Home Tips: Meal Prep Basics

Don’t some people just seem to have it all together? Yes, we all envy those folks that just make it look so stinkin’ easy. How do they manage to get through their hectic weeks and still eat healthy? The answer – meal prep! Prepping your meals for the week can make eating healthy easy and stress free. It takes time and planning up front, but makes your life so much simpler in the end! Here are the basic steps to get you started:

Create Your Menu

The first step in meal prepping is to plan out your menu for the week. If this seems overwhelming, you might want to start out by planning just one meal a day. If you’re a meal prep newbie, the best meal to start with is dinner. That way, you can just plan to use the left-overs for lunches. Make your menu in whatever way works best for you – a scrap of paper works fine or use or a pretty menu planning chalkboard. As you plan your dinners, keep in mind your schedule and any plans you have for the week. You will want to plan meals that require the freshest ingredients nearer the beginning of the week so that fresh fruits and veggies don’t go bad before you can use them. Need some healthy recipe inspiration? This Black Bean Quinoa Enchilada Bake from Two Peas & Their Pod is AMAZING!

(Image: HGTV)

Shopping

This step is pretty straightforward, but you will want to take time to create a shopping list. To do this, get out all of your recipes (or pull them up on Pinterest) and make sure you have all of the ingredients you need. Nothing is worse than starting your prepping only to realize you forgot to buy an ingredient or two. Meal prepping is meant to be efficient. If you have to make multiple trips to the grocery story, it kind of defeats the purpose. Also, make sure you buy the freshest ingredients you can find! You want them to last you through the week without going bad!

Chop, Chop, Chop!

Once you have all your ingredients, it’s time to prep! This includes chopping veggies, prepping meats and measuring out ingredients like spices, etc. This is most time intensive step. Most people do this on Saturday or Sunday afternoon. Plan for a couple of hours, especially if you’re planning to cook some of your meals ahead of time too. Which brings us to the next step…

Cook! Maybe…

Some people prefer to go ahead and cook some of the meals they’ve prepped, or at least cook parts of them. Other people prefer to just get everything chopped and ready to go and cook it fresh the night they plan to eat it. It’s totally up to you! Here’s a yummy Chicken Shawarma and Sweet Potato Fry Bowl from Half Baked Harvest that you can cook ahead of time and use as lunches or dinners throughout the week!

Storage

Now that everything is prepped and ready to go, you need a storage system to keep everything organized. This might mean investing in additional food storage containers. Good old Pyrex is a great, inexpensive option. It’s durable, long-lasting and it’s nice that you can cook in it as well.

And that’s it! The great thing about meal prep is that you can do as little or as much as you like. If you only prep a few meals a week, great! Don’t stress about it too much. Do whatever makes your life simpler and healthier. That’s the point anyway, right?

At North Eastern Group Realty, we are prepared to assist our clients with their significant Fort Wayne real estate decisions. Our corporate commitment is to provide real knowledge, proven experience and professional, quality service. To search all Fort Wayne homes for sale or find a Fort Wayne REALTOR®, visit our website at NorthEasternGroup.com.

North Eastern Group Realty is Fort Wayne’s largest independent real estate company located at 10808 La Cabreah Lane, Fort Wayne, IN 46845.

10,000 REALTORS ® Head to DC to Meet with Members of Congress

10,000 REALTORS® from across the country met in Washington DC to get training, conduct their annual meeting and most importantly advocate for the real estate industry and property rights.

 

 

The three most important issues addressed by the industry were tax reform, National Flood Insurance and sustainable homeownership. The National Association of REALTORS® is a powerful voice representing not only more than a million REALTORS®, but tens of millions of homeowners.

 

The message on tax reform was that we need tax reform but it must not do harm to homeownership. Thus, REALTORS® want to preserve the mortgage interest and property tax deductions. In addition to tax revenue, homeownership provides social benefits to communities, increasing neighborhood stability and community involvement. REALTORS® are also in favor of maintaining 1031 Like-kind Exchange provisions which allow a seller to reinvest into another property increasing economic growth and job creation.

 

Authority for the National Flood Insurance Program expires on September 30, 2017 which will jeopardize 40,000 home sales a month. REALTORS® urged Congress to pass a multiyear re-authorization to avoid uncertainty in the real estate market. They also encouraged Congress to enable consumers to meet federal requirements with private plans, which are currently offering better coverage at a lower cost. Additionally, there is a need for modern mapping technology to unburden property owners of amending maps with expensive surveys.

