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Chrissy Smith
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Articles Tagged "holidays"

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November
21

Holiday Events Coming to Downtown Meridian

Downtown Meridian

The festive season is on its way, and downtown Meridian is ready to celebrate. Our real estate agents love working in this city thanks to all of the exciting holiday events. There are plenty of these to look forward to in 2022. Here are just a few of the highlights! 

  • Christmas in Meridian Winterlights Parade and Tree Lighting
    On Friday, December 2nd, from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM, Meridian will be holding its local Christmas parade at the Generations Plaza downtown. This event kicks off with a screening of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" on a large projection screen next to the plaza's main stage. After this, the parade will begin its route through old town Meridian, accompanied by performances from the Treasure Valley Children's Theatre along the way. When Santa Claus reaches the end of his trek, he will light up the city's giant Christmas tree to signal the official start of Meridian's Christmas season. Food and hot cocoa will be available at the plaza's food court during the event to help paradegoers stay cozy while they wait for the grand finale.  

  • Downtown Decorating Contest
    Every year, the many businesses of downtown Meridian dress up their storefronts for the city's Downtown Decorating Contest. This beloved tradition gives local entrepreneurs the chance to show off their Christmas spirit and gain some community goodwill, and many of them go all-out to create some truly impressive displays. Every resident can vote for their favorite display on the city's website. This year, voting for the contest opens on Friday, December 2nd, and closes on December 11th. Winners will be announced the day after the voting period ends. 

  • Shop Meridian Downtown Night
    On Thursday, December 8th, from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM, downtown Meridian will host a special outdoor shopping event. Pop-up vendors from all over the city will gather in the streets to sell their wares to the people passing by. You'll be able to pick up one-of-a-kind treasures and gifts from local small businesses, sample some food and treats from the many eateries near our Meridian homes for sale, and even enter the Meridian Chamber's Shop Meridian prize drawing. 

  • Children's Winterland Festival 
    On Saturday, December 10th, from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM, the Boys and Girls Club of Meridian will be hosting its annual Children's Wonderland Festival. Children from all over the community can come to the club building to enjoy games, arts and crafts, and a photo opportunity with Santa himself. This is a free event sponsored by Meridian Parks and Recreation and All American Insurance, so your kids can just show up and start having fun. 

  • The 5th Annual Interfaith Food, Blanket and Toy Drive
    On Sunday, December 11th, from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM, volunteers will be running Meridian's annual food, blanket, and toy drive in the Vertical View Climbing Gym parking lot. Community members are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items, new unwrapped toys, and new store-bought or homemade blankets to the parking lot. All items go to benefit charities like the Meridian Food Bank and Star Outreach Food Pantry, Toys for Tots, and Blanket the World, as well as various local homeless shelters. 

This small city is full of culture and opportunity all year round. Contact us today to learn more about our Meridian and Boise homes for sale and find out how you can become a part of this exceptional community. 

November
12

5 Ideas for Businesses to Share the Holiday Spirit

 

 

'Tis the Season to Celebrate!

With the holiday season right around the corner, there's no reason your business shouldn't be in on the fun. Whether it's with your employees or the community, here are a few ideas for your business to celebrate the holidays:

Holiday Party

There is nothing more straight-forward than a holiday party. Host a staff holiday party or sponsor a holiday event within your community. Bring on the food, holiday music, and enjoy seeing everyone have fun together! A holiday party can boost employee morale and offers an opportunity to show your appreciation as an employer.

Volunteer

Volunteering and serving those in need makes the holidays even more meaningful. Take advantage of the opportunity to serve your community! Not only will this benefit your community, but it will also benefit your business by helping build meaningful relationships between your employees, business, and community.

Give away free samples and swag

'Tis the season to give! Give a gift that will also give back to your business! Choose products that are popular and useful, and then brand them with your logo and color scheme. Giving away free samples and swag can be the perfect way to spread holiday cheer while also promoting your brand.

