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Holiday Celebrations During Covid-19

christmas cookiesThe year 2020 has been quite unusual. The Covid-19 global pandemic disrupted summer vacation, traditional school year starts and now the fall and winter holidays. For the first time in history, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has issued guidelines for Americans to safely celebrate the holidays.

Everyday Tips

Wash your hands often and with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. The CDC says this should be done after someone has been in a public place, after blowing their nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water aren’t available, hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol will also work.

The CDC encourages everyone to continue wearing cloth masks in public and to continue practicing social distancing. It recommends everyone to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet or more from people you don’t live with.

Food and Drink Safety Tips

As of now, there is no evidence that suggests handling food or eating is associated with spreading the coronavirus. However, it could spread if someone touches a surface or object, including food, food packaging or utensils where respiratory droplets have landed then they touch their face, nose or mouth.

Holiday Gatherings

Officials suggest celebrating virtually or only with family members, which poses only a low risk of spreading the virus. People who shouldn’t attend a holiday gathering this year include those with or exposed to the coronavirus and people who have an increased risk for severe illness.

If you are hosting a holiday gathering, the CDC asks that people consider the following steps to keep everyone safe:
Host outdoor activities rather than indoor activities
Try and limit guests to just people in the local area
Limit the number of guests as much as possible
Encourage guests to wear masks and use hand sanitizer
Limit people around the food preparation area
Wear a mask while preparing food or serving others
Use single-use options or identify one person to serve sharable items
Avoid any self-serve food or drink options

The CDC also encourages guests to avoid singing or shouting, especially indoors. It recommends keeping music levels down so people don’t have to shout or speak loudly to be heard.

If someone develops COVID-19 symptoms or tests positive after a gathering, they should immediately contact the host and others that attended the event.

Donate to Those in Need

This holiday season donations are especially crucial as many people have lost loved ones or are experiencing financial hardships. Consider volunteering your time or donating money to an organization or charity that’s meaningful to you in lieu of having a big holiday gift. You can also donate your time by checking in on elderly neighbors and offering to run their errands.

However you choose to celebrate, I wish you a happy and HEALTHY holiday season! -Elise

Beat the Heat at Greater Phoenix Lakes

Phoenix may be a hot, dry desert, but there are a number of lakes just a short drive away to spend the day relaxing in the water and having fun with a variety of water sports!

lake pleasantLake Pleasant

Lake Pleasant is located north of Glendale in the north west valley about 45 minutes from downtown Phoenix. The 10,000-acre lake is always busy with a variety of water sports such as windsurfers, boaters, sailors, water and jet skiers, and fishermen. Lake Pleasant Regional Park also offers camping and trails for mountain biking and hiking.

Saguaro Lake

Saguaro Lake is a beautiful spot for spending a day on the boat. Located 40 miles east of downtown Phoenix past Fountain Hills, Saguaro Lake is a great Arizona lake for water-skiers and wakeboarders or those looking for a relaxing day of fishing. No boat? No problem! Leave the captaining to Desert Belle paddle boat for a guided tour of the lake.

Bartlett Lake

Bartlett Lake is just 45 miles from downtown Phoenix and east of Carefree, it is the second-largest lake in the Tonto National Forest. No worries if you don’t have a boat, Bartlett Lake offers aqua lodge rentals and a party yacht that accommodates up to 20 guests.

Roosevelt Lake

Roosevelt Lake is about 80 miles northeast of Phoenix and is the largest of the lakes just outside the Greater Phoenix region. Like other lakes in the Greater Phoenix area, Roosevelt Lake provides plenty of space for a variety of watersports and boating activity. There is also 110 miles of shoreline with peaceful coves for those wishing to find a quiet spot to spend a day.

Canyon Lake

Located past Mesa in the Superstition Wilderness of Tonto National Forest, Canyon Lake (pictured) is about 50 miles east of Phoenix. The 950-acre lake is a great place for a variety of watersports, as well as camping and hiking. Boat rentals are available and the lake has a popular day-use campground with a large grass area, ramadas and a swimming-only section of the lake.

Apache Lake

Apache Lake is also located in the Tonto National Forest and is a good lake for boating, fishing and the scenic canyon walls that surround parts of the lake. Boat rentals are available and for those looking to explore the lake.

Hurricane Harbor in Glendale

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Phoenix in Glendale is open for the 2020 summer season with a new list of protocols to encourage social distancing amid the COVID-19 pandemic. New safety protocols include temperature checks, requiring masks while on the property, and limiting the number of guests each day with an online-based reservation system.