 

REALTORS® also expressed the need to protect sustainable homeownership by responsibly reforming the secondary mortgage market to ensure that qualified borrowers have access to affordable financing. Dismantling Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac without identifying a viable replacement would put the 30 year mortgage and thus homeownership for many at risk. Another concern is Congress’ use of mortgage guarantee fees to offset the cost of legislation unrelated to housing. These fees which are charged to lenders increase borrower’s costs and unfairly burden homebuyers to cover unrelated federal spending.

 

The issues REALTORS® brought to Congress this week are vital to homeowership, which has always been a cornerstone of our nation and differentiates the US from many countries around the world. This is why the Preamble to the REALTOR Code of Ethics begins:

 

“Under all is the land. Upon its wise utilization and widely allocated ownership depend the survival and growth of free institutions and of our civilization. Realtors® should recognize that the interests of the nation and its citizens require the highest and best use of the land and the widest distribution of land ownership. They require the creation of adequate housing, the building of functioning cities, the development of productive industries and farms, and the preservation of a healthful environment. Such interests impose obligations beyond those of ordinary commerce. They impose grave social responsibility and a patriotic duty to which Realtors® should dedicate themselves…”

 

It was an honor to attend the 2017 NAR Legislative Conference with the dedicated and committed leadership from the local Upstate Alliance of REALTORS® and Indiana Association  of REALTORS®.

 

At North Eastern Group Realty, we are prepared to assist our clients with their significant Fort Wayne real estate decisions. Our corporate commitment is to provide real knowledge, proven experience and professional, quality service. To search all Fort Wayne homes for sale or find a Fort Wayne REALTOR®, visit our website at NorthEasternGroup.com.

 

North Eastern Group Realty is Fort Wayne’s largest independent real estate company located at 10808 La Cabreah Lane, Fort Wayne, IN 46845.

Home Tips: Memorial Day Menu Ideas

Memorial Day Weekend is almost here! The unofficial start of summer means family, friends, fun and, of course, lots of yummy food! If you’re hosting the big cook-out this year, you’ll want to make sure you have plenty of delicious barbecue, scrumptious sides, sweet desserts and cold drinks. Looking for inspiration? Here’s your perfect Memorial Day cook-out menu.

Barbecue

Grilling is a Memorial Day must. Instead of (or in addition to) regular old burgers and hotdogs, try kicking things up a notch with this delicious recipe for BBQ Chicken Breasts from Damn Delicious! Everyone loves some good barbecue and you can’t beat homemade sauce!

(Image Credit: Damn Delicious)

Appetizers and Sides

In the spirit of kicking things up a notch, try this Mexican Corn Dip, also from Damn Delicious! It’s a unique dip that your guests will love. Serve with tortilla chips as an appetizer/side.

Mexican Corn Dip - The traditional Mexican street corn is turned into the best dip ever. It's so good, you won't even need the chips here!

(Image Credit: Damn Delicious)

Another great side option that both adults and kids will love is this Kid Friendly Pasta Salad from Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond. Kids will love the fun shaped pasta and cheese cubes and adults will appreciate the fresh basil – everyone will love the bacon!

Kid Friendly Pasta Salad

(Image Credit: Food Network)

Dessert

Time for everyone’s favorite part of any party – dessert! You can’t go wrong with classic chocolate chip cookies! With no fuss and no mess, cookies are great for Memorial Day parties because you can set them out and let your guests help themselves (as many times as they want). This Tried and True Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe from A Bountiful Kitchen is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

Tried and True Chocolate Chip Cookies

(Image Credit: A Bountiful Kitchen)

Drinks

Last but not least, you can’t forget the drinks! Hopefully we will have a warm, sunny Memorial Day weekend and you will need something cold and delicious for your guests. This homemade Raspberry Lemonade from Like Mother Like Daughter is sweet and refreshing.

 

There you have it! Your Memorial Day menu all planned out for you! Hoping for sunshine and good times this long weekend!

At North Eastern Group Realty, we are prepared to assist our clients with their significant Fort Wayne real estate decisions. Our corporate commitment is to provide real knowledge, proven experience and professional, quality service. To search all Fort Wayne homes for sale or find a Fort Wayne REALTOR®, visit our website at NorthEasternGroup.com.

North Eastern Group Realty is Fort Wayne’s largest independent real estate company located at 10808 La Cabreah Lane, Fort Wayne, IN 46845.

