- Happy St. Patrick's Day
- Did You Know?
- Organization Tips
- Spring Break Destinations
- Whole 30 Diet
- Recipe of the Month
- Real Estate News
"May your troubles be less,
your blessings be more,
and nothing but happiness
come through your door."
Whether you are going out to have a pint of Guiness or eating Corned Beef and Cabbage at home, I wish you a very Happy St. Patrick's Day.
Don't forget to wear green ;)
According to the investment research firm
St. Patrick’s Day is only the fourth biggest drinking day in the U.S., after New Year’s Eve, Christmas, and the Fourth of July.
That said, if you go out, please be careful. Use public transportation, Uber, Lyft or grab a ride with a sober friend.
I am always trying to make better use of our space. It always seems like there are items that have no place to go. I am not even sure how it happens...
I read an article in BHG with clever storage ideas. Below are two of my favorites. One is for the kitchen and the other is for the bathroom.
In the Kitchen
Create a wall of storage with either builts-ins or if they are not in your budget, freestanding units will achieve the same function.
In the Bathroom
Build up storage by making use of vertical space between the sinks of a double vanity. For extra savvy functionality, include an outlet for reazors, hair dryers and more.
Spring Break Destinations
March is here and that means Spring Break is coming! I looked up the 10 Best Family Spring Break Destinations on U.S. News. Many of these are not budget friendly, but they are so fun to think about. I will be dreaming of a white sand beach, beautiful blue ocean, a lounge chair and a fruity cocktail! Check out the list below:
Orlando - Walt Disney World
Anaheim - Disneyland
If none of these are possible for this year, maybe check out Lake Tahoe, Lake Berryessa, Lake Tulloch, Yosemite, Big Sur, Santa Cruz, Bodega Bay, Dillon Beach. There are so many good local spots to check out!!
My sister in law is on day 24 of the Whole30 Diet. Have any of your heard of this? It's pretty hard core. For 30 days you don't eat any sugar, don't consume any alcohol, do not eat grains, do not eat legumes, do not eat dairy, do not consume MSG, do not consume baked goods, junk foods or treats. You eat "Real Food". Meat, seafood, veggies, eggs, fruit and natural fats.
She said the first 8 days were terrible, but now she feels better than she ever has! Not only do people lose weight, but they say they feel like their mind is clearer, they have more energy and feel like their best selves.
I can't decide if I'm going to do it. I want the life changing results, but am not sure if I can handle all the restrictions. I'll keep you updated!!
I decided to check out some of the Whole30 recipes to see what I would be able to eat. I found this salad and it looks really good. I think it will be one of the first meals I will make if I do this!
Strawberry Cucumber Salad
Servings: 4 - Size 3/4 cup
- 1 1/3 cup sliced strawberries
- 1/4 cup slivered red onion
- 1 1/3 cup diced cucumber (about ½ large)
- 1 tsp chopped fresh mint
- 1 tsp chopped fresh basil
- 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
- pinch kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp balsamic glaze
- 2 tbsp sliced almonds, toasted
Combine strawberries, onions, cucumbers, mint, basil, lime juice, salt and pepper. Lightly drizzle with balsamic glaze and finish with slivered almonds.
2018 Tax Law Changes and How they affect Homeowners
I am sure most of you have heard about the tax law changes for 2018. There are many different areas of change, but below we will just focus on the changes for mortgages and homeowners. Below is what I found on MarketWatch summarizing what I think will affect most of us in the Bay Area market:
New limit on deductions for state and local taxes, including real property taxes
"Under prior law (before the TCJA), you could claim an itemized deduction for an unlimited amount of personal (non-business) state and local income and property taxes on Schedule A of Form 1040."
"For 2018-2025, the TCJA changes the deal by limiting itemized deductions for personal state and local property taxes and personal state and local income taxes (or sales taxes if you choose that option) to a combined total of only $10,000 ($5,000 if you use married filing separate status)."
Tax planning considerations
These only apply if you have enough 2018 itemized deductions to exceed your allowable standard deduction (which is almost everyone I know). There may also be potential other deductions for real estate taxes (not on schedule A) if you have a home office used solely for business or are renting out part of your house, but that's out of scope for this article.
If you pay both state and local property taxes and state and local income taxes (or sales taxes if you choose that option), trying to maximize your property tax deduction may reduce what you can deduct for state and local income taxes. For example, if you have $8,000 of state and local property taxes and $10,000 of state and local income taxes, you can deduct the full $8,000 of property taxes but only $2,000 of income taxes. If you want to deduct more income tax, your property tax deduction goes down dollar-for-dollar.
The good news: home sale gain exclusion rules unchanged
The TCJA preserves the valuable break that allows you to potentially exclude from federal income tax up to $250,000 of gain from a qualified home sale, or $500,000 if you are a married joint-filer.
The bottom line
The new TCJA limits on deducting property taxes will affect many homeowners. The new limits on deducting home mortgage interest may not affect as many, but homeowners with larger mortgages and home equity loans must take heed.
Has anyone else noticed those super cute green and yellow bikes popping up all over Shadelands Business Park? I see them in front of Safeway, Starbucks, on side streets, etc. Every time I see them, I wonder about how they work and how to rent them.
The city said the goal of the LimeBikes program is to promote better physical fitness and cutting greenhouse-gas emissions from cars.
Part of what makes LimeBikes affordable is that they don't need to be anchored to a station. Here is how it works:
"Instead of unlocking bikes from such a station, customers use a map as part of the LimeBike smartphone app to find the nearest available GPS-equipped bike. The paying rider then unlocks the bike by scanning a QR code or typing in the bike’s plate number."
"When the ride is over, customers simply park the bike and lock the rear wheel. Users pay $1 to use the bikes for up to 30 minutes, or can get a monthly $30 subscription, Colford said."
"In the Bay Area, LimeBike operates in Alameda and South San Francisco, and is launching other new programs in El Cerrito, Albany and Burlingame. LimeBike reps have also been talking with officials in Lafayette, Orinda and Moraga to discuss possible pilot programs there."
I cannot wait to try the bikes this Spring! They look like so much fun!! I want to ride around Shadelands and then stop off at Gourmet Burger or CALICRAFT and sit outside and enjoy the sunshine!