Offer gift cards

Everybody loves gift cards! Make holiday shopping easy on your customer by providing a simple, easy way to purchase gift cards from your business. Giving a gift card is a great way to show you care, while also ensuring the recipient gets exactly what they want!

Host a giveaway or contest on social media 

Social media is a great way to engage your current customers and attract new ones. Hold a contest or give away a product or service related to your business. There are a lot of different ways you can structure your contest or giveaway, including comment to win, hashtags, or photo contests. Make sure to check that your contest is in compliance with social media contest rules, as they can vary by channel.

We hope you enjoy these tips on how to celebrate the holidays as an organization. Happy Holidays from all of us at Idaho Central Credit Union!

_____

We understand that no two paths to buying a home are the same. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned real estate mogul, we have a variety of products and loans designed specifically to meet your needs. We offer local underwriting and fast approvals to save you time and money. We have options for down payments and additional resources like our Finally Home! online program to help guide you through the home-buying process. Contact one of our home loan specialists to discuss your options today!

 

November
14

Safety Tips for Your Holiday Decorating

Decorate Safely This Holiday Season

Delta Media Group


Decorating for the holidays is one of the fun perks of being a homeowner, because your whole property becomes a blank canvas. Decorating is a great opportunity to get in the spirit of the season, show off your sense of style, and get your kids (even more) excited for the holidays. No matter how you choose to decorate your home this holiday season, just remember that it's also important to keep home safety in mind as you deck the halls. We've put together 5 decorating tips to help keep your home safe, without cramping your holiday decorating style.

  1. Check It Twice – Holiday lights are among the most popular decorations, and for good reason! They're bright, beautiful, and can transform the look of your entire property. Before you start stringing up those lights, however, be sure to check for any signs of wear. If there are broken lights or exposed wires, it's time to purchase some new outdoor holiday lights. Remember that outdoor lights are exposed to the elements, so even minimal signs of wear can pose a risk.  Bonus Tip: If you're in the market for new lights, try LED lighting rather than incandescent bulbs. LED lights are more energy efficient, burn cooler than incandescent bulbs, and come in just about any color you can imagine.

  2. Don't Overload Outlets – Overloading a single outlet is a fire risk, even if you're plugging in new, energy efficient decorations. Avoiding tangled wires is also good for holiday decorating safety, and it's easier to do when you use multiple outlets. Always plug decorations into outlets with Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters, which are designed to shut down the circuit automatically if certain signs of electrical danger are detected.

  3. Indoor/Outdoor – That giant, inflatable Santa Claus won't fit in your living room, so it's probably a safe bet that he can be used outside. But not every decoration makes the distinction so clear. For any decorations that rely on electricity, always check whether they're rated for outdoor use before you plug them in outside. This is a great step to take care of while you're shopping for decorations, as the necessary info should be available right on the packaging.

  4. Rooftop and Ladder Safety – For many homeowners, the holiday season is one of the few times each year when we take our ladders out of long-term storage and venture onto our rooftops. Stay safe by taking your time, having a plan, and wearing sturdy boots (or sneakers) with strong treads. If you do plan on climbing on your roof or using a ladder to decorate, never do so alone. Make sure there's someone on the ground to "spot" you and aid if you run into trouble.

  5. Clean Gutters – Since you're likely to be spending time up there anyway, it's a great idea to clean your gutters before stringing up any holiday lights. Dried leaves and plant matter in gutters can serve as kindling when a faulty wire leaks electricity. As a bonus, keeping your gutters clean is a great way to lower your risk of water-related roof damage throughout the year.

The biggest thing to remember for holiday decorating home safety is that electricity can be dangerous, especially if you're using older decorations. Check any decorations for signs of wear before putting them up, make sure that any decorations you wish to use outside are rated for outdoor use, and keep your gutters clean to reduce fire risk. And of course, don't forget to have fun!

