First Day of Autumn


Even though it happens year after year, the arrival of autumn is always a little surprising. Almost as if on a switch, one day late in the summer you feel it – a subtle crispness in the air. And before you know it, it’s pumpkin-spice-everything everywhere. We are suddenly swathed in sweaters, wearing boots, and bombarded by shades of orange, often even before the thermometer warrants it. After slogging through a long hot August, it can feel exciting.
Making the transition to autumn is also a great way to reorganize after a hectic summer and be better prepared going into the winter months. To make the transition a little smoother, we have created a to-do-list of ideas to help.


Start with your bedroom
Gauzy cotton feels decidedly summer, while soft cashmere has a distinctly autumnal vibe. This time of year, feel free to use both luxe textures at once, but incorporate them in colors that are appropriate for the changing seasons: cream for cashmere, gray or stone for linen.


Winterize your car
Due for an inspection? Been meaning to get those tires changed? It’s tedious, but dealing with maintenance issues now instead of three months from now (when you’re stuck in a freak snowstorm) is definitely a smart move.


Perform a pantry audit
First, remove all the cans and boxes from the shelves and vacuum any lingering dust or crumbs. Then inspect each item before putting it back in its place, tossing anything that is expired or past its prime. If you are overloaded with canned goods, make a bag for the local food bank.


Don’t neglect the Fireplace
You may not be ready to think about it yet, but on the first chilly night you’ll be glad you did. Hire a professional to inspect the fireplace and chimney to make sure it’s clear and ready for use.

Windermere Launches Ultra-Luxury Brand

Today Windermere Real Estate unveiled its ultra-luxury brand W Collection. W’ is a high-touch concierge service that not only markets luxury listings, but connects Windermere brokers and their clients to every aspect of the luxury industry.

W Collection’s goal is to develop a sophisticated brand that evokes the understated expression of wealth of the clients it represents. The new luxury division will focus on homes priced at $2.5 million and above in Seattle, and $3 million and above on the Eastside.

The market has dictated this elevated luxury tier, because the amount of homes in the $2.5 million and up range has exploded. Windermere is uniquely poised as the preeminent real estate company to cater to this clientele.

The W Collection will formally launch in late September.

W Collection will include a boutique office in Seattle where brokers can host events and connect privately with clientele.

Windermere has 7,000 agents in 300 offices in 11 states throughout the Western United States. It is the largest real estate company in the Pacific Northwest and largest regional real estate company in the Western United States.

w brand

Free Tour of Green Homes!

House in the trees

House in the trees

Record-breaking crowds are expected at the 2016 Northwest Green Home Tour on April 30 and May 1.

The free educational event, produced annually by Northwest EcoBuilding Guild, showcases local, sustainable, and green new homes, remodels, and energy retrofits in the Greater Seattle area. Last year’s tour drew 3,000 visitors.

The Green Home Tour features builders, contractors, suppliers, and green homeowners and facilitates interactions between building professionals and consumers.

Greenhome Solutions, Seattle’s only locally owned green building supply retailer, is the presenting sponsor for the NW Green Home Tour. The family-owned business offers a showroom near the Ballard Bridge, an online store, and certified installers for all its products.

The Northwest EcoBuilding Guild is a nonprofit community of builders, designers, suppliers, homeowners, and partners concerned with ecological building in the Pacific Northwest.

Trick or Treat Time!!

Believe it or not, it’s almost the end of October! Haunted houses, hay rides, pumpkin patches, and even a special harvest market from the Bellevue Farmers Market are waiting for you in the days ahead.
If you’re looking for something to do on Halloween Day, make sure you check out the Halloween Market with the Bellevue Farmers Market. They’re transforming their typical Saturday Market into something fun and full of treats. There will be pumpkin painting, face painting, live music, a family photo booth, costume contest, fresh cider, and a scavenger hunt for kids at the vendor booths.
If you still need to visit the pumpkin patch this weekend, here are a few great farms for you:
Dr. Maze’s Farm
Fall City Farms
Fox Hollow Family Farms
Remlinger Farms
Looking for something spookier than pumpkin patches and hay rides? Here are some haunted houses and events:
Spookfest Zip Tour
Nightmare at Beaver Lake
Fright Fest
Haunted Farm at Fox Hollow Family Farms

Be safe and have fun!!

