I’m a PANK? A rose by any other name…

My nephew, Avery, and I, many autumns ago

According to an article in the Feb. 19th edition of the Seattle Times (via The Minneapolis Star Tribune), I’ve been given a new name/label/title. I am a PANK, Professional Aunt, No Kids.  Living | Many women see the role of aunt as a special calling | Seattle Times Newspaper.

Although I don’t much care for that acronym, I have long been extolling the benefits of being an Aunt without kids of my own. In my opinion, it’s even better than being a grandparent. I get to spend time with my nephews and nieces pretty much on my own terms and the expectations are much less. I’m not really expected to babysit (although I sometimes do) and I’m not expected to spoil the kids (although I reserve that right) and I’m not first in line to raise the kids if their parents turn out to be screw-ups (no chance of that in my case).

And I am of the opinion that it’s really a bonus for kids to have an aunt or uncle in their life who likes children, but doesn’t have or want any of their own. I wouldn’t necessarily put myself up as a role model, but I do give my nieces and nephews another responsible adult to observe and question. I provide an alternate paradigm for them to consider and examine. (In my case, I am both single and childless.) They may very well choose to follow the more usual path of marriage and family when they grow up, but at least they will have witnessed a healthy, viable alternative. Of course, many people don’t believe that an adult can be truly happy unless s/he marries and has children. But let’s not open up that can of worms. (On the other hand, if you DO want to explore that idea further, I recommend the book Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever Afterby Bella DePaulo, Ph.D.)

What about you? Are you a PANK or a PUNK? Or did you have one in your life when you were growing up? I’d love to hear your point of view.

 

2012 Green Home Tour coming April 21 & 22

Inspiration * Education * Solutions

That is the tag line for this year’s Seattle Green Home Tour happening Saturday and Sunday, April 21 & 22 from 10-4 each day.

Builders, architects, designers & craftsmen with deep green focus showcase their sustainable projects — FREE! Meet this outstanding community and learn about why green homes aren’t just the future, they’re in your neighborhood NOW!

So many ways to get involved:  > Host a site; > Be a Sponsor; > Attend with friends; > Exhibit at the Expo; > Learn at workshops; > Volunteer!

Everything you need to know @  www.SeattleGreenHomeTour.org

Presented by Northwest EcoBuilding Guild

Sponsored by a whole bunch of businesses and organizations 🙂

 

Living alone isn’t necessarily lonely

Here’s a link to an article from The New York Times with an unusually positive take on the experience of living alone. It very much reflects my experience. How about yours?
OPINION
By ERIC KLINENBERG
Published: February 4, 2012
Living alone can make it easier to be social.

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!


Yum!

Did you know that I serve ice cream at my Open House events every weekend?

Well, I don’t exactly “serve” it, but everyone who comes to my Opens receives a coupon for a free ice cream cone at West Seattle’s own, Husky Deli.

Why? Because it’s one way I differentiate myself from other run-of-the-mill real estate agents. Not by bribing you, but by demonstrating that I go above and beyond what is expected (did you get treats at any other open houses?), anticipate my clients’ needs and desires, then work to fulfill them.

As a Prudential Northwest Realty broker in West Seattle, I constantly strive to provide my clients — buyers and sellers — with exceptional service. Isn’t that what you want from your real estate agent?

This weekend, from 10A-1P both Saturday and Sunday, you can find me at 7426 44th Ave SW in West Seattle. This remodeled home, listed by my Prudential Northwest colleagues the Johnson Team, was originally built in 1921. It has four bedrooms (three on the upper level) two and a half bathrooms, 2,625 square feet of living space and a big entertainment deck to take in the Sound and Mountain view. MLS #75850. Listed for $625,000 and worth every penny.

Come take a look and pick up your coupon for free ice cream 🙂

Click here to find a list of other Open House events happening this weekend, hosted by Prudential Northwest Realty and other agencies.

 

Thoughts that give me peace of mind

I hope you don’t mind this very personal post. I am sharing it in the hopes that, in some small way, it will contribute to your peace of mind as well.

Thoughts that Give Me Peace of Mind

I Am the creator of my own perfect reality.

I Am exactly where I Am meant to be.

There is only a Stream of Well-Being; I allow it, I accept it, I receive it.

Only goodness & mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.

I can have, do & be anything I want.

My purpose in life is to create & experience Joy.

There is plenty of time for everything.

There is plenty of everything for everyone.

There are no mistakes, there are no accidents, only lessons.

Good health, great wealth & great joy come naturally to me.

Every event produces positive manifestations.

I deserve to be Rich & Successful.

I am Rich & Successful in every way.

The longer I live, the Richer I become.

Life just keeps getting better & better.

Read this before you remodel your kitchen!

Is Your Kitchen Making You Fat?

By: Lisa Kaplan Gordon

Published: January 11, 2012

When it comes to weight gain, we blame our genes, our metabolism, and wrong foods that taste so right. But maybe our kitchens are to blame. Here’s why.

Dieters beware: Your dream kitchen remodel may be your biggest nightmare. Experts say that big and attractive kitchens contribute to big and unattractive waistlines.

Just shoot us now.

“If a kitchen gets you there and keeps you there, you’re going to increase your consumption,” says Mark Blegen, an associate professor at St. Catherine University in Minnesota, who studies why people eat. “Even if you add only 10 extra calories a day, you’re going to gain weight over the long term.”

You mean remodeling a small and dreary kitchen into a big and fabulous one is hazardous to our health?