August
22

Who's Ready for Ribs?

Terrific BBQ Recipes

Fantastic recipes just in time for your late summer get-together!

Tequila Baby Back Ribs

2 Tbsp. chili powder 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 Tbsp. paprika 1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 Tbsp. garlic powder 1 chopped onion
1 Tbsp. salt 1 lg. handful chopped cilantro
1 Tbsp dried oregano 3-4 cloves garlic, diced
2 tsp. cumin 1 bottle (fifth) tequila
1 tsp. black pepper 1 lemon, halved
1 tsp. white pepper 2 limes

Combine all the above and season 2 full slabs of ribs, each cut in half. Refrigerate 2-4 hours.  Put half of 1 slab in 1-gallon ziploc bag, layer with onion, cilantro, and garlic. Place other half on top, repeat with onion, cilantro, and garlic. Pour in half bottle tequila. Add juice of half lemon and 1 lime. Seal. Repeat with other slab. Marinate at least 4 hours. Grill with onion, cilantro, and garlic at 350 degrees until done.

 

Honey Mango-Glazed Baby Back Ribs

1 c. honey 4 ripe mangos, cubed
2 full racks, baby back ribs 1 tsp. pepper
1 can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce 1 Tbsp. salt

Remove ribs from packaging, rinse and pat dry. Remove membrane from backside of ribs. Place ribs in shallow pan, sprinkle salt and pepper evenly and set aside. In a small saucepan, add chipotle/adobo, mango and honey. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until cooked down and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Using the slow and low method of BBQ'ing, set temperature to 225-240 degrees. If using coals, let them burn off and move over to one side of the grill. Wrap the ribs and 2/3 of the sauce mixture in aluminum foil tightly and place on grill. Close lid. After 2 hours, flip the ribs and let cook for another 2 hours. Open the aluminum and remove ribs, place them on grill and brush on remaining sauce and let cook another 30 minutes.

February
14

Celebrate Valentine's Day with a Little Trivia

Test Your Valentine's Day Knowledge

Happy Valentine's Day to you and yours!  Today is the day for love and romance, heart-shaped chocolates and candlelit dinners.

What do you really know about Valentine's Day? Here are some fun trivia questions to test your knowledge.

  1. When was the oldest-known Valentine's Day message written, and from where? 
  2. When was February 14th first declared as Valentine's Day? 
  3. Who invented the first Valentine's Day candy box? 
  4. What is the average number of marriage proposals on Valentine's Day each year? 
  5. How much on average is spent on chocolate in America for Valentine's Day each year? 
  6. How many roses are sold on Valentine's Day each year? 
  7. How many Valentine's Day greeting cards are purchased in the U.S. each year? 
  8. How many people typically purchase Valentines for their pets? 
  9. If you send a snarky insult on Valentine's Day, what kind of "greeting" are you sending?
  10. What year were the popular "conversation Sweethearts" not available?

 

Ready for the answers?

  1. The oldest-known Valentine was in 1415, sent by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife from the Tower of London where he was imprisoned. 
  2. Valentine's Day was declared an official holiday in 1537 by King Henry VIII. 
  3. English entrepreneur and chocolate-maker Richard Cadbury created the first heart-shaped box of chocolates. 
  4. 220,000 
  5. It is estimated that over $1 billion is spent in the U.S. each year for Valentine's Day. 
  6. 189 million 
  7. Approximately 1 billion 
  8. 9 million 
  9. Insulting Valentine's messages are known as "Vinegar Valentines."
  10. The ever-popular "Conversation Hearts" were unavailable in 2019 after their manufacturer Necco declared bankruptcy in 2018. Thankfully, the Spangler Candy Company purchased the rights, and the candies returned in 2020.

    How'd you do? 

    Whether you are celebrating with your beau, your best friends, your pets, or your neighbors, we wish you a day full of love!

