
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Parchment paper
  • Honey Sour Cream (optional)
  • Garnish: torn mint leaves

 

How to Make It

Step 1

Prepare Crust: Pulse almonds in a food processor 15 times or until finely ground. Stir together ground almonds and next 3 ingredients in a bowl. Cut cold butter and cold shortening into flour mixture with a pastry blender until mixture resembles small peas. Gradually stir in ice-cold water and vodka just until dry ingredients are moistened. (Add up to 2 Tbsp. ice-cold water, if necessary.) Shape into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap; chill 3 to 24 hours.

Step 2

Meanwhile, prepare Topping: Toss together 1 cup blueberries and next 5 ingredients. Let stand, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Step 3

Unwrap chilled dough, and place on floured parchment paper; sprinkle with flour. Roll to a 14- to 15-inch circle. Carefully transfer dough and parchment paper to a jelly-roll pan.

Step 4

Prepare Filling: Stir together 1/3 cup sugar and next 2 ingredients in a large bowl; stir in 2 cups each blueberries and blackberries. Spoon mixture into center of dough, leaving a 2 1/2-inch border around edges; dot with butter. (Do not make filling ahead or it will become too juicy.) Fold edges of dough around fruit, pleating as you go and sealing cracks. Brush dough with beaten egg, and sprinkle with 1 Tbsp. sugar. Freeze 15 minutes.

Step 5

Preheat oven to 425°. Bake on lower oven rack 30 to 35 minutes or until crust is golden. Transfer to a wire rack; cool 30 minutes. Serve with Honey Sour Cream, if desired.

 

MarketPlace REALTY offers a wide portfolio of real estate services in the Shenandoah Valley.   Call 540-450-2747 for a custom consultation, or visit us at mympr.com and discover all of our beautiful current listings.   We are located at 302 South Braddock St. Winchester VA, 22601.   Angela Duncan, Broker.   Licensed in VA and WV.  Equal Housing Opportunities.

Summer Cleaning Tips

Keeping your home tidy during the summer can be an uphill battle.   Here are a few of our favorite summer cleaning tips to keep your home fresh and bright all summer long.

Distilled White Vinegar

This powerhouse cleaning item will make your hardwood floors shine, and freshen up mildew ridden towels from the pool.

  • Muddy Summer Rain Floors- Mix together 1/4 cup of white vinegar with a 1 quart of water in your bucket.
  • Pool Towel Laundry- Add 1/2 to 1 cup of vinegar straight to the washer during the last rinse cycle to remove foul odors. This will remove the smells from your clothes, without making them smell like vinegar.
  • Fresh Summer All Purpose Cleaner-  Add leftover summer salad citrus peels, a few sprigs of rosemary to a mason jar and add vinegar, cover at let sit for at least two weeks.  Then take the solution and dilute with water into your favorite spray bottle.

What are some of your favorite summer cleaning tips?   Share them below! 

MarketPlace REALTY offers a wide portfolio of real estate services in the Shenandoah Valley.   Call 540-450-2747 for a custom consultation, or visit us at mympr.com and discover all of our beautiful current listings.   We are located at 302 South Braddock St. Winchester VA, 22601.   Angela Duncan, Broker.   Licensed in VA and WV.  Equal Housing Opportunities.

Create a simple summer herb garden

Fresh herbs can add life to meals, and make specialty drinks extra luxurious for guests.  Here are a few tips for starting a simple container garden of herbs on your porch!

1.) Choose the perfect herbs. Select herbs that will thrive in our local summer climate.  Rosemary, mint, basil, chives, and parsley are all easy to grow options.

1) Pick the perfect containers. Choose containers that will allow for excellent drainage. Most pots come with drainage holes, but they can easily be added to wooden or plastic pots.

2) Fill containers with high-quality potting soil.  Don’t go cheap on the soil. Container gardens thrive with higher quality specialty soil. Ask for help at your local store.

3) Harvest perfectly.  Frequent harvesting of your herbs will encourage new growth and keep your plants happy and healthy.

4) Water perfectly.  Certain herbs like mint like a little more moisture than others, so you may have to water one section of your pot more than others.   Research the herbs you select and monitor closely.

5) Feed as needed.  Most herb gardens do not need to be fed more than once a month.  Sometimes if they are thriving not at all.   Select a fertilizer optimized for edible plants.

MarketPlace REALTY offers a wide portfolio of real estate services in the Shenandoah Valley.   Call 540-450-2747 for a custom consultation, or visit us at mympr.com and discover all of our beautiful current listings.   We are located at 302 South Braddock St. Winchester VA, 22601.   Angela Duncan, Broker.   Licensed in VA and WV.  Equal Housing Opportunities.

Considering a Rain Barrel?

Many homeowners are looking to add “green” improvements to their homes.  This appeals to eco-conscious buyers and helps the planet.

If you are considering purchasing and installing a rain barrel for your home, there are a few important things to keep in mind.

 

1.) Aesthetics & Function-  Consider the material and color scheme of the barrel system you are going to install.  Make sure it compliments the home and landscape and is not an eyesore.

2.) Do the Math-  Make sure that the size of the barrel for collection matches the size of the roof.    For example, A 1-inch rainfall on 100 square feet of roof will generate about 60 gallons of water.

3.) Gutters should be clean and in good repair before installing a rain barrel system.

4.) Never connect a barrel to any part of your home plumbing system.

5.) Consider the weight of the barrel-  One gallon of water weighs about 8.3 pounds.  Make sure you locate the barrel in a safe area.

6.) The water collected is untreated.  It is ideal for plants, but not ideal for cooking or washing.   Make sure to rinse all veggies with tap water before cooking.

7.) Monitor your barrel for pest problems, and avoid stagnant water issues by using all water within a week of collecting.

Are you using a rain barrel?   Share your tips below!  We would love to hear from you!

MarketPlace REALTY offers a wide portfolio of real estate services in the Shenandoah Valley.   Call 540-450-2747 for a custom consultation, or visit us at mympr.com and discover all of our beautiful current listings.   We are located at 302 South Braddock St. Winchester VA, 22601.   Angela Duncan, Broker.   Licensed in VA and WV.  Equal Housing Opportunities.