No-sweat Parking in Las Vegas

If you’re worried about parking in Las Vegas — don’t be! Compared to most other major metropolitan areas, finding a spot for your vehicle is a relatively easy task. Whether you’re in town for work, play, or a little of both, indoor parking garages all over town have got you covered — literally — so you and your car can beat the intense heat during the hottest months.

Valet Parking in Las Vegas

Every hotel casino in town has both valet and self-parking. Since there is no charge for either option, many folks take advantage of the valet, which lets them avoid having to drive around the garage searching for space, as well as alleviating lengthy walks from the vehicle to their destination inside the property. Just pull up to the front door, hand your keys to the valet, and go.

The drawback? Depending on when arrive and depart, you could encounter excessive traffic at the valet lane upon arrival or at the attendant’s station when departing. If it’s Saturday night and a big concert or event is at the location (or an adjacent one) you may find the valet full. Even if you drop your car off without undue hassle, you could still encounter a long wait to retrieve it on a high-volume night.

All in all, you may want to consider other factors before choosing to valet park — you may decide it’s too long a wait. If you do use the service, remember that a gratuity is expected. Figure $5 as average. For run-of-the-mill service, some people tip around $2 at drop-off and $2 at pick-up, or only at time of pick up. If you make a special request (such as, “Keep the car near the front please”) or if it’s 110 degrees and the service is still speedy-with-a-smile, you might tip as much as $10. Considering that you aren’t paying the hefty $25 fees that many other cities will charge, the tip is still a bargain.

Self-Parking in Las Vegas

If not using valet, multiple floors of self-parking space are at your disposal. A helpful tip during high-traffic periods where space is at a premium: Head straight to the highest parking level, rather than waste time cruising every level trying to spy an empty space. The lower levels fill up first, so going straight to the top is a quicker, more assured route to parking in the least amount of time.

Once your vehicle is safely stowed away, remember to note its location. Parking garages at most Strip properties are vast, and it’s very easy to become disoriented. If you don’t trust your memory, write down the level and row number or store the information in your smartphone. If parking in the Fremont Street area, you’ll also need to get your garage ticket validated. Otherwise, you’ll be charged for parking. You’ll typically find a validation station near the casino cage. Since these properties know you’re there to stroll the Fremont Street Experience canopy, it’s their …read more

Via: Coldwell Banker Blog

    

Three Healthy Holiday Meal Cleanup Tips

I was very thankful this holiday for the new Whole Foods in my town that enabled me for the first time to have a completely organic Thanksgiving meal. However, a few days before our turkey day celebration, I realized that I had forgotten some critical recipes that I felt would make all my good intentions for naught – especially the one that involved cleaning my oven in preparation for cooking all of this yummy and nourishing food.

I’ve wanted to ditch my cabinet full of toxic cleaning supplies forever and replace with green eco-friendly products. So instead of picking up some ready-made cleaning supplies, I decided in the spirit of the holiday to brew up some batches of natural cleaning solutions. The most important of these would help me tackle that one space in my home that often gets neglected in my cleaning routine.

I was surprised to find when I did a search that I didn’t need to make another run to the store and had everything necessary at home – just water and baking soda. I’m a self-professed cleaning nut so it pains me to show you how grotesque my oven has gotten since the last time I cleaned it (can’t remember when that was and I’m sure after you look at the picture you’ll wonder what the rest of my house looks like), but I felt before-and-after photos were necessary to show you this really works! No more scrubbing than when I used Easy Off, and I had the peace of mind as we ate our meal that all those harmful toxins weren’t ending up in our bodies.

A few other cleaning recipes that I added to mix of that dreadful post-Thanksgiving meal cleanup:

The Hippy Homemakers Recipe for Dish Soap – I did include the lavender and lemon essential oils since I had them around. Worked just like Hippy Homemakers professed. I’ll definitely be using this dish soap recipe from now on!

Earth Easy’s All Purpose Cleaner Recipe – In addition to the vinegar, baking soda and water solution, I made a batch of Thieves Oil and added to my concoction. 1) I’m not that fond of the smell of vinegar; 2) there are so many health benefits. I added 32 drops since my container was 32 ounces (1 drop per ounce).