“Getting people to think that this kitchen may be causing me to gain weight is a huge shift,” Blegen says. “But if people want to take an honest look at their weight, they ought to take a look at every aspect of their environment.”

Weight management depends on many things — genetics, metabolism, running shoes that live under your bed. But calories-in and calories-out also depend on increasing and decreasing barriers to food. Kitchen size, design, storage, and appliances all erect or destroy those physical and psychological barriers. Here’s how.

  • Kitchen-great room combos: As big kitchens multitask as family rooms, homework centers, and offices, we spend more time around food. “If it’s right there in front of you, odds are you’ll want to consume it,” Blegen says. In fact, a seminal study on eating and environment found that moving a candy bowl 6 feet away from eaters reduced their consumption by 50%. It’s hard to move food away from you in a kitchen.
  • Traditional design: Kitchen designers are slaves to minimizing the distance between a kitchen’s sink, stove and refrigerator — its “work triangle.” But researcher Brian Wansink says the smaller the triangle, the more we’re eating when we’re supposed to prepping.
  • Too-handy storage: Kitchen storage puts you within reaching distance of calories. Walk-in pantries are the worst, because they encourage buying in bulk and stockpiling. Not only does stockpiling put you within steps of huge quantities of food, but the cost of buying and storing that bargain 10-lb. bag of Jasmine rice puts pressure on you to eat it. You can’t win for losing.
  • Tempting refrigerators: Upscale, glass-front refrigerators bring you face-to-face with last night’s leftovers, which call to you like sirens. And placing the fridge next to the eating nook makes it easier — and more likely — to grab a second helping.
  • Open-shelf cabinets: They remove that last, slim barrier between you and food — the cabinet door. “The more visible and the more convenient the food is in cupboards, the more likely you are to take it,” says Wansink, author of “Mindless Eating.”Forget counting calories — follow the HouseLogic dietOK, count calories if you want. But you’ll eat fewer if you keep these kitchen makeover tips in mind.Remodeling your kitchen? Give it the lean treatment

    If your kitchen is tempting you to overeat, bite the bullet (no calories in that) and plan aremodel — keeping these strategies in mind.

    • Size the kitchen with food preparation, not munching, in mind. Instead of building an eat-in kitchen, devote space to prep islands, professional ranges, double ovens, and a couple of dishwashers. Then eat in a separate room, which reduces your temptation for seconds.
    • Place the refrigerator away from the kitchen entrance so you’re not tempted to graze the moment you enter the room. Also, choose smaller refrigerators with bottom freezers, which require you to stoop to scoop that ice cream. And take those vegetables out of the crisper and put them on a center shelf, where they stare you in the face each time you open the fridge door.
    • Install cabinets with solid doors. If you like the look of glass, opt for opaque or antique glass that hides contents.
    • Avoid walk-in pantries that can store bushels of food. Instead, choose smaller cabinetry with pull-out shelves that reveals all the healthful food they will contain. (We live in hope.)
    • Keep televisions, iPads, and other distractions out of the kitchen. The less you focus on the food you’re eating, the more you’ll eat.
    • Install bright lights, which discourage eating. Researchers don’t know exactly why harsh lighting means less eating. Perhaps we spend less time in places with annoying lighting. So use task lighting to help in food prep, save you money on dimmers, and keep lights bright.

    Kitchen tweaks: No remodel planned? No problem

    If you’ve already built the kitchen of your dreams or you’re not planning a full-scale remodel soon, a little reorganizing can help you cut calories.

    • If you already have open shelves, place dishware and pots there, not food. If you must put food where you can see it, store it in opaque containers.
    • Remove stools from around your prep island. You burn more calories standing than sitting, and eventually you’ll move to more comfortable spaces away from food.
    • Store fattening foods in a garage freezer or refrigerator; you’ll think twice about dessert if you must walk to the garage to get it. And if you do indulge, you’ll burn a few calories fetching those sweets.
    • Opt for one or two of the remodeling tips we noted above if you want to do a little more than reorganize but less than a full-on remodel.

    What part of your kitchen encourages you to eat? Would you give it up to lose a few pounds?

    “Visit HouseLogic.com for more articles like this. Reprinted from HouseLogic.com with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.”

    Read more: http://members.houselogic.com/reprint-rights/#ixzz1lXSw90RV

Perception is everything in home values

This is one of those spectacular, sunny mornings that answers the question (usually posed by out-of-towners), “Why would you choose to live in Seattle where it rains so much?”

They don’t understand that one day like this makes up for a whole bunch of the others. And it’s okay with me if we keep it our little secret 😉

Right now (11:45AM) I’m holding an Open House at 7426 44th Ave SW in West Seattle and here is the view I’m forced to endure!

I was just showing the house to Keith, who has been admiring it online. He expressed his surprise that the house hasn’t sold yet (it’s been on the market for 138 days, which is longer than the current average of 63, but still not bad) because he believes it is a good value. It’s not my listing, but I think it’s well-priced, too. Four bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 2,625 sq. ft., beautifully restored 1921 home with a great view. $625,000. MLS# 275850.

Keith commented about how perception of a home’s value can be skewed once it has been on the market for awhile. So true. Often, a long market time means that the home is over-priced, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes it’s just a matter of waiting for the right buyer.

I will be holding this home open again tomorrow (yes, Superbowl Sunday) from 10A-1P. I hope you will come by and tell me what you think of the home and whether or not it is priced right. How do you judge home values?