Additional information to know before enjoying a day at Hurricane Harbor:

-Guests over the age of two and all team members will be required to wear face masks covering the nose and mouth.
-Masks will not be required on waterslides, water attractions or in pools.
-Distance markers will be added in all park entry, ride, restroom, retail locations, and dining queue lines.
-A limited number of complimentary lifejackets will be available upon request; however, families are encouraged to provide their own coast-guard approved lifejackets for children under 42 inches, or those who are not strong swimmers.
-All Hurricane Harbor lifejackets will be sanitized after every guest use.
-Dining areas will be adjusted to allow ample space between seated parties.
-Guests will be allowed to ride on a tube with family/group members, but will not be allowed to share a tube with those not in their immediate party.
-Guests will be separated by empty rows and/or seats on all rides and attractions.
-Six-foot viewing areas will be marked for guests to observe gameplay, and arcade games will be reconfigured or deactivated to comply with social distancing requirements.
-Capacity at indoor venues and on some attractions, including the Wave Pool and Lazy -River, will be reduced to meet social distancing requirements
-Guests viewing outdoor entertainment will be separated by at least six feet.

To make a reservation, visit www.sixflags.com/reserve. Enter the online order number, ticket number or Membership/Season Pass number. Choose the day and the approximate time you want to visit. Acknowledge company’s health policy and watch the video of the park’s social distancing and sanitization procedures. Hurricane Harbor has a variety of admission options and pricing.

Tips on Improving Your Credit Score to Prepare for Home Ownership

If you are currently renting and are considering purchasing a home you may need to check a few things before you begin your search.  One of the most important things to know before you venture into home ownership is what your credit score is.

Your credit score will tell you everything about your credit history and this is what lenders will be looking at when deciding whether to approve you for a home loan.  You may have thought you were doing everything right but your credit score will be the deciding factor.  Read more

Spring Training 2020

baseballWelcome, Spring Training 2020! With more than 100 Cactus League baseball games scheduled between February 21st and March 24th, there are plenty of opportunities to catch a game!  View complete Cactus League game schedule here.

Who plays at each stadium?

American Family Fields of Phoenix (formerly Maryvale Stadium), 3805 N. 53rd Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85031 (Milwaukee Brewers)

Camelback Ranch – Glendale, 10710 W. Camelback Rd. Phoenix, AZ 85037 (Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers)

Goodyear Ballpark, 1933 S. Ballpark Way, Goodyear, AZ 85338 (Cleveland Indians, Cincinnati Reds)

Hohokam Stadium, 1235 N. Center Street, Mesa, AZ 85201 (Oakland Athletics)

Peoria Sports Complex, 16101 N 83rd Ave., Peoria, AZ 85382 (Seattle Mariners, San Diego Padres)

Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, 7555 N Pima Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85258 (Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies)

Scottsdale Stadium, 7408 East Osborn Road., Scottsdale, AZ 85251 (San Francisco Giants)

Sloan Park, 2330 W. Rio Salado Pkwy, Mesa, AZ 85201 (Chicago Cubs)

Surprise Stadium, 15850 N. Bullard Ave. Surprise AZ, 85374 (Texas Rangers, Kansas City Royals)

Tempe Diablo Stadium, 2200 W. Alameda Dr, Tempe, AZ 85282 (Los Angeles Angels)

You can’t go wrong with a hot dog and peanuts at a baseball game, but the these West Valley fields also have plenty of new eats to try this year:

American Family Fields of Phoenix: New concessions this year include: The Bernie Brat, a Johnsonville Bratwurst double-dipped in secret stadium sauce and topped with bacon crumbles and onion straws; Wisconsin Curd Burger, a classic beef patty topped with Wisconsin cheese curds and hot sauce; and Buffalo Chicken Nachos, tortilla chips topped with chicken and buffalo sauce.

Goodyear Ballpark: New concession items include Loaded Corn Dog Nuggets, Garlic Parmesan waffle fries, Desert Tenders Sandwich, a buffalo chicken tenders on slider buns, Nacho Helmet, nachos served in a souvenir team helmet, and The Cheesy Changeup, a half-pound cheeseburger surrounded by two grilled cheese sandwiches.

Hohokam Stadium: New concession items and businesses this year include Impossible burgers, Black Rock Coffee bar, and Corndog Company. All A’s Access members and Spring Training pass holders can receive 50% off concessions.
Peoria Sports Complex: New food offerings this year include a street taco cart, a spicy version of the Ruthian Foot-Long Hot Dog, which is wrapped in Jalapeno bacon; the Mac Attack Dog; and family-sized nachos or French fries served in a choice of Mariners or Padres souvenir helmets.

Surprise Stadium: This year, Surprise Stadium has added a “value menu” offering $3 hot dogs, popcorn, soda, or chips and cheese. Also new is the Sam Adams Upper Deck with flights of Sam Adams beer; the Huss Backyard and Container Bar with Huss Brewing beers on draft; and a hot dog cart with four signature hot dog creations. Saigon Kitchen, a Vietnamese restaurant in Surprise, will also serve their garlic noodles and lemongrass chicken at the stadium.

Once you find your new favorite ballpark snack, let’s find your new favorite home. Begin your Home Search today!

Glendale Chocolate Experience

chocolate cake popsThe City of Glendale presents The Chocolate Experience this weekend, February 8th & 9th. The tasty event will be held at the Glendale Civic Center. There will be select chocolatiers and confectioners, craft artisans, artistic performances, wine and chocolate pairings and live music on the fountain terrace. Cerreta Candy Company will offer free tours of the candy factory, as well as its popular chocolate-pizza making booth!