Image via anyclean.co.uk

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Gardening soothes Lost Boy’s memories of fear, deprivation

Gardening soothes refugee’s childhood of fear and deprivation

Ajak, as a boy of only 7, ran for his life for 14 years, dodging bullets and crocodiles, hobbling on skinned feet, starving and dehydrated, often gulping water thick with stagnation and animal feces.

Happy, content children remind him of his life before civil war, before he was hunted, before the years at a refugee camp in Kenya, when his father was alive and family mattered more than anything else.

Passage after passage in the self-published book describes the boy Ajak’s days in the brush or jungle, hearing others’ screams of torture, afraid to sleep for fear of being eaten by a wild animal and walking, always walking, in search of safety.

[...] the Sudanese-American will put any book profits (he’s planning a sequel) toward buying school supplies for the children in the villages wracked by civil war.

School, almost everywhere, is a chalkboard under a tree, with a village volunteer as the teacher, without pens, pencils or paper. …read more

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Garden clubs hold end-of-year meetings

Monday
Tomball Garden Club meeting: 9:30 a.m. at Amegy Bank, 28201 Texas 249, Tomball; tomballgardenclub@yahoo.com. Free.
Wednesday
Good Gardening With Vegetables and Fruits:with Master Gardener Mary Demeny. Gardeners by the Bay meeting. 9 a.m. at University Baptist Church, 16106 Middlebrook, Clear Lake; gbtb.org. Free.
Dec. 10
Growing Citrus in Houston: with Bob Randall. 6:30-9 p.m. in Room 206 of Science and Technology Building, University of Houston, 3601 Cullen; 713- 880-5540, urbanharvest.org. $24 members, $36 nonmembers. …read more

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This is Thanksgiving Day at Home

bill murray This is Thanksgiving Day at Home

Let us give thanks for the Thanksgiving season. A time to reflect on all the we have and enjoy the companies of those we love. In this Internet age, what better way to show what a typical Thanksgiving at home is like than through a series of animated gifs. Enjoy:

1. It’s a vacation day but you still wake up at the usual time.

2. You give thanks for coffee.

coffee This is Thanksgiving Day at Home

3. Get busy in the kitchen.

swedish chef This is Thanksgiving Day at Home

4. Put on that festive sweater.

community sweater This is Thanksgiving Day at Home

5. Carve the turkey like a surgeon.

wolverine This is Thanksgiving Day at Home

6. Eat to your heart’s content.

ron weasly This is Thanksgiving Day at Home

7. Then eat some more.

wwe feed me more This is Thanksgiving Day at Home

8. Is it time for dessert?

the office pies This is Thanksgiving Day at Home

9. Watch some football.

football This is Thanksgiving Day at Home

10. Get upset at your team.

49ers This is Thanksgiving Day at Home

11. Take a nap.

supernatural This is Thanksgiving Day at Home

12. Question whether it’s too early for leftovers.

pauley shore This is Thanksgiving Day at Home

13. Realize you have to start cleaning up.

snow white This is Thanksgiving Day at Home

14. Finally you reflect on what a day it was.

tombstone This is Thanksgiving Day at Home

15. Happy Thanksgiving!

kramer This is Thanksgiving Day at Home

All animated gifs are courtesy of giphy.com. Header image courtesy of Flickr user brettneilson

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Let the Holiday Season officially begin…TONIGHT!

Before the circulars arrive, before we get up early for Black Friday or ignore work on Cyber Monday, those who celebrate Hanukkah get it going earlier than any person alive can remember. Yes, the “Festival of Lights” begins tonight.

The holiday, which runs for eight successive nights commemorates re-dedication of the holy Temple in Jerusalem following the Jewish victory over the Syrian-Greeks in 165 B.C.E. Most know Hanukkah for the Menorah, which has eight candles (one lit or each night) to symbolizes the “miracle” that occurred when the Jewish troops set out to light candles to purify the Temple. After discovering they only had enough oil to last one day of candle burning, the oil somehow lasted for the desired eight.

It’s actually a minor Jewish holiday, but because we share presents I imagine every kid would call it the most MAJOR Jewish holiday of all!

My boys usually get one present a night (some big things, but usually smaller) unless their grandparents or aunts/uncles have sweetened the pile. Tonight they get gift one.