Fort Wayne Realtor: 7208 Tayside Trail, Fort Wayne 46814 Video Tour

Tremendous Square Footage For The Money! Over 3,100 SF With 5 Bedrooms & 4 Full Baths & A Fenced Yard. This 12 Yr Old Home Not Only Has All The Space Your Family Will Ever Need, It’s Also Filled With Great Amenities. Big Kitchen With Custom Raised Panel Staggered Cabinets, Double Door Pantry & Smooth Top Stove & Side By Side Refrigerator Which Stay. Extremely Large Master Suite Has Double Sinks, Separate Shower & Garden Tub & Two Walk-In Closets. Bedroom #2 Has Double Closets & Bedroom #3 Has It’s Own Full Bath. There Is A Den Or 5th Bedroom On The Main Level Which Is Great For Someone Wanting To Avoid Stairs. Other Features Include 9 Ft. Ceilings, 90% Furnace & Front Load Washer & Dryer Remain. Great Location On Quiet, Low Traffic Area In SW Allen Schools With Great Access To Shopping & Interstate. You Can Search & Search But You Won’t Find A Better Value Near This Price Range.

At North Eastern Group Realty, we are prepared to assist our clients with their significant Fort Wayne real estate decisions. Our corporate commitment is to provide real knowledge, proven experience and professional, quality service. To search all Fort Wayne homes for sale or find a Fort Wayne REALTOR®, visit our website at NorthEasternGroup.com.

North Eastern Group Realty is Fort Wayne’s largest independent real estate company located at 10808 La Cabreah Lane, Fort Wayne, IN 46845.

Home Tips: Pretty Headboards

Updating your headboard is a relatively easy way to refresh your bedroom and take your decor up a notch. There are so many different types of headboards, so you want to explore your options and make sure you find one that fits well with your overall bedroom style. Your bed is the focal point of your bedroom so your headboard should make a statement! Here are some beautiful headboards to suit any style!

Upholstered

Upholstered headboards are elegant, yet cozy at the same time. They can be a little more formal than other headboard styles, but they still bring a softness to the bed since they are covered in fabric. Upholstered headboards are also a great DIY option if you have an existing headboard you are wanting to update. Keep it simple or add some buttons or studs for a fancier feel.

(Image Credit: Front + Main)

Metal

Metal headboards are great in smaller spaces because they aren’t bulky and don’t take up a lot of room. They work really well with minimalist or vintage style bedrooms. They can also be relatively inexpensive compared to other headboards make with more materials!

(Image Credit: Midwest Living)

Wood

You will find a lot of options when it comes to wood headboards and they can work with almost any style! A lighter, more natural colored wood will go well with a modern decor style. Darker wood, on the other hand, will feel more rustic or even classic depending on the style of the headboard. A distressed wood headboard can also help create a more vintage vibe.

White

There are also a ton of options when it comes to white headboards! They can range from clean and simple to rustic farmhouse to ornate bohemian, like the one below. The best thing about white headboards is the brightness they bring to the bedroom!

(Image Credit: My Domaine)

At North Eastern Group Realty, we are prepared to assist our clients with their significant Fort Wayne real estate decisions. Our corporate commitment is to provide real knowledge, proven experience and professional, quality service. To search all Fort Wayne homes for sale or find a Fort Wayne REALTOR®, visit our website at NorthEasternGroup.com.

North Eastern Group Realty is Fort Wayne’s largest independent real estate company located at 10808 La Cabreah Lane, Fort Wayne, IN 46845.

Home Tips: Garden Accessories

Your beautifully budding flowers and plants may be the stars of the show, but just like the rest of your home, your garden may need some accessories to add a touch of warmth and whimsy. Garden decor such as planters, signs and birdhouses can help bring your personal style to your garden and brighten your spirits when you’re out tending to your blooms. Even if your thumb isn’t as green as you would like it to be, you can still have a pretty garden with some fun accessories!

Planters

Since they are relatively large, the planters you choose help set the tone for your garden. Think of them as the “furniture” of the garden. Brightly colored planters can add some festive spirit to your garden, while light colored stone planters will give your garden a more tranquil feel. Wooden box planters bring a rustic feel. This textured planter from West Elm is beautiful and neutral!

(Image Credit: West Elm)

 Garden Signs

Add some art to your garden with garden signs! There are many options when it comes to garden signs – some come in the form of garden stakes while other larger signs may be hung on a fence. Chalkboard stakes are fun because they are easily customizable and can help you remember where you planted which seeds. This garden stake sign is from Magnolia Market (they have a bunch of cute garden stuff)!

(Image Credit: Magnolia Market)

Birdhouses

You might be thinking that birdhouses are only for crazy, old bird ladies or high school boys in wood shop, but they can actually be really cute! Since your flowers and most of your other garden accessories will be close to the ground, birdhouses or other hanging ornaments can actually serve to draw the eye up and add some height and dimension to your space. Plus, there are some pretty sleek birdhouse options out there if you’re not up for making your own. This white ceramic birdhouse from Target is so simple and pretty!