    December
    29

    Introducing Doers of Good: CBT's Culture of Giving

    Doers of Good: CBT's Culture of Giving

    Coldwell Banker agents, staff, and managers are a special breed, working hard to assist our clients fulfill their real estate goals while keeping our focus on community and on making our cities and towns better places for all of us.

    Because of our firm belief that we have an obligation to the people and places that keep our communities strong, we've set an ambitious goal for the next ten years: to give a minimum of $10 million to the organizations that work to help our neighbors in need. We call this our "Doers of Good."

    We believe this focus needs to be shared and celebrated – and in a big way – so we are shining a light on those who are bright spots in the lives of others. We know the kind of people we have in our family, and we want you to know, too. Doers of Good will do just that.

    Our agents, staff, and managers work in the background "doing their thing," sometimes on their own and sometimes with the help of our entire company. As we close a difficult year and look forward to a bright 2022, we'd like you to meet just a few of our 2021 4th quarter Doers of Good.

    Camp Rainbow Gold

    Pamela Carson, CBT Realtor® in our Eagle, Idaho, office, got involved with Camp Rainbow Gold because of her daughter, a nurse practitioner in oncology at St. Luke's and the medical director for the nonprofit. Camp Rainbow Gold "has been able to provide support and companionship to parents of children affected with cancer, giving them connections to other families going through the day-to-day struggles of childhood cancer," says Pamela. The organization even allows siblings to have their own camps. "The children feel safe and normal at camp."

    A volunteer and financial supporter for the past five years, Pamela says "it gives me a real sense of pride to be a part of such a worthy cause…I get a feeling of paying it forward for all of the blessings I have in my life.

    "Everyone should take a moment to reflect on how they can pay it forward or make a difference in their community, whether it be by contributing to a charity that is near and dear to them, or by reaching out to the charity organization to see how best they can assist in their continued fundraising or manpower needs."

    Funding for Camp Rainbow Gold comes from private donations and community partnerships with local businesses. Most of the programs are run by volunteers under the guidance of a few camp staff members.  To learn more about Camp Rainbow Gold, visit https://camprainbowgold.org/.

     

    Idaho Diaper Bank

    Did you know that in Idaho, 46% of children under the age of three don't have a consistent supply of diapers to stay clean, dry, healthy, and happy?  This statistic shocked Shawna Walz and her mom, Carol Seiber, CBT Realtor® in our Boise, Idaho, office. Together, they founded Idaho Diaper Bank with the mission of providing diapers through collaboration with other social service agencies and nonprofits.

    Says Carol, "IDB was formed to address the silent crisis of diaper need." She goes on to explain that diapers cannot be purchased with food stamps or WIC but represent a significant portion of the monthly budget for the Idaho families struggling to provide basic necessities like food, shelter, and hygiene. Oftentimes, parents feel they have no option other than trying to reuse soiled diapers.

    Since its inception in 2014, Idaho Diaper Bank has provided over 4.5 million diapers to babies in need. IDB primarily serves SW Idaho but has worked to expand into eastern Idaho, the Magic Valley, and north Idaho with their Warehouse on Wheels program.

    "Passion and empathy drive me to participate in charitable organizations in my community," Carol says. "Our community is growing and with that comes many issues facing our low-income families. Giving back is part of my business plan and along with Coldwell Banker we are able to make positive outcomes for many!"

    IDB receives grants and donations from individuals and businesses. Community diaper drives help, as well. To help or learn more about Idaho Diaper Bank, visit http://www.idahodiaperbank.org/

    Coldwell Banker Tomlinson agents, staff, and managers raised funds for both Camp Rainbow Gold and Idaho Diaper Bank at our annual Turkey Tuesday bowling fundraiser in November. Over $5,000 was raised during our event.

     

    Meridian Elementary School & Meridian Food Bank

    For the past several years, Joan Johnston, CBT Realtor® in our Meridian, Idaho, office, has spearheaded a fund and supply drive for underprivileged kids and their families at two different elementary schools in the valley.

