Things to do at Home: Family Edition

Here is a list of some fun things that you can try at home. Remember that every family is unique and will have their own preferences regarding how to spend quality time together. The following activities common ones that many households enjoy.

Cook Together

Do you like watching cooking shows? You might have seen shows where the chefs are divided into teams. These teammates work together to create magical dishes. You can bring the same creativity and enthusiasm into your kitchen. Cooking together is a great activity that brings family members closer together. You can have fun and create finger-licking-good dishes at the same time.

Start a Garden

A garden is a lot of work and requires regular maintenance, but when you involve your entire family in the process, each family member will have a sense of responsibility toward maintaining it. You can ask your family members to plant the crops of their choice and then take care of them. In this way, your garden can have lots of different types of plants in one place. A lush green garden adds an appealing look to your house, and there is nothing better than eating food straight off the vine together.

Read a Book

Many people are confused when they are told to consider reading as a family activity, but there is an easy to read a book together with your family, and that is to listen to an audiobook. But not many book lovers like the concept of an audiobook and they want to read the book by themselves.

Make Homemade Greeting Cards

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Personalized greeting cards are a great way to tell your relatives that you have been thinking about them. And what’s better than bringing your entire family together when crafting a card for your loved ones? The supplies that you need for creating a card are easily available at an arts and crafts shop. Take a trip to a nearby shop and choose the products that you think will be perfect for your cards. After that, dedicate a weekend to this activity, and make personalized cards for your family members and friends.

 

Sourced via Happier Human

Streaming: March 2021

From the long-awaited Disney release of Raya and The Last Dragon to Audrey Hepburn– See some of what’s streaming on Netflix, Hulu, Disney+ and more in March.

La Templanza

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime
A 10-part romantic historical drama based on the novel by María Dueñas, which is set in 1860 in different world cities. The story revolves around Soledad Montalvo and Mauro Larrea, who embark on adventures across the world.

Boss Level

Where to Watch: Hulu
A former special forces agent uncovers clues about a secret government project that could unlock the mystery behind his death. The film stars Frank Grillo and Mel Gibson.

Raya and the Last Dragon

Where to Watch: Disney
This animated fantasy film tells the story of a warrior named Raya who goes on a dragon-seeking quest in order to stop sinister monsters known as the Druun. It’s available for streaming with premier access.

Economic Update For The Month Ending February 28, 2021

 

Stock markets – The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the month at 30,932.37, up 3.2% from29,982.62 at the end of January. It is up 1.1% year-to-date. The S&P 500 closed the month at 3,811.15, up 2.6% from 3,714.24 last month. It is up 1.6% year-to-date. The NASDAQ closed the month at 13,192.35, up 1% from 13,079.69 last month It is up 2.3% year-to-date.

U.S. Treasury bond yields – The 10-year treasury bond closed the month yielding 1.44%, up from 1.11% last month. The 30-year treasury bond yield ended the month at 2.17, up from 1.87% last month. We watch bond yields because mortgage rates often follow treasury bond yields.

Mortgage rates – The February 25, 2021, Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey reported mortgage rates for the most popular loan products as follows: The 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 2.97%, up from 2.73% last month. The 15-year fixed was 2.34%, up from 2.20% last month. The 5-year ARM was 2.99%, up from 2.80% last month.

U.S. employers added 49,000 jobs in January – The Department of Labor and Statics reported that 49,000 net new jobs were added in January. That’s a dramatic turnaround from December when the economy lost 227,000 jobs. February figures will be released on Friday. Job gains are expected to be significantly higher, as a rapid drop in COVID cases has prompted more of the economy to re-open allowing employers to re-hire workers. The unemployment rate in January was 6.3, down from 6.7% in December.

Housing data is released in the third week of the month for the previous month. These are January’s sales figures. We expect February closings to exhibit strong year-over-year figures as well. You will be able to get a real estate market report for your city or zip code on my website on February 8, 2021.