Attain Housing’s Wish Upon A Star Event

We’re less than one month away from this amazing event! Seats have been filling up fast, but there’s still some available if any of you awesome people would like to come and enjoy a great evening benefiting a cause that should be near and dear to us all! We still have a couple seats left at our (Lynn and Michael’s) tables too, so at least you know you’ll be in good company. 😉  We have some great sponsors and some amazing auction items!  Contact us for more details or visit the website here.

Football is Back!

Summer is unfortunately starting to wind down, and that can only mean one thing…  Seahawks Football is back!  We fans have had to wait all off-season with that bitter taste in our mouth from last year’s crushing Super Bowl loss, and the time has finally come to create new memories in a new season!  We know we are not alone in our excitement to see our boys back out on the field.  For a link to their season schedule, which kicks off this Friday, August 14th against the Denver Broncos, click here.
Go Hawks!!

Seattle Summer Events

Picture taken by John Catalano

Events in the Seattle area are always so much fun! However, most people seem to find their favorites and forget about the rest of the amazing events that are held. We thought we would share with you a list of some great activities that you can do to enjoy the rest of your summer in the beautiful Pacific Northwest!

With July winding down and August upon us there are many festivals, shows and concerts still to see this summer!  Some of them include:

Seafair, hydroplane races and air show: This starts July 29th, with a Parade of ships in Elliot bay. On the 30th of July through the 2nd of August, you and your little ones, ages 8 and older wearing flat heeled shoes, can get ship tours around the Seattle waterfront for free!! With August 1st-2nd being the final days of this event, having the actual races and an air show featuring the U.S. Navy Blue Angles and Patriots Jet Team! Music, food, and vendors are to be found around Genesee Park and Playfield, 4316 S. Genesee St., Seattle, at a cost of $10-$45.

Seattle Art Fair: This is a new event this year and is being held at Century Link Field July 30th till August 2nd, with discounted tickets for $10. With art from over 60 top galleries from around the world being showcased, this is one new event you won’t want to miss! If that isn’t enough art for you, on August 1st there is the Index Arts Festival located in Doolittle Park, 300 Fifth Ave from 10am-10pm with Music, food, vendors, and a beer garden!

Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire: From August 1st through the 16th out at Kelley Farm, 20021 Sumner Buckley Highway, Bonney Lake, Pierce County, you can enjoy jousting shows, country music, dancing, games and puppet shows.  There will also be fun renaissance inspired food and vendors!

From Hiroshima to Hope: August 6th of this year commemorates the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. With live speakers and musical performances, followed by floating candlelit lanterns being lit over Green Lake at dusk, 6 p.m. on the northwest shore near Seattle Public Theater at the Bathhouse, 7312 W. Green Lake Drive N., Seattle, this is an event to not forget!

Kirkland Summerfest: From August 7th-8th at the Marina Park, 25 Lake Shore Plaza, Kirkland, you can find music, art, and food vendors gracing the water’s edge at the Kirkland Summerfest.

Image found on

Dunnton Abbey: This Edwardian garden party is on August 8th, featuring vintage cars, lunch, croquet, and music. The event is from noon -4 p.m. at Dunn Gardens, 13533 Northshire Road N.W., Shoreline; and is $50.

Snoqualmie Railroad Days: On August 14th-16th, come celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Snoqualmie Depot with steam-train rides, pancake breakfast, and entertainment in downtown Snoqualmie from 4-9pm August 14th, 9am–9pm August 15th, and finally 9am–4pm August 16th.

All of these events are just at the beginning of August! For more events around the Sound please go to the following websites or google search “Seattle events August 2015”:


Renting VS Buying: An Update

As many of us look to the housing market, one question remains at the forefront of our thoughts. Is renting or buying now going to be cheaper in the long run? Where is the market at?

A new report from Trulia came out April 2015 telling us the well-researched and calculated answers. Overall, in the top 100 largest cities, buying is 35% cheaper than renting, where as it was 33% last year. Realizing that this includes high priced homes from Honolulu, Hawaii to lower priced homes from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, you have to be asking yourself, “where does the Seattle area fit in?” According to Trulia, depending on your loan rate, tax deductions, years you plan to stay there, and your HOA fees, Seattle averages at about 21% cheaper to buy then to rent! This being said, they also say that it isn’t just the average percentage that rose over last year, but every city rose in the percentage of it being cheaper to buy than to rent. Which is definitely a positive thing to think about!