The event offers FREE admission and parking, plus FREE shuttle rides to and from Cerreta’s!

The Chocolate Experience will be held from 10am to 5pm on Saturday, and noon to 5pm on Sunday. The Glendale Civic Center is nestled in the heart of Historic Downtown Glendale at 5750 W. Glenn Dr. For more information, visit www.glendaleaz.com/events.

I’m a Glendale resident and local area expert, when you’re ready to buy or sell your next house, call me at 602-329-7782!

Happy Hauntings!

halloweenPick up some brave friends and head on over to one of the Valley’s haunted houses if you dare!

AZ Field of Screams

Decaying ghouls, masked slashers and chainsaw-wielding lunatics are among the dangers that might be lurking in this haunted corn maze at Tolmachoff Farms!
Details: Last day to scream – October 31st, 2019. 5726 N. 75th Ave., Glendale. $15-$20.

Fear Farm

Fear Farm is Phoenix’s largest outdoor haunted house. There are six themed attractions, including “Bunker: The Arrival”, “Slaughterhouse”, “Pumpkin Witch”, “Fallout”, “The Plague” and “Haunted Corn Maze: The Reaping.” Extras this year: carnival games and mini escape rooms.
Details: Last day to be fearful – November 2nd, 2019. 2209 N. 99th Ave., Phoenix. $24.99-$32.99 in advance, $1 more on the day of, $3 more at the door. Add $10 for fast pass, $20 to skip the line.

13th Floor Haunted House

This may be the most intricate haunted house in Phoenix, and it gets a fresh look every year, but some rooms stay the same, including the surprisingly disorienting “tilt room” and a haunted mansion that was preserved from a legendary haunted house in Utah. This year’s attractions are “Rise of the Dead” and “Creature Feature,” an homage to classic movie monsters.
Details: Last day to be haunted – November 2nd, 2019. 2814 W. Bell Road, Phoenix. $24.99-$32.99 in advance, $1 more on the day of, $3 more at the door. Add $10 for fast pass, $20 to skip the line.

When you’re ready to buy or sell your next house (hopefully not haunted!), call me at 602-329-7782!

Spring Training Baseball

baseballIt’s the best time of year in Arizona-baseball Spring Training time! Camelback Ranch in Glendale is the spring training home of two of baseball’s most storied franchises, the Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers. They have enjoyed record-setting attendance and national recognition since its inaugural Cactus League season in 2009.

The 141-acre sun-kissed baseball center of award-winning architecture is wrapped around a five-acre lake on the Glendale-Phoenix border in the West Valley of metropolitan Phoenix. The lake separates the Dodgers and White Sox training facilities and offers aesthetic beauty and irrigation to complex landscaping and playing fields. The stadium has 10,000-plus seats plus seating for 3,000 on the bermed grass area. There are also 8 full suites, 4 mini-suites, a press box, a suite-level party deck, and a series of outfield terraces that create party areas. View the Camelback Ranch 2019 spring training schedule here!

When it’s not spring training season, the stadium is used for league rookie baseball, amateur baseball tournaments, corporate hospitality, concerts, festivals and other community events.

Want to view homes for sale in Glendale before or after a game? Give me a call at 602-329-7782!

Second Annual Fall Festival Recap

Why Glendale is Arizona’s “Antique Capital”

Glendale AZ sign photoAre you a fan of antiques shopping? Are you the kind of person who is willing to drive out of your way to get the best deals on antiques in your area? Did you know Glendale is widely considered Arizona’s antique capital? The next time you find yourself in the Glendale area, you may want to set aside a few hours (or even a few days!) to go peruse the antiques shops that give this town its unofficial title. You never know what you might find when you give yourself a chance to shop and treat yourself to some of the best antiques around!

Why the Antique Capital?
Downtown Glendale is a historic district that is packed with over 70 antique vendors to choose from. If you love to buy and browse for antiques, this is the place to be. In the Catlin Court Historic District, you can even check out antique shops that are located in converted bungalows that were once used as residences in the area. Overall, the antique shopping district is made up of ten blocks of walkable, safe roads and includes a free parking lot, a public library, and a city park. This is a great way to spend a day or several in Glendale either treating yourself or enjoying the experience with friends and family.

Historic Downtown Glendale
Start your antiques experience by parking in the covered lot and exploring the historic downtown area. Pick up a walking map from the Visitor’s Bureau or print one from the city’s web site before you venture out for your day of antiquing. It’s a good idea to have some idea of the direction you want to take when you start walking, but remember that all the streets are laid out in a simple grid pattern, so it’s very hard to get lost in this area. There’s more in the downtown district than just antiquing, of course, so don’t forget to take some time to pamper yourself at a nail salon, grab a cup of coffee, or enjoy a bite of lunch or brunch with friends while you’re exploring.

Glendale Glitters
Want to check out a fun local event while also browsing the antique shops? Stop by during December to enjoy Glendale Glitters, a popular holiday event that includes plenty of sparkling lights, food trucks, live music and more to keep you entertained all day and all night without having to leave downtown Glendale.

Click here to learn about Glendale and view homes for sale.