U.S. existing single-family home sales – The National Association of Realtors reported that existing-home sales increased to a seasonally-adjusted annualized rate of 6.69 million units. That’s an increase of 0.6% from the number of homes sold in December, and a 23.7% increase from the number of homes sold last January. The median price paid for a home in the U.S. in January was $303,900, up 14.1% from January 2020 when the median price was $266,300. There was just a 1.9-month supply of homes for sale compared to a 3.1-month supply one year ago.

California existing home sales – The California Association of Realtors reported that existing, single-family home sales totaled 484,730 on an annualized basis in January. That represented a year-over-year increase of 22.5% from the 395,700 annualized rate of homes sold in January 2020. The median price paid for a home in California was $699,890, up 21.7% from the median price of $575,160 last January. Inventory levels were lower than one year ago. There was just a 1.5-month supply of homes for sale in January, down from a 3.4-month supply one year ago. Below please find a graph of regional statistics for Southern California.

LA & Valley Eats: Top Take-Out in LA

 

Many local dine-in restaurants have temporarily closed to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), but some Los Angeles area restaurants are offering takeout, and sometimes even curbside pickup of food. Below are some of the top take-out restaurants in LA.

 

Akasha

9543 Culver Blvd 

Culver City, CA 90232

AKASHA restaurant/bar/cafe features New American cuisine offering comfort food with big flavors and sustainable ingredients, for carnivores and herbivores alike. 

 

The Arthur J

903 Manhattan Ave. 

Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

At The Arthur J, beef is their passion. When you combine their ability to source the best beef in the world, cooking with an incredible natural wood fire grill, and friendly thoughtful service, an incredible quality steak is born. 

 

Bourbon Steak Los Angeles

237 S. Brand Blvd. 

Glendale, CA 91210

Located in Glendale, Bourbon Steak – Los Angeles is Chef Michael Mina’s modern, American steakhouse offering a timeless dining experience. At once classic and contemporary, the restaurant accomplishes all the traditions expected from a steakhouse with a flair of excitement.

 

Crustacean

468 N. Bedford Dr. 

Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Chef Helene An likes the word “balance” to describe her accomplishments. This is exactly what has been done with the reincarnation of Crustacean: beautiful décor, beautiful food.

 

El Tejano

11122 Magnolia Blvd. 

North Hollywood, CA 91601

Tex-Mex restaurant El Tejano in North Hollywood serves classics such as grilled street corn, Frito pie, a wide variety of tacos, burritos, and enchiladas, and Southwest quinoa bowls. Weekend breakfast includes Tejano chilaquiles and a Texas breakfast burrito with brisket.

 

Chinois on Main

2709 Main St. 

Santa Monica, CA 90405

Wolfgang Puck’s second restaurant opened in 1983. A unique blend of Chinese and French fusion explodes with flavors unheard of before. Imitated but yet never captured to this day this fusion of flavors keeps you craving and coming back for more. 

 

Fig & Sprig

4774 Park Granada Unit 4 

Hidden Hills, CA 91302

At Fig & Sprig they focus on local, seasonal produce whenever possible and lovingly craft dishes to be healthful and delicious. They take pride in keeping our ingredients locally sourced, organic when possible, and sustainable. They will make you a sandwich or salad or something hot that is done to perfection. They also have wonderful vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free choices for you to consider.

 

Home Tips: Decor Trends to Try in 2021

The coronavirus pandemic has impacted many industries, and the home space is no exception. As many people spent more time indoors throughout 2020, not only were they craving more comfort — they were also forced to reimagine their spaces to meet the demands of their new lifestyle. Below are a few trends we are noticing in the new year that can help make your space more on-trend and practical. 

Tip #1: Earthy Palettes and Textures

We’ll see lots of earthy palettes and textures in 2021. Think lots of rattan, camels in lieu of gray, and deep, neutralized hues like olive green and burnt orange.

Tip #2: Bidets

After the 2020 toilet paper gate, it’s no wonder bidets are making a comeback. Believe it or not, bidets are definitely a 2021 trend!  

Tip #3: Durable Fabrics

Fabrics that are durable, wear well, and can be washed multiple times will be more important as we spend more time at home for work and learning

Tip #4: Edible Gardens

As people continue to spend more time at home, edible plants will continue to grow in popularity in 2021. Having freshly grown indoor herbs and vegetables is ideal for creating dishes and beverages since you have the necessary ingredients at your fingertips.