But this year is kind of weird. Where normally they would be amped up beyond belief, they are instead more focused on the half-day of school prior to the Thanksgiving break, going “into town” with their friends and going to a movie. Maybe it will hit them when we light the first candle tonight and they get that first clutch of wrapping paper. But I have a feeling the “real” Hanukkah feeling won’t begin until Saturday when we head to Aunt Sherry and Uncle Mike’s house our traditional Hanukkah bash.

It is one of my favorite days of the year with three generations of family under one roof. The food is always great, we watch football or basketball games, with a “mandatory” nap time built in, and then after dinner open presents and eat tons of dessert.

So even though it won’t even be December yet, Hanukkah is here! And somehow, someway, we will all get in the spirit!

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We Believe in Spreading Holiday Cheer

At Coldwell Banker Real Estatewe believe in home and all the infinite ways it helps us feel, grow and connect to family and our communities. Home is a special place to us all no matter the date on the calendar, but it holds a special place in our hearts come the holiday season.

Among other things, the holidays usually offer us a bit of time to slow down and mindfully reconnect with our family and friends. Whether we’re busy at school or at work, the few days off or quieter days in the office offer us all opportunities to recharge the batteries and come together each holiday season.

Inextricably tied to each of the joyous holidays we’re so excited for is ‘home‘. For the weary travelers catching red eye flights “back home”, to the football we’ll watch, Thanksgiving feasts that will be had and Christmas Trees and Menorah’s that will be lit; home is at the heart and center of our holidays and thoughts. We’ll give thanks for the homes we have and the loved ones in them and give a special thought and even donate to the less fortunate.

As the champions of home and our belief in the emotional equity we all get from them, the holidays are an extra special time for us at Coldwell Banker Real Estate. So to officially kick off the holiday season, we’ll be spreading some holiday cheer by sponsoring two of the most iconic holiday related events on television this year: The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Christmas Tree Lighting in Rockefeller Center!

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has become ingrained in the fabric of how we celebrate the holiday, with this year marking the 87th time Santa Claus and famous floats will march down New York’s streets! The extravaganza at Rockefeller Center on December 4th will mark the 81st time the world’s most famous Christmas Tree will be lit. Many will brave the cold to attend these fantastic events in person, but most of us will be watching from home preparing turkeys or lighting our own trees…here’s to home and a beautiful holiday season spent with loved ones.

Cheers.

The Christmas in Rockefeller Center Extravaganza will air on NBC on Wednesday, December 4th at 8pm EST.

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Home of the Week: Kid Rock’s Malibu Oasis

In our newest ‘Home of the Week‘ we move from a chic penthouse at the Ritz-Carlton Residences in Chicago to platinum recording star Kid Rock’s tranquil oasis in Malibu.

You might expect Kid Rock’s home to look more “like a cowboys” but his $13,450,000 home is a tropical sanctuary located on idyllic Point Dume in Malibu. The ultra private estate features 5 bedrooms and 5 full baths spread out over 8,300 square feet of airy interior living space.

Upon entering this Balinese oasis, you are instantly struck by the beautiful attention to detail throughout. A truly zen-like feel is imparted to you upon entering this gorgeous home that features abundant light and an open floor plan perfect for entertaining. As one would expect, the interior is a testament to fine craftsmanship, top of the line appliances and a chefs kitchen fit for the Food Network.

Not to be outdone, the grounds of Kid Rock’s estate are exquisitely apportioned and offer up the best in Southern California living. Being a native to Detroit’s frigid winters, we’re sure Kid Rock enjoyed this estate’s outdoor patio, lanai area, sprawling enclosed gardens and inviting pool “all summer long“…or all year long for that matter.

Click here if you’d like to see more photos of this gorgeous estate listed by Chris Cortazzo with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.

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The Most Beautiful Kitchens Suited for Holiday Entertaining

Kitchen 1 300x225 The Most Beautiful Kitchens Suited for Holiday Entertaining

This is my favorite time of year. I adore being with my family and relishing in moments that I know will become some of my most fondest memories down the road. Thanksgiving takes the pie when it comes to my most enjoyed holiday, just beating out Christmas and my birthday. Thanksgiving is the holiday whose only stress is what to cook, rather than the pressures of picking perfect gifts. And as for my birthday, being born the first week of January (1/4) means that my big day was always overshadowed by the thrill of the major preceding “events.” Aside from the love I have for my family and for having them all around, my favorite part of Thanksgiving is definitely eating. The thought of food in general, let alone all of that turkey goodness, thrills me.