    Joan explains that one of her dearest friends was a teacher at a school with a high number of at-risk children – children who would oftentimes come to school on a Monday morning having eaten nothing all weekend. With her friend's help, Joan devised a plan to deliver some Christmas cheer, as well as food and gift cards to a grocery store, to these kids and their families.

    "I have always felt a great sense of responsibility to care for those who are in need," Joan says.  "Children are often the ones who suffer the most when families struggle financially…Many of the homeless are living in their cars, trailers, or inexpensive hotels.  For whatever reason, they are experiencing hard times."

    This year, Joan was joined by fellow Meridian office Realtor® Lindsey Dykstra. Together, the two organized the annual Meridian office "bake sale auction" to raise funds for 13 homeless families with children who attend Meridian Elementary School, as well as for the Meridian Food Bank, which has helped almost 20,000 households this year.   

    CBT agents, staff, and managers donated baked goods to be auctioned at the event. In a few short hours, the group raised over $7,000 for the two worthy causes. "The generosity and caring exhibited by our agents, vendors, clients, and others are unparalleled," Joan explains.

    Adds Lindsey, "This was my first year getting to help out with the fundraiser and distribution at the school. Being a doer of good means living and giving intentionally, having a purpose beyond just your own personal gain, and being open and available to show kindness and love to everyone. It doesn't have to be anything huge."

    Contact your local school district to see how you can assist children in need, and visit https://meridianfoodbank.org/ to learn more about Meridian Food Bank.

    ************

    Join us in celebrating our Doers of Good by getting involved in one of the programs we will spotlight over the next several months or tell us in the comments below about what lights your fire when it comes to making our communities better. 

    December
    15

    Protecting Against Data Breaches

     

    Data Breaches:  Safeguard Yourself

    From Your Friends at Integrity Computer Consulting and Repair

    A constant reminder: people are always wanting to steal your information.  Please take a moment to refresh on our best practices:

     We recommend you do as many of the following to help safeguard your information:

    1. Cash is king!  Pay with cash when buying goods locally.  The fewer instances of your card information being available to retailers, the less likely it is to be stolen.
    2. Use Paypal (they have great security features and anti-fraud measures; they also protect your purchases with dispute resolution).
    3. If you have the opportunity to opt-out of saving credit card information, do it. Do now allow sites to save critical financial information unless it is absolutely necessary. 
    4. If you can check out as a guest and opt-out of creating an account and saving your information, do it.
    5. If you can opt-out of providing personal information, do it.  From grocery stores and online retailers to doctor's offices and cell phone providers, they are all hungry for your information.  Always ask what information is absolutely necessary when filling out paperwork or online forms. Use only the information that is required and nothing more.
    6. Opt-out of providing your phone number unless it is absolutely necessary, you can opt-out altogether or use a dummy number instead.  The vast majority of Microsoft imposter calls, and solicitation calls in general, are coming from phone lists that are legally purchased.
    7. Be aware of where you are ordering from online. If a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is.  Purchase only from verified sellers.
    8. If you are using a site that requires an online account, make sure your password is secure even if the site you're logging into does not require it.  We recommend using a combination of upper and lower case letters, with numbers AND special characters, and not using any recognizable words.  For example, a password of "Ilovedogs" can be made more secure by changing all the vowels to look-alike numbers and special characters, breaking up the actual words into something more secure: !L0v3d0Gs.
    9. Get into a habit of changing your password on a schedule (especially if it is a site that houses financial information or credit card numbers), even though it is a pain, we recommend changing passwords every 30 days.  Write down your passwords and keep them in a safe place.
    10. Do not use the same password for every site.  Make each password different (even if it is off by one or two characters) and keep a record of it.
    11. Do not click on links or open attachments in emails unless you are 100% sure they are legitimate.  If the email has a link you can mouse over it, a little box will show you where it is taking you.  If it does not align with the stated destination, do not click it.
    12. Check your bank account/statement frequently.  Report fraud immediately.
    13. Check your credit report yearly. Report any suspicious credit activity immediately.