Tip #5: Livable Luxury

2021 is all about livable luxury, and versatility in design. So many people have had to transition over the past year, that they are rethinking less-used spaces and embracing furniture concepts that play double duty.

LA & Valley Eats: DineLA Restaurant Week

 

Check out these restaurants that will be having incredible specials during DineLA’s Restaurant Week happening March 1-14!

 

Sugarfish

11640 San Vicente Blvd., 

Los Angeles 90049

Sugarfish serves only traditional sushi of the highest quality based on Chef Nozawa’s style of sushi. Their passion is to carry forward his great tradition and style of food – which many believe is the best sushi there is.

On-site Dining, Take-Out, Delivery

Restaurant Week Menu

 

Gyu-Kaku

116 S. San Fernando Blvd., 

Burbank 91502

Gyu Kaku serves fresh-quality Japanese BBQ that you can grill at your own table! 

On-site Dining

Restaurant Week Menu

 

Saddle Peak Lodge

419 Cold Canyon Rd., 

Calabasas 91302-2204

For years, Saddle Peak Lodge has been known for providing guests with an entirely unique dining experience. With Chef Adam Horton’s exquisite menu of exotic wild game, guests can take a trip through history.

On-site Dining

Restaurant Week Menu

 

Nic’s On Beverly

8265 Beverly Blvd, 

Los Angeles 90048

Nic’s On Beverly is described as a love letter to LA, disguised as a plant-based restaurant and bar.

Take-Out, Delivery

Restaurant Week Menu

 

All India Cafe

316 N Brand Blvd, 

Glendale 91203

All India Cafe’s award-winning menu primarily draws inspiration and tradition from Northern India while infusing a bit of Southern India’s flavor & flare. Everything is made fresh in the restaurant — the food is nutritious and comforting without being too heavy, and there are many gluten-free & vegan options.

On-site Dining, Take-Out, Delivery

Restaurant Week Menu

 

Uovo

1320 2nd St., Ste A, 

Santa Monica 90401

By combining great ingredients with the age-old technique, Uovo believes their pasta is equal to the very best in Italy.

On-site Dining, Take-Out, Delivery

Restaurant Week Menu

 

Same Same Thai

2835 W. Sunset Blvd, 

Los Angeles 90029

Same Same Thai blends curated wines and homestyle Thai cooking in Silver Lake! Owners Katy Noochlaor and Annie Daniel’s menu consist of street snacks and other Thai favorites like Isaan sausage and khao soi to hoy tod mussel pancakes.

Take-Out

Restaurant Week Menu

 

Home Tips: March To-Do List

The first day of Spring is officially March 19th, so rest assured that warmer weather is on its way. Usher in a new season with a little Spring cleaning and preparation. 

Tip #1: Refresh the entryway

As the weather warms up, start putting away wool hats and mittens and start getting ready for those muddy spring boots. We recommend replacing the doormat, putting out an umbrella holder for Spring showers, and investing in a boot tray lined with river stones to help drain the water from your rain boots.

Tip #2: Remove the winter layers

Starting to feel a little too warm under your thick duvet? Consider swapping out your heavy winter coverings with lighter-weight quilts and coverings.  

Tip #3: Clean up the patio furniture

Outdoor furniture has a tendency to get a little grimy over the Winter season. Make sure to give these pieces good scrub before you start using them for the season. We recommend getting rid of the worn-out fabric coverings for machine washable replacements.

Tip #4: Dust high corners and baseboards

Using a duster or vacuum attachment of your choice, remove cobwebs and dust from those high and low places we tend to miss during our routine cleaning. 

Tip #5: Make a garden plan

There’s still time to have the garden of your dreams this season! Sketch out a plan and start gathering ideas about this year’s plantings as well as any hardscape adjustments as in a new planter, pathway, or fence.  Pick up some seedlings at your local nursery or botanical garden which will be a great place to find the plants that thrive in your area.