The hub of the holidays is the kitchen.

The first place everyone flocks to after entering through the door of my home is definitely the kitchen. Everyone wants to see what’s cooking. This got me thinking about what kind of amazing kitchens are currently on coldwellbanker.com so I started searching for the most stunning, entertainment-worthy, professional grade kitchens which I’ve shared below.

Give them a gander and don’t forget to check out our Pinterest page for more inspiring design and decor ideas like the ones shown below.

1. Rustic and spacious in Pacific Palisades, CA

Built in 1926, this architecturally significant Tudor mansion affords the ultimate in privacy and quiet. Rolling lawns, enormous trees and organic gardens provide the view from every room. Over 10,000 square feet of sun drenched living space, including a terrific guest house with two separate guest suites, a great room, a home office, six other bedrooms, a beautifully gated “carriage house” style 3+ car garage, a 75′ real swimmers pool and spa near the beautiful brick patio large enough to entertain on a grand scale.

2. Sleek and modern in Beverly Hills, CA

This home was just remodeled with no expense spared by renowned designer Brett Barrett on one of the best streets in the flats of Beverly Hills. It features a two story guest house with full kitchen and bathroom which make it ideal for guests. Floor to ceiling windows open to the great outdoor kitchen from the bar and is perfect for entertaining. Professional grade kitchen includes all stainless steel appliances and oversized island with breakfast bar.

3. Magnificent open space in Guilford, CT

kitchen 4 300x213 The Most Beautiful Kitchens Suited for Holiday Entertaining

4. Resort and high style living in Paradise Valley, AZ

kitchen 5 300x200 The Most Beautiful Kitchens Suited for Holiday Entertaining

This stunning glass masterpiece was designed to perfection by Kurt Holland and Bill Nowell. The flexible open floor plan …read more

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Kermit Was Wrong. It’s Easy Being Green…At Home.

The following is a guest post from writer, Jamie Claros.

When Kermit the Frog first sang his classic, “It’s Not Easy Being Green,” he probably never anticipated the “green” craze that would sweep the world decades later. Now it seems everybody wants to be green. And though it may not have the same meaning as the Muppets tune, being green has, in fact, become very easy. Well, at least at home it is.

Trust me, I know a thing or two about making things easy for yourself. As a recent college graduate, I consider myself an expert in the art of efficiency and convenience. For four years I picked courses that allowed me maximum sleep and social time, dorm buildings that were close to both the best dining halls and my classes, and courses that were interesting and relevant to my future. I’m part of the generation of instant gratification, so I understand that what most people want is ease, especially when they’re in their own homes.

That’s why I wanted to debunk a common myth that’s just that: a myth. Being green doesn’t have to be difficult or time consuming; in fact, it doesn’t even need to involve anything you don’t already have in your own house. That’s right: being green isn’t only about expensive solar panels and recycling apparatuses (though, if you have the resources for these things, then by all means go for them!), it’s about smaller things you can do around your own house that can make a huge difference not only for the environment, but for your expenses as well.

An easy tip that my school always repeated was to unplug electronics whenever they weren’t in use. It’s easy to think that because something’s not on, it isn’t consuming electricity, but that’s not the case. If your phone isn’t charging, pull the charger out and tuck it away nearby (this also eliminates unsightly electric cords!), if you’re not using heated hair tools, unplug those, too (an easy way to make sure you never accidently leave them on!). Of course this doesn’t work for bigger appliances like refrigerators, which need to run all day, but the countless small devices you own can easily be unplugged while you’re out of the house.

Another way to make being green easy, and a personal favorite way of mine, is to utilize candles. Candles offer the dim lighting that can turn any room into a cozy retreat, and can also give a different sensory feel to your home depending on the scent you choose. I love coming home and lighting my favorite candle (Mahogany Teakwood by Bath & Body) while I get ready for bed or watch a little TV. There’s something about the rich smell and the luminous glow that just put me at ease. And that’s what being home should feel like, shouldn’t it?

The truth is, there are countless ways to be green, and many of them can be utilized in your own home with things you already have. For …read more

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