    If you need help with anything listed above, this can be done remotely.  Please call our office (208-288-4345), or email us (info@integrityidaho.com) if you have any questions or need immediate assistance!

    December
    16

    There's Still Time Left for Boise Holiday Shopping

    Boise Holiday Shopping

    The holiday shopping season is going by fast – let our real estate agents give you a hand!

    With all the fun and excitement of looking at Boise homes for sale, the holidays might sneak up on you this year. These beloved local shops will help you find something for those "hard to shop for" friends and family:

    • The Basque Market – 608 West Grove Street, Boise, ID 83702
      The Basque Market offers international flavors perfect for the foodies left on your holiday shopping list. Basque Country, Spain, France, and Portugal wines are available with their wine club. Virtual events and classes, including cooking classes, are being held regularly and make memorable gifts. Introduce friends and families to this cuisine by giving them a gift card!

    • Boise Art Glass – 1124 West Front Street, Boise, ID 83702
      Billing itself as Boise's premier glass studio, Boise Art Glass will thrill you with its handmade glass art: Sculptures, chandeliers, jewelry, and so much more. Independently owned by a local artist since 2004, it gives customers the chance to browse a living, active art studio, take classes in glass art, or even make a custom order. Whether you want to gift functional or sculptural art, it's all here for you.

    • City Peanut Shop – 803 West Bannock Street, Boise, ID 83702
      Get your peanuts at City Peanut Shop, which offers peanut gift tins, mixes, butters, corns, and sweets right in the heart of downtown Boise. Flavors run the gamut from sweet to spicy to savory, so no matter what your giftee prefers you'll be able to find a flavor for them! Owner Dan Balluff opened the shop to bring the feel of his hometown's classic peanut shop to a new generation. It also offers local delivery within Boise.

    • G. Willikers Toy Merchant – 1508 N. 13th St., Boise, ID 83702
      Nestled in North Boise's historic Hyde Park, G. Willikers sells a variety of old-fashioned, modern, and unique toys and games. Need some help deciding? The friendly staff will help you find the perfect gift - for young and old! With free gift wrapping, you will be good to go before you know it. 

    • Compass Goods – 176 North 9th Street, Boise, ID 83702
      Compass Goods is all about travel, "finding your direction and loving it." Recently opening the doors of its flagship store, it provides a wide range of attire, gear, travel supplies, and games. Yes, games! Travel is most fun when you share it with others, and Compass Goods will keep you well-stocked with ideas for playing while you explore. The simple, elegant, and unforgettable gift possibilities are endless.

    • Wood Creations Boutique – 12624 West Fairview Avenue, Boise, ID 83713
      There's still time to shop this holiday season and there's still time to craft thanks to the team at Wood Creations Boutique. Gift one of their crafting kits which include what you need to craft like a pro. Or make something at their white barn studio. Either way, you're guaranteed a one-of-a-kind gift that is sure to impress. Plus all of their kits are made right here in Boise!
       
    • Delia Dante Gallery & Fire Fusion Studio – 1322 West Main Street, Boise, ID 83702
      Delia Dante Gallery & Fire Fusion Studio offers a unique experience as both an art gallery and a studio where welding and enameling are practiced. Namesake artist Delia Dante has done decorative pieces you'll find all over Idaho. You can learn directly from her with classes in metalsmithing, welding, enameling, and more. That means distinct gift options: Art or an experience!

    The local shops in the Boise area are always worth a stop! Contact us to discover more of what makes Boise unique.

    Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 12/03/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 12/03/2022. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of INTERMOUNTAIN MLS (last updated Sat 12/03/2022 10:13:46 AM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Coldwell Banker Tomlinson may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --

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