Economic update for the week ending February 20, 2021

 

Stock markets ended the week slightly lower on inflation fears – U.S. retail sales jumped 5.3% in January. This unexpected jump was credited mostly to consumers spending stimulus checks, as well as a general feeling that the worst of COVID is behind us. On the other hand, investor’s confidence in the economy, and a tremendous amount of stimulus money being added to the economy, have promoted fears of inflation. Those inflation fears and economic optimism have caused bond yields to increase. Higher bond yields lead to higher interest rates which increase borrowing costs for businesses, consumers, governments, and mortgages. This held stock markets from jumping again this week despite strong corporate earnings, a drop in COVID cases, and strong data from just about all sectors. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 31,494.32, up 0.1% from 31,458.40 last week. It is up 2.9% year-to-date. The S&P 500 closed the week at 3,906.71, down 0.7% from 3,934.83 last week. It is up 4.0% year-to-date. The NASDAQ closed the week at 13,874.36, down 1.6% from 14,094.47 last week. It is up 7.7% year-to-date.

U.S. Treasury bond yields – The 10-year treasury bond closed the week yielding 1.34%, up from 1.20% last week. The 30-year treasury bond yield ended the week at 2.14%, up from 2.01% last week. We watch bond yields because mortgage rates often follow treasury bond yields.

Mortgage rates – The February 18, 2021, Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey reported mortgage rates for the most popular loan products as follows: The 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 2.81%, up from 2.73% last week. The 15-year fixed was 2.21% almost unchanged from 2.19% last week. The 5-year ARM was 2.77%, almost unchanged from 2.79% last week.

California existing home sales – The California Association of Realtors reported that existing, single-family home sales totaled 484,730 on an annualized basis in January. That represented a year-over-year increase of 22.5% from the 395,700 annualized rate of homes sold in January 2020. The median price paid for a home in California was $699,890, up 21.7% from the median price of $575,160 last January. Inventory levels were lower than one year ago. There was just a 1.5-month supply of homes for sale in January, down from a 3.4-month supply one year ago. Below please find a graph of regional statistics for Southern California.

Streaming: February Top Picks

One thing that has been really spicing up the found time at home would definitely be new streaming releases. Check out a few of February’s Top Streaming Picks!

The Real Prince Philip

Where to Watch: Acorn TV

This documentary celebrates the life and achievements of Prince Philip, emphasizing the role his military experiences played in his later achievements and suggesting that his admirable ethos of “service” and “duty” was forged during his impressive Naval career.

The New York Times Presents: Framing Britney Spears

 A moment captured by Britney’s assistant and friend Felicia Culotta. CR: FX

Where to Watch: Hulu

This documentary explores the pop star’s meteoric rise, public fall from grace and the ongoing battle for control of her conservatorship.

The Book of Life

Where to Watch: Disney+

In this animated film, a young man is torn between fulfilling the expectations of his family and following his heart. Before choosing which path to follow, he embarks on an incredible adventure.

Pelé

Where to Watch: Netflix

This documentary tells the story of world-renowned footballer Pelé, his quest for perfection and the mythical status he has since attained.

Things To Do: How To Celebrate National Love Your Pet Day From Home

National Love Your Pet Day is celebrated on February 20, 2021! Use a few of these ideas to give your pet a little extra love from home. 

Give a Gift

It’s time to buy that super-awesome dog or cat toy that you’ve been eyeing online! Some pets will even unwrap gifts themselves, but be sure to supervise and make sure they don’t swallow the paper or ribbons

 

Bake a Pet-Friendly Cake

Whether you look up a pet-friendly cake recipe, or just hold a candle upon your pet’s food, your pet is certain to enjoy this special meal. Cakes for dogs and cats are a great way to make furry friends feel like the VIPs they truly are.

 

Donate to Charity

Give back to needy pets by donating to a local pet shelter or charity in your pet’s name. What better way to honor your pet than by giving to pets that are less fortunate?

 

Snuggle Time

Take an afternoon catnap or dog snooze to spend some downtime with your pet and allow them to rest after all of the day’s excitement.

 

Get Creative

Get in touch with your creative side by making something for your pet! Some ideas: Knitting, crocheting, or sewing a special pet blanket. Build a dog house. Make homemade pet toys. We recommend finding more creative ideas on Pinterest!