The thing that they said could be the biggest factor in which buying or renting is cheaper, is HOA fees. This just means that you need to ask questions on what the HOA covers. It may still be a cheaper option with a high HOA fee, if they cover things like water, sewer or garbage that brings down your utility bills quite a bit. This is why you just need to ask and do the math on if it is right for you. If you want a more personized percentage on how much cheaper it is for you to buy instead of rent, Trulia has a rent vs buy calculator for you to play around with! Knowledge is truly power when it comes to making big decisions!

Happy Fourth of July!

Photo courtesy of washingtonbus.orgView from Gas Works Park

We wish you a happy Fourth of July! Here are some great ideas on celebrations and things to do to make your Independence Day fun event to spend with your friends and family!

-2015 Independence Day Celebrations in Washington
July 4th Celebrations in Washington

-Best 4th of July Road Trips in Washington
July 4th Road Trips

-Best 4th of July Recipes
July 4th Recipes

Again wishing you a safe and wonderful Fourth of July!

Water saving tips and tricks!

With the summer months now upon us, many people start to think about water saving tips and tricks. While being environmentally thoughtful is something that we here in the Pacific Northwest are known for, saving water can also help save a few dollars for the many vacations that we take during the summer. There are so many ways out there to do this and here is a list of some of the easy habits you can do to start saving water today!

· In the kitchen there is a lot you can do to save water. Some ideas for saving water include:

o Use a full dishwasher to wash your dishes, it typically uses less water than washing dishes by hand. If you do wash dishes by hand, then fill up one basin with dish soap water and one of rinse water to wash dishes, or put soapy water in a pot that you are washing and use the soapy water out of that to wash the rest of your dishes.

o Avoid using running water to thaw out food, not only is it better for saving water but it’s safer for your food to thaw them out in the refrigerator.

o Keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator, that way every drop of water gets used instead of going down the drain. As well as it ends up being colder than the water you get out of the tap water when you first turn it on!

o Reuse a designated cup or bottle for water, so you don’t have to keep washing it out. When you have leftover ice cubes, or they fall to the floor, you can also use these to water plants!

· In the bathroom, you would be amazed what amounts of water you can save! Here are a few ideas:

o By shortening your shower by only a minute or two can save up to 150 gallons per month and if you keep it under 5 minutes, you can save up to 1,000 gallons a month!

o Turning off the water when you brush your teeth, will save up to 4 gallons a minute, that’s about 200 gallons a week for a family of four!

o If you plug the sink full of water to rinse your razor when you shave, you can save up to 300 gallons a month.

o Make sure to check for leaks. One drip every second can add up to 5 gallons a day! Toilets can also leak and should be checked for leaks by placing food dye in the main basin about once a year.

· We all love having our plants and lawns outside stay green throughout the summer. Here are a few ideas to keep it green and save water:

o Group plants with the same watering needs together to make sure that you don’t over or under water them.

o If you adjust your lawn mower to the cutting height of 1.5 to 2 inches, this can save water because taller grass shades roots and holds soil moisture better then short grass. As well as aerating your lawn periodically can allow water to reach the roots easier, instead of just running on the surface.

o When your kids, or fur buddies need to cool off, run the sprinkler over an area of grass that needs watering. If you use a kitchen timer to time how long to run the sprinkler, you can continue to move it over your lawn until it’s all watered!

o Use a commercial car wash that recycles water to wash your car, or park your car on your lawn so you get your car washed and your lawn watered at the same time! If you turn off the water or use a hose nozzle, when washing your car, you can save up to 100 gallons or more every time!

Well I hope that these few ideas got you inspired to save water in easy ways throughout this summer! Since they are so easy, get your kids involved and maybe come up with games to get them thinking of more ways to save! A great website to go to for more ideas is as well as they can found easily with just a google search of “conserving water ideas”.

I hope you have an amazingly fun, safe, and water conscious summer!