(Image Credit: Target)

Accessories for You: The Gardener!

Who says your garden gets to have all the fun? You’ve got to have the proper accessories to get the job done (and look good doing it)! This garden tote from Magnolia Market is perfect for carrying all of your gardening tools.

(Image Credit: Magnolia Market)

Hoping your flowers are as beautiful as your garden accessories!

At North Eastern Group Realty, we are prepared to assist our clients with their significant Fort Wayne real estate decisions. Our corporate commitment is to provide real knowledge, proven experience and professional, quality service. To search all Fort Wayne homes for sale or find a Fort Wayne REALTOR®, visit our website at NorthEasternGroup.com.

North Eastern Group Realty is Fort Wayne’s largest independent real estate company located at 10808 La Cabreah Lane, Fort Wayne, IN 46845.

Fort Wayne Real Estate: 2428 Stonebriar Road, Fort Wayne 46814 Video Tour

Peaceful Setting With This Beautiful Home! Enjoy The Privacy You Are Looking For On This Exquisite Pond Lot In Lovely Bridgewater. Serene Waterfront To The Left & Common Area In The Back Makes For A Very Relaxing Get Away. This Home Has Loads Of Updates Including: New Patio & Fire Pit Overlooking Pond. New Deck. New Brazilian Cherry Hardwood Floors. Almost All Windows Are New. New Granite In Kitchen & More!! Foyer Leads To Great Room With Oversized Windows On 3 Sides, Ventless Gas Fireplace With Custom Wood Surround, New Ceiling Fan, TV & Surround Sound Speakers To Remain. Island Kitchen With Loads Of Hickory Cabinets Space, Granite Counters, Pantry & All Appliances Remain. Utility Room With Custom Cabinets, Sink, With Washer & Dryer To Remain. Spacious Master Suite With Large Walk-In Closet, Private Bath With Separate Sit Down Shower & Jet Tub, Double Sinks & 2 Linen Closets. Other 3 Bedrooms Are Of Good Size As Well & Share The Upstairs Full Bath. Den/Formal Dining Room. Finished Basement With 1/2 Bath & Workshop/Storage Area & Much More Make This Home A Must See. Average Utilities: Aqua & City Utilities $73/Mo, REMC $153/Mo, Nipsco $40/Mo. Dining Room Ceiling Fan Blades Will Be replaced, current blades are family heirloom. Seller to Provide Previous Survey Dated 2005.

At North Eastern Group Realty, we are prepared to assist our clients with their significant Fort Wayne real estate decisions. Our corporate commitment is to provide real knowledge, proven experience and professional, quality service. To search all Fort Wayne homes for sale or find a Fort Wayne REALTOR®, visit our website at NorthEasternGroup.com.

North Eastern Group Realty is Fort Wayne’s largest independent real estate company located at 10808 La Cabreah Lane, Fort Wayne, IN 46845.

Home Tips: Cute Children’s Storage

Isn’t it amazing how quickly children’s toys, books and other items can take over your home? For such small humans, kids just have a lot of stuff! Looking for some ideas to get your kiddos organized? Here are some options that are kid-friendly, functional and cute!

(Image Credit: Land of Nod)

Fun Storage Bins

Storage bins and boxes, like these fun ones from 3 Sprouts, are perfect for toys! The best part is that they’re easy for kids to pull out and access on their own. They’re also portable so they can be taken from room to room for easy clean up. If you’re looking for something bigger, 3 Sprouts also has a super cute toy chest too!

(Image Credit: 3 Sprouts)

Bookshelves

Many children’s book collections get just as unruly as their toys. While you obviously want to encourage your little bookworm’s love of reading, you probably don’t want books all over your floor. Ikea spice racks make great, inexpensive children’s book storage. Check out these adorable painted ones found in Lay Baby Lay‘s pastel nursery. These ones are placed a little higher on the walls, but you might want to try placing them lower for easy access!

(Image Credit: Lay Baby Lay)

Changing Station

The smaller the kid, the more stuff, right? Keeping baby’s changing table area organized can be a challenge with so many diapers, wipes, creams, etc. The key to keeping all of baby’s stuff organized is to make sure you have plenty of caddies, bins and baskets so that everything has it’s own place and doesn’t all end up getting thrown in one messy drawer.  The changing station in this modern nursery utilizes a variety of cute bins and baskets to keep everything neat and tidy. The DIY pegboard is also super cute and creates space for extra hanging baskets!

(Image Credit: Project Nursery)

At North Eastern Group Realty, we are prepared to assist our clients with their significant Fort Wayne real estate decisions. Our corporate commitment is to provide real knowledge, proven experience and professional, quality service. To search all Fort Wayne homes for sale or find a Fort Wayne REALTOR®, visit our website at NorthEasternGroup.com.

North Eastern Group Realty is Fort Wayne’s largest independent real estate company located at 10808 La Cabreah Lane, Fort Wayne, IN 46845.

Home Tips: Patio Decor Ideas

It’s starting to feel like the warm weather is finally here to stay! That means it’s time to start getting that patio looking pretty. The best part of patio decorating is that it doesn’t have to be too serious. Patio accessories are easy to update, so you can have fun and go with whatever style you’re feeling right now. You can always change it up next year! Modern country and eclectic boho are two trends you might want to try this spring! Here is a look at a couple very different, but equally awesome patio styles to inspire you!

Modern Country

Modern farmhouse style is currently a major home trend, so why not bring it to your patio? Country patio staples include lots of distressed, rustic wood and fresh potted plants. Cute homemade-looking signs are also a must. Give your country patio a more modern feel by keeping colors neutral (black and white is beautiful!) and working in some industrial metals like this super cute farmhouse patio from Twelve on Main. You can almost taste the cold sweet tea!

(Image Credit: Twelve on Main)

(Image Credit: Twelve on Main)

Eclectic Boho

Have you always secretly loved eclectic-boho style but have been too afraid to incorporate it indoors? Try it on your patio! Patios are great spaces to have a little fun and incorporate some bolder pieces. For an eclectic look, try using some mismatched patio furniture (you can save money and find some great pieces at yard sales or thrift shops!). Spice things up by using fabrics in bright colors and bold prints! Check out some of these designs from Dwelling Decor.

(Image Credit: Dwelling Decor)

(Image Credit: Dwelling Decor)

Here’s to warm weather and cold drinks on your fabulous patio! Cheers!

At North Eastern Group Realty, we are prepared to assist our clients with their significant Fort Wayne real estate decisions. Our corporate commitment is to provide real knowledge, proven experience and professional, quality service. To search all Fort Wayne homes for sale or find a Fort Wayne REALTOR®, visit our website at NorthEasternGroup.com.

North Eastern Group Realty is Fort Wayne’s largest independent real estate company located at 10808 La Cabreah Lane, Fort Wayne, IN 46845.

Home Tips: Kitchen Refresh Ideas

Many homeowners would like to update their kitchens without undertaking a major kitchen renovation, and with good reason. Kitchen renovations can be expensive and exhausting. There are several ways, however, to “refresh” your kitchen without renovating. These kitchen refresh ideas are relatively inexpensive and can even be done yourself!

Paint

A fresh coat of paint is arguably the easiest way to update any room in your home. In a kitchen, you have the choice of painting your walls, cabinets or both! White walls and cabinets are always a classic choice that may not seem super exciting, but will make your space feel bigger and look nice and clean. So timeless! If you’re looking for something a little more adventurous, try an olive green on your lower cabinets like this kitchen from the Little Green Notebook. Two-toned cabinets are a big trend right now and olive green is a versatile color that works like a neutral. Keep in mind that painting cabinets requires several steps, so make sure you read a few “how to” articles before you begin.

img_5805-copy

(Image Credit: Little Green Notebook)

Add or Update a Backsplash

Adding or updating a backsplash may seem intimidating, but it is actually a fairly simple update. Depending on the materials you choose, it can also be very inexpensive. You can even do it yourself with a little preparation and research. Just make sure you watch some online tutorials before you begin. White subway tile looks great with almost any kitchen style and is simple to install. If you’re feeling ambitious or having a professional do the work for you, consider a more unique herringbone pattern – so beautiful!

(Image Credit: HGTV)

Change Hardware

Updating your kitchen hardware is a super easy update that can be done with very little time and effort. Hardware can get pricey, however, so take your time to shop around before you purchase. What’s the trend in kitchen hardware these days? Love it or hate it, brass is currently having a big moment. Before you knock it, take some time to look at some of the beautiful kitchens on Pinterest featuring brass hardware – you might be surprised!

(Image Credit: Elizabeth Lawson Design)

At North Eastern Group Realty, we are prepared to assist our clients with their significant Fort Wayne real estate decisions. Our corporate commitment is to provide real knowledge, proven experience and professional, quality service. To search all Fort Wayne homes for sale or find a Fort Wayne REALTOR®, visit our website at NorthEasternGroup.com.

North Eastern Group Realty is Fort Wayne’s largest independent real estate company located at 10808 La Cabreah Lane, Fort Wayne